Posts tagged Aamir Khan
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.”
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
Though Aamir Khan tried to play peacemaker, Resul Pookutty is at war with a multiplex for botching up the screening of Rajni’s hit
It’s ironic that at a screening of Robot, of all things, the machines failed to work. Rajnikanth’s power show for his film at a suburban multiplex was full of glitches. And the sound editor of the film, Resul Pookutty, was certainly not amused.
Dissatisfied with the sound quality three hours prior to the show, Resul had voiced his discomfort too. But apparently, the theatre officials paid no heed and started the show. Sure enough, the sound crashed in the second half of the film, which had to be stalled as a result for over 30 minutes. Pookutty was livid with the organisers and only on Aamir Khan’s insistence was he pacified.
He felt that what happened on Monday night was unfortunate and symptomatic of how theatre owners are lackadaisical about the technical finesse involved in screening films. Said Pookutty, “We had a show for the biggest people in the industry but the sound quality was so inferior. I spent 45 days to design the sound of the film and this is the result we got. If this happens in the presence of the cream of the industry what must the common man be going through? This is like Husain making a classic painting and somebody throwing ink all over it.”
Pookutty feels that theatre owners are only interested in making their money and nothing else. “All our hard work goes down the drain. I hope that the government makes certain guidelines for the exhibition sector of our film industry, or else their licenses should be cancelled. I believe that every viewer who spends money to watch a film should get the best and nothing less than that. The Robot show was a blatant example of the entire system and the problems in it.”
Aamir Khan played truce-maker and the film was thus screened after this forced interval. Pookutty added, “I had predicated that something would go wrong. The sound was blown up and then we had to do a lot of damage control. We apologised to the invitees.”
For justice in the wake of this humiliation, Pookutty has drafted a letter to the Indian Motion Pictures and Producers’ Association. “I hope that the association, which is also aware of this, does something about it. I feel angry and humiliated at what is happening and I will continue my struggle to get these things sorted out,” he concluded.
Resul Pookutty to file RTI against multiplexes for poor sound & picture quality
By Subhash K. Jha, October 6, 2010 – 10:59 IST
On Monday evening, Rajinikanth’s warm and unparalleled gesture of bringing Robot to Mumbai personally for a special screening before his Bollywood friends, culminated in a horrendous mess with the sound being completely disrupted in the 7th reel, leading to a long and embarrassing and unscheduled break just before the crucial climax of the film.
The screening, it might be mentioned was, was leading man Rajinikanth and director Shankar’s belated but critical attempt to familiarize Bollywood’s who’s-who with Robot which had already swept the nation. Its disruption has hurt the film’s crew in both emotional and more practical ways.
And now heads will roll. The team behind Robot plans to sue the chain of theatres and also approach the government to specify quality-control methods to check sound systems in the multiplexes of Mumbai.
Speaking about the evening’s nightmarish, fiasco Robot’s bitterly disappointed enraged and now redressal-seeking sound designer Resul Pookutty says, “From the start of the screening I knew there was something seriously wrong. Then I came to know three sets of speakers were not working. I was so upset that I immediately wanted to stop the screening. But Aamir Khan pacified me, explaining it would look very improper in front of all these stalwarts to stop the show.”
Then Resul’s worst fears came true. “After seven reels with 40 minutes of playing-time to go, the sound collapsed completely. It was a nightmare. When finally the screening was restored the sound was worst than before. It was one of the most humiliating evenings of my life. I haven’t slept the whole night. And now I won’t sleep until I receive justice on behalf of all the technicians of Indian cinema, not to mention the average patron who is not aware of the deplorable standards of sound and projection provided by almost all the multiplex chains in Mumbai.”
The disappointment and sense of betrayal is so enormous that Resul chokes with emotion while talking. “We (the Robot core crew) had decided on the show after seeing the impact it had made in the South. Down there I have fought a relentless battle to change the sound quality in theatres. And now patrons in the South are so conscious of their rights to get optimum-quality sound and visual value that in Kerala, audiences broke seats and disrupted screenings at theatres with sub-standard technical value.”
Resul wants to create the same value-awareness among audiences in Mumbai, and a critical step ahead in his fight against sub-standard projection and sound in Mumbai’s multiplexes is an RTI being filed before the government.
Says Resul, “After that evening’s experience I have already approached the IMPPA (Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association) on behalf of the sound association of the Indian film industry. I’m next filing an RTI (Right To Information) with the government seeking to know what are the yardsticks applied before multiplexes are granted licences for operation. Are sound and projection quality a part of the licensing checks?”
Resul won’t sit easy until the matter is resolved. “After Slumdog Millionaire and the national and international awards, I at least have voice about sound in our movie theatres. While in South India the sound-quality in theatres has been drastically upgraded, in the North I am sorry to say theatres continue to use an inferior technical infrastructure. Sometimes smuggled machines are employed. I’ve often bribed projectionists to do their jobs better. During Black, Sanjay Bhansali and I went personally from theatre to theatre to check the sound. What we discovered was shocking. Does the average patron who pays Rs.150 for a ticket know how he’s being cheated? This is why I’m filing an RTI with the government.”
Legal action against the multiplex chain that was behind the Robot team’s shame on Monday evening is also being taken.
Says Resul, “We were already fighting an intense battle against the quality of visuals and sound provided by the multiplexes. After being so humiliated and shamed in front of the film industry on Monday evening, it’s an all-out battle for our rights and the rights of the cinema-going audience. Actually what happened on Monday evening was a shame not just for the Robot team but the entire Indian movie industry.”
MM.com speaks to Natha’s mother, Farrukh ‘Ammaji’ Jaffer, only to bring out the intellectual and lighter side of a lady from the rustic lands of Uttar Pradesh
|Farrukh Jaffer, a far cry from Ammaji of Peepli Live|
“I am too busy and too free, depending on my priorities. But if there is someone to listen to me, I can talk 24 hours. Jaise ham abhi aapse baat kar rahe hain,” 72-year-old Farrukh Jaffer bursts out laughing. “Ammaji” is bound to slip out of your mouth when you are talking to her. One of the most memorable characters of Peepli Live, Ammaji, is what she is better known as now.
A graduate and a student of National School of Drama (NSD), Delhi, Farrukh started her career in All India Radio as an announcer in Lucknow. At NSD, she learnt a lot from one of the most influential theatre directors Ebrahim Alkazi. She performed in a few of his plays and thoroughly loved the experience. But somehow, she felt closer to radio and films. It was Muzzaffar Ali, director of Rekha-starrer Umrao Jaan, who gave her her big break in the film where she played Rekha’s mother. Farrukh, who has her base in Lucknow for years now, feels deep gratitude towards Muzzaffar Ali, “I am thankful to Muzzaffar saab from the bottom of my heart. He gave me my first break. And it was his serial Damyanti where Ashutosh Gowariker spotted me and offered me Swades. He always gave me the freedom an artiste like me craves for.”
Farrukh believes an artist is the best creation of God, who should be treated with care and given desired freedom. She received such a treatment from Aamir Khan while working on Peepli Live, she says, “Aamir Khan trusted and gave me this opportunity. I am best known for my voice over and in Peepli that is what worked for me as an actor. He let me extend my dialogue as I wanted. He understood the culture and knew the essence of the language. I got immense respect from him as a person and in terms of work too. I admire him for that.”
Farrukh is, no doubt, a nawab from Lucknow. She loves her comfort and feels uncomfortable when restricted. Her experience while working in Swades with Ashutosh Gowariker was not as pleasant though. She says, “It was a great experience. But I felt slightly restricted with him, creatively. As a radio artist, I have a habit of elongating my dialogue with voice modulation to make it more effective. I wasn’t allowed to do that. But then, Ashutosh did give me one of my best lines of my career.”
Swades also gave Farrukh an opportunity to interact with the superstar of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, that too on the same level. She reminicences and laughs aloud at the interaction she had with him, “Shah Rukh ko main bandar bulati thi. He would put his head on my feet and ask me, ’Aap mujhe bandar kyu bulati hai?’ Then I would promptly reply, “Kyuki tum poora din bandar ki tarah uchaltey koodtey rehtey ho.” Admiring the father in King Khan, she says, “Woh apne bacchon ke bagair nahi reh sakta. He is a great father. I have just seen him interact with his kids.”
Despite belonging to a conservative family, she had all the support from her husband Sayyed Mohammed Jaffar, also a renowned journalist. He encouraged her in every step she took towards her passion for cinema. Mother of two grown up daughters says, “What should I say about him? He is the most amazing husband one can have. He supported me and allowed me to aspire big, which is very unlikely of a family with a conservative background like we have. But he trusted me and so did the family.”
In 30 years of her career, Farrukh had to shift base from a small village called Chakesar in Jaunpur district in Uttar Pradesh to Lucknow for a major period in between and then to Delhi. And now when she is doing films more often, she has to come down to Mumbai too. Totally in awe of the city, Farrukh says, “Mumbai sheher jaandaar hai. Yahaan kaam aapko dhoondhta hai. Mujhe behad pasand hai yeh sheher.” On the contrary, recalling her experience of living in another metro like Delhi almost 30 years ago, Farrukh didn’t really enjoy her time in the city. She says, “Dilli rehne wali jagah nahi hai. I felt very insecure while I came back from work. That time I was working with Akashvani. Even the transport facilities weren’t impressive. I used to regret leaving my job in All India Radio, Lucknow.”
Having seen the village life from close quarters, she agrees with how the subject is dealt in Peepli Live. Farrukh is against reservations given by the government to rural people. She believes, “Why can’t government give better facilities like better roads, light and houses to the rural people and inspire them to grow so that they don’t have to leave their house and family behind to go to a metro city to earn better?”
Ammaji she will remain for us until she is next seen in Aanand Rai’s Tanu Weds Manu, playing dadima to Kangna Ranaut who stars opposite R Madhvan in the film.
The master blaster has not agreed to do a role in Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s film
Meena Iyer | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; September 28, 2010)
Yes, you read it right. And Sachin Tendulkar fans who were hoping to see the master batsman in a different avatar in his second innings, will be sorely disappointed. Whatever he may choose to do, joining the ranks of his friends Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan in Bollywood is not on Tendulkar’s mind as an alternative career after cricket.
So, yes, while it is true that Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Ferrari Ki Sawari is likely to go on the floors by December, the lead actor of the film has not yet been decided. A source hinted, “Sharman Joshi is likely to be in the lead. However, Aamir Khan who recently returned from London has also promised Vidhu that he will read the script within the next month and let him know for sure whether he is on board. And if Aamir comes on board, then Ferrari Ki Sawari will be made with him and not Sharman.”
So, where does that leave Tendulkar — who the media on Monday wildly speculated might be the lead actor in Vidhu’s film? Nowhere! The batting maestro had never indicated that he wanted an acting job in the film. But, certainly, the car that is referred to in the script of the film is Tendulkar’s Ferrari all right. Then again, whether he will allow his sports car to be actually used in the shooting, or whether he might decide to do a cameo in Ferrari Ki Sawari, is the million dollar question right now.
A source from Vidhu’s unit said, “When did we say Tendulkar had confirmed his presence in the film? The call on whether he will give a shot in his Ferrari will only be taken after the lead actor is decided. And everyone on board is tight-lipped about the developments because many things stand to change if Aamir greenlights this project.” Meanwhile, Sanjay Dutt also has a Ferrari similar to that of Tendulkar’s. And the Bollywood actor is keen to hear the script of the film from his Munnabhai producer!
By Taran Adarsh, September 27, 2010 – 16:38 IST
Okay, it’s final and as always, the news is first on ‘Bollywood Hungama’. Aamir Khan has locked the release date of DHOBI GHAT. It’s not Christmas this year. It’s February next year. In fact, just last week, this writer had mentioned that Aamir has confirmed the month of release – February – and was likely to decide on the date shortly. It could be 18th or 25th. Well, the date is confirmed. It’s 25th February.
As of now, the month of February also seems to be packed with biggies: DUM MAARO DUM on 4th, PATIALA HOUSE on 11th and DHOBI GHAT on 25th.
We give you a blow-by-blow account of all that happened at Salman Khan’s Dabangg success party
While a good majority of the industry stayed away from Sallu’s bash, it did turn out to be a heady mix of celebrities, some clad in their snazzy cocktail outfits and of course, Sallu standing out ever so stylishly in his casual t-shirt and jeans.
Aamir’s sweet gesture
While host Sallu made a late entry himself, Aamir Khan, who recently returned from Toronto, came over (looking a tad out of place however in a bowtie and a suit) to wish Salman for his success.
|Arbaaz Khan, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and Subhash Ghai (Yogen Shah)|
Sonu-Sallu swappy story
The highlight of the evening was an oddly cute interaction between Sallu and Sonu Sood. Imagine a comic strip and here’s a chronological lowdown of what transpired. 1. Salman hugged Sonu and said that he wanted to do something for him. 2. Instinctively, Sallu removed the watch from his wrist and gave it to Sonu. 3. An overwhelmed Sonu thought of returning the gesture but proved to be a little unimaginative; he removed his watch to give it to Salman. 4. While initially refusing Sonu’s watch, Sallu finally took it and kept it in his pocket. 5. Sallu then took it out again and put it in Sonu’s pocket. 6. “This is its rightful place,” Sallu then told Sonu. 7. A touched Sonu hugged him tight. And they lived happily ever after.
Shirish bored without booze
Among Salman’s close friends present at the party were David Dhawan, Subhash Ghai, Farah Khan and Shirish Kunder. After greeting others, Shirish made no qualms about admitting that he was feeling bored at the party. Reason? He said he had quit drinking and hence no longer knew what to do at a party anymore. Director Subhash Ghai was the last to land up at the party but was seen hobnobbing with Aamir for quite some time. Comeback, Mr Ghai?
Where’s the heroine?
Surprisingly, Sonakshi Sinha came in well past midnight. Her mother Punam Sinha and brother Kush were already present at the party when she entered. But we must add, she looked rather dapper in her multi-coloured short dress, with the khaandani high cheekbones definitely adding to the oomph factor.
Meeting the Kashyaps
Abhinav Kashyap entered hand-in-hand with his father and bonded for a long time with Arbaaz Khan. Anurag Kashyap came in his trademark blazer and jeans but sans girlfriend Kalki this time. The father-son pair looked cute together, especially after news of Anurag leaving his parents’ home to make his Bollywood career, had been doing the rounds.
As always, the after-party moved to Salman’s Bandra residence later and continued till the wee hours of the morning. Stars mingling in their own ‘Galaxy’…
|Sonu Nigam with Sajid-Wajid|
|Punam Sinha with son Kush|
|Farah Khan and Shirish Kunder|
|Sonu Sood with wife Sonali|
John Travolta talks to BT about dancing and Bollywood
Mark Manuel | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; September 28, 2010)
John Travolta was giving media interviews. First television. Then print. I stood and watched from the sidelines, waiting my turn. The interviewer was discussing Travolta’s dancing skills and asking the iconic Hollywood actor to get up and demonstrate his signature moves for the camera. Govinda might have jumped up and obliged. Travolta was having none of it. His bodyguards, who walked him into the interview room dressed in a smart tux like he was the President of the US of A — tall fair and handsome, stood around and tittered. I thought, if you have seen Travolta dancing in Saturday Night Fever, Grease, Urban Cowboy, Pulp Fiction… then you have seen the best of him. When my turn came, I asked, instead, why wasn’t he making dancing films anymore; and what did he think he was best at, dancing, singing or acting?
Travolta hummed and hawed, gave his famous toothy grin, the blue-grey eyes twinkling, then said, “I would love to do a dancing film. And why not? Fred Astaire, whom I greatly admired, was dancing into his 80s. I’m 56, but I’ve kept it up, dancing doesn’t leave you. I dance at home for my own pleasure.” Which may be true. However, Hollywood had discovered the actor in Travolta since his SNF and Grease days. And it is now engaging this actor’s services in roles that have him playing dark characters like mobsters and small-time criminals, or comedians, both of which he does damned well. There’s no more dancing for Travolta. So, what role did he enjoy playing best? “It depends on the quality of the script,” he replied. “I enjoy both, dramatic roles and comedy, and I’m good at both. Though, I must mention, I got two Oscar nominations (SNF and Pulp Fiction) for dramatic roles. And my Golden Globe, again, was for a dramatic role in Get Shorty (in which Travolta plays a loan shark).”
I asked him about Bollywood, naturally. Not whether he would do a film for us (because he’s not been offered any roles), but had he heard of our film industry before coming here? Seen any Hindi films? “Of course,” Travolta said, “It’s exciting to know that Bollywood is so successful that it doesn’t need Hollywood… it’s Hollywood that requires Bollywood! I know of some of your artistes. Aamir Khan (to whom he presented the Cinematic Icon Award on Sunday night at the GQ Men Of The Year Awards)… I saw his film Lagaan because it was nominated for an Oscar and I’m one of the 135 jury members. I also voted for Slumdog Millionnaire. And when younger, I saw some other Bollywood films… but cannot remember the names right now. What I like about your industry is that the films are all family oriented. I appreciate that. Maybe I’m old fashioned. But that is what makes your cinema so successful.”
He had come in the night before, dressed in jeans, jacket and baseball cap, flying in his own private Boeing, himself in the cockpit commandeering the huge jet over the slums of Kalina to land at Sahar. What was the experience like, I asked. “Most airports are the same, especially when you’re landing at night, and you’ll have the arc approach in Mumbai which I was prepared for… but I didn’t have to use it. What surprised me was the activity at the airport at midnight! It was unbelievable. I also liked the warmth of the welcome. I’ve not been to India before, but yet, I was greeted like an old friend!” Travolta’s dancing feet were twitching and the bodyguards were flexing themselves. Clearly it was time for him to go. There was time for one last question. He had danced with some of the world’s most gorgeous women, including Princess Diana in the White House to Billy Joel’s Uptown Girl, so who had been his best dancing partner of all? And Travolta replied, tongue firmly in cheek, “Christopher Walken in Hairspray… why, because he’s a professional dancer!”
(Contributed by Meena Iyer and Prithwish Ganguly)
Peepli (Live) director Anusha Rizvi is unlikely to participate in the excitement regarding the film’s Oscar nomination. She explains why
In a day and age when a person even remotely associated with a hit film shouts from the rooftops about it, Anusha Rizvi seems remarkably unaffected and detached. The journalist-turned-director might have given a huge hit with her debut film, but would rather tour with her theatre group than be part of a marketing jamboree.
How did you get to know about the Oscar nomination for Peepli (Live)?
From the media! I heard it on NDTV. It was of course very exciting. Maybe we should’ve been informed by the government agency that decides which film goes to the Oscars.
Didn’t your producer Aamir Khan inform you?
He didn’t know! He is in London for the release of our film.
Why aren’t you in London for the release of Peepli (Live)?
Because I have not been asked to be in London. It is my film. But I live in Delhi. And I have no connection with the decisions that are taken in Mumbai.
Why have you cut yourself away from your film?
That’s partly because of the person that I am. I can’t change that. And I’m happy being that way. My work finished when I made the film that I had to make.
Of course publicity and marketing are important. And a lot more people went to see Peepli (Live) because of the way it was promoted. But what is more important to me is that a film should be seen for what it is. I think it is important for the audience to discover a film on their own.
A film should not be pushed down people’s throats. It’s important for it to create its own credibility.
Changes were made in the Peepli narrative for the London market. Are you aware of this?
Yes. Only two scenes were tampered with: one featuring a reference to Saif Ali Khan and the other to TRPs.
These were scenes that were never part of the original screenplay. Like many other scenes they were added later to increase the running time of the film for the Indian market.
Initially the interval was coming after 40 minutes of playing time.
I don’t think Peepli (Live) needed an interval. I don’t think so either. But it’s an intrinsic part of marketing our film. And I’ve no quibble with it. However I wish the film had not been pushed as a comedy, although I know that so many people would not have seen it otherwise. Let’s be honest. Peepli (Live) was not easy to market.
The film has made huge profits.
Would you be expecting a larger budget for your next film?
The content of the film and not the success or failure of the earlier film should decide the budget.
The DVD of Peepli (Live) is out soon. Are you participating in its editing?
I’ve got nothing to do with the DVD. I’m back in Delhi. I’m simply cut off from Mumbai and the film now. My husband Mahmood Farooqui and I are back to travelling with our small theatre group.
Hasn’t Peepli (Live) changed your life in any way?
Yes, to some extent. It’s become difficult to travel by train. I really miss that.
Your husband co-directed Peepli (Live). Not too many people know that.
It’s in the credits of the film. And of course he’s the co-director. He has also done all the casting. In the credits after my names comes a long list of producers. Then his name. That’s why his name is missed.
Why is his name not in the credits jointly with yours?
These are things that we had no knowledge or control over. Our main concern was to make the film we had.
What has the experience of directing Peepli (Live) taught you?
It has taught me to deal with a large number of people. It has been a huge learning curve for me. I know how to cope better with the production part of a film the next time.
You’re the first debutant director from India after Satyajit Ray to be going to the Oscars.
Yes the comparisons between my film and Pather Panchali keep surfacing. But there can be no comparison between the two. And I’m not being modest.
Are you and your husband going to Los Angeles for the Oscars?
It’s really exciting to see the film go to the Oscars. But it’s far more exciting to know that people in Patna, Gorakhpur and Barabankhi are watching and discussing it. Like I said Peepli (Live) was a film that we had to make. That it’s touched people is a very happy situation for us.
Final question. Would Aamir Khan be producing your next film?
No, he won’t.
By Taran Adarsh, September 23, 2010 – 09:07 IST
- The release date of quite a few films has been reshuffled. PAAN SINGH TOMAR, starring Irrfan Khan and directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia, which was supposed to hit the screens in October initially, has been pushed to next year. The new date is yet to be finalised.
- Which will be the first release of 2011? The Rani Mukherji – Vidya Balan starrer NO ONE KILLED JESSICA. The film is confirmed for release on 7th January, 2011.
- Aamir Khan has confirmed the month of release of DHOBI GHAT. It’s February. Reportedly, Aamir is likely to decide on the date shortly. It could be 18th or 25th.
- Several biggies are eyeing June 2011. Shah Rukh Khan’s RA.ONE, Ranbir Kapoor’s ROCKSTAR [the film is 70% complete] and Hrithik Roshan’s ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA are confirmed for release this month.