Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘vivek oberoi

Here’s what we suggest you bring out the popcorn for
MUMBAI MIRROR; January 01, 2010

Karthik Calling Karthik

Farhan Akhtar’s next film is a story of a lovable loser whose chance meeting with his namesake changes his life forever. Karthik Calling Karthik has a star-studded credit list which includes Deepika Padukone, Javed Akhtar and Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy. Considering Farhan acts in the movies he either directs or produces, it seems like he is bent on wanting to typecast himself as the underdog. Weird but true!


My name is Khan

Bollywood’s biology lessons continue with My Name Is Khan. With 9/11 as the backdrop, the movie follows Rizwan Khan (SRK) who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome. This is an autistic disease that makes the victim devoid of empathy. This, of course will give rise to many comical situations, just like Paa did. The film brings together the electrifying pair of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol back on the silver screen. Add Karan Johar to the mix and you have a surefire hit. But come on, what is the film industry going to explore next, the common cold?


Raajneeti

A modern-day political rendition of the Mahabharata, Raajneeti boasts of an A-list star cast – Ajay Devgan, Arjun Rampal, Ranbir Kapoor, Nana Patekar, Vivek Oberoi, Manoj Bajpai and Katrina Kaif. The movie will use the dilemmas the characters in the book went through, and draw parallels with it in reel life. Katrina Kaif is reportedly playing the role of Sonia Gandhi in the movie. After all both of them are quite similar: accent – check; powerful woman – check; foreign descent – check; relationship with Salman Khan – no one really knows.


Kites

Kites follows the story of Hrithik Roshan, a salsa dancer who falls in love with his student. Language barriers don’t matter here, love conquers almost all. But ‘something’ happens and it’s up to another student Kangna Ranaut to save the day. Maybe Sussanne walks into the movie or some other terrifying event occurs, we don’t know yet. But we hope the movie does better than Hrithik’s personal life.


Raavana

A modern day rendition of the mythological text, Raavana will get Aishwariya and Abhishek on the silver screen together for the first time after getting hitched. The movie has been plagued with problems – floods, elephants stomping around the set, maybe a higher power is sending a message through all of this. We won’t say anything, let the box-office decide.


Action replay

In Action Replay, a man ages backwards… Hmm, let’s see where have we heard this story before? A clear rip-off of the Hollywood hit, Benjamin Button, the film will feature Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai. Director Vipul Shah is back with Akshay Kumar and hopes his dream run will continue.


Teen Patti

As much as producer Ambika Hinduja denies it, Teen Patti’s plot seems like a rip-off of the Hollywood blockbuster 21. The film features three ace actors, Ben Kingsley (supposedly not doing a cameo), Big B and Madhavan. With the help of a unique algorithm, Amitabh who plays a mathematical genius leads a team of college students to make a lot of money. Does Amitabh hold the algorithm for the movie’s success or will this be just another failed spin-off?


Houseful

Akshay Kumar has a slew of releases lined up next year and Houseful, the laugh-riot is one of them. The story follows Akshay who is very unlucky in life and is trying to find true love. The women helping him achieve this goal are Deepika Padukone, Lara Dutta and Jiah Khan. In real life, however, we think it’s the other way around. Akshay will end up teaching Deepika more than two expressions, Lara how to sign movies and Jiah Khan how not to be dropped from the one-odd film she has signed.


No Problem

Anees Bazmee has three mega comedy films lined up next year. One of them is No Problem which has quite a star cast – Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Akshaye Khanna, Sushmita Sen, Kangna Ranaut, Paresh Rawal and Sunil Shetty. The film is a love story of impossible proportions. Another impossible proposition is Kangna actually makes people laugh after making them weep all these years.


Well Done Abba

Shyam Benegal has been travelling the world with his latest film, Well Done Abba. The satirical movie sees Boman Irani play two roles. Fitting two Bomans in one shot is a feat in itself and a testament to Benegal’s directorial skills. The movie follows the journey of Armaan Ali, a driver from Mumbai, who is out to find his daughter’s (Minissha Lamba) beau. Minissha, who has been alternating between commercial and semi-art house cinema, is reportedly playing a strong role in the film.


Guzaarish

The film that is loosely based on Whose Life is it Anyway? has Hrithik playing a paraplegic radio jockey.  The film seems like a cry-till-your-tearbuds-dry-out movie – it explores the dilemma of euthanasia. Hrithik who believes in challenging himself till the cows come home, reportedly, spent hours in the wheelchair when not required to shoot, to get into the head of the character. Hrithik and Aishwarya reunite after Dhoom 2, and with Sanjay Leela Bhansali directing, it becomes one of the most awaited films in 2010, never mind Saawariya.


Road, Movie

Indian cinema has been through many fascinating twists and turns but none quite as romantic as touring cinemas.  Essentially this means that the owner of one mounts the film projector on the back of a truck and the projectionist travels the length and breadth of a state with the truck, stops wherever there is a pilgrimage or a mela and projects the films he is carrying onto a white curtain which is then viewed by the locals sitting on both sides of the screen. Dev Benegal has made Road, Movie about one such projectionist (Satish Kaushik) and the young owner (Abhay Deol) and the adventures they have as they show their movies. The film has been very well received on the festival circuit.


Anjaana Anjaani

After playing twelve characters in What’s Your Raashee?, we’re sure Priyanka Chopra has become a stranger to herself, especially after the film tanked. Siddharth Anand, director of Ta Ra Rum Pum and Salaam Namaste, tries a romcom with Anjaana Anjaani. Starring Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka, the film shows two strangers who fall in love and the journey they take together.


Aisha

Abhay Deol’s love for Delhi continues with his Bollywood release, Aisha where he plays another spoilt, rich Delhi brat. His character is modelled on Mr Knightly from Jane Austen’s novel, Emma. The movie is a romantic comedy that explores horrible mismatches. It also has a strong female role that has been bagged by Sonam Kapoor.  Whether Sonam is strong enough for the film after two failed films (read: Saawariya and    Delhi-6) is another matter.


Khelein hum jee jaan sey

Ashutosh Gowariker is no stranger to large canvasses (think Lagaan, Swades, Jodhaa Akbar) so it’s no surprise that he is now filming another humongous project, Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey, which revolves around the Chittagong Uprising in the pre Independence days. After What’s Your Raashee?, this is another film adapted from a book, Do and Die by Manini Chatterjee. Abhishek Bachchan and Deepika Padukone lead the star cast and Nitin Chandrakant Desai leads the crew. Hopefully Ashutosh’s version of history will not be challenged,  the way Jodhaa Akbar was.


Knock out

Inspired’ from the Hollywood masterpiece Phone Booth, Mani Shankar will look to re-create the magic in Bollywood. A man is trapped inside a phone booth, not because the door is stuck, but an assassin has a sniper rifle trained on him.  Kangna plays the role of a journalist, Irrfan plays a cop and Sanjay Dutt the assassin.


I Hate Luv Storys

A true-blue rom-com, I Hate Luv Storys brings together the very glamourous Sonam Kapoor and the man with the melting eyes, Imran Khan. Described as a love story not meant to happen but which does happen, it is the story of a man who does not believe in love and a girl who does. They meet on a film set; a milieu the director Punit Malhotra is very familiar with, having cut his teeth on Karan Johar’s sets as an assistant director; and sparks fly.


1-800-Love

When you have a tag line that says, ‘From the makers of Ghajini and Jaane Tu…’ you know you’re in for a commercial roller-coaster. Abbas Tyrewala dons the director’s hat for 1-800-LOVE again and the music score is Rahman’s handiwork. A telephone call connects two people – one who wants to die, the other who is searching for meaning in life. They meet, fall in love, yada yada… If you are watching the movie and you get bored of John Abraham’s three expression repertoire, close your eyes and maybe the music will do the trick for you.


Tees Maar Khan

Tees Maar Khan has gotten more publicity that it ever dreamed of just because Shah Rukh Khan is not playing a role in Farah Khan’s film. But it does seem like SRK has rubbed off on the new lead actor, Akshay Kumar. Kumar plays a ‘stylish’ (metrosexual) conman in the film. He will be joined by Akshaye Khanna, but the female lead has not yet been confirmed.


Hook Ya Crook

Finally, Bollywood gets a movie that shows hope in combining two things that Indians love best – cinema and cricket. Viraj Pradhan (John Abraham) dreams of being a cricketer but is a repeat offender who gets thrown into a maximum security prison. The jail is a haven for cricket players, but Viraj wants much more, he wants to be part of the men in blue. The film has reportedly roped in Indian cricketers for the movie but going by the ads on TV, the word ‘acting talent’ isn’t part of the Indian cricket team’s vocabulary.


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Aishwarya and Vivek get into a tricky spot at an event; Manish Malhotra sorts things out

By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 21, 2009)


Aishwarya Rai’s past is suddenly confronting her. After a face-off with Salman Khan on December 17, she bumped into Vivek Oberoi on Saturday at Andheri Sports Complex. Aishwarya and Vivek were there for Mumbai police event titled Jashn 2010-Dhamaka Bollywood Ka.

After Vivek entered the stadium, he was shocked to see the seating arrangement. The LCD screen which was placed at the entrance showed that his seat was right next to Aishwarya’s.  An eye-witness said, “Vivek literally froze at the prospect of sitting next to Aishwarya. He simply refused to enter the function.” The organisers then tried very hard and somehow managed to convince him to sit exactly where they wanted.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Manish Malhotra and Vivek Oberoi at the event

The eye-witness added, “There was space for one person between Aishwarya and Vivek. Asin was sitting there seconds before Vivek entered. She left that place to perform on stage. Vivek entered when Asin had left her seat.”

And the drama unfolded… As soon as Vivek sat down, Aishwarya took a sneak-peek at him. Our source said, “She became very restless and began fidgeting. Vivek could sense her discomfort. He suddenly turned and looked at her.” To help matters, designer Manish Malhotra who was standing nearby, came rushing in and sat between the two. Sensing the vibes, Vivek left his place in a few minutes and went away.

Aishwarya Rai and Vivek Oberoi remained unavailable for comment.

However Manish said, “Yes, I was sitting between Aishwarya and Vivek. But I didn’t rush in. I was already sitting with Asin on my left. Vivek came in after Asin left to perform; it was he who was sitting in Asin’s place, not me.”

Big B, SRK among several who catch Avatar premiere in Mumbai…

TIMES NEWS NETWORK (BOMBAY TIMES; December 18, 2009)

A lot of films try to lay claim to the old ‘most anticipated film of the year’ tag, but on Tuesday night, it was clear that Avatar was indeed the biggest Hollywood film of the year amongst Bollywood’s celebrity film buffs; it brought the Bachchans and the Khans onto the same blue carpet in a premiere rivalling the big Bollywood premieres. After 14 years of incubating in director James Cameron’s brain, Avatar, the once-ultrasecret project known as ‘Project 800’, finally premiered to an enraptured and appreciative Bollywood crowd. But before the 160-minute-long saga of 10-foot-tall blue aliens on a distant moon called Pandora began, the blue carpet was walked by larger than life superstars like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Yash Chopra, Gurinder Chadha, Harman Baweja, Vivek Oberoi, Ram Gopal Verma, Rohan Sippy, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Rajkumar Hirani, Anthony D’Souza, Rohit Shetty, Shirish Kunder, Tisca Chopra to name a few.

At the end of the film, as the news channels spoke to the guests leaving, some admitted to tears, many felt it would be difficult to watch “normal movies again” and most were ready to take another trip to Pandora right then and there. Networking sites were instantly flooded with more gushing praise.

Aryan had his school exams and couldn’t make it, but Shah Rukh Khan was so amazed by the experience that arranged a screening for his family and friends over the weekend. … Hrithik, who was stuck at the shooting of Guzaarish and couldn’t make it in time to the venue, is also looking to have a private screening of the film. Amitabh Bachchan told the media “It was a fabulous film, a wonderful experience!” Abhishek, who was not scheduled to come as he had to walk the ramp the same evening in the suburbs, rushed just in time to catch the film. He posted his views on a site soon after “It’s not a film. It’s an experience! James Cameron is Hollywood’s answer to my favourite director, Manmohan Desai! He could pull off anything. Avatar too is a Hindi film at heart. It’s definitely a ‘must watch’ for the experience.”

Rohan Sippy, who had seen a trade show just the previous day, loved the film so much he came to see a second screening and plans to see the film over the weekend, again. He said, “With Avatar, James Cameron has redefined what we can dream. It is a film of breathtaking scale and impossibly meticulous detail. But I think his real triumph is that he has used his total mastery over technology to make us really feel what it is to be alive and human…” Ajay Devgn and Kajol have also requested for a screening of the film for their family and close friends after hearing the premiere buzz from others. While Vivek Oberoi said, “It’s really amazing that the west can come up with films like this. I would’ve loved an Indian director to make a film like Avatar. It’s simply astounding!” “I saw Avatar in 3D. To say the least, it made me feel pre-historic in every way,” says Varma. Director Ken Ghosh, Fardeen Khan and Zayed Khan have also planned to block an evening entire show at a suburban multiplex for a private screening for friends and family. Looks like the general public might not get tickets for the film after all, looking at the number of private screenings and shows being blocked by the Bollywood fraternity itself. The premiere was hosted by Vijay Singh, CEO 20th Century Fox India and Big Cinemas.
The actor is getting appreciated for his role in Kurbaan

By TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; November 30, 2009)


A few days back, Vivek Oberoi was woken up at 6 in the morning with an SMS. It was a text message from his Kurbaan co-star Saif Ali Khan, praising Vivek Oberoi him for his work in the film.

“I’ve craved for this kind of appreciation,” admits Vivek candidly, “I wanted people to see me for my work and not have a coloured perspective because of whatever’s transpired in the past.”

The actor’s gone through his share of trouble, both personally and professionally. “One thing I’ve learnt is that it’s easier to deal with failure than to deal with success. If you don’t know what to do with success, then you lose the plot. Success had gone to my head. I was surrounded by people who kept pushing me in the wrong direction and I kept going there, and when it finally hit me, I was like, how did this happen?

Vivek Oberoi

Those four-five years were just a blur, then to understand and recover from that took time,” he says, wisened from the experience.

But yes, there were times when he was completely down in the dumps too. “There was a time when I felt that everything I did was going to backfire. It was difficult to keep my sense of reason or humour at a time like that. One day, I was really upset and my mom asked me what’s wrong. I said I just feel completely lost — there was so much professional and personal upheaval. Then she pulled out a copy of one of my first interviews during Company and said ‘start here’. I read that and realised this is what I was,” he recounts.

The journey to recover started with Vishal Bhardwaj’s Omkara and life seems to have taken a turn for the better since then. His performance in Kurbaan has been appreciated and the actor’s looking forward to Prince — It’s Showtime, where he plays a slick, stylish thief and his mentor Ram Gopal Varma’s Rakta Charitra.

Vivek realises he has been given a second lease in his career. “I think in my seven years, something I have realised pretty late is the value of opportunity. What stands between me and a lot of talented actors is a platform that Mr Varma gave me, and the second time around, I got it with Kurbaan. Then I’ve got Kumar Taurani backing me with a big film and it’s a dream to be working with my mentor Ramu again,” he says.

The smile on his face says it all when he adds, “I’ve realised the whole idea of carrying grudges, negativity, anger, hatred and enmity just bogs you down. I’m at peace now. When I started out, it was more of a high, right now, I’m humbled.” So Vivek’s finally grown up? He’s quick to answer, “I’ve a better understanding of who I am now.” That’s more than what most would say.

Cast: VIVEK OBEROI, NEERU SINGH, NANDANA SEN, ARUNA SHIELDS

Producer: RENU TAURANI, KUMAR TAURANI

Director: KOOKIE GULATI

Check out the poster of the film here!

Cast: VIVEK OBEROI, NEERU SINGH, NANDANA SEN, ARUNA SHIELDS

Producer: RENU TAURANI, KUMAR TAURANI

Director: KOOKIE GULATI

Source: BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

CHECK OUT THE PROMO OF THE FILM HERE!

Vivek Oberoi on love, life and a fresh innings in Bollywood

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 27, 2009)


• You have got some good reviews for your role in Kurbaan.

Yes. I have not stopped smiling since the film’s release. At one of the trials, Bebo (Kareena Kapoor) and Saif (Ali Khan) did tell me that I was good in the film. Then Karan (Johar) and Rensil (D’Silva)also told me the same thing. I had not seen the film till then as I was shooting in Hyderabad. It was a nice feeling when Karan told me ‘finally you make me proud.’ I saw the film just a day before its release and I had knots in my stomach. I was very nervous but I was with people who have always been kind to me. There were Shah Rukh and Gauri, Imran and his fiancée Avantika, Yash uncle, Davidji (Dhawan). They all hugged me and said I was good.

• Why have you not done a romantic film after Saathiya?

Honestly, I really don’t know. Kurbaan has got a romantic track but Mission Istanbul and Shootout At Lokhandwala had zero romance. I have not done an out-and-out romantic film and I am really looking forward to doing one.

• People are saying that you have changed and that you want to leave the controversies behind and concentrate only on your work.

I wanted this for a really long time. However, after Shootout… things did not fall in place. Almost four years ago, when I did Omkara, I saw Saif getting under the skin of the character Langda Tyagi. I loved the work ethics. That’s when I thought that I should stop doing what I was doing, but I had a backlog to finish. Then my close friend Amit Chandra sat me down and helped me streamline my life so that I could practically achieve what I was trying to. Now, I have learnt not to take anything for granted.

• How did Ramu and you patch up?

I don’t think patch up is the right word as we were never at loggerheads. I will never have the audacity to say anything against Ramu and as an artiste, I will always be indebted to him for giving me Company. But when he called me and told me ‘I will never work with you again’, I was shocked. Now, when he called me and said that he had something for me, I was so happy. When I met him, he said that he could see the same passion in my eyes again and gave me Rakta Charitra. I felt exactly the same on the first day of Rakta Charitra that I felt on the first day on the sets of Company. Ramu made me feel so comfortable.

• You have done some amazing stunts in Prince, something which you are not known for.

Yes. Kookie Gulati is quite a whiz kid. I did so many things that I cannot possibly explain — right from learning how to skateboard, doing parkour, learning cable work, to action training. I had to put so many things into my system that after the training session, things became easier.

• You have said that you are done with apologising to people.

I made a mistake and it is human to make mistakes. Personally, I think it’s humbling and it’s also building character to stand up and say I made a mistake and please forgive me. It is always an ego-based thing to say that why should I apologise. It is a real man who can say ‘I am sorry’ and that too in public. I have said sorry to the assistant director whom I was rude to, I have said sorry to the movie star whom I had a fight with and I even said sorry to the director I snapped at.

Filmmakers known for fairytale romances are now making movies with terrorism as the backdrop, finds Harshada Rege

It could be a reaction post the 26/11 terror attacks or just the fact that terrorism is a global phenomena, but filmmakers have never before been so keen to highlight this evil on the big screen. And the emphasis on this is laid by the fact that two production houses known for their romantic films, have taken a huge leap and have made movies on this topic. We are talking about Yash Chopra’s production house that’s known for movies like Chandni, Lamhe and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge; and Karan Johar who has made feel-good movies like
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham to the more recent Dostana and Wake Up Sid. Yash Chopra’s banner has already brought out its offering on terrorism in the form of New York that was directed by Kabir Khan and starred John Abraham, Katrina Kaif and Neil Nitin Mukesh. Karan on the other hand produced the recently released and highly-acclaimed Kurbaan that stars Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Vivek Oberoi. While the movie is what Karan calls a “love story” it was a subject that Karan couldn’t stop thinking about. He asked Rensil D’Silva to write and develop it for him. He later asked Rensil to direct the project. “The story addresses this evil that has become a global phenomena,” he says.
But it was director Kunal Kohli, who surprised everyone with Fanaa in 2005. Easily one of the most successful films that had terrorism as the backdrop, Fanaa handled the issue very well. “Movies that are relevant to that particular time always click with the audience. Like Naya Daur or Namak Haraam that the audience remembers for those particular eras,” points Kunal, who has also directed Hum Tum, Mujhse Dosti Karoge! and Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic. Speaking about Fanaa he says that the movie worked because it was a Hindi ‘picture’. “It had the right elements put together. It’s is very important to make your film entertaining. If you feel socially responsible and want to give a message you have to make it entertaining and not sound preachy,” he says. He feels that people liked the movie because the common man was the protagonist. “People found Rehan (Aamir Khan’s character) like any other man. He was a guide and a very mard character. He wasn’t just a boy, but a man,” says Kunal.
A trade pundit says, “As long as the director doesn’t get confused between making a love story or a film on terrorism it’s fine. In the end the audience has to feel for the characters.” Managing the commercial aspect and sending out a social message can be difficult. “Yes, it is very difficult. But that’s what the audience expects from you,” says Kunal.

BOMBAY TIMES (November 26, 2009)

The most-awaited film this year, Kurbaan has turned out to be a turkey. We speak to trade analysts and industry insiders to gauge what went wrong with the film
By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 24, 2009)


2009 has been a very bad year for UTV. After three films — What’s Your Rashee?, Main Aur Mrs Khanna and Kaminey — failed to set the cash registers ringing, they were heavily banking on Karan Johar’s Kurbaan, directed by Rensil D’Silva.

But their hopes of having a hit were dashed with Kurbaan proving to be a turkey at the box-office.UTV had bought the film from Karan for about Rs 50 crore and released it across 1,700 screens.

One could understand if the audience gave it a thumbs down after watching it. However, the shocker is that the film didn’t even get a good opening when it released on November 20. Despite being a solo release, it barely managed 35 per cent occupancy on the first day. The box-office collections thereafter have been far from encouraging, flattering reviews from film critics notwithstanding.

Endorsing the fact that the film did not register more than 40 per cent collections in its first three days, trade analyst Amod Mehra says, “Shockingly, the collections on Sunday were even less than that on Friday and Saturday. The film is a big blow to Dharma Productions and UTV. “

Mehra adds, “People are not interested in seeing terrorism any longer. New York did fairly well but that’s because it wasn’t publicised as a film based on terrorism. It looked like a very youthful film with fun elements by John and Katrina. The entire publicity of Kurbaan was wrong. If the heroine of Kurbaan doesn’t want her mother to see her steamy scenes with her boyfriend, how can one go with family members to see such a film?”

Distributor Ramesh Sippy says cautiously, “I don’t want to make any assessment. But yes, Kurbaan has not lived up to its expectations.”

We also spoke to some of the theatre officials. Manoj Desai (of Maratha Mandir, Gaiety-Galaxy) says, “I registered 80 per cent collections on the first three days whereas it did not go beyond 40 per cent in other theatres. However, the collections have nosedived since yesterday. Koi picture dekhne ke liye tayyar hi nahin hai. The overall feeling is that it’s a very serious and cruel film.”

An official from Cinemax, Andheri, says, “We had expected that this film would rake in around 85-90 per cent collections. But from day one, we knew that it wouldn’t be a hit. First day, we registered only 40-45 per cent collections. People have not related to the film, it has no repeat value. On Saturday and Sunday, we recorded only 50 per cent ticket sales.”

Vikram Varma, Fun Republic, communications manager, says, “We recorded 35 per cent in the first three days. But today (Monday), we only have 15-20 per cent occupancy. I think that too many films were released in the past few weeks and this has adversely affected Kurbaan.”

We then spoke to the public to find out why they haven’t gone kurbaan over Kurbaan. 23-year old Eka Lakhani from Lokhandwala says, “I was dying to see Kurbaan as I had heard a lot about it. The film started very well, but soon I realised that there was neither any love story nor any terrorism track. Kareena and Saif got lost in the second half and I had to look for their scenes together. The terrorism part wasn’t explained well either.”

34-year-old Menka Chandiramani from Seven Bungalows says, “I was quite impressed by Kareena and Vivek’s acting but the film hasn’t stayed with me. It had nothing new to offer. Moreover, I wonder why there was so much brouhaha about Kareena and Saif’s sex scenes. We have seen much more than this in Hindi films.”

The director of Kurbaan, Rensil D’Silva, put up a brave front. He says that people are trying to bring down his film. “That happens with every new film. But you know, I am getting a lot of calls and text messages from people whom I don’t even know saying that they have enjoyed my film. I am basically a creative guy. The best people to talk about this will be the distributors of Kurbaan (UTV).” However, Siddharth Roy Kapoor, CEO of UTV remained unavailable for comment.

Karan’s first film with UTV, Wake Up Sid raked in average returns but failed to be a profit-making proposition. And the audience’s thanda response to Kurbaan has only made things worse for Dharma and UTV.

In the process of eliminating handful of terrorists, we end up creating many more-this best describes the policies of Western developed powers who are hell bent on making the world more democratic but adopt inhuman ways to achieve the end point. Kurbaan throws light on this sensitive topic and thankfully treats it well. The flick throws a spate of questions and forces you to think, discuss and debate. But it doesn’t get preachy and hence it’s not like one of the several films on terrorism that are made for a niche audience. The film is thrilling, has some wonderful twist-n-turns and includes some moments of love and passion too. All this make Kurbaan one of the finest films of the year-one that can’t be missed!

The story of the movie: Ehsaan Khan (Saif Ali Khan) takes the job of a teacher in a university in Delhi where he comes across a psychology teacher, Avantika (Kareena Kapoor). He instantly falls in love and she also ends up liking him. But unfortunately, she’s called back to New York where she originally belongs. Realizing that it would be wrong to have a long-distance relationship, Ehsaan also moves to NYC with Avantika. But before that, they marry. After moving to New York, they buy a new house in a neighborhood full of Asians, conservative Muslims to be precise. The neighbours invite Ehsaan and Avantika for dinner so that they can get familiar with each other. Soon, Avantika realizes that things are not fine in the neighbourhood as they seem and finally, realization dawns upon her-she has been as used as a pawn in a dangerous game.

The beginning 20-25 minutes focuses on Saif-Kareena’s courtship and may not impress. It was the weakest part of the film and wasn’t treated well. But thinks take a good turn with the song Shukran Allah and when the couple shifts to New York. The film engrosses from the scene where the neighbours invite them for dinner. From this sequence, the film turns into a roller coaster ride with lots of unpredictable turns. The entry of Riyaaz (Vivek Oberoi) in the narrative adds to the icing on the cake.

The intermission point was brilliant and fortunately, unlike other films, Kurbaan doesn’t fall or gets slow in the post-interval portions. In fact, the 2nd half also keeps you hooked onto your seat. A number of sequences are memorable in this hour. Kirron Kher sharing the tragic story astonishes you and Kher’s mind blowing performance only enhances the impact. Same goes for the scene where Saif is nursing the wound with little help from Kareena after getting hit by a bullet. The way the blood tickles down and the way Saif screams-man, it gives goosebumps!

The last 30 minutes of the film is undoubtedly the best portion of the film. The tension that is created in the climax and the engrossing and captivating direction is truly appreciable. The film ends on an acceptable note.

Regarding the flaws, as mentioned before, the first 20 mins doesn’t work. Also, the film is full of violent and gory scenes which might not be liked by some sections. And the editing wasn’t upto the mark. More about it later!

Kurbaan is a rare film where the cast and most of the crew have worked exceptionally well in all respects. Saif Ali Khan was outstanding in his role. He looked dapper in his new look and performance wise, doesn’t provide even a miniscule chance of complain! Thus, Kurbaan can safely be added to the list of ‘finest performances of Saif’. This year has been particularly lucky for Saif with his home production Love Aaj Kal being a super hit and now even Kurbaan has been appreciated. His next Agent Vinod with Kareena is also expected to rock! Way to go Saif!

Kareena Kapoor has exposed as minimal as possible and still managed to look stunning. She’s always been delivering fine performances and in Kurbaan too, she does a perfect job. Watch out for the scenes where she discovers that she has been used and in the climax. She proves once again as to why she’s one of the top actresses today! Great going!

Vivek Oberoi steals the show with his wonderful act. In fact, his acts impact more than Saif-Kareena at several points in the film. Audiences as well filmmakers would surely sit up and take notice of this highly talented actor who was neglected in the past due to many reasons. He is expected to shine in his next films, Prince and Rakta Charitra too!

Kirron Kher, like Vivek, leaves a mark in several scenes. For a change, it was good to see her in a different kind of role than her usual stereotypical ones. Om Puri performs with ease. Dia Mirza looked charming and impresses with her special appearance. Nauheed Cyrusi does a fabulous job. Asheesh Kapur, who plays her husband, was great. Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Aakash Khurana and others were good.

Salim-Sulaiman’s music was haunting and songs suited the film well. Shukran Allah, Ali Maula and Kurbaan Hua are the three best songs. Ali Maula leaves a mark. The duo’s background score was electrifying and they may bag the Best Background Score award this year.

Anurag Kashyap and Niranjan Iyengar’s dialogues were sharp and top notch. Best dialogue of the film was, “Ek minute ke liye bhi ye mat sochna ki ye allah ka kaam hai!Parvez Feroze’ gory action enhanced the reality of the film. Asif Ali Shaikh’s editing wasn’t upto the mark. One can notice that desperate attempts were made to haphazardly cut down mini portions of scenes to reduce the duration of the film as much as possible. Not good!

Rensil D’Silva, the screenwriter-director scores in his dream debut. Although the direction wasn’t perfect, the film managed to make an impact and give out a strong message. The screenplay was undoubtedly intriguing.

And finally, kudos to Karan Johar for writing the film and also for producing such a hard hitting flick. KJo was criticized for making lovey-dovey films only. But with his last two films and Kurbaan, he has proved that he’s here not only to rake in moolah but also to provide fresh and interesting flicks! Hats off!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.       The songs Shukran Allah and Ali Maula
2.       Ehsaan and Avantika at the dinner in the neighbour’s house
3.       Avantika meets Dia
4.       The plane bombing sequence
5.       The intermission point
6.       Riyaaz at the Saif’s lecture
7.       Riyaaz’ quick conversation with Avantika at the mall
8.       The scene at the sandwich parlour
9.       The coffee scene
10.     The climax

On the whole, Kurbaan is an engaging and thrilling film that impresses and engrosses thoroughly! Go for it and have 160 minutes of captivating and thrilling time!

My rating-**** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Kurbaan-180014-1.html