Posts tagged akshaye khanna
Normally on television reality shows the contestant gets a trophy and his tutor, a pat on the back. But Farah Khan recently redefined that.
She gave the choreographer of the winning team of Dance India Dance, Little Master Season 2, a chance to work in her film, Tees Maar Khan.
|Dharmesh||Farah with Akshay|
As one of the judges on the show, Farah was very impressed with the choreographer of the winning team, Dharmesh Yelande. At the end of the show, she promised him a chance to choreograph a song in her movie.
And guess what? Dharmesh is getting a chance to choreograph the title song Tees Maar Khan, written by Farah’s husband Shirish Kunder and sung by Sonu Nigam.
The promotional song featuring Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif and Akshaye Khanna is being shot at the Film City. Akshay Kumar plays a thief who steals cars and a helicopter in the song.
An ecstatic Dharmesh says, “I am on the top of the world. Farah madam helped me realising my dream.” And mentor Farah says, “Dharmesh is a very hard working boy. I’m happy with what he is doing with the song.”
Till a few years ago, words like ‘honour killings’ and ‘khap panchayat’ were unknown for most of the urbanites. But today, after reading the horrors of the same in newspapers, we are not only aware but also detest them. I often think how people can be so heartless that they are ready to kill their own offsprings for the sake of ‘honour of caste’? The brother, who grew up with his lovely sister, feels no remorse when murdering her; the mother feels no guilt when her son or daughter gets killed in front of her eyes…how is it possible? However, it is indeed possible and still happening in the interiors inspite of (feeble) government action and media reportings. Aakrosh, dealing partly with this issue, creates the right impact. It’s a terrific no-nonsense film that wonderfully exposes the system of merciless killings, the so-called ‘honour killing’!
The story of the movie: A lower caste guy, Dinu, and his 2 friends visit a small village, Jhanjhar, in Bihar and soon get disappeared. When their whereabouts aren’t known for 2 months, the pressure of the students in Delhi, where the missing guys belonged to, along with that of media increase considerably, forcing the government to appoint CBI officers Siddhant Chaturvedi (Akshaye Khanna) and Pratap Kumar (Ajay Devgn) to investigate the matter. Pratap was a localite and hence was well aware about the prevailing mindset. However, finding the truth becomes difficult for the duo. The local police and the corrupt police inspector Ajatshatru (Paresh Rawal) refuse to cooperate. A mysterious ‘Shool Sena’ operates in the area that has spread terror everywhere. The lower caste people also don’t open their mouths, for the fear of cops, upper caste people and Shool Sena. How Siddhant and Pratap find leads and progress in the investigation is what the rest of the film is all about.
Aakrosh might seem as a very serious fare. The film’s theme and the mood are indeed serious but it has been packaged as a fast-paced investigative thriller. And that’s why Aakrosh sustains the interest of the viewer from the first scene till the last. The film starts with the Ramlila scene depicted with utmost realism-curious audience watching with great interest, policemen stationed for protection, so-called VIPs at the place just for the sake of attending and talking and joking among themselves. The film gets better after Akshaye and Ajay get to know each other and begin the investigation. The roadblocks they face and how they get one lead after another is captivating. So much happens in the first half (75 mins) that you feel that some 2 hours have already passed by the time intermission comes. The best scene before the intermission is undoubtedly the rooftop chase sequence between Ajay and a suspect. Believe me, it’s one of the finest chase scenes of Bollywood!
The second half is shorter than the first hour but is nevertheless damn interesting. The film falls at certain places though but in no time picks up. Also there isn’t any suspense as such regarding the missing guys. In the beginning scenes itself, one will be able to guess who are the culprits. But that doesn’t pose a problem.
A film of this stature might fail if the climax is faulty. Thankfully, Aakrosh has an excellent climax where the duo finds the truth and punish the guilty tactfully. The film ends on a justified note.
Both Ajay Devgn and Akshaye Khanna deliver incredible performances. They are together for most of the scenes and it’s interesting to see them working together and also arguing. In short, they complement each other well. Ajay, who earn accolades for his act in Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai, come up with yet another fine performance. This is a must for his fans! Same goes for Akshaye and it was great to see him on screen after a long time. And the good news is, he’ll soon be seen in 2 biggies-Anees Bazmee’s No Problem and Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khan!
Bipasha Basu was excellent in the deglam role. Paresh Rawal was too good in the negative role…one of his finest performances easily! Reema Sen leaves a mark. Amita Pathak looks beautiful and does a nice job in the short role. Sameera Reddy was sizzling in the item number. There was another item song in the film, featuring Urvashi Sharma which has been chopped off. Jaideep and the actors playing Reema’s hubby, Amita’s dad, the three missing guys, Bahubali and Paresh’s senior do their job well.
Pritam‘s music was ordinary in this film which didn’t have scope for music in the first place. The only song that leaves a mark is Sameera’s item song, Issak Se Meetha. Background score is minimally used. Still many scenes create an impact. Tirru S‘ shaky cinematography creates a tremendous impact especially during action and chase scenes. Thyagarajan and R P Yadav’s action was very realistic but impressive. Some of the scenes however are too violent and gory. But it was necessary keeping in mind the film’s theme. Sabu Cyril‘s production design as usual was flawless. I especially liked the idea of using an abandoned theatre as CBI temporary office!
Robin Bhatt and Akash Khurana‘s story and screenplay was impactful. Story was well-written, inspired from real-life events. Screenplay overall was good although the interest does dip at parts. Aditya Dhar‘s dialogues were acidic and sharp. Finally Priyadarshan impresses a lot as the director. Often veteran directors fail when they switch from the genre of their expertise and try something different. However Priyan has in his vast career attempted many genres and have been more or less successful. Even Aakrosh, which is diametrically different from his recent comedies, has a topnotch direction. A great job indeed!
Some of the best scenes:
1. Ajay and Akshaye’s initial meeting
2. Ajay tells his story to Akshaye and attack in their room
3. Ajay-Akshaye at Paresh’s birthday bash
4. Ajay chases a suspect on the roofs (awesome!)
5. Amita Pathak taken by CBI
6. The lower caste settlements are attacked
7. Ajay-Akshaye get chased by Shool Sena fanatics
8. Ajay-Akshaye chase in the jungles
9. The last 20 minutes
On the whole, Aakrosh is a wonderful hard-hitting flick. It is a serious film, no doubt, but has enough doses of action and thrill to keep the interest alive and to reach a larger audience. Unfortunately, the film has opened to low collections. However, do for this one if possible. After all, its meaningful, it’s entertaining!
My rating-**** out of 5!
Ajay Devgn says there is an audience hungry for hard-hitting mainstream films as well
Meena Iyer | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; October 15, 2010)
Bollywood has made brain-dead cinema its mainstay. Every other week the Hindi cinema factory proudly produces fluff and non-chalantly passes it off as art. The director of Big Screen Entertainer’s Aakrosh, Priyadarshan, admits he too is guilty of this crime. “But I’m not necessarily proud of those films,” he admits in a vulnerable moment. So to balance the yin and the yang, this National Award winning technician has consciously dabbled in good cinema like Viraasat, Kaala Paani, Kanjeevaram and Aakrosh, a film that releases worlwide today.
The leading man of Kumar Mangat Pathak’s Aakrosh, Ajay Devgn, also manages to juggle the full blown comedies with the subtle mainstream fare. He has realised the importance of cinema that leaves a lasting impression and yet manages a good return. The twotime National Award winning actor believes that for full-blown comedy you have to have a complete and opposite Gangaajal, Apaharan, Raajneeti or Aakrosh. “These films deal with socially relevant subjects. And the audience can empathise with this genre of realistic cinema especially when they are in the racy, thriller format. The plot of these films are all borrowed from media headlines and the treatment of these films is easily identifiable because it is happening around us,” says Ajay who plays a CBI officer in Aakrosh, adding, “We should be lauding the efforts of Priyadarshan and Prakash Jha who swim against the tide and still make the tide turn in their favour. These film-makers are aware that when they attempt a Apaharan or a Aakrosh it’s a gamble. But since I acted in all the four films mentioned here, I can tell you that when this gamble pays off it is extremely gratifying. It is great to follow the beaten path but it is far more satisfying to attempt the cross genre stuff. Besides no brainers aren’t the only ones that work. The box office has a chequered history. Something like Raajneeti did huge business.”
Akshaye Khanna, who plays the parallel lead with Ajay, says, “It is very challenging to do films like Aakrosh that offer you thrills and frills and yet engage you in something meaningful. This cinema allows you to take back something to mull over.”
Bipasha Basu, the leading lady of the film, also believes that cinema of this nature should be encouraged. She says, “Light hearted films are good but artistes should always attempt to raise the bar. One can’t go through cinema like clowns. There has to be some cinema one can truly be proud of.”
By Taran Adarsh, October 15, 2010 – 08:23 IST
Shameful as it may sound, honour killings still exist in many parts of the country. The misconception is honour killings are all about the murder of a female family member by one or more family members, since the perpetrators / wrongdoers believe that the victim has brought dishonor / disrepute upon the family by having a relationship with a man of different religion or social status or marrying against the parents’ wishes or having premarital sex.
|BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM|
The fact is men are also victims of this practice, especially when it affects the reputation of a particular caste and community. Many grooms have been killed by the father or brother of the bride and this is exactly what AAKROSH attempts to highlight.
Made with right intentions, AAKROSH enlightens you on the caste system which continues to be at its rigid best, with people from the rural areas refusing to change their attitude towards marriage. Having said that, I’d like to add that AAKROSH is strikingly similar to the Hollywood film MISSISSIPPI BURNING, which, reportedly, was loosely based on the FBI investigation into the real-life murders of three civil rights workers in Mississippi in 1964.
After attempting a series of some pleasant, some forgettable laughathons, ace director Priyadarshan embarks upon a hard-hitting drama that draws one’s attention to a relevant issue in a non-compromising approach. But there’s a flipside too: This one’s a dark film. Also, a number of sequences in the narrative can make you uncomfortable [the brutal killings especially] and the spoken language, at places, is harsh, acidic and volatile.
Final word? A gripping fare.
AAKROSH revolves around a lower caste guy who, along with his two friends, goes to his hometown Jhanjhar. These three students go missing soon after. The government appoints CBI officers Siddhant [Akshaye Khanna] and Pratap [Ajay Devgn] to investigate the matter.
Investigating in Jhanjhar becomes a tough task for these officers as the local police [Paresh Rawal], with the help of local bigwigs, refuse to co-operate with the two officers. Besides, the officers cannot break the ice with the locals, due to years of fear instilled in them. The effect of their investigation causes mayhem in Jhanjhar, with the wrongdoers spreading terror and killing people in broad daylight.
There’s no denying that Priyadarshan is a creative thinker with an amazing ability to handle comedy as well as intense drama. In AAKROSH, the director succeeds in giving an effectual and authentic look, but there’s a problem: The unnecessary length, which dilutes the overall impact of the film. The first half is excessively lengthy and the second, though crisp, could’ve also done with trimming for a stronger impact.
A number of sequences hold your attention and I’d like to single out the penultimate 20 odd minutes, which leave a stunning impact. Also, the chase sequences – all of them – are executed with panache, especially the one when Ajay chases a key suspect on rooftops. But, like I pointed out earlier, a film like AAKROSH is dark and brutal and therefore, has its limitations. Also, the screenplay [Robin Bhatt, Akash Khurana] vacillates between engaging and not-too-engaging moments at times.
There’s not much scope for music in the film and even otherwise, Pritam’s score is bland. ‘Issak Se Meetha’, an item song filmed on Sameera Reddy, is strictly okay. Cinematography [Tirru S] is striking, while the sepia look gels well with the theme of the film. Dialogues [Aditya Dhar] are well-worded and powerful when required.
Ajay and Akshaye, known for intense acts, deliver bravura performances. Ajay pitches in a remarkable act, establishing himself as one of the iconic actors of the country. Akshaye is superb yet again and only someone who has complete understanding of the craft could’ve delivered such a fine performance.
Bipasha, who was seen in LAMHAA in a deglamorised role, has turned extremely sensitive and serious towards issue-based films. Though the length of her role isn’t much, she sinks her teeth in the non-glam role and delivers a really fine performance. Paresh Rawal is menacing as the uncouth cop. In fact, this is amongst Paresh’s best works. Reema Sen is excellent. Amita Pathak doesn’t have much to do. Jaideep Ahlawat is good. Pankaj Tripathi is perfect. The remaining actors enact their parts well.
On the whole, AAKROSH is not the standard Bollywood fare with the usual song-and-comedy routine. This one strikes a punch. Being an issue-based cinema, it will magnetize the thinking viewer and the intelligentsia mainly. It should find more flavor with the North Indian audience.
Ajay Devgn and Akshaye Khanna combine forces again!
Meena Iyer | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; October 6, 2010)
Ajay Devgn and Akshaye Khanna have proved to be a lethal combination in the past. Their last outing Deewangee hit the bullseye. On October 15 these two actors will share screen space in Big Screen Entertainer’s Aakrosh is an investigative thriller on honour killings.
Ajay and Akshaye share a healthy work relationship; in fact the reclusive Akshaye even confesses to being very fond of his screen partner. He says, “In Aakrosh Ajay and I are playing CBI officers sent to investigate a missing person’s case, which snowballs and becomes into a much bigger case. The film throws us into the life of a small town in India. And we get embroiled in the small town politics and its policing. We get caught in the web of issues of caste and religion. And of course we end up solving the case.”
Ajay says, “Aakrosh is done in an entertaining gripping way. it is not a boring social message kind of film. It’s an action drama.” Akshaye feels, unfortunately in our country honour killings have taken on huge proportions. “I have met activists who say that we should remove the word honur from these killings because there is no honour in this brutal reality,” says Akshaye. Both actors feel that the government statistics that say that almost 2,000 lives are lost each year to honour killings is very disturbing. Says Akshaye, “We know this is happening around us. Yet we as a collective society are so indifferent to social evils. We don’t bat an eyelid when we see beggars on the street. We do not react when we hear that 200 CRPF guys are gunned by rebels, or when a politician steals INR 2,000 crore from the country. We have become so thick-skinned, we have almost stopped reacting. We just treat everything as another headline in the newspaper… and continue with our daily lives.”
The star son feels that films like Aakrosh can create and change opinions. “Such films can be a wake-up call for a nation that is falling into a bottomless pit,” he says.
Besides making a memorable film, the two actors who shot together after nearly eight years say that they loved the time they spent on the outdoor. Says Akshaye, “I enjoyed working with Ajay on Deewangee. But this time I enjoyed working with him even more.” They laugh because during the long outdoor shoots of the film, they were stuck in a godforsaken town with no cell phones and other distractions. Ajay says, “I respect Akshaye as an actor; and I also enjoy his company.” Akshaye adds, “Well Ajay is a wonderful person and I like the personal equation we have.”
By Bollywood Hungama News Network, October 1, 2010 – 15:57 IST
Just a few weeks back, we had reported that Aakrosh was stuck in censor problems as there were approximately 30 cuts that were requested within the film. Director Priyadarshan and producer Kumar Mangat, who were livid with the imposition, approached the Revising Committee.
Aakrosh which stars Ajay Devgn, Akshaye Khanna, Bipasha Basu and Paresh Rawal in lead roles is based on the fictitious town of Jhanjhargaon in North India, which starts with the disappearance of three college students who go to watch the Ramleela staged in their village. A few days later, they are reported to have been killed. Ajay Devgn and Akshaye Khanna play the two CBI officers from Delhi sent to the village to investigate the mysterious deaths. That’s when they discover a thriving nexus between police and local politicians in caste-related murders.
The latest on this, is that the film has been granted an ‘A’ certificate with just a measly five cuts by the Revising Committee, a drastic improvement from the initially asked for 30. With this new certificate, Aakrosh is all set to release on October 15.
The Ajay Devgn-Akshaye Khanna starrer Aakrosh is out of steam all of a sudden. It turns out the film has been stuck with the censor board, which has asked for multiple cuts now.
Obviously, producer Kumar Mangat and director Priyadarshan are quite displeased and are of the opinion that the cuts are not justified. The two will soon approach the revising committee for the film.
A source close to the production house said,“Both Mangat and Priyan were not happy with the cuts. They were not ready to accept the U/A certificate and they are now approaching the revising committee. The film releases on October 8 and there is very little time left for them.”
Alpana Sharma, regional Officer of the censor board said, “The examining committee recommended some cuts and they are not ready to accept that.
There is no problem and the cuts recommended are for certain derogatory comments about the CBI, some about women and a few are references made towards people’s castes. It is up to them if they want to appeal to the revising committee.”
By Joginder Tuteja, September 16, 2010 – 12:25 IST
Believe it or Not?
Farah Khan, who has been known for taking her own sweet time to shoot for her films, has wrapped up the principal shoot of her upcoming film Tees Maar Khan in a mere 52 days. In fact only the much awaited ‘qawalli’ featuring Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif is remaining to be shot, plans for which have already been base lined.
Says Farah, “I have to give it to Akshay for making it all possible. Trust me, if not for him, it would have been impossible for me to finish the film so fast. Tees Maar Khan is quite huge in scale and is a major film by all means. Films like these take time to shoot because of so much action and songs involved. Still, it is due to fast working style of Akshay that ensured that Tees Maar Khan was finished so soon.”
Change of plan
In fact the story goes that original plan that was chalked down by Farah required at least 100 days. Past experience meant that Farah was conscious about the timeline for Tees Maar Khan as well. When she informed Akshay about her plan and asked for at least a 70 days commitment from him, he just laughed it all away.
“He asked me ki kya maine usse do movies ki shooting karwani hai”, Farah smiles, “When I told him that I take time to make my films, he assured me that it won’t be the case this time around. I was still nervous but looking at him work so fast in the first couple of days, I knew that I as well as my entire crew had to get into a super productive mode. In fact while the film was shot in 52 days, Akshay’s portions were wrapped up in 45 days itself.”
Early morning shoots
What enhanced this productivity was Akshay’s working schedule which requires a day to begin at maximum by 8 AM. Since he is a morning person, he encouraged all to begin early and get more productive. This went quite well with Farah as well since she too is a morning person and hence together, their command to the entire unit was to pull up their socks and get started sooner than later.
“On some days, Akshay used to be on the sets by 7 AM itself. I had to actually push my junior actors to be there earlier so that Akshay didn’t have to wait. Everything moved ahead in super speed which saved a lot of time for all of us. Also, Shirish (Kunder) has written the film so well that a bound script came in handy to execute everything as per the plans. This way of working has totally spoilt me”, acknowledges Farah.
Earlier films took longer shooting time
She does acknowledge the fact that her earlier films took time.
“In case of Main Hoon Naa, the film was bound to take time as it was my first film”, she continues, “On the other hand if you remember then Om Shanti Om had a lot of cameos. Sometimes even if we worked with a particular star for just a couple of hours, it would be registered as an entire day of shoot since we didn’t shoot with anyone else. For example, the cameo by Akshay himself was shot in mere two and a half hours. Still, since we hadn’t planned to shoot with anyone else that day, the entire day was logged in the overall schedule.”
The Money factor
While Farah is (rightly) not quite in the mood to revisit the past and ponder over the time that her earlier films took, the super-efficient manner in which Tees Maar Khan has wrapped up means that some real cost saving has been an added benefit.
Says a senior member from the film’s production team, “Every single day of shoot means lakhs being spent on getting the set in place, hiring equipment, paying crew members who work as daily hires and other expenses. Plus there is cost of money as well. Leave aside the fact that Farah has taken some time to shoot her earlier films; any average biggie does take 70-80 days at least to be shot. Still, a wrap in 52 days is commendable. With the pending ‘qawalli’ requiring not more than 5-6 days more of the actual shoot, Tees Maar Khan will easily fold up under 60 days. That’s some real good money saved.”
Bonus time folks
Farah has the final word here. “The film is titled Tees Maar Khan and with Akshay being so time conscious, I had a resolve with my entire unit that we had to can at least ‘tees shots’ (30 shots) in a single day of shoot. Everyone, including my cameraman, knew the film shot by shot when we entered the sets. I had promised my crew that if the film’s shoot would be completed under 60 days, there would be a bonus for them. Guess we managed to crack it all eventually and it’s time for me to get it all arranged. Nothing would have been possible if not for my lead actor’s energy here.”
Also, starring Akshaye Khanna, Tees Maar Khan is expected to close the year on it’s biggest high once it releases all over on the Christmas weekend of 24th December.