Archive for January, 2010
The first surprise was ‘No SRK’… the second, Katrina opposite Akshay in Farah Khan’s film
SHARIN WADER BUTANI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; January 31, 2010)
Now the story can be told. You know about Farah Khan’s big entertainer Tees Maar Khan, for which the director-choreographer, breaking tradition, signed on Akshay Kumar over all-time favourite Shah Rukh Khan. The dust over that dhamaka had not quite settled down when Farah took on Katrina Kaif to play the female lead opposite the Khiladi, thereby casting Bollywood’s most successful jodi together again and surprising the film industry immensely.
Farah has an explanation. She searched high and low among a hundred new faces hopeful of breaking into Bollywood to find a girl for Akshay. And she even considered all of Bollywood’s top rung actresses for the role, but came away dissatisfied. “You know, I had been telling people that I want a girl just like Katrina,” reveals Farah. “How silly of me! I then went on to sign Katrina herself.”
Katrina, who has done maximum number of films with Akshay, plays a wannabe item girl in TMK. Industry pundits whisper that Katrina’s determined to do serious films like Rajneeti in future because she wants to win the National Award. “That’s not true. I’m an actress and do what my director tells me to do. This role is something I’ve never done before. I’m excited about it and also to work with Farah,” says Katrina defensively.
As to why Akshay was chosen over SRK, Farah’s husband Shirish Kunder, who has written and produced the film along with Akshay’s production house, knew from the start that he wanted the Khiladi for his film. “I couldn’t think of anybody else to play this role and since I’d worked with Akshay in Jaaneman, I knew I had found my Tees Maar Khan,” says Shirish. Incidentally, this is Akshay’s first film with Farah. “Unless you consider the cameo I did for her in Om Shanti Om,” the actor prompts with a smile.
TMK is about a conman and, not strangely, Akshay slipped into the role easily. Among other sleight-of-thehand comnan tricks, he knows how to remove the watch from somebody’s wrist without the person even realising what’s happening. “I did that once with Abbas-Mustan. I exchanged their watches and what followed was total chaos,” says Akshay proudly.
The present-day electronic media has turned into a business venture and is dishing out the most pathetic stuff to its viewers. Which news should be aired, how it should be presented-everything is done keeping in mind the TRPs. These channels are ready to do anything for popularity and for grabbing eyeballs-they’ll even sensationalize or in some cases, ‘create’ news. Rann tells a story which does a wonderful expose on such news channels where anything can be done to get that ‘breaking news’ and where ethics and morals are thrown out of the window.
The story of the movie: Vijay Harshvardhan Malik (Amitabh Bachchan) runs a reputed news channel, India 24×7. He was proud that his channel never succumbed to the trappings of sensationalism and always followed journalistic ethics. But it was due to this reason that India 24×7 is bankrupt and is battling for survival. On the other hand, their rival news channel, Headlines 24 run by Amrish Kakkad (Mohnish Behl) is very high on popularity. Vijay’s son Jay (Sudeep) felt that his father should think more about profits than morals. Opposition leader Mohan Pandey (Paresh Rawal) desires to grab the Prime Minister’s post and decides to use the channel for his own advantage. He and Vijay’s son in law Navin (Rajat Kapoor) persuade Jay to help them. Realizing that helping Pandey would benefit India 24×7, Jay agrees. Vijay unknowingly also gives a nod. Purab (Ritesh Deshmukh), a big fan of Vijay and who has just joined Indian 24×7 realizes that what is happening is wrong. He takes the matter in his own hands and decides to bring a change.
Rann is easy to understand. The topic of the film is something which we all have a fair idea of and also Ram Gopal Verma nicely and simply treats it. Hence, Rann will be liked and enjoyed by all section of audiences.
The first 30-35 minutes focuses on establishing characters. Nothing special happens here. But the birthday party sequence and the following meeting between Jay and Pandey set the mood. The sting operation aired on India 24×7 (just before intermission) takes the film to an all-time high.
The 2nd half has its share of flaws. Ritesh’s investigation part begins wonderfully but tends to get stretched after a point. Also, after coming out of the theatre, you do feel that the film could have delivered an even powerful punch than it did. But notwithstanding these glitches, the 2nd half has its moments. Ritesh interviewing Paresh Rawal or his meeting with Mohnish Behl were the powerful scenes. Of course, the climax (Amitabh’s speech) takes the cake. The culmination looked real and convincing and the film gives a very nice lesson, especially to these news channels!
Also what makes Rann special are its characters. Each one of them are wonderfully sketched and written (except Neetu Chandra’s) and nicely woven in the plot. In fact, majority of the actors in the film deliver award-winning performances! Amitabh Bachchan shines once again. Although he is missing in the film in most portions of 2nd half, he compensates in the climax which was completely on his shoulders. Ritesh Deshmukh amazes with his great job. He didn’t have much to do in the first hour but has an important contribution in the 2nd half. Undoubtedly, this was one of his best performances of his career! Watch out for him in Sajid Khan’s Housefull! Sudeep is the surprise package of the film. The first half is entirely on his shoulders and he makes the biggest impact of all the actors. He’s an actor who deserves to get more films!
Paresh Rawal rocks and it was great to see him essaying the role of a baddie after a long time. Watch out for his appearance in the film! Mohnish Behl also delivers a power packed performance. In fact, it was great to see this talented actor in a substantial role after years! Suchitra Krishnamoorthy looked charming and gives flawless performance. Gul Panag played her part perfectly. Rajpal Yadav accurately essayed his role and provided some comic relief in the film too. Neetu Chandra was great but in most parts of the film, she was only trying to ‘cool down’ Sudeep’s high temper! Rajat Kapoor is dependable. Neena Kulkarni, Simone Singh and K K Raina were good.
Music and lyrcis are novel and the sarcastic songs gel very well with the mood of the film. Rann Hai definitely creates an impact. Background score bears the trademark RGV stamp. Amit Roy’s cinematography is too shaky but nevertheless, doesn’t irritate and turns the scene even more interesting.
Rohit Banawlikar’s story is original, very true and well-researched. Screenplay is strong and very engrossing. Finally, Ram Gopal Verma comes up with a great film which is shocking, unpredictable at most places and manage to impress. There are some flaws but still, he should be lauded for making an attempt to expose the media-politcs nexus and treating it nicely. Also, just like Rocket Singh, Rann also gives an important teaching-lets work ethically!
Some of the best scenes of the film:
1. Vijay Malik speaking about the Muzaffarnagar blasts
2. Rajpal Yadav’s entry
3. Vijay Malik’s birthday party
4. Jay’s breaks down in Neetu Chandra’s house
5. Jay meets Mohan Pandey
6. Jay persuades Vijay Malik to air the sting operation
7. The intermission point
8. Purab’s investigation begins
9. Purab meets Amrish at latter’s office
10. Purab reveals the truth to Vijay Malik
11. The climax
On the whole, Rann is a smashing film which does a great expose of the electronic media. It has a nice plot and performances are simply outstanding! Unfortunately, the film hasn’t got a great opening. But watching it would be no harm for sure!
My rating-*** ½ out of 5!
Saturday 30th January 2010 09.00 IST
Boxofficeindia.Com Trade Network
Ishqiya opened fairly well in the 50-60% region. The collections at some stations of North India were better than the rest of the country. The reports of the film are also good and it remains to be seen how they translate into box office collections but chances are good it will emerge a success.
Rann opened to a poor response around 15-20%. Rann also has fairly good reports and collections could improve but it will need a huge jump if it is to make any impact at the box office as opening collections are just too low.
Veer has done good first week business of around 32.50 crore nett as per early estimates. The film has been aided hugely by Republic Day holiday after which collections dropped markedly. Due to the first five days the film has managed good first week shares. The 8th day has also seen a drop with multiplexes crashing and although single screens are not as bad as multiplexes they still show a noticeable drop. Veer is a hit in circuits like Bihar, CP Berar, CI and Rajasthan but overall it is likely to emerge an Average/Above Average fair.
3 Idiots adds another 10.50 crore nett to take its five week total to around 192 crore nett. ALL TIME BLOCKBUSTER
By Bollywood Hungama News Network, January 29, 2010 – 17:57 IST
With his film My Name Is Khan releasing on Feb 12, Shah Rukh Khan is all over the place. Be it at award functions or press conferences or on your favorite reality show, SRK is leaving no stone unturned to promote his big release. What’s more, he also features on the cover page of leading men’s magazine GQ in the February issue.
King Khan, as he is fondly known as, is seen sporting a disheveled, spiky look and holding a placard which states ‘Where’s The Love?’ The actor talks about a wide variety of topics in this issue such as his equation with the Bachchans, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan to his oddest quirks. Speaking about quirks, SRK says, “I have a strange attachment to socks. They should feel right. I could be missing a flight, but if my socks are wrong, I have to take them off. I won’t wear nylon socks with sneakers. The only time I get disturbed during shooting is over my socks. You can’t give me brown socks. I hate different-coloured socks.”
His mere presence may bring a smile on many faces and yet it’s surprising to know that the one thing SRK finds difficulty in doing is to laugh on screen. “I can’t laugh at will on screen. I have a big issue. It’s been years since I had a big laughing scene. I can’t laugh in real life either; I smile a lot. When I suddenly laugh with my kids or close friends, they stop and stare at me. I laugh maybe once in two years.”
SRK also comes across as a clean person when he states, “I don’t cheat. I’ve never had the desire to cheat anyone – financially, emotionally, or romantically. It doesn’t mean I am the most morally upright person. I just think cheating is quite low. ”
With such interesting tidbits from the actor’s life, this February issue of GQ is a must have for any die-hard SRK fan.
- By Taran Adarsh, January 30, 2010 – 07:41 IST
ISHQIYA took a lead from its very first show onwards. The eye-catching promos and popular music helped the film fetch a better start than RANN at plexes. The opening was in 40% to 60% range, but the business picked up during the course of the day. It fared best in Delhi-U.P., Mumbai-Pune and Bihar, while C.P. and Gujarat are weak. ISHQIYA should collect approx. Rs. 2.5 crores to Rs. 3 crores nett on Friday. Suniel Wadhwa of BSK Network & Entertainment P. Ltd. [all-India distributors of ISHQIYA] feels that the opening weekend of ISHQIYA should close between Rs. 8 crores and Rs. 10 crores, thanks to a strong word of mouth and glowing reviews in the media.
RANN started on a 10% to 20% note, although a few plexes in South reported more or less the same occupancy as ISHQIYA. Both are carrying favourable reports and the industry is hoping that the appreciation translates into good numbers over the weekend.
|Sanjay Leela Bhansali|
Over the decades, actors have learnt various skills to get into the skin of their characters. Dilip Kumar learnt to play the sitar for Azad and Shabana Azmi learnt Carnatic sangeet for Morning Raga. While Ranbir Kapoor will learn to play the guitar for Imtiaz Ali’s Rock Star, Hrithik Roshan has recently learnt a skill which no other Indian actor (barring Kamal Haasan in the South) has learnt.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Guzaarish features Hrithik in the role of a magician. A Ukrainian magician has been specially called to teach Hrithik magic tricks to make him look convincing.
A source says, “Bhansali did not want Hrithik to fake the magic. Nor did he want the usual rabbit-from-the-hat kind of tricks. The director wanted the magic scenes to look authentic, so a hunt was launched for a magician who would fit the bill. The yardstick was to find an expert who will give Guzaarish ample time and establish a comfort level with Hrithik.”
Finally, the man was found. The director has put aside the shoot of the magician scenes for the very end. Now with the rest of the shooting over, the Ukrainian magician is arriving next month to, well, work his magic.
“However, the interesting part is that the Ukrainian magician was in Mumbai for a brief spell, to work with Hrithik. He taught the actor some of the coolest tricks, never seen in these parts. Now the star keeps his two sons (Hrehaan and Hridhaan) entertained all the time, so much so that the elder one, Hrehaan, expects his father to be the official magician of the evening on his next birthday. If Hrithik wants an alternate career he can easily become a magician and give our PC Sorcars a run for their money,” adds the source.
While choosing to remain mum over the ‘magical’ schedule next month, Bhansali confirmed, “A magician’s participation is needed in the film. Beyond that Hrithik and I are hoping to create magic together.”
After playing bold roles in films such as Hu Tu Tu, Maachis, Astitva and Chandni Bar to name a few, one of the country’s finest actresses Tabu will once be seen in a women-oriented Hindi film. The film, to be directed by Nandita Das, is the screen adaptation of Chitra Banerjee Divkaruni’s book The Vine Of Desire.
The last time literature and Tabu came together was in Mira Nair’s screen adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri’s book The Namesake.
Tabu was last seen as a lead actress in a Hindi film in 2007 when she did Balki’s Cheeni Kum. In 2008 she only did two Telugu films lending credence to the belief that she has shifted base to Hyderabad. But now, the elusive actress is ready to return to Hindi films with Toh Baat Pakki in which she plays an incorrigible matchmaker.
But it’s The Vine Of Desire, an elegiac novel of two sisters, that Tabu’s fans will eagerly wait for. The film’s producer Sanjay Gupta went to great lengths to acquire filming rights of the book. Gupta says, “I waited patiently to get the rights for this novel since I really loved it. Then I spoke to Tabu who I thought was perfect for the film. Luckily, she had loved the book too. Tabu and I are excited about working together .”
However, the project was green lighted by the actress only after the director was finalised.
Gupta adds, “I had loved Nandita’s direction in Firaaq. Last week my wife and I were watching it on DVD and she suggested Nandita would be perfect. We contacted her and she is all for it.”
Vidya Balan is likely to play Tabu’s sister in the film.
Nandita said guardedly, “They’ve spoken to me. It’s still too early to discuss it but directing Tabu would be a great opportunity to extend my wings as a director. I’m told Tabu has read the novel. I’m yet to read it. I’d also need to choose someone to write the screenplay because I can’t focus on direction and scripting at the same time. In fact, I can’t even act in a film if I am directing it.”
About the book
Anju and Sudha rekindle their friendship in America where the former gets the strength to pick up the pieces of her life after a miscarriage, and the latter the confidence to make a life for herself and her baby daughter, without her husband.
The bond between them is shaken to the core when they confront the passionate feelings that Anju’s husband has for Sudha.
Eight months have passed since Hollywood star Gerard Butler reportedly went down on his knees and proposed to Priyanka Chopra at her Yari Road residence. Going by a more recent rendezvous, it is clear that Gerard remains smitten by her.
Earlier this week, he spent a full day with Priyanka in New York. The 300 actor landed up on the sets of Anjaana Anjaani to catch up with Priyanka, who is the lead actress in the film.
|Gerard Butler and Priyanka Chopra|
A friend of Priyanka informed Mumbai Mirror, “Priyanka and Gerard met each other very warmly and spent time together.”
After chatting away to glory, Gerard remained on the sets. He also mingled with the cast and crew of the film. “Gerard took an active interest in all the scenes for which Priyanka was required in the frame,” added our source.
Going back to the bonhomie that Gerard shared with Priyanka during his visit to India, it may be recalled that Gerard had then said good humouredly, “I don’t mind marrying an Indian girl too, but Priyanka already has a boyfriend.”
Those were the days when Priyanka had split with Harman Baweja and was reportedly getting attracted to Shahid Kapoor. Now that she has split with Shahid and is self-admittedly single, we wonder what Gerard has in mind for the pretty singelton.
After Aishwarya Rai, it’s now the turn of Gul Panag to bow out of Crooked. All does not seem to be well between the producers and Gul, who has already shot with Abhishek Bachchan for four days. The film, directed by Abhinav Deo, stars Abhishek Bachchan, Soniya Jehan and Sarah Jane.
When contacted, Gul’s business manager Vivek Sidhwani confirmed the development. “Gul is no longer doing the film. Sometimes while evolving a script, things change. However, it ended amicable and there are no issues.”Asked if Gul opted out because she was not happy with the script, Vivek said, “I would not like to say that. Hopefully Gul and Excel will work together in the future.”
But Vivek denied that Gul had already begun shooting for the film. “No, she did sign the film and had done the look test and other stuff and was even on the sets, but she didn’t shoot.”
Our source adds, “Gul was not very happy with the script. There were also certain issues and she walked out of the film. The producers, Farhan and Ritesh, now have to look for a replacement at a time when the shooting is already underway.”
Despite repeated calls, Ritesh Sidhwani remained unavailable for comment.
Sharmila Tagore to play an almost autobiographical role as Deepika Padukone’s mother in Break Ke Baad
Sharmila Tagore thinks it’s the dimples that qualify her as Deepika Padukone’s mother in Danish Aslam’s Break Ke Baad. But there’s much more to this aesthetic mother-daughter casting than meets the eye.
Sharmila’s is a pivotal role, on par with Deepika’s. It’s the role of a beautiful retired actress, still in her element, who gives up her career in her prime to be a hands on mother to her daughter, played by Deepika. Sharmila, of course, must’ve immediately indentified with the role as it’s strikingly similar to what she chose to do in real life when at the pinnacle of her stardom, she chose to become a wife and mother, putting her exceptional career on the back-burner.
Sharmila said, “When Kunal (Kohli, producer) asked me to do the film, I immediately empathised with the part, which I seldom do these days. It’s a challenging role and one very close to my heart. I immediately fell in love with it.”
Sharmila added, “I think Deepika and I would look like mother and daughter because of our dimples. But my first question to Kunal was, she’s so much taller than me. How could my character have produced such a tall daughter? But seriously, that’s where acting comes in. We don’t have to look the part but must feel like mother and daughter.”
Kunal Kohli said, “My director Danish and I could only think of Sharmilaji for this role. I’ve been watching her films from the time I was a teenager. Amar Prem is one of my favourite films. When I started making films it was my dream to work with two actors Rishi Kapoor and Sharmila Tagore. I got to work with Chintuji in Hum Tum and Fanaa. Now it’s Sharmilaji. Of course, like Rishi Kapoor in Fanaa she’ll get top billing in Break Ke Baad.”