Archive for August, 2009
By Joginder Tuteja, August 31, 2009 – 15:13 IST
Exactly a year back, right after the release of Singh Is Kinng, it was announced amidst much fanfare that Indian Films was in the process of acquiring London Dreams for a never heard before figure of Rs. 120 crores. It was obvious that Vipul Shah, maker of this Salman Khan, Ajay Devgan and Asin starrer, had hit the jackpot with the biggest ever deal for a Bollywood film.
However, as things stand today, the deal is scrapped. Indian Films is no longer associated with London Dreams and Vipul Shah is happy to go back to the old school method of selling the film to various distributors across the country.
“Yes, there is nothing happening with Indian Films as far as London Dreams is concerned. Frankly, I am not dependent on the corporate houses to see my film release in theaters. I have enough distributors across the country who are willing to pick the film and I am more than glad to release the film through them”, says Vipul Shah who has announced the release of the film as 30th October and has already begun the promotional campaign.
Looking at the response that the promos are expected to generate, what if a corporate house, including even Indian Films, shows a renewed interest in the project and is willing to renegotiate? Would he be willing to have a discussion?
“See, I am doing business here. Whatever works best for my film, I will do that. But no, I am not waiting for anyone here. There are great offers already and it’s a matter of time before they are sealed and announced”, Vipul responds.
While the figure quoted by Vipul was Rs. 120 crores at the time of announcement of London Dreams, it is but natural that in today’s market scenario, the amount would be much lesser. This is understandable too since the entire recession and slow down did impact consumers as well as the making of the films, something that reflects in the extremely poor success rate that Bollywood had to show for most part of the first half of 2009.
“These are all big films that you mention and also the most anticipated in the coming months. Hence they also serve as a benchmark for us”, says Vipul, “Since London Dreams too pretty much falls in the same bracket, it would be a matter of 5%-10% drift. Our film is not far behind either.”
Very often in life the people whom we love the most let us down the most. In ‘Shob Charitro Kalponik’, sensitive storytelling wizard from Kolkata, Rituparno Ghosh takes his protagonist, the unhappy wife Radhika, on a journey that opens doors within her heart that she would have liked to remain closed.
Ghosh occupies the two mutually exclusive yet inseparable world of art and reality with a fluency and effortlessness that takes his characters far beyond the cartel of prototypes.
We see Radhika, trapped in state of marital unhappiness, as not just woman struggling to keep her home and heart together, but also as an individual trying to find her identity against odds that are created mainly in her own mind.
Orson Welles style, the ‘real’ personality of the dead poet emerges in flashbacks that are more cursory than comprehensive. But when has life ever offered complete solutions to the riddle of marriage that has puzzled man and woman for centuries?
Echoes that reach back to the very core of humanity reverberate across this miniature masterpiece on marriage and fidelity. Ghosh’s forte is the unspoken word. The bonds that form between Radhika and her maid and between Radhika and her colleague (Jisshu Sengupta) rely on resonances beyond the rhetoric of interactive art. The director creates room in cramped spaces.
Most of Ghosh’s narrative are vibrant vignettes behind closed doors done up in deep shades of anguish and bitterness. The progression towards a mellower comprehension of the tenderness behind the seeming spousal insensitivity begins after the husband’s death. The irony of loving a spouse after he’s gone is far from lost.
Radhika’s tormented understanding of her dead poet husband’s inner world is laced with luminous moments of revelatory tragedy, leading up to a finale that’s surreal and introspective. The hallucinogenic conclusion where Radhika enters her husband’s poetic world is charming, controlled and yet frightening.
Ghosh’s cinematographer Soumik Haldar shoots the interior of Radhika’s home as a manifestation of her innermost turmoil. She paces the bedroom, speaks to her dead husband, scolds and accuses him, as the family’s silently-observant maid tries to come to terms with the enormity of Radhika’s self-recrimination and loss.
The film is a work suffused with longing for a world that has slipped out of the protagonist’s fingers while she was counting the money in her purse. It’s the illuminating story of a woman’s voyage into the dimmed light of a yesterday that she thought was wretched.
But it was just life.
Finally, the impact of the marital tale depends completely on the central performance. As the working wife who feels her husband has let down their marriage, Bipasha pulls out all stops to deliver her career’s best performance. Her moments of anguish before and after her husband’s deaths are expressed in tones of cathartic conviction that we never knew existed within Bipasha.
In the scene where she shouts against her imaginary husband on his favourite chair, Bipasha furnishes the proceedings with the anguished portrayal of bereavement that perhaps only a Shabana Azmi can equal.
This despite the fact that Bipasha’s voice has been dubbed by a woman who doesn’t really have a say in the character’s portrayal.
But then in an ironic way, isn’t that what the character is all about? The disembodied voice is a reminder of Radhika’s dissociation from her own identity.
Somewhere in finding the centre to her marriage, Radhika lost it. And loss, as we all know, is one helluva upper for art.
Savour the delicacy of Ghosh’s poetic work. And never mind the spoken language. In a true work of art, the sound is the least important component. Listen carefully. You can hear the muffled sound of a broken heart in this film.
One of Sanjay Bhansali’s desires, of working on a film with Smita Patil, was never fulfilled, but the director has signed her son Prateik Babbar to do a film with him. Prateik will be featuring in a film produced by Sanjay later this year.
Titled My Friend Pinto, the film will be directed by Raghav Dar who assisted Mani Ratnam on Guru and also worked as the associate assistant to Abbas Tyrewala on Jaane Tu Ya… Jaane Na.
And it was during the filming of JTYJN that the Prateik and Raghav decided to work together.
My Friend Pinto will be Prateik’s first lead role. He had an appreciated cameo in JTYJN and Aamir Khan plays the lead in his next, Kiran Rao’s Dhobi Ghat. Prateik’s aunt Manya Patil is only too happy for Prateik.
A thrilled Manya said, “Do you know Prateik was offered Saawariya at the very initial stage of the film when Sanjay was undecided about who to cast as the lead? But back then, Prateik was not interested in acting. He was at a stage in life where he was not sure which way to go next.
Then Abbas offered him JTYJN. It seemed too small a role to me, but Abbas asked me to trust him with the role, he said was tailor-made for Prateik. And just like he had assured me, the role was good and Prateik’s career is shaping up well.”
Prateik said, “I’m happy to work with Mr Bhansali.”
|The jugalbandi has begun and needless to say, is not melodious to the ear. The war of words between comedian Raju Shrivastav and singer-musician Vishal Dadlani has taken a turn for the worst. Vishal has made a nasty comment about Raju on the social networking website Twitter and Raju is not taking kindly to this.
Rewind to a recent award function where Vishal was performing on stage. And excited Raju, egged on by others, went up to the stage to do an impromptu jig to the song. Annoyed, Vishal ordered Raju off the stage and an embarrassed Raju retired to his seat, putting the incident behind him. But now, Vishal has mentioned on a website that ‘some donkey tried to interrupt his performance’ and that he had asked him to leave the stage immediately. He claims he does not know Raju and this has upset Raju.
An agitated Raju said, “I find this extremely shocking and humiliating. My daughter happened to read somewhere that Vishal has referred to me as a donkey. I want to say that even I don’t know who Vishal is. He was singing ‘Bachna ae haseeno’, which is an RD Burman number and I worship RD. It was the love for the song that made me go up on stage to dance. I didn’t know anyone up on the stage. I assumed them to be an orchestra group playing RD’s songs. I had even forgotten about the incident when my daughter told me what Vishal has posted on a website. If he claims that he does not know me, then I challenge him to meet me on a public platform like Lalbaugcha Raja and find out who is more popular. I am a simple man from the industry and such name-calling by colleagues is unjust.”
Vishal was unavailable for comment.
Even as we see a tribute to the legendary Michael Jackson by the cream of Bollywood fraternity in a recent video, composer Aadesh Shrivastav is busy putting together a video as his tribute to the victims of the terrible disaster that brought Mumbai to a standstill on November 26. Aadesh is creating an album of peace to pay homage to the victims of the 26/11 terror attacks. And he has roped in Amitabh Bachchan to do the voice-over for it.
Aadesh believes that Big B’s voice will do the best justice to the album which will have tracks sung by various classical and pop artistes not just from India, but abroad too. He wants to make the powerful voice a binding factor. Aadesh says, “No one else can do justice to this album. Only Amitji can serve as the perfect common thread to all the national and international artistes who are coming together for my album.”
To speed up things and make sure that he can release the album in November, the first anniversary of the blasts, Aadesh is flying down to Singapore where Amitabh is enjoying a holiday.
Aadesh’s album will also bring together Amitabh and Javed Akhtar on the same project after a gap of nearly two decades.
Bipasha Basu is a health freak and is known to never smoke or drink, which explains her bootylicious body. Now, she has refused to smoke a cigarette or even hold it for a scene in her forthcoming film, Pankh.
Our source said, “Sudipto Chattopadhyay, the director of the film, wanted Bipasha to smoke on screen for a vital sequence. However, Bipasha flatly refused as she does not encourage smoking and hates it. She was not in favour of the scene and if she smokes, it meant that she would be promoting smoking. After that, Sudipto even gave her the option of holding a cigarette, but she refused that as well. Sudipto understood her point of view and agreed to shoot the scene differently.”
Bipasha Basu confirms the story and maintains her anti-smoking stance. She said, “I don’t smoke and I don’t encourage smoking. Unless it’s absolutely essential to smoke for my role, I wouldn’t agree to do it. In Pankh, it was not essential, hence I refused. I had also refused to smoke in one of my earlier films, Corporate. If my role is that of an addict, then I will do whatever the character and the role demands, which was not the case with Pankh.”
Director Sudipto, though forced to alter the scene, decided to respect Bipasha’s wishes. He said, “It was a song sequence with a smoky atmosphere. We wanted to show that when she starts singing, smoke comes out of her mouth. However, she had a very valid point that smoking was a very politically incorrect thing to do. She said that she does not endorse smoking and she did not endorse John doing No Smoking. She had never smoked in her life. We can’t fake smoking like we do with drinking. So, eventually, we placed a canister jar in front of her which emitted smoke and we framed it in such a way that when she sings, it seems that the smoke is coming out of her mouth.”
Sanjay Gupta, the producer of the film, said, “It’s the question of an actor being comfortable. Bipasha had some inhibitions about it and it’s perfectly fine.”
Russian actress Kseniya Ryabinkina, who had played a trapeze artist and one of Raj Kapoor’s love interests in Mera Naam Joker (1970), has quietly completed shooting for her second Hindi film, Chintuji, which has Rishi Kapoor playing the title role. The forthcoming film is, to a large extent, based on Rishi Kapoor’s life.
Kseniya, who is currently quite frail because of old age was recently brought to Chandigarh all the way from Russia. “We shot with her in a village called Paragpur, which is a two-hour drive from Chandigarh and is on the outskirts of Himachal Pradesh. It was a pleasure shooting with her. She agreed to shoot with us even though she is unwell and is almost 70 years old now,” said producer Bobby Bedi.
Explaining how they thought of getting Kseniya to star in the film, Bedi said, “The film Chintuji draws a lot of inspiration from Rishi Kapoor’s real life. There is a mention of Mera Naam Joker in the film. Director Ranjit Singh suggested that we should cast Kseniya who had played a very important role opposite Raj Kapoor in Mera Naam Joker. He thought it would lend authenticity to our film. In Chintuji, she plays someone who changes Rishi’s life.”
Bedi explained how they got in touch with Kseniya despite not having her contact number. “We got in touch with the Russian Film Commission and the Kapoors too had a few contacts in Russia. We contacted her and she thankfully agreed,” he said.
Kseniya in Mera Naam Joker
Raju (Raj Kapoor) works in a circus owned by Mahendra Singh (Dharmendra) where he meets Marina (Kseniya Ryabinkina), a Russian trapeze artist. Despite the language barrier he falls in love with her. Raju’s heart breaks when the circus ends and Marina goes back to Russia.
A film like Quick Gun Murugan can easily please its audience. Reason is simple-it doesn’t give a chance to its audience to complain that the film is nonsense because the film is indeed nonsensical and audiences are well aware of it before venturing to see it. And this is what makes Quick Gun Murugun an entertainer-it fulfills all the expectations associated with it. It is illogical, the characters are weird and it is a complete spoof. And most importantly, the film is unique!
The story of the movie: Quick Gun Murugun (Dr. Rajendraprasad) is a South Indian cowboy who feels it’s his duty to destroy evil. He decides to teach Rice Plate Reddy (Naseer) a lesson after he learns that Reddy is converting all vegetarian restaurants into non-veg in a village in South India. Unfortunately, QGM fails to finish his ‘duty’ and is transported to Swarglok and from there to present-day Mumbai. Reddy is now a rich man and is about to begin a chain of restaurants, called McDosa which would provide world’s first and the best non-veg Dosa! QGM plans to stop him. On the other hand, our hero is in a dilemma when he comes across voluptuous Mango Dolly (Rambha) who loves him like crazy. But QGM feels he can’t think of any girl other than his first love Locket Girl (Anu Menon). How Quick Gun Murugun solves his ‘problems’ is what the film is all about!
In the entire duration of 90 minutes, senseless but humourous situations take place in the film and majority of them are pretty impressive. Of course, the specialty of the film is its action sequences. The action scenes are literally out of this world and kudos to the screenwriter and director for coming up with such stuff!
The storyline too is novel. The villain here is kidnapping. Whom, you may ask. The mothers who are the best cooks! Murugun reunites with his elder brother with a shooting spree in the latter’s house, destroying many articles in the home and the mother is looking at them, happily! And Murugun’s first love, Locket Girl, stays in a locket throughout the film and gives suggestions to our hero! I’ve said enough but there are many more such hilarious situations in the film! Go, watch it for yourself.
The minuses of the film are its gory violence. There’s too much bloodshed in the film which not appeal to some audiences. Also, killing an important character in the climax was just not done.
Everyone here in the film was at its best. Dr Rajendraprasad charms with his brilliant performance. His character needed a certain kind of style and the actor was able to fulfill this demand. Naseer was equally good as the villain. Raju Sundaram (as Rowdy MBA, Reddy’s right hand) played the coolest character in the film and performed wonderfully. His style and the background score created especially for him make Rowdy MBA a memorable character!
Rambha was perfect for her role and look every inch the hot plump seductress. Shanmughraja as Gunpowder was hilarious. Ashwin Mushran as Dr Jango and Sandhya Mridul as the news reporter were okay. Vinay Pathak as Chitragupta was impressive. Ranvir Shorey was there only for a 12-second scene but was damn funny.
Sagar Desai’s music works well as it’s in sync with the mood of the film. The song ‘Chat Mangni Lover’ is the best song of the lot. Hear it to believe it! Daniel George’s background score was loud and heroic and just that was expected for such a film. Sham Kaushal’s action scenes were the highlight of the film. Visual effects by Prime Focus were a treat.
Rajesh Devraj wrote the story, screenplay and dialogues. It excels almost completely in all departments. However, it would have been better if he had come up with even more hilarious and unexpected scenes in the film. It would have worked wonders. And Shashanka Ghosh, the director, who had earlier made Waisa Bhi Hota Hai-Part II, does a fine job. It requires guts to come up with such a film and Ghosh, knowing his job well, manages to do justice to the plot.
Some of the best scenes of the movie:
1. QGM’s duel with Gunpowder
2. The resignation letter scene
3. QGM reuniting with his brother
4. Mothers getting kidnapped
5. Rowdy MBA at QGM’s house
6. QGM’s duel with Rowdy MBA (excellent scene)
7. QGM’s scenes with Mango Dolly
8. The dabba wala sequence
9. The climax and the final scene
On the whole, Quick Gun Murugun entertains. The writer-director duo comes up with a zany film and although they could have done an even better job, the film is still worth watching, at home, if not in theatre. Your money and time won’t go waste, I say!
My rating-*** out of 5!
This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Quick_Gun_Murugun-173813-1.html
By Subhash K. Jha, August 29, 2009 – 12:27 IST
A 12-year old film finally got completed this week, thanks to its leading man Akshay Kumar’s determination to not have a single film of his in the cans.
This week after completing a schedule of Sajid Khan’s Housefull, Akshay Kumar sent Deepika Padukone packing and called producer-director Shabnam Kapoor to London to complete the long-pending Purab Ki Laila Paschim Ka Chaila, now called Hello India.
Shabnam Kapoor flew to London and shot with Akshay Kumar for almost a week before he flew out to Italy on Thursday for the next schedule of Housefull.
With the completion of Purab Ki Laila… which also stars Namrata Shirodkar and Suniel Shetty, Akshay prides himself on being the only leading man in Bollywood who has no films in the cans.
Interestingly, this would be only the second film in Akshay’s career directed by a female. Sangharsh directed by Tanuja Chandra was the first.
He now has the enviable record of being the only Bollywood superstar with no incomplete films to his discredit.