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Bharati Dubey | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; October 9, 2010)
Mumbai: Rajnikanth-starrer Endhiran has netted a collection of Rs 117 crore, surpassing the first-week collection of Bollywood’s highest firstweek grosser, Dabangg (Rs 82 crore).
Distributor and trade analyst Suniel Wadhwa said, “The film’s net collection is Rs 60 crore in Tamil Nadu, Rs 30 crore in Andhra Pradesh, Rs 8 crore in Karnataka and Rs 4 crore in Kerala. The Hindi version (Robot) has managed to collect Rs 15 crore. As the numbers suggest, the film has already crossed Dabangg’s two weeks’ net collection in just the first week of its release.’’
Incidentally, the entertainment tax structure and ticket-pricing formula are not uniform in India. “Ticket prices in south India are much lower as compared to other states in the country. This is the reason why boxoffice collection in the south pales as against the collection in northern states. Despite all this, the film’s BO collections prove the film has done remarkably well,’’ Wadhwa said.
Moreover, considering the fact that an additional 7% had to be paid as as entertainment tax to the government for being a dubbed movie, the collections are even more significant, an expert said. According to Wadhwa, the contribution of director Shankar too needs to be factored in . “Shankar is one director who has more brand value than Rajinikanth in AP. His films with Arjun, Prabhudeva and Vikram did wonders in the past. His last movie with Rajini did well at the box office though opinions were divided. Robot is an example of what a director like Shankar and a hero like Rajini can cumulatively deliver. ’’
Endhiran opened in 2,200 screens as compared to 1,400 for Dabangg. An industry source said, “More screens mean more revenue and this too has helped Robot. Also about 92 % of cinema halls are running the film and the collection continue to be rock steady,’’ another analyst said.
The film’s report in the Hindi belt too is quite good. Distributor Sunil Bohra said, `“The collection of the film in places like Jodhpur, Ghaziabad and Meerut is also impressive. The film is doing well both in single screens as well as at multiplexes.’’
Sources insist that though it is too early to speculate, the film has definitely grossed Rs 260 crore which is more than the entire collection of Aamir Khan starrer Ghajini.
The Hindi version of the film too has done a business of nearly Rs 30 crore in the first week. Amod Mehra said, “Robot has broken all the records of a dubbed film. I don’t remember any similar film crossing even the Rs 1 crore mark. In fact, Rajinikant’s last release Sivaji was a disaster at the box office.”
If crowd reaction was anything to go by, this round certainly belonged to Brat Khan
Saturday night saw the two potent forces of Bollywood collide on the ramp of the couture week — beauty and Salman Khan. Naturally it was to be a robust evening.
Plastic whistles were put on each seat to welcome the guests and they were used most enthusiastically. The actor’s show for his Being Human Foundation travelled the decades of the last century, starting from 1920.
While the clothes and sound production were flawed, Salman-giri (or was it show-giri?) certainly wasn’t. Each segment began with a short dance routine to set the tone of the era.
Here are the best moments of the evening.
Sallu brought the house down accompanied by Sanjay Mandal’s band from Kolkata, who produce music out of waste materials. Pity, the flawed sound system dented the spirits.
1. Pretty flawed: Though Preity opened the show to bring in the swinging ’20s, the clothes let the mood down. A ra-ra skirt and derby hat do not belong in the Jazz era.
2. A plaintive tune: Karisma Kapoor represented the singing ’60s. With bouffant, a tightly wrapped diaphanous saree and thumke-wale adaas, Karisma looked lovelier than ever.
3. Disco Sen: Sushmita Sen is the worthy heir apparent to the divas of the ’70s - Parveen Babi and Zeenat Aman. She had fun on the ramp, all the while engaging in a one-sided conversation with the audience. The audience couldn’t have enough, and the star returned with daughter Renee.
Amitabh Bachchan is a busy bee a couple of days ahead of his 68th. He is shooting simultaneously for his new film Power, directed by Raj Kumar Santoshi, and Kaun Banega Crorepati.
A few nights ago he stole the show walking the ramp for Karan Johar. His energy is at an all-time high.
Excerpts from a tête-à-tête.
So, all set for the birthday celebrations at home?
Hold on! There will be no celebrations at home. Of course, if people come over unannounced, they’re most welcome. I’ll be opening KBC this day. I have been working late into the nights recording promos for the show.
Is Rajnikanth coming to Mumbai for your birthday?
There are no such plans. But we’ve great affection for one another. I met Rajni for the first time in Chennai when I was shooting at the AVM Studios. He came across and met me. We’ve been friends ever since. He’s such a humble and simple human being. So down-to-earth… how he remains that way with the kind of fan-following he has is a mystery.
His wife has been a wonderful support. She has brought up their children so well. Every time I am in Chennai, I call and visit him. We call each other whenever the need arises.
What did you think of Robot?
What a massive achievement! Great entertainer. It’s all Rajni and Shankar and their hard work.
On the eve of your birthday you rocked on the ramp.
Thank you… Kya Karen, karna padta hai kissi terah.
How do you it?
Keep crossing new thresholds in your career?
I don’t know about that. I had walked the ramp just once… no twice before, but both times for a cause. This time, I did it because Karan (Johar) asked. I can’t say no to Karan. He is family.
Walking the ramp looks easy enough from the other side. When you look at the models doing it you say, ‘Hey, it’s not a tough job at all.’ But once you go up there you really start admiring them. It’s not just a simple walk. It’s actually a nightmare.
This time you seem very comfortable with your television appearance.
I’m going back to KBC after 10 years. I remember in 2000 when I did the show I was raw to the medium, very hesitant very nervous. That hasn’t changed.
Anytime I go in front of the camera for any medium there will be apprehensions. Creativity is an ongoing process. No matter how professional you are, it can never be enough. One can never be fully comfortable on television. It’s a frightening medium for me.
You seem to enjoy your interaction with the aam aadmi on KBC.
Yes, they all have such an interesting back story… where they came from, how they grew up.
This time on the show we actually follow the lives of the contestants to their roots. I actually get to see where they came from, what their parents and family think, etc.
The human-interest level is high this time. KBC can now be a life-changing moment for the contestant.
There are people coming on the show from places where the show did not reach earlier. For them KBC is an opportunity to make the kind of money in a hour that they’ve never seen before.
Television will occupy a lot of your time this year.
KBC will go on only until November or the first week of December. I have started shooting for Raj Kumar Santoshi’s Power, which will be followed by Prakash Jha’s Aarakshan. Then there’s Balki’s film. We’ve finally zeroed in on a subject. It will be produced by AB Corp Ltd.
Rachel Fernandes (BOMBAY TIMES; October 10, 2010)
Irrfan Khan’s reputation for versatility is well know in the film industry. He is one of the few actor who has essayed a wide range of characters, both dark and romantic, with equal panache. And in Knock Out, where he plays the role of a street-smart investment banker, the target of a nameless foe (Sanjay Dutt) who turns his world upside down, Irrfan has gone a step further by getting himself a brand new look. It’s suave, sexy and “very metrosexual” as the actor chooses to describe it.
“My role is that of a flamboyant guy and it needed me to sport a metrosexual look. Hence, I got myself a different hairstyle and consequently, a new look. I must say I’m really looking different and I feel it’s made a huge difference to my role. Had I stuck to my regular look, I think it wouldn’t have made the same impact on my character,” says the actor. He adds that though the producers initially weren’t keen on him changing his look, they eventually ended up loving what they saw.
Flamboyant and Irrfan? That’s got to be something new for his fans, isn’t it? “If one has to look at the same face again and again, it gets quite boring. Sometimes the role demands a new look, but sometimes I do it just for the heck of it. ,” he says.
Talking about the experience of shooting this fast-paced thriller, Irrfan says, “It was a bit tedious. There was no face to look at. All through the movie, the other person was on the phone and hence, it became a bit mechanical. But I have seen the film and I am very excited by it,” he says. About the rumours that his role is a copy of Colin Farrell’s in Phone Booth, Irrfan has just one thing to say, “Watch the film and then give the verdict. Anyways, what’s the point of doing a role that’s already been done by someone else?”
So will he carry on with this metrosexual look post the film? “If my future roles and of course, the public demand it, I will definitely repeat it,” the actor concludes.
Knock Out releases on October 15.
(Contributed by Meena Iyer and Prithwish Ganguly)
Mark Manuel (BOMBAY TIMES; October 10, 2010)
Vipul and Shefali Shah are beaming. The prolific filmmaker has returned to Hindi theatre with Bus Itna Sa Khwab in which his hugely talented and attractive wife holds stage. No, that doesn’t mean that Vipul has given up cinema. Far from it. He’s got the Akshay-Ash starrer Action Replayy coming up in Diwali. But, yes, Vipul has just realised that Shefali is an actress of a rare calibre. And Hindi cinema, which has its own framework, does not offer her enough opportunity to showcase her enormous talent. So, the enterprising Bollywood movie mogul gave his wife Bus Itna Sa Khwab, a Marathi play by Chandrakant Kulkarni and Prashant Dalvi that he updated to suit society’s tastes today. And ever since the play opened, the Shahs have had no rest, Vipul has actually resorted to shows on Saturday as well for theatre enthusiasts… which is rare for the Hindi stage. “But what to do,” he asks, “I never imagined the play would get this kind of response and respect.” He’s got to be present at every show himself, because at the end, the audience expects Vipul to take a curtain call. “Standing ovations, we get for every performance,” he says, “but for one show, I wasn’t there to take the curtain call — and the audience refused to budge!”
All his friends from Bollywood, from Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan to Akshay and Twinkle Kumar, have seen, enjoyed and raved about Bus Itna Sa Khwab. Says Vipul, “Amitji wrote on his blog that it was fantastic and he hadn’t seen anything like this in theatre. Imagine, he has seen it all.” But what is delighting him most is that the question that arises here is not about housefull shows and money, it’s about credibility. Just when theatre was gasping for its last breath, he revived it with this successful play with its Bollywood-like production values. Now he considers it among his biggest achievements. “Profit and loss, success and failure, has not been the formula by which I work,” says Vipul. “I believe the culture of our country is linked to theatre. And that cinema becomes stronger through theatre. I want to work my way back towards it.” Which is a win-win situation all round. Bollywood has the best of Vipul Shah and now theatre is about to get a slice of him as well. Welcome back, and take a bow…
Actress not signing any movie till next Sept
Prithwish Ganguly | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; October 10, 2010)
This year is certainly bringing acclaimed character actor Konkona SenSharma double joy as she first tied the knot with Ranvir Shorey and now BT has learned that she is expecting her first child with him. It is because she is pregnant that Konkona has decided not to sign any new film till September next year. A close friend of the actor reveals, “Koko wants to keep her pregnancy under wraps. She has signed a movie but spoke to her producers and told them that cannot shoot. She wants to take proper care during her pregnancy and avoid doing anything that stresses her body. Her producers allowed her to terminate the contract. She has been staying a lot in Kolkata and has been travelling abroad too. Since this is early stages of her pregnancy, the bump isn’t very visible and Koko wants to keep this news a secret for as long as she can.”
Ranvir, though reportedly over the moon with this development, chose to remain mum when BT asked him about the couple’s good news.
Big B has butterflies in his tummy as he returns with India’s favourite game show on his birthday tomorrow
Meena Iyer | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; October 10, 2010)
Starting 9 pm tomorrow the streets of India are likely to resemble a ghost town. The iconic Amitabh Bachchan, the man who changed the face of Indian television, is returning to the country’s favourite game show Kaun Banega Crorepati on Sony Entertainment Television. Adrenaline rushes will be felt by most, especially when it comes to watching who amongst the audience makes it to the hot seat and gets a shot at becoming a crorepati.
Talking about his favourite show, the Big B says, “Kaun Banega Crorepati is truly a show which is of the people, by the people and for the people. It gives every Indian an equal opportunity to win a life changing amount. In our culture we are taught to value knowledge, that it is rewarding, KBC re-affirms that view as a person can use that knowledge and win 5 crore on the show.” Describing that empty feeling in the pit of his stomach as he gets ready to host KBC, he says, “One is always anxious because it is a creative job. One has to come in front of an audience. And, the audience is going to rate us on how we have done, whether we have lived up to their expectation or not. When you have to present something to the audience, there is always that apprehension. With creativity comes nervousness.’’
The legend also admits that a part of the nervousness comes from the fact that he doesn’t understand this medium too well. Says he, “The channel is more anxious than perhaps people who participate because they design something. And, we (the hosts) just do it according to the design.’’
The opening of KBC will have a rocking performance from Bachchan to a medley of hit songs. He will deliver some memorable dialogues from his vast repertoire. And, India’s most recognised baritone will also recite a special poem written by his father, the legendary poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan. The special tracks have been created by Vishal-Shekhar, performance has been choreographed by the incomparable Shiamak Davar, sets by India’s foremost art director — Nitin Desai, and clothes have been designed by Vikram Phadnis. With the show launching on the same day he turns 68, Amitabh says that he couldn’t have asked for a better birthday gift. With a 5 crore jackpot which can be won in 60 minutes flat, introduction of a timer on the questions and new life-lines, the game is bound to excite. “I will still say lock kiya jaye because certain phrases have been formatted after a lot of thought and they should not be changed,’’ says the KBC boss.
Kaun Banega Crorepati starts from October 11 at 9 pm, Monday to Thursday, on SONY Entertainment Television.
Image courtesy: Prasad Naik
Being a small-town 17-year-old from Bhambla in Himachal Pradesh didn’t stop this stunner from taking on Bollywood. Waiting in her vanity van to front the camera for Knock Out, her latest movie with Sanjay Dutt and Irrfan Khan, where Kangna plays a crime journalist – today’s Kangna is confident, composed and totally at ease with being ‘real’.
Excerpts from the interview:
What made you become an actor?
I was restless when I was 15/16. I was pursuing science but I was more attracted towards art. So I started pursuing theatre. Thereon, I also tried modelling because people kept harping that I looked different. I signed up with a modelling agency and took it quite seriously. Unfortunately, modelling didn’t take me very seriously! I figured that in India, modelling is only something you can be happy doing part-time. In the mean time, I was pursuing theatre and my guruji, Arvind Gaur encouraged me a lot. I started giving auditions for movies. The truth is even if I wasn’t selected for Anurag Basu’s Gangster, I would’ve tried other projects. However, I got selected and Bollywood became my career.
What is the creative process that goes behind every character you etch?
Each role is challenging. You have to do your homework. For instance, in Abhinay Deo’s Game, I play a cop from London and she has a Brit accent. It was difficult for me to emulate that. Acting is a job where you have to learn to look, talk and project a certain body language. The trick is to remain focused, yet flexible.
With no filmi background, how do you hold yourself in this fiercely competitive industry?
People in Mumbai are judgemental. Here, your fate changes every Friday. Also, it’s true that if you’re a star kid or if you’re a star girlfriend, you get extra mileage. But if none of these things work in your favour, you tend to work on your talent. My challenge was to be able to fit in here. People criticised the way I talked, walked and even the way I looked—more so because I come from a small town. There are two ways of dealing with such a situation: either you care a damn; or you can improve yourself.
You’ve gone through several ups and downs in your personal life. Do you think the media has been fair to you?
I feel that the media, somewhat, is nicer to people coming from a filmi background, or personalities they have connections with. The media doesn’t accept you easily. A Shah Rukh Khan or Aamir (Khan) have been around for two decades and have established a relationship with the media and the public. That’s why their films get 90% opening. So, tomorrow, of course their children will get special treatment because the rapport is already there. But now I realise that if I connect with the media personally, it always works better. They figure out your dimension too.
And how have you evolved as an actor?
I’ve always been surrounded by very creative people—whether it’s Bhatt saab, Anurag Basu, Mohit Suri, Madhur Bhandarkar. I can write a whole book on my experiences and the craft I’ve learnt in the last five years! (laughs) When I entered Bollywood, (Mahesh) Bhatt saab made me unlearn everything – he taught me not to act and be real in front of the camera. You don’t fake crying or laughing. You actually do it.
But the turning point came when one day Bhatt saab told me I was the ugliest woman he’d seen. I asked, why? He retorted, asking where my dark circles, pimples were and why I was hiding behind makeup. He called me a mannequin! That’s when I realised that it’s important to be real.
Can you actually be ‘real’ in Bollywood?
It’s difficult. It’s almost like being naked in front of the public. Every time you’re in front of the camera, there are so many emotions you let out and you’re not scared. You may even portray emotions that might not be familiar to you. But you need to be you, your real self, to give that astounding performance.
How do you keep fit?
I take care of my body and make sure that I’m happy. I work out, but I don’t over-do. I don’t remove that cheese slice from my sandwich; or remove the oil when I’m having kheema pav! I try to be as normal as I can be in my habits. I love food and I love life. So I’m not the kind who’d count calories everyday and kill myself in the gym, or die doing yoga. I listen to myself and my body. I don’t push myself very hard.
What’s more important to you: critical acclaim vis-à-vis box office success?
For me, there are two kinds of movies– good or bad. To please only a particular group of people is not my goal. I think a film should be entertaining.
Kangna’s hit list
Holiday destination: Paris
Perfume: I wear men’s perfume. But I like Chanel.
Dream director: Aamir Khan
Rakhi Sawant has bigger plans, she wants to become a politician now
Akash Wadhwa (BOMBAY TIMES; October 9, 2010)
There’s simply no stopping Rakhi Sawant, from shooting her mouth off that is. And this time round this unbridled item girl has big plans of joining politics, no less. “Rakhi Sawant Hindustan ki beti hai,” claims this item girl who has dabbled in charity in the past. She adds, “Five years from now and you will see me sitting in Lok Sabha. I have everything that a politician should have.” Was cleaning the Mumbai streets a step in that direction, we wonder.
But the unstoppable doesn’t stop here, as she has an opinion on Baba Ramdev joining politics too. But “Main rajneeti ki kursi sekna nahi chahti hoon, like others” is all she was ready to comment on the Yoga guru having his own political outfit, and the smart ones can read between the lines.
Ask her from where she would like to contest elections and she quickly replies, “Kanpur. Usse mera purana rishta hai. Ek time pe wo mera sasural hua karta tha. So, what better place to start my political career from a place which is so close to my heart.”
And Rakhi seems to have started understanding a bit of politics, she says, “Ab Shiv Sena ko hi dekh lo. The party workers are creating a ruckus over Bigg Boss 4 contestants being from Pakistan. Did anyone ever think why did they did not do anything to another show which has contestants from India and Pakistan competing with each other.?” Read between the lines. Yeh Mumbai hai meri jaan! “If you want to create news, the best thing is to approach Shiv Sena. Thoda hungama, thode putle jalenge and the show is in news everywhere. It is the best publicity stunt!” she says.
But offstage theatrics apart, Rakhi, who appeared as a proper actress in only one film, Dil Bole Haddipa, rues that nobody is ready to cast her as an actress in a movie. “Yash Chopra’s production house offered me a second lead in the movie but unfortunately all my scenes were badly chopped and again I was reduced as an item girl. I have the potential of an actress but no one in Bollywood is ready to see beyond my skin show.” Maybe that’s why she says she’s ready to go deglam! “Mujhe jitna expose karna tha main kar chuki. Ab aur nahi. Exposing has earned me the place where I always wanted to be, but not anymore. It is high time that I show the real potential in me,” she signs off.
BOMBAY TIMES (October 9, 2010)
Kareena Kapoor, who was on a music reality show found herself becoming the butt of a mean joke. The anchor grandly announced, “Today we have amongst us a very special guest. A man whose association with Raj Kapoor Saab was very close. A man who has cradled Kareena when she was a toddler, etc. He is a noted technician of yore and today, at the sunset of his life, he leads a lonely life and is in deep financial trouble”. Kareena was misty-eyed when she heard this poignant saga. There was pindrop silence on the sets when a frail man was brought in on a wheelchair. The Golmaal 3 cast agreed that technicians in our country toil hard but their contribution is seldom acknowledged. And a sentimental Bebo walked up to hand over a cheque of Rs eight lakhs to the old man which he accepted with trembling hands. It was a very emotional moment but all hell broke loose the moment Kareena decided to bend down and touch his feet as a gesture of reverence. To everybody’s amusement, the old man sprung up from the wheelchair and broke into a jig. Bebo’s eyes literally popped. The old man removed his wig and makeup and it was none other than actor comedian Vrajesh Hirjee. Kareena’s first words were “Thank God I did not touch his feet.” But the sport that she is, she chuckled loudest knowing the joke was on her. Kareena is sure to remember her stint on this reality show for a long time to come.