Archive for August, 2010
By Taran Adarsh, August 31, 2010 – 17:10 IST
Okay, WE ARE FAMILY is the official adaptation of Chris Columbus’ STEPMOM  and lots of us have already watched this Julia Roberts – Susan Sarandon starrer. Even otherwise, the story of a woman, diagnosed with a terminal illness, entrusting her kids to the ‘other woman’ before she does the final salute, gives the feeling of deja vu. But WE ARE FAMILY is not a tear-jerker. Sure, it has dollops of emotions, but also integrates the light moments wonderfully in those 12 reels.
In the good old days, in the 1960s and 1970s specifically, well-made family films struck an instant chord with viewers across the spectrum. But with the changing times, the quantum of well-made socials made a rapid decline. WE ARE FAMILY belongs to the Rajshri gharaana and tells the story of a family facing two life-changing developments: The woman of the house is diagnosed with a terminal illness and two, there’s a stepmom on the scene. A difficult subject to handle, without doubt.
|BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM
But debutant director Siddharth P. Malhotra surprises you constantly. Casting the best available talent for two pivotal parts and doing complete justice to their roles is tough. Very tough. But the ease with which he handles the tense moments between the women and also the emotional finale shows he has learnt his lessons well from his peers.
Final word? WE ARE FAMILY is for the family. It is well acted, deftly written, entertaining and broadly appealing drama. Watch it with someone you love!
Maya [Kajol] is the perfect mother. Her life revolves around her three children, Aleya [Aanchal Munjal], Ankush [Nominath Ginsberg] and Anjali [Diya Sonecha]. Despite being divorced from her husband Aman [Arjun Rampal], Maya has ensured that everything runs smoothly in her house, under her watch, and that they continue to remain a happy family unit.
When Aman introduces his girlfriend, Shreya [Kareena Kapoor], a career-oriented woman, the situation takes an unexpected turn. However, Maya is diagnosed with a terminal illness and circumstances bring the two women under the same roof. Can two mothers make a home?
With a plot like this, you expect WE ARE FAMILY to be an out-and-out serious outing. However, the film has its serious moments, but the director ensures that it doesn’t come across as a gloomy and serious fare. In fact, the generous dose of light moments in the narrative keeps the drama fluid. There’s an inherent sensitivity that the director brings in, which keeps you involved for most parts.
On the flip side, the film tends to stagnate in the middle of the second hour. One expects the story to move forward, but there’s not much movement here [thankfully, the film picks up wonderfully towards the penultimate reels]. Also, the music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is a complete letdown. You feel it all the more because Dharma is synonymous with excellent music. The only redeeming track in the enterprise is ‘Let’s Rock’, which is high on energy. S-E-L need to reinvent themselves by experimenting a little more.
Director Siddharth P. Malhotra handles the dramatic portions best. The tense moments between Kajol and Kareena, the confrontation between the two and also the cold stares that they exchange time and again have been captured very well. The gradual transformation in Kajol’s looks, from striking and energetic to pale and morose, is also well projected. The finale is the best part of the enterprise and can be best described in one word: Outstanding. However, like I pointed out earlier, the writing could’ve been tighter towards the second hour.
Mohanan’s cinematography is eye-catching and the locales of Australia only enhance the look of the film. Niranjan Iyengar’s dialogue are decent at places, but a few lines are amazingly real. The background score [Raju Singh] is first-rate.
WE ARE FAMILY gives the two popular actresses an opportunity to sink their teeth into strongly drawn, juicy, challenging and interesting female roles that move beyond the normal stereotypes. The scene stealer is, without doubt, Kajol. She expresses the gamut of emotions brilliantly and speaks a million words even when silent. This is yet another incredible performance from an actor par excellence. Kareena excels yet again and her sequences with the kids are a delight. In fact, casting Kareena as the stepmom is just right, since she’s the only actor who can stand up to Kajol in high-voltage scenes and that’s because Kareena is a powerful actor herself. Arjun continues to surprise. ROCK ON, HOUSE FULL, RAAJNEETI and now WE ARE FAMILY indicates the growth of this actor. He handles the emotional moments well too. The kids – all three of them – are superb. In fact, the casting of the kids [done by Shanoo Sharma] is an ace.
On the whole, WE ARE FAMILY is a perfect family film with a good mix of emotions and humour. Plus, a brilliant climax, which will ensure that the film grows with a strong word of mouth. The last film which came close to being a family outing was PAA. Before that, the only quintessential family film was BAGHBAN. WE ARE FAMILY is the kind of film that should work instantly with ladies and when ladies watch such films, they bring their spouses and children along. Recommended!
By Taran Adarsh, August 31, 2010 – 13:26 IST
The producers of the much-awaited RA.ONE, starring Shah Rukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal, have finalized the date of release: 3rd June, 2011. The film will arrive soon after the IPL cricket matches next year. Remember you read this on Bollywood Hungama FIRST.
By Taran Adarsh, August 31, 2010 – 08:31 IST
Here’s a quick clarification about Sanjay Gupta’s next film. A section of the media has reported that the maverick film-maker is planning to remake a Spanish film, which is expected to star the Deol brothers – Sunny and Bobby – in principal roles. The news is partly true, partly false.
Partly true: Gupta is remaking a Spanish film. But the other part of the news – the casting – is completely wrong. The fact is that it’s a four-hero project and Gupta hasn’t signed anyone as yet. “I haven’t signed Sunny or Bobby. We are still scripting,” he sets the record straight. The truth is, Gupta will start the film early next year, after the Meghna Gulzar film, produced by him, is complete.
As far as the casting of Gupta’s film is concerned, there’re whispers that he is planning to cast Anil Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham and Arjun Rampal in principal roles. Awaiting the official confirmation from Gupta.
By Taran Adarsh, August 31, 2010 – 08:26 IST
The trend of making sequels has caught on in a big way. In fact, the moment a film hits the bull’s eye, most producers immediately jump at the idea of making a sequel to the film. The announcement of a sequel creates tremendous excitement within and outside the film industry and gradually, the film becomes a brand.
The latest news doing the rounds is that producer Ramesh Taurani is planning to make a sequel to ISHQ VISHK. Rumours are rife that Ratna Sinha will direct the film, which is expected to star Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra in the lead. However, Ramesh Taurani denies the development completely, “It’s untrue. We don’t have a story for a sequel, so how can we announce the film in the first place?” But he confirms that Ratna Sinha did narrate a subject to him. “But it was for an altogether different film. Beyond that we haven’t had any discussions,” Taurani adds.
Meanwhile, Taurani is gearing up to start RACE 2, directed by Abbas-Mustan. This film is likely to take off early next year.
It isn’t easy to make a film on a Naxalite’s life. Here we can see why. Ever since Rakhta Charitra went on floors Ram Gopal Varma has been receiving death threats
This time it is the opponent of deceased Naxalite leader Ravi Paritala and one of the main characters in the film, Ubala Reddy, whose family has filed a case against Ramu and has threatened him over the negative portrayal of Ubala’s character. Abhimanyu Singh plays the character of Ubala Reddy in the film.
|Ram Gopal Varma||Abhimanyu Singh (Yogen Shah)|
A source said, “Ubala’s family and some of his followers have threatend Ramu’s life for the negative portrayal of Ubala’s character. Ramu will now talk to the Andhra Pradesh police.” Reddy was killed in the Hyderabad in 1999.
Confirming the news of threats coming his way from Ubala, Ram Gopal Varma said, “Yes they have put a legal notice and I am getting threatening calls and messages through various people.
They are not happy with the way he has been portrayed in the film. He had many criminal cases against him before he was killed in 1999. I will speak to the AP police at an appropriate time.”
After casting Sikander, a street kid from Jharkhand, in his next Tera Kya Hoga Johnny, Sudhir Mishra has taken him under his wing
That Sikander Aggarwal, who is palying the title role in Sudhir Mishra’s Tera Kya Hoga Johnny, is a street kid from Jharkhand, is known. But how he landed himself the role, makes for a cute story.
Sudhir’s is Sikander’s second film. Prior to this, the teenager acted in a Bengali film, Shadows Of Time, with a German director.
Sudhir narrates an interesting story of how a street kid ended up as the lead in his film. “I saw him in Shadows Of Time. I was quiet bowled over by his performance in the film.
|On the sets of Tera Kya Hoga Johnny|
When I was casting for Johnny I thought of him. Coincidently my casting director also felt that he is apt for the role and then we started looking for him. We called all our friends in Kolkata and on trying very hard, we found him.”
Sudhir has taken Sikander under his wing and is trying to help him in his career. Sikander is currently living at Sudhir’s office and helps in his production work. Sudhir adds, “My group is very fond of him. He is now a member of our family. He has come a long way from a class eight boy who left his native place to become a labourer and is now quiet an expert. You will find him on social networking site.”
British actress Archie Panjabi has done India proud by winning her first Emmy award. She has won a Best Supporting Actress trophy for her portrayal of Kalinda Sharma, a bisexual private investigator in the drama series The Good Wife.
Dressed in a black off-shoulder Tadashi Shoji gown, the 38-year-old actress of Indian origin, described the win as a “dream come true” at the 62nd Emmy Awards ceremony.
“When I started in the business in England, just getting a job was a dream. And to receive an Emmy now is just beyond my wildest dreams. Working on The Good Wife for me is like a dream come true,” she said.
Panjabi beat off competition from Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Elisabeth Moss and Rose Byrne (Damages) and Sharon Gless (Burn Notice) to win the top award in the category.
The actress, who was born to Sikh parents in West London, began her career with the Om-Puri starrer East is East and went on to star in films like Bend It Like Beckham and Academy Award-nominated The Constant Gardener.
Panjabi is one of the few performers of Asian origin to have won an Emmy, and is the first visible minority to win the category since Mary Alice won for I’ll Fly Away in 1993.
The actress, who is married to fellow British actor Raj Nihlipandi, had appeared alongside Angelina Jolie in A Mighty Heart where she played the role of a former Wall Street Journal reporter Asra Nomani. Archie’s performance earned her The Chopard Trophy for a Breakout Performance at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007.
|A still from The Good Wife|
Dia Mirza and Zayed Khan have closed ranks to open a production house. Their first venture will cast them in lead roles, and the director is Dia’s boyfriend Sahil Sangha
Dia is joining forces with Sanjay Khan’s son, Zayed Khan, to start a production house. Not so long ago, there was news that Dia was turning producer.
But her recent plans of having Zayed on board make for this cosy it’s-all-in-the-family saga. While Dia and Zayed will portray the female and male leads respectively, Dia’s boyfriend, Sahil Sangha, whom she has been dating for nearly a year now, will direct their inaugural venture. Sahil assisted Nikhil Advani in Salaam-E-Ishq.
Dia and Zayed, who starred together in Fight Club (2006) and Cash (2007), are now looking for an office in Khar. Says a source, “Their first production will be a love story cum family drama. An official announcement in this regard will be made very soon. The two will be the hero and heroine of the film.”
But why did Dia and Zayed chose to collaborate? Said the source, “Why not? Dia and Zayed have been friends for years. They share a great rapport.” Dia and Zayed remained unavailable for comment. There is strength in numbers. All the best!
|Zayed Khan and Dia Mirza|
When the estimated budget for Dibakar Banerjee’s next allegedly went through the roof, Balaji Telefilms backed out of the project
Love Sex Aur Dhokha might have worked wonders for director Dibakar Banerjee and Balaji Telefilms head honcho Ekta Kapoor, but it seems the relationship has now run its course.
We had reported not too long ago, that post the success of LSD, Ekta and Diabkar had teamed up again to work on Dibakar’s next – a political thriller starring Abhay Deol and Emraan Hashmi.
The latest buzz on that is that Ekta is not producing the film anymore; another corporate giant is.
A source close to Ekta says, “Yes, Balaji was supposed to produce Dibakar’s next film but it’s not happening anymore.” Explaining the reason why Balaji backed out of the project at the last moment, the sources adds, “The estimated budget of the film is around 18 crore and post publicity, it adds up to 25 crore. Ekta felt it wasn’t a viable business proposition.”
A close associate of Dibakar’s confirms, “We had a minor discussion with Balaji on this film. We had a great time working with Ekta on LSD and would happily do another project with her. But this one is not happening with them. We have been talking about this project to another corporate house for a long time now and we will make a proper announcement soon.”
While Dibakar Banerjee chose not to comment on the matter, we texted Ekta Kapoor asking her if she is producing his political thriller. She replied, “I was never producing it.”
Talk about miscommunication!
His next production is the only film in Bollywood to have gone on floors in the month of August. Is the recession truly over?
Vipul Shah’s untitled next, a remake of the Tamil hit Kakha Kakha directed by Nishikant Kamath and starring John Abraham and Genelia, is the only film that went on floors in the month of August. For an industry that is known to churn out films like machines, this comes as a surprise. Is recession really over? Is this lull in Bollywood just a passing phrase or indicative of something serious?
Vipul Shah, whose film went on floors on August 24, sounds surprised and yet relieved too. ‘It’s a kind of a record. I’m shocked that only my film went on floors in the month of August. But I am glad that at least mine went on the floor.”
Commenting on the current scenario in Bollywood Vipul adds, “I feel everybody is a bit cautious right now. Though all actors and directors are busy doing films, they have slowed themselves down to carefully select the projects. Everyone has a cautioned approach now after what we saw in the past one year.
We hit crazy numbers, then the economy fell and now, it is the correction time. The whole industry is now trying to gauge what the right budget should be for films to be made.”
Trade Analyst Amod Mehra dismisses the scare and says, “Frankly it is not a scary situation. Firoz Nadiadwala and Yash Raj Films are launching some movies. It’s just a matter of time. You will hear big announcements in next few months. There is no recession. Coincidently, some films have been delayed with big stars. And small star films are not working, so there is a lull.”
Mehra feels the issue is more to do with what stars are prices at now. He adds, “Shah Rukh, Aamir and other big stars are not signing new films at present. The price has not yet set in properly and that’s why people are shy of launching films.”
Another trade analyst, Taran Adarsh says, “I think films are being made but are not being announced. There are various factors. Earlier, producers used to announce movies just to attract distributors but that has changed. Secondly, all actors have turned producers. So the question of having star-driven films is more scarce.”
Taran is convinced that the bad days are over. “The industry is back on its feet. Today satellite rights have come as a saviour for the film industry.”