Posts tagged 30 years
…even as he’s busy reliving his days as a struggling newcomer
Aakanksha Naval-Shetye | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; August 24, 2010)
Anil Kapoor has for long maintained a safe distance from the small screen. Having dodged several TV shows, including turning down lucrative offers to host reality and game shows, he even refrained from doing TV commercials except for one. However, now Anil’s finally taken the plunge and made his TV debut in an international television series alongside action star Kiefer Sutherland. And so pleasant was the experience that the actor is now keen to produce a TV show himself. “I won’t divulge the details, but it’s not a reality show. It will be an entirely new format and concept, something that’s never been seen on Indian television before,” he says.
As for his international TV debut, Anil’s excited about the reviews he’s been getting overseas. “It’s been a great learning experience. I hope to incorporate a lot of that in our own productions here. They have immense respect for us.” Buzz was also that Anil was complimented for his fit looks as he was for his performance. Anil’s looks belie his age, but his body of work gives away his Bollywood age! And after 30 years of being a part of the industry, the actor feels that life has come a full circle. With so many new ventures lined up, Anil says that he’s feeling the same high and excitement that he had felt as a struggler.
“I have much more on my platter than I can handle and it’s a good feeling because it’s keeping me on my toes. I feel like an absolute newcomer!” he declares. “The only difference is that back then I had to think about earning my daily bread and my responsibilities towards family, but today I am doing it for myself and have nothing to lose.” Juggling between his production house, finalising several more international projects and shooting for his films here including Priyadarshan’s Bullet and Abbas Mustan’s Race 2, Anil’s been working around the clock and has no plans of slowing down. So, is direction on the cards too? “No, that’s not on my mind at all. I am happier being in front of the camera,” he smiles.
… Sanjay Dutt shoots from same hotel room in Kashmir he ‘leaped’ to fame with in 1981!
AAKANKSHA NAVAL-SHETYE Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; May 18, 2010)
Sanjay Dutt was taken back in time by 30 years recently when shooting for his film Lamha in Kashmir. It was a nostalgic moment for Dutt, who completes three decades in Bollywood, as he was co-incidentally put up in the same room of the hotel where he had started his journey in 1981 with Rocky. The film that saw him kickstart his career had Sanju jump out of the window of this room for a sequence.
“It feels like life has come a full circle for me,” said Dutt. “Here I am, shooting at the same place, in exactly the same room, after 30 years.” But what’s different this time around is the crowds. “Back then, there was hardly anybody to see the shooting,” laughed the star who attributes his survival in Bollywood to his fans. “I have been blessed. I think my mum’s watching over me,” said Dutt. “There are some films that I am proud of like Munnabhai, Vaastav, Sadak, Naam… they have been the turning points in my life and I’m hoping Lamha will be one of them.”
Reflecting on his successful yet ‘rocky’ journey, he added, “I have made several decisions from my heart. Many of these emotional decisions, I will regret till my last breath, some I will cherish forever.” And though Dutt is not ready to divulge what those decisions are, he revealed, “I am a better judge of people today than I ever was. I am also more at peace than I was a few years back. Today, I have a family, a career, the love and blessings of so many well-wishers. I have more reasons to thank God, than to ask him for anything more.”
After the singer was barred by the court from travelling to Munich for his wedding to Roya Faryabi, they opted for a quiet ceremony in Mumbai
Though Adnan Sami’s scheduled wedding on January 31 to his Afghani-German girlfriend Roya Faryabi in Munich fell through, it now comes to light that the couple had a secret nikaah ceremony at Adnan’s residence in Mumbai on Friday, January 30, a day before the wedding cards announced the wedding in Munich.
Only close family members of Adnan were present at this nikaah.
Says a source close to Adnan, “The wedding in Munich had to be cancelled because the courts did not allow Adnan to leave the country. There are serious charges of domestic violence against him.” Rather than cancel the wedding, Adnan decided to have a flash ceremony in Mumbai. All the arrangements were made by Adnan’s son Azaan.
At first Adnan was reluctant to confirm the development, but finally said, “Yes, we got married last Friday in a secret nikaah. And we’re loving it.”
|Adnan Sami and Roya Faryabi|
Adnan now intends to host a wedding reception in Munich at Roya’s place and then another reception in Mumbai for all his friends. But as things stand now, Roya and Adnan are man and wife.
Speaking from Munich, Adnan’s third wife Roya Faryadi says, “Adnan is the perfect man for me. I love not just the man but also his mother and son. In fact, Adnan’s son Azaan and I get along like a house on fire. We often gang up together and tease the hell out of Adnan.”
Roya says she is not the least perturbed by Adnan’s past record of broken marriages. “What happened in the past is the past. What I see is a man I’d like to spend my life with. Adnan is kind, caring and gentle. I hope we can make our marriage last forever. Like any good wife, I plan to shift to Mumbai to be with Adnan and his family. But I’ll keep visiting Germany. That’s where my parents stay.” Roya’s parents are from Afghanistan. They moved to Germany 30 years ago and hold German passports.
Rani Mukerji has walked out of Deepa Mehta’s film, an adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s masterpiece novel Midnight’s Children, because she apparently didn’t want to play the mother of a 14-year-old. That she happily played a mother of two kids in Yash Raj Films’ Ta Ra Rum Pum almost three years ago is another matter.
A source says, “She asked Mehta that how she can play the mother of a 14-year old when she herself is just 30? She preferred to leave the film instead.”
Initially, Rani was quite excited about the idea of working with Mehta as it would have been the first time in her 13-year career that she would have worked with a female director. Reportedly, she had even met Rushdie and Mehta in Toronto for the same.
Equally excited about working with Rani, Mehta had earlier said in an interview, “I don’t know about Rani’s current box-office status but I have always wanted to work with her. I saw her work in Hey Ram, Black, Bunty Aur Babli and Veer-Zaara and loved it. She is among the best talent in India today.”
Mehta confirmed that Rani is no longer in her film. She also said that Rani had informed her about the same. “Rani was required to play a mother in a section of the film, but there is no kid in the film who is 14 years old,” said the filmmaker.
However, Mehta dismissed the buzz that Rani turned her down because she didn’t want to play a teenager’s mother. She said, “Rani had some personal reasons for not doing the film. I cannot disclose the reasons because there are some things, which are confidential between a director and an actor. I have great regard for Rani and total respect for why she is not working with me in this film.”
Mehta’s film was planned for a September 2010 release but with this unexpected roadblock it seems that Mehta is now racing against time. Apparently, Vidya Balan, who was supposed to play Rani’s sister in the same film, has still not given a confirmation to Mehta. When asked if Vidya was in the film, Mehta replied, “As soon as I know, I will let you know.”
Relentless UTV scores big time with the restless youth
CYRUS H. MERCHANT Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; January 20, 2010)
On Marathon Sunday while most of Mumbai ran, Ronnie Screwvala, head of UTV, and his brilliant creative director (UTV Network) Zarina Mehta celebrated their recent success. They were happy, clearly. When life is on a song, you walk on the high notes. The broadcasting network, ably led by CEO MK Anand, has come of age and is now one of the top five players. “We’ve broken the mould and are very excited about the speed which with we did it,” beams Ronnie. They’d launched it barely two years ago with four speciality channels and without a General Entertainment Channel. In television parlance that’s railroading your TRPs. But much to everyone’s surprise, it took off, the graph gasped and they’re at the top. Going against the tide, helps indeed.
Up until now youth TV meant only music, but with their quick moving, these two TV cats and their terrific team across the board went for the jugular of the Indian youth: careers, relationships, the intricacies of Life. They took the power of their network, spread their nets wide, and there with producing youth-oriented big hits of Indian cinema and here with broadcasting they have almost covered the neglected space: the blooming heart of the young.
“We were passionate, otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to crack it,” Ronnie offers. What he doesn’t say is they were also focused on the demographs. Their latest offering of UTV Action which showcases Hollywood blockbusters, innovatively dubbed in Hindi, has caught the guys by the collars. Just two weeks since its launch and it’s a runaway success already, opening a whole new genre and market, creating a new viewing habit. And in 18 months, their channel UTV Bindass hit bullseye with the youth. Ronnie is all praise for the Indian youth. “They’re terrific, they work very hard, they’re truthful.” Maybe that’s why, in his company, the average age is about 30.
Whether it’s Emotional Atyachaar about the transparency of morals and the irreplaceable requirements of relationships or the Big Switch where rich kids slum it out, they’re pushing the envelopes of the young. “And we’re having fun doing it,” Zarina says. “If you don’t have fun, you’re dead.”
Their youth broadcasting success comes close on the heels of their UTV Hungama which zeroed in on the four to 14 age group and broke into the difficult six channels of cartoons dominated by world biggies. Ronnie explains how: “We created content, Indianised it, were very passionate about it. We looked at the demographs. And then the real needs. Now we are looking at college-goers and first time jobbers”.
What about the rest of us? “Well there’s UTV Movies and UTV World Movies,” Ronnie replies. Indeed there is, world class cinema which otherwise we wouldn’t have got to see, with multiplexes these days only going for the box-office ringtone. I cut into the joy with the recent, terribly tragic youth suicides. And thankfully they don’t just give me a right answer, but an honest one. “What’s academics!” Ronnie says. “I failed in my Inter! Parents need to back-off, this parental pressure is getting a bit too much. Failing in academics does not mean failure in Life.” Even while hiring at UTV? And Zarina says: “I look at the person, their confidence, their goodness and how they think on their feet. College education in India is very poor. When people come to us for jobs, we don’t look at the marks.”
For nearly 30 years, Colaba’s Mukesh Mills has been one of the most frequently used locations for feature films and advertisements - its deserted and somewhat dilapidated structures appealing especially to makers of horror flicks.
Now, the film fraternity has a different horror to face: The iconic mills will soon be redeveloped into a high-rise, residential-cum-commercial complex, which will include a five-star hotel.
The mills - spread over 40,000 square metres of prime seafront area – had closed down in 1980, and has been let out for dozens of shoots. However, the owners - TCI Limited - had bigger plans for land, but the redevelopment project had been in the pipeline for years due some legal complications.
In 2006, TCI had filed a writ petition in the Bombay High Court, after the Navy objected to the redevelopment, citing that the land came under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) where no new construction is allowed. The Defence Department had also said that any new development on the land could be a security hazard for their installations, which are in close proximity to the mills.
On June 15, 2009, however, the High Court passed an order stating that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) can approve the redevelopment proposal without seeking a No Objection Certificate from the Navy. Following this, TCI recently approached the BMC with a redevelopment proposal.
“We have now asked them to submit the detailed redevelopment proposal for the mill plot. We will follow the High Court order. Once we scrutinise the proposal, we will inform the court of our decision,” a senior civic official said.
While construction of the high-rise is imminent, it is yet to be decided how much FSI is to be granted for the project. According to the High Court order, the BMC’s final decision has to be cleared by the court.
“The redevelopment plans will be on the lines of a five-star hotel project on Charni Road. The BMC has recommended an FSI of 5 for the building, which is planned to be one of the tallest structures in the city. But the construction firm has asked for an FSI of 6.29 and the proposal is still pending before the government,” said a civic official.
Sunil Ambre, architect for the redevelopment project, was not available for a comment.
|Mukesh Mills closed down its operations in 1980 and soon became a favourite spot for shooting of feature films and ads|
Recent films shot at the mills
• Raaz - The Mystery Continues: starring Kangna Ranaut, Emraan Hashmi and Adhyayan Suman; produced by Mukesh Bhatt
• Acid Factory: starring Fardeen Khan, Irrfan Khan, Diya Mirza; directed by Suparn Verma
It was a major asset for many film-making aspects in one compound. Moreover, it was extremely easy to operate there. It’s a monumental loss for Bollywood - Film-maker Mahesh Bhatt
I have some memories of the place that I will never forget. It’s widely rumoured it is haunted. I remember there is a Peepal tree on top of a chimney on the premises.
While we were shooting for Ek Khiladi Ek Hasina, Fardeen (Khan) had told the entire crew that he would pay Rs 10,000 to anyone who had the guts to go near it, but no one dared! But hear-say apart, it’s very sad that the place will be brought down; it was a great location - Film-maker Rensil D’Silva
APARAJITA MUKHERJEE Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 4, 2009)
For the rarified select gathering, it was meant to be a cozy evening with close friends from the film fraternity to celebrate the release of Kurbaan last week. A special preview, hosted by socialite Kajal Anand, thus comprised the Who’s Who of tinsel town and the usual sprinkling of society divas and dudes.
But as the evening panned out, guests, comprising socialites and Bollywood movers and shakers, were shocked with what seemed to be a comedy of errors, gone horribly wrong.
Film critic Khalid Mohamed and socialite Kajal Anand had a very public falling-out at this private screening of the film starring Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan.
It all started like this: a socialite at the evening approached famed film critic Khalid Mohamed, but made the mistake of assuming him to be someone else. She then, on realising her faux pas, supposedly apologised for this. An eyewitness claims that Mohamed replied with, “You know, it’s alright. I don’t even care to know you, and I don’t even know who you are.” Realising that things were getting a little choppy on the guest-list front, Kajal Anand then walked up to the film critic, supposedly to ask him to let go and make peace.
But Anand caught Mohamed at a wrong time indeed; he then began directing his ire towards her, sources claim. And he certainly didn’t mince his words. “Have you seen yourself in the mirror lately? You are a fat hag! How do your friends even hang out with someone like you? Now I know that you’ll go later to Mannat and bitch with the rest of that gang of yours. That’s all you’re famous for…” is what he is alleged to have told the socialite.
On hearing all this, Kajal Anand then asked Khalid Mohamed to leave. “Please leave this preview. You are never welcome again,” said she. An awkward ceasefire ensued, as both parties went back to their seats, but there was no missing the hushed silence of the collected crowd, who were still soaking in the slow-but-sure repercussions of what was a jarring end to a rather long-standing friendship.
Khalid Mohamed has been a famed film critic for almost 30 years. Kajal Anand is a well-known socialite who hobnobs with both, SoBo A-listers and eminent names from Bollywood aristocracy; it is a dexterity that makes her one of the more powerful society names in Bombay today.
Khalid Mohamed sat at his seat, fuming for some time. Then at the interval, he stormed out, something that nobody missed, given what had preceded this exit.
The incident has therefore sent shockwaves in the industry and society circles, even if not many are willing to comment on the melee, given the pedigree of both parties involved. Yet when contacted, Kajal herself did not deny the story. All she said was, “It is entirely your prerogative to do the story; I have no comments to offer on this incident.” When Khalid Mohamed was contacted about this fracas, he confirmed the story as well.
“No, it didn’t happen like you say it. The first preview for Kurbaan was a Mumbai Police screening which I had missed. The second one was hosted by Kajal Anand; here a girl walked up to me and mistook me for a furniture designer, introducing herself as Prerna Goel. This girl, Prerna Goel, was behaving very funnily. I even remember asking Kajal, ‘What sort of friends do you have?’ I don’t know why, but Kajal was behaving obnoxiously that day. She is a friend but she tends to be, at times, like this. I never told her, ‘You’re fat’. But I did say, ‘Look at yourself in the mirror.’ And I walked out in the interval with a friend who was accompanying me. At that moment, I remember Kajal standing with Yash Birla and a couple of other people,” said the film critic.
(With inputs by Vickey Lalwani)
Director Ashu Trikha is ready with his film Baabarr which releases this month. Apparently, the film is based on gangster Rafiq Qureshi’s life and the dreaded D2 gang, who ruled UP and especially Kanpur, for over 30 years. Although the filmmaker denies this, there are far too many similarities in the film to ignore.
A source said, “Rafiq, who was the leader of the D2 gang, was one of the most feared gangsters. The gang began operating in 1975 and Rafiq joined the gang in 1981 and immediately took over the reins. There were six brothers in the gang. In 2005, Rafiq was arrested in Kolkata. He was taken for interrogation to Kanpur where he was killed. Thereafter, two of his brothers, Taufiq and Iqbal were also killed. Two brothers, Afzal and Shafiq, are still in prison while another brother, Atiq is still absconding.”
Newcomer Soham plays the role of Rafiq, who is called Baabarr in the film. Commenting on the similarities, the source said, “The similarities are — Barbarr’s wife is shown fighting a human rights case against the government for the unlawful killing of her husband just like Rafiq’s wife. Barbarr gets married in jail while in custody just like Rafiq. Also, Rafiq belonged to Kuli bazaar where the film is being shot. There are also references to a lady politician, Lilavati (referencing Mayawati), who is shown being supportive of the gang. A minister, Kayam Singh (referencing Mulayam Singh) proves to be a nemesis for the gang. In the film, there is also a sequence where the Lucknow police give an affidavit in Kolkata court stating that they would not kill Barbarr in police custody, which happened with Rafiq too. However, Rafiq got killed within 24 hours of being shifted to UP. Apart from these, Baabarr also has six brothers just like Rafiq.”
Ashu Trikha denied the story. He said, “I am not aware of what you are saying. It’s a completely fictional story and I have gone and shot as per my script. It’s a commercial film and I have no idea if the film’s story is similar to anybody’s life.”
When pressed further about the similarities in the film, Ashu said, “I have no idea who your source is and where you found the similarities. I shot the film for 55 days in Lucknow but not a single person told me about the resemblance you are talking about. Yes, there are six brothers in my film and all the incidents you have mentioned are also there in my film; it must be a co-incidence.”