Posts tagged 2000
Theater actor Omkar Das has come a long way from Bhilai to Mumbai bringing raw folk talent to the fore
Omkar Das, aka Natha, brings his raw and rustic charm to the Mumbai screens, courtesy Peepli Live. Given his pedigree in theatre, he almost sets the tone of his first feature film.
How did you start out in theatre?
I started theatre full-time in the year 2000. Until then, I was a folk singer and used to travel with my troupe of 30-odd singers in Chattisgarh. I always enjoyed entertaining, so theatre came naturally.
How did Peepli Live happen?
I was auditioning for another project in Bhopal when the writer and director saw me and wanted me to audition for Natha. I got the lead role immediately. I never expected it.
How did it feel being on a film set, with untrained actors and a big crew?
Oh, that was something! From street performances and folk songs to big lights, cameras, etc; I was very intimidated. But the director was very helpful.
She asked me to ignore the cameras and be as natural as possible. After the first day, I concentrated on everything else except the camera and soon got over the hesitation.
How popular is theatre in villages now? How much has Bollywood managed to influence its style and subject?
People usually enjoy the song and dance routines much more than staged drama.
Even though the issues may be relevant, naatak is expected to have more entertainment than anything else. There are a few mainstream songs and actors that are popular, but regional artistes and cinema have a much wider appeal.
You have been associated with Habib Tanvir, whose work has been politically charged. Are the subjects of your plays also similarly influenced?
We draw from very basic subjects: droughts, famine, dowry, infanticide, low yield of crops, poor sale of seeds… just about anything that impacts a farmer’s life.
But like I said, if we don’t balance it with folk songs and dance, people won’t watch. So we balance it out with Dadariya, shringar and cheda-chadi songs.
There is an upsurge of naxals in Chattisgarh. Does the issue influence your content in any way?
Fortunately, their activity in our state is restricted to the very interiors, deep in jungles and remote villages. So while political issues are a large part of our content, we try and stay away from this subject. It’s easy for villagers to get scared and worried.
|Omkar Das plays the lead role of a depressed farmer in the movie Peepli Live|
Naya Theater focuses on encouraging the use of local dialects and styles… tell us a little about them.
Yes, we have been using Urdu since Habib saab’s time and Chhatisgarhi as our medium. We prefer using the local language and train youngsters in getting the dialect and tenor right. It always has maximum impact when one communicates with the audience in their own language and tone.
We usually have people coming in from Lucknow, Delhi, other big and small towns and cities in addition to regional folk artists who we work with. Our theater performs throughout Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh.
What was your experience of working with Habib saab?
He was a brilliant writer and teacher. He understood that people who come into this profession, regardless of age, are bound by the same passion. We learnt by improvising. He gave each artist their own space and pace to learn and perform. We learnt a lot by just watching each other.
What do you have to say about the treatment of farmers’ suicide in Peepli Live? Do you think it’ll resonate with the masses?
I was very happy with the end product. It looks like people will be able to associate with the story. It’s simple, honest and innocent. The subject is serious and touching; and the city audiences will be educated, I feel.
The architect-turned-actor goes back to his original profession for pal Karan Johar’s new pad
Ritesh Deshmukh is designing Karan Johar’s new house at Union Park (Bandra). Karan decided on Ritesh only recently.
A source says, “Karan has been very friendly with Ritesh since a long time. They both have similar tastes. Moreover, Karan has seen Ritesh’s interior design work and has always been very impressed. Which is why he entrusted him with the responsibility to do up his new home.”
|Karan Johar||Ritesh Deshmukh|
Karan’s new abode is located on the top two floors of the 12-storey building Residency.
“The view from the top floor of director’s sea-facing building is lovely. Frankly speaking, Ritesh has a big challenge at hand. Karan likes light and pastel shades. Both have discussed the modalities and Ritesh will start work very soon,” added the source.
Attempts to confirm the news with Karan proved futile. However, Ritesh confirmed, “Yes, I will be designing Karan’s new house. But I don’t want to dwell on the details.”
Ritesh, incidentally, has an architectural firm Evolution in operation from 2000. He obtained his architectural degree from Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies.
…says Sanjay Dutt, whose new film is too close to what’s really happening in Kashmir
Nimisha Tiwari | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; July 10, 2010)
Just when you thought peace had finally returned to the Valley, separatist violence has broken out again, the Army is out for the first time in two decades, and curfew has been declared in Srinagar. This is for real. It’s not a scene from Rahul Dholakia’s Lamhaa that’s being released by GS Entertainment and PVR Pictures on July 16.
The film, not strangely, is based entirely on life and events in Kashmir, with Sanjay Dutt playing a deadly para-military commando out to expose the ugly truth of the corrupt nexus between politicians, military and intelligence. With terrorism and the plight of the Kashmiri people caught in this terrifying scenario being the backdrop of the film.
Dutt, who has come a long way from playing underworld dons and the endearing Munnabhai, teams up with Bengali bombshell Bipasha Basu in Lamhaa. The macho actor has a deep connection with Kashmir since he shot his debut here for Bollywood with Rocky in 1980 and then did Mission Kashmir in 2000. Through a script of danger and betrayal in his new film, Dutt speaks out vehemently against injustice and loopholes in the political system.
Talking to BT, the actor hoped his character reaches out as the voice of the common man on a mission to fight the system. Said Dutt, “It is a fact that Lamhaa is about the reality of Kashmir, but it is also very strongly about hope, peace and harmony. I have a very strong connect with Kashmir and the wonderful people that live there and it gave me immense satisfaction to be part of this film.”
Sharin Wader Butani | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; June 21, 2010)
Ten years after they made their debut in J P Dutta’s Refugee, there’s the exciting rumour that Kareena Kapoor and Abhishek Bachchan might act together again. That they have not done another film with each other since 2000 is not because of a paucity of roles or offers from Bollywood to bring them back. The reason is more personal. Abhi’s broken engagement to Bebo’s sister Karisma in January 2003 led to a cooling off of relations between the Bachchans and the Kapoors. Naturally, filmmakers’ enthusiasm to see the hot young stars together dried up with that. But so much of water has flown down the Mithi River since then and both, Abhi and Karisma, are happily married now. So why should not he accept a role against the sister? And so, Sanjay Leela Bhansali (who has always wanted to work with Kareena and vice versa) is reportedly looking at casting Abhishek in his film Hira Mandi opposite the film industry’s leading actress. Bhansali will take up work on this film after he wraps up Guzaarish because, by then, Kareena will also be done with Ra One. Initially, it was thought the filmmaker might stick to Hrithik Roshan (his hero from Guzaarish) for Hira Mandi, but sources say Abhishek is the more likely candidate for the role. Incidentally, both Abhi and Bebo have admitted in separate interviews that if the right script came their way, they would be more than glad to work with each other.
Sure. Confident. Lock Kiya Jaaye. Amitabh Bachchan to weave his magic once again as the host of Kaun Banega Crorepati
The big news in Indian television is that Amitabh Bachchan is back as the host of Kaun Banega Crorepati. This will be the fourth season of this very popular show which is based on the UK game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
The fourth season will go on air by the end of this year. However, the broadcaster will not remain the same. “The show will now be aired on a different channel,” says a top source from the TV industry.
Kaun Banega Crorepati was Bachchan’s first appearance on Indian television in 2000. In 2005, the show’s second season was called Kaun Banega Crorepati Dwitiya in which the final prize amount was doubled to Rs 2 crore. However, the second season was abruptly stopped when Bachchan fell ill in 2006. Bachchan announced he would return as soon as he recovered, but it was Shah Rukh Khan who finally hosted the show in 2007.
Anil Kapoor was also being considered to play the host in the forthcoming season. However, most well-wishers of the channel insisted that Bachchan should be brought back.
Elaborating on why Bachchan is being brought back to the show, our source says, “Both, Bachchan and Shah Rukh, respectively brought their distinct individuality on the table, but frankly speaking, Shah Rukh’s histrionics did not do go down well with the audience. There was a vast difference in the TRPs between the two seasons hosted by Bachchan and the third season hosted by Shah Rukh.”
It may be recalled that the hysteria, which prevailed during Amitabh’s stint in Kaun Banega Crorepati, remains unparalleled on Indian television. Dinner time at most homes was changed to either before or after Kaun Banega Crorepati went on air. Mondays to Thursdays, cinema halls reported a slump in night show bookings because everybody was busy watching Kaun Banega Crorepati in their homes. Reportedly, a theatre owner in Delhi, who knew Bachchan, had even written to him to change the timing of the show.
We sent a text message to Bachchan but he did not revert. The channel too chose to remain quiet. “An official announcement will be made very soon,” adds the source.
It took a decade for two of Bollywood’s biggest heroes to put their egos behind them and strike up a friendship based on “pure love”.
In 2000 when Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai and Mohabbatein released, reigning actor Shah Rukh Khan and one of the most talked about newcomer Hrithik Roshan most certainly didn’t see eye to eye. In fact, the media had a field day playing up their differences. Sources say that even when Karan Johar brought them together for his film Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, the two were just about cordial with each other.
However, things are quite different now. The last year and a half has seen a 180 degree turn in the equation between Shah Rukh and Hrithik, who are now best friends. Hrithik says, “We have our wives to thank for this. Gauri and Sussanne are very very close. And yes, in a way they have brought Shah Rukh and me closer.”
Pondering over their now thick as blood relationship, Hrithik says, “Shah Rukh has always been extremely warm even when we were not so close. I have come to respect him for that.”
“We have become very close and have partied together so often. We have celebrated each other’s successes and also each other’s failures. Shah Rukh and I are just happy friends and we look for every little excuse to spend time with each other,” adds Hrithik.
Hrithik says that while the world sees just the two of them being friends, SRK and he are part of a much larger group. Karan Johar, Uday Chopra, Sanjay Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Chunky Pandey, Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar also hang out with them.
“All of us usually go out together,” says Hrithik. “It is nice to have people who care for you and are there for you especially in an industry where it is very easy to get entangled in ego clashes.”
He sums up his equation with SRK saying, “Shah Rukh and I have a relationship where there is no competition or jealousy. There is nothing but pure love.”
|Shah Rukh Khan||Hrithik Roshan|
For years now, Anupam Kher, wife Kirron and their son Sikander, have been living in Gigi Apartments in Juhu. A very fancy building, the property was developed by ace-screen villain of the 1980s Ranjit, who earlier owned a palatial bungalow on the same plot.
The apartment was done up very tastefully by Kirron Kher. In fact, Kirron has always been a very house-proud person and taken personal interest in everything that went into the interiors, right from the silver artefacts to the silk cushions.
|Anupam, Sikander and Kirron Kher|
So it came as a little bit of a shock when a neighbourhood source recently mentioned the Khers no longer lived in the building and have moved out to another address in Juhu – allegedly because they wanted a home that would prove luckier for their son Sikander.
Sikander made his acting debut in Sanjay Gupta’s Woodstock Villa (2008), but his career hasn’t exactly taken off.
Incidentally, Gigi Apartments has proved quite ‘lucky’ for both Anupam and Kirron. Living there, Anupam has not only landed some of the best roles in Bollywood, he also got an international break with Hollywood biggie Woody Allen. Even Kirron’s acting career has been scaling heights, what with her being highly appreciated in big films like Singh is Kingg, Dostana and Kurbaan.
Kirron did not deny that the home had been lucky. “Gigi Apartments is very lucky. It got me my National Award for Bariwali (2000), I did Khamosh Paani (2003) which won me the best actress award at the Locarno Film Festival. Almost everything that Anupam and I did while staying at Gigi Apartments turned to gold.”
At the same time, she also said that they were indeed looking to move out for Sikander’s sake, but it had nothing to do with the luck factor. “I want a huge bedroom and a living area for Sikander. In the old home, there was no scope to extend Sikander’s bedroom. That is why we are selling our old flat and planning on buying something a lot more spacious.”
By Subhash K. Jha, January 11, 2010 – 13:32 IST
Gurindher Chadha has a lot to be proud of. She claims Shimit Amin’s deeply influential Chak De was “a cleverly disguised variation on my Bend It Like Beckham. In my film, the girl wanted to play football. In Chak De they wanted to play hockey.”
Her latest film It’s A Wonderful Afterlife which is a backhanded compliment to the timeless American director Frank Capra, has been selected as the opening film at the exclusive Sundance Film Festival on January 21.
Recalls Gurindher, “My film What’s Cooking had been premiered at Sundance in 2000. So in a way it’s a home-coming, and that too with a film that in many ways takes me back to my warm intimate family values of Bend It Like Beckham. I shot in the same Indian-centric localities of London.”
The robust Punjabi director whose last film Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging was in the news for its sexual content, says Bend It Like Beckham remains her most beloved film. “Before Bend It, the footballer David Beckham was not quite the mega-star he is now. You’ll be surprised to know how many people would ask who the Beckham in the title was. I think Beckham became a big star afterwards. If I were to make Bend It Like Beckham today it’d be impossible. David Beckham has become too big for his name to be used for a film.”
Gurindher is now all set for the release of It’s A Wonderful Afterlife which she says comes close to Beckham in terms of mood temperament and characterization. The film will have a dubbed Hindi version, despite the fact that Gurindher’s Bride & Prejudice was ruined in translation.
“This time I think a Hindi version of It’s A Wonderful Afterlife is required. The film is about ghosts and reincarnation. These themes are hot favourites among Indians. We’re looking for a good title for the Hindi version. Audiences in Hindi may not get the Capra reference in the English title.”
Gurindher had a whale of a time shooting with the amazing Shabana Azmi for It’s a Wonderful Afterlife. “She put on so much weight that she was unrecognizable on the streets of London. Often ladies would come up to her and ask, ‘But aren’t you Shabana Azmi?’ I took her to a Punjabi baby- shower to meet all these women, so she’d get a hang of her Punjabi -Londoner character. Shabana is dead-on in the film.”
To add to the complexities Shabana had to talk to ghosts in the film. “No one can see these ghosts, not even Shabana. But she had to pretend that she could. Sometimes in the middle of a shot I’d walk up to her and ask, ‘What are you doing?’ And she’d delight me by retorting, ‘I really don’t know’. Shooting this film was great fun.”
Now Gurindher hopes watching the film would be as entertaining. “I think It’s A Wonderful Afterlife is my best work to date.”
MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 13, 2009)
When Hrithik Roshan blazed into Bollywood with Kaho Na Pyaar Hai in 2000, he almost wrested the reigning Badshah Shah Rukh Khan’s throne. With the paparazzi adding to their woes SRK and Duggu started out on a wrong foot. And SRK, who was hanging mid-air at a Filmfare Awards’ night event, joked saying, “Come Hrithik… come and pull me down.” However, that was another day. Today both Duggu and SRK are bonding big time. Sources say, “Every other night, the King and the Prince are dining together.’’ What makes their friendship more special is the fact that the girls, Gauri Khan and Sussanne Roshan, are also thick.
Aamir Khan admits that he didn’t approve of Salman Khan’s cavalier attitude to his work when they were filming Andaz Apna Apna. Said Aamir, “I even ticked Salman, Raveena Tandon and Paresh Rawal off during AAA because they had issues to resolve with the producer. And, they were treating the project badly.’’ Today Salman and Aamir are very good friends. Salman’s sketches on the Ghajini superstar are the piece de resistance at Aamir’s residence, and the boys often bond over a drink when AK’s wife Kiran Rao is out on her work assignment. Aamir even said, “That confrontation we had years ago has actually strengthened our bond.’’
Akshay Kumar admits that Suniel Shetty and he shared a hatelove relationship when they started out and now they have a love-love relationship which was in full force during the shoot of De Dhana Dan. Suniel said, “We were immature, yaar, now we’re men in our 40s. Where is the question of us fighting? It all seems so silly. Akki and I are not the best of friends but we do enjoy a camaraderie that is there for everyone to see.’’ If the Bollywood men are bonding big time, the women too have left their previous grievances aside and become friends. Kareena Kapoor and Bipasha Basu who argued like cats during Ajnabi are now friends. And so are Bebo and Preity Zinta. Guess when the boys and the girls realise that they aren’t hunting the same game, they let their guard down.
After living separately for nearly four years, Rahul Roy and his wife, Rajlaxmi have finally kissed and made up. Rahul now intends to settle for good in Australia where Rajlaxmi, a former model, stays.
After a two-year courtship, the couple had tied the knot in 2000. In 2006, Rajlaxmi shifted base to Australia to learn architecture. Eventually the couple drifted apart because of the distance. One of the reasons why the marriage ran into rough weather was because Rajlaxmi wanted to settle in Australia while Rahul wanted to stay in India. A source said, “Rahul has always loved Rajlaxmi a lot and now he has reached a stage where he wants to spend time with her.” Confirming that everything is fine on the personal front, Rahul said, “I have just returned from Australia and I want to keep my options open of settling there eventually. For now, I intend to travel more often to Australia. I don’t want to discuss my past. I am very happy with my life as it is today.”
After a two-year courtship, the couple had tied the knot in 2000. In 2006, Rajlaxmi shifted base to Australia to learn architecture. Eventually the couple drifted apart because of the distance. One of the reasons why the marriage ran into rough weather was because Rajlaxmi wanted to settle in Australia while Rahul wanted to stay in India.
A source said, “Rahul has always loved Rajlaxmi a lot and now he has reached a stage where he wants to spend time with her.”
Confirming that everything is fine on the personal front, Rahul said, “I have just returned from Australia and I want to keep my options open of settling there eventually. For now, I intend to travel more often to Australia. I don’t want to discuss my past. I am very happy with my life as it is today.”