In a massively generous mood, Vivek Oberoi, who is getting married tomorrow, has invited Abhishek Bachchan and Sanjay Dutt to his wedding. But we can’t say the same about Sallu
Bollywood, abounding with elephantine egos, is known for its ugly spats. But it is also known for its patch-ups. This patch-up though is special.
Last week, when his family was so very tied up with his wedding preparations, Vivek Oberoi went across to Mehboob Studios in Bandra to invite his ex Aishwarya Rai’s husband, Abhishek Bachchan, for his wedding reception on October 31 in Mumbai.
A few days prior to inviting Bachchan Jr, Oberoi Jr also mended fences with Sanjay Dutt, when he went across to Dutt’s residence for a Mata ki chowki pooja. Sanjay Dutt knew that Vivek was coming to his house with Lakhia.
Director Apoorva Lakhia accompanied Oberoi Jr to both Bachchan Jr’s set at Mehboob Studios and Dutt’s residence at Pali Hill. According to a source, Vivek called up Lakhia, who is very close to Bachchan Jr and Dutt, and informed him that he wanted to invite Bachchan Jr and Dutt for his shaadi.
The Oberois and the Bachchans had always had bad vibes between them, especially after Vivek’s acrimonious split with Aishwarya in 2005. Even though Oberoi Jr has been trying to mend his relationship with the Bachchans for sometime and was successful in striking up a conversation with Bachchan Sr and Jaya at an award function in January 2010, he hadn’t made much headway with Bachchan Jr.
Ditto for bad energy between Oberoi Jr and Dutt. Sanju Baba had been terribly miffed with Oberoi Jr when Oberoi Jr had allegedly made some uncharitable remarks about his wife Manyata. Though Sanju Baba did hug Oberoi Jr at an event in June 2010, there was still some awkwardness between the two whenever they came across one another after this.
Says the source, “Now, let bygones be bygones, All the concerned individuals have moved on with their lives. Vivek is busy with his career; Abhishek-Aishwarya and Sanjay-Manyata are leading peaceful lives. Toh phir jhagda kis baat ka? And this is exactly what Vivek feels.
Frankly, he wants to start life afresh and put the past behind him. He is in a very happy space, now that he is getting married to Priyanka Alva. Though it is an arranged marriage, Vivek and Priyanka have been bonding very, very well ever since they got engaged,” adds the source.
When contacted, Lakhia however said, “I didn’t take Vivek to Mehboob Studios. I had gone to meet Abhishek, who was shooting there for Rohan Sippy’s film Dum Maro Dum.” But he soon added, “I made Abhishek and Vivek talk on the phone, which is when Vivek invited Abhishek for his wedding.” At the time of printing this, we were unable to confirm if Vivek has stepped into Galaxy Apartments on the way back from Mehboob Studios. It’s a stone’s throw away, after all.
It was a day that highlighted the importance of the longevity of cinema — how the power of a film stays long after it has “died”
|Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra (standing) introduces Oliver Stone (seated, left) to an audience comprising mostly filmmakers such as Sudhir Mishra (seated, right, leaning forward)
(Pics: Satyen K Bordoloi)
The rolling stone that has gathered no moss in his decades of cinematic career, dominated proceedings on the seventh day of the 12th Mumbai Film Festival, albeit behind closed doors.
The top guns of the Indian film industry got to interact with acclaimed and controversial director Oliver Stone at a round table organised especially for them. And it was very interesting to see them turn students before the master.
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra looked as nervous as a student standing before an audience for the first time while introducing him. But his recital of a searing poem by Subramaniyam Bharti moved Stone.
When the sound was not audible in the back, Zoya Akthar, Ayan Banerjee and Chetan Bhagat among others eagerly rushed in to sit on the floor to listen closely to Stone.
There were many tips, many lessons for the veterans as well as the kids of Indian Cinema: Ramesh Sippy, Vishal Bharadwaj, Sudhir Mishra, Kunal Kohli, Santosh Sivan, Bharatbala and a host of other filmmakers and actors.
Yet the strongest learning of them all, if anyone cared to listen, was the fearlessness of the man himself. Oliver cast a stone at almost everyone fearlessly calling the US a “country with an aggressive gene” that has done “a few good things, but a lot of terrible things” and that it “needed to exorcise its ghosts”.
His films, he said, were an attempt to exorcise the ghosts of America, as well as his own personal ghosts.
One of India’s most globally awarded-yet-overlooked directors, Jahnu Barua (in pic, left) dropped a salvo in a session in the afternoon when he said that his film Halodhia Choraye Baodhan Khai was made for 11 lakhs, but recovered 4 crores from overseas market. In a national filmscape where even the most open filmmakers are not open to discussing budgets and earnings, his honesty gives hope to independent filmmakers.
Barua who dislikes the stereotyping of regional cinema, said there was a need to evolve a national ethos. Moderator Meenakshi Shedde was of the opinion that in a nation which speaks 39 languages, this was difficult.
Yet, Barua’s plea that “we need to learn how to chase content”, was what was echoed by Oliver Stone in the morning session as well. Hope the mainstream Indian film industries are listening.
Aamir Bashir’s Harud was screened to a standing ovation in the evening. A searing, poignant and subtle tale of a family coping with the death of a family member in the Kashmir valley is Bashir’s debut feature. There could not have been a better timing for the film than now, considering that Kashmir is in the news and Arundhati Roy is facing sedition charges. See this film, and you’ll understand what Arundhati means when she says, “I merely said what Kashmirs have been saying all along.” Interestingly, a journalist’s character in the film is called Arundhati.
The charming and vivacious Aparna Sen’s latest film Iti Mrinalini had its premiere yesterday. When asked how she manages to keep getting money for her kind of film, she said, “I guess I have developed a certain following of people who know that I will not sell out.” And we agree.
Watch any of her films and you know that they will last beyond the temporary din of commercial cinema. Just like what Stone said in the morning, “F*** now. I make films for the future. A film has life after its death.” By this he meant that even after a film has gone away from the box office, it lives on if it is a good film.
Acclaimed director Oliver Stone, who arrived in the city yesterday, charmed one and all with his views on scripts and screenplay
|Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone speaking at a press conference at the 12th Mumbai Film Festival (Pics: Satyen K Bordoloi)|
Mumbai Film Festival on day six left no ‘stone’ unturned, literally, to up the ante as three-time Academy Award winner Oliver Stone made his presence felt at the festival.
At a press conference in the evening, his statements made it obvious why Bollywood is where it is and why it has indeed a long way to reach the standards of its distant cousin and namesake, Hollywood.
Sajid Khan had made a blasphemous (to those for whom cinema is a religion) comment that for a film to work stars are important and script is insignificant. Oliver Stone said exactly the opposite: “Story and screenplay would be the reason to make a movie. If you don’t have a good screenplay, don’t do it.”
Stone was open about his criticism of American foreign policies. Stone, as with many actors and filmmakers in Hollywood, is brazen and politically engaged, a far cry from a number of Bollywood filmmakers who lack political spine and are eager conformists to the status quo, no matter how wrong it may be.
|Directors competing in the international competition section|
Morning saw 11 of the 14 directors whose films are in competition at the festival, converge on one stage. Listening to their experience, one got the impression that though the language and grammar of these individual films from across the world maybe different, their difficulties in making them, is the same.
The star of the event was Aamir Bashir, who has the unique distinction of having made a film in one of the world’s most militarised zones: Kashmir. He highlighted how every day of shoot was ‘an obstacle race’. The reason he made Harud, he said, was because, “there was not one genuine story on Kashmir despite it being in a conflict zone.” His film, he said was an “inside-out view on Kashmir”.
What is unique about the competition section of the Mumbai Film Festival is that most of them are the first films of the filmmakers. Justifying the selection, festival director Srinivasan Narayanan said, “The only reason for their selection is that these films are exceptional. If I could I would create 14 awards and give one to each of these 14 films. I am wondering about the dilemma the jury might be facing, and the fights they might be having in giving away the prize.”
The afternoon forum was on whether there was any space for independent filmmakers. Moderated by Sooni Taraporevala the panel members first talked about their individual definitions of ‘independent cinema’. Though each had a different perspective, what came out was that it was any films where the filmmaker was free to exercise creative control.
Sona Jain talked about what kept her going in her 8 long years of making her film. It was a mantra that “Jump and the net shall appear.” A man from the audience got emotional when naming two big Indian companies who sell different things, including cinema, he said, “They can sell everything on earth, but have failed when it comes to films.”
Meena Iyer | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; October 28, 2010)
Guest and special appearances have always been a lucrative business for films stars. And when Bollywood filmmakers realised it, they pulled out all the stops. Amitabh Bachchan had set a new standard when he charged a lakh a day for his guest appearance in Andha Kanoon (1983). When the film released Amitabh walked away with the accolades and the booty; writing a new chapter in Bollywood history.
From then on superstars were willing to shake their hips, show their best profile, mouth a few lines in cameos, do item songs because they knew they stood to gain. The cameos could fetch them awards and the money that came gave them some extra pocket expenditure. Quite often the guest appearance fee is allegedly paid in hard cash.
Trade analyst Amod Mehra adds, “Often guest/special appearances save the day for the producer. Sunny Deol stole Rishi Kapoor’s thunder in Damini; and Salman Khan was mind-blowing in a cameo in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. So producers often tempt superstars with big money for a small appearance.”
Ekta Kapoor presented Sanjay Dutt with a Merc for a guest appearance in one of her films. Shah Rukh Khan gave all the actors who shook a leg in Om Shanti Om (2007) a high end mobile phone, a designer watch and some other goodies with a handwritten letter thanking them for making the song unforgettable. Now the grapevine says that Akshay Kumar was reportedly tempted by Vashu Bhagnani to do a cameo in FALTU (2010). The superstar was offered Rs.60 lakhs a day for 12 days. However, Akki turned down the offer because he has no dates to spare. Akshay didn’t respond to the message asking him for a confirmation of the above. But the Bollywood trade says this is a new high for a guest appearance offer!
Vivek Oberoi is all set to marry Priyanka Alva in Bangalore on Friday…
Meena Iyer | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; October 28, 2010)
On Tuesday, 28-year-old Priyanka Alva kept her first karva chauth for the Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi. At 6.10 p.m, Vivek told BT from Bangalore, “I’m in the karva chauth puja. The shaadi, on Friday, is just three days away and I’m delirious.”
Priyanka is the daughter of the late Janta Dal politician from Karnataka, Jeevraj Alva, and Nandini Alva. She is a business graduate from London, a keen social activist and a lover of the arts. Both Priyanka and Vivek are Kshatriyas and carrying a sword on the wedding day is mandatory. Priyanka sourced out a special sword for her husband-to-be. It is a heavy one for which designer Tarun Tahiliani is crafting an embroidered sheath with precious stones. Says Tarun, “The idea is to make Vivek look like a maharaja.”
Vivek’s outfit for the baraat will be a deep maroon heavy brocade affair with some royal imagery. Beneath it, the actor will wear an A-line kurta of the finest material that will help him move easily as he climbs the mare (ghodi) and jumps down from it. Tarun, who is also making the wedding outfit for the bride, says, “Priyanka, since she is marrying a Punjabi, will wear a lehenga with 14 different colours on the panels; almost like a Persian carpet. The lehenga that will have a peacock motif will be short in the front exposing her ankles, so the intricate mehndhi and payal can be seen. The bride will also wear an antique jewellery set of rubies set in gold, an heirloom.”
BT also found out that the Bangalore house where the wedding will be held has 60 palm trees which will be lit to herald Diwali. “The ambience is truely classic and traditional,” says a family member. An excited Vivek admitted, “I’m excited and truly happy. I describe this as being the happiest week of my entire life.” On October 31, the Oberois will hosting a reception for Bollywood and close friends at a five-star hotel in Mumbai; 1,800 large scented candles will decorate the venue, as will 800 pink Thai lotuses and 30,000 strings of rajnigandha gajras, specially brought in from Kerala. Even as he enters a new phase in his personal life, Vivek will dub for Rakht Charitra 2, the morning after the wedding. And Priyanka will see him off at the door…