Posts tagged critical acclaim
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
Ajay, Emraan, Prachi and Kangna have set the box office on fire
TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; August 3, 2010)
Ekta Kapoor’s gang has a reason to smile. Her Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai starring Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, Prachi Desai and Kangna Ranaut, has received widespread critical acclaim along with a bumper opening and is all set for a long run at the box office. Director Milan Luthria’s overwhelmed. “To get both critical acclaim and box office collections is a filmmaker’s dream. I’m glad I stuck to my guns and made the film I wanted,” he said.
Film critic Nikhat Kazmi believes the film, that has got a four-star rating, “might just take your breath away with its iridescence and engaging quality”.
Trade analysts too feel it will fetch wonderful returns at the box office. “It’s an outstanding cinematic experience,” said Taran Adarsh, while Komal Nahta predicted that “the film is a sureshot winner.” They are not the only ones to give a thumbs-up to OUATIM. Some of the top-notch directors like Madhur Bhandarkar, Priyadarshan, Mahesh Bhatt, Rohit Shetty and Ashwini Dhir have been more than lavish with their praises for this gangster film.
OUATIM is not just a rewind to the golden 70s era but it is also a rewind to the time of housefulls, impactful dialogues, superhit music, incessant clapping, enthusiastic whistling, lathi-charges for controlling manic fans and everything else that made for the perfect movie experience!
With the strong word-of-mouth and an equally strong opening, the film is bound to get the cash registers ticking for Balaji Motion Pictures!
- By Taran Adarsh, July 9, 2010 – 21:43 IST
The Friday witnessed two Hindi releases, MILENGE MILENGE and RED ALERT – THE WAR WITHIN, and both didn’t really open to the expected response. While MILENGE MILENGE was generally dull at plexes, but was slightly better at some single screens, RED ALERT, despite appreciation and critial acclaim, opened to a poor response. However, the Tom Cruise starrer KNIGHT & DAY fetched a much better opening than the two Hindi films, which didn’t come as a surprise since Tom Cruise is extremely popular in India.
Saif Ali Khan, who won acclaim after playing Langda Tyagi in Omkara, is teaming up again with Vishal Bhardwaj
|Saif Ali Khan|
After playing one of his most challenging roles as the lame Langda Tyagi in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Omkara, Saif Ali Khan is once again set to work with the filmmaker. Saif’s role as Langda Tyagi had won him critical acclaim and several awards.
A source said, “Saif and Vishal have been planning to work together for sometime now. It was the success of Omkara and Saif’s performance in the film, which actually made everyone, including his detractors, sit up and take notice of Saif’s acting prowess.
Both Vishal and Saif had promised that they would work together in another film however things did not materialise immediately. Saif and Vishal eventually got busy with other projects.”
Commenting on Vishal’s untitled film, the source adds, “Vishal and Saif met recently to decide the details of their next film. The film will start early next year and Vishal and Saif have already started working on a script idea.
Meanwhile, Saif is busy with Agent Vinod, which goes on the floors this week, and Vishal is busy with the Priyanka Chopra starrer Saat Khoon Maaf.”
Saif Ali Khan confirms and says, “Yes, we are planning a film sometime next year. But it is too early to say anything more right now.”
From thrillers, romance, comedy to animation films, UTV has something for all in 2010-11
SHARIN WADER BUTANI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; April 11, 2010)
This is the year of not just sports lovers, but also film buffs. And UTV Motion Pictures has a rocking entertainment plan for 2010-11, starting with Prakash Jha’s Raajneeti based on characters from the Mahabharata. Jha, whose film releases on June 4, says, “They have an understanding team grooved into creative man management, scripting and everything else.” Even Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions and Aamir Khan’s Aamir Khan Productions have signed up. “We are excited about I Hate Luv Storys starring Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor that’s releasing on July 2,” says Karan, “Their vision, infrastructure and passion for movies makes them flag bearers for many exciting cinematic possibilities.” While Aamir, who has two co-productions with them in Peepli Live and Delhi Belly, adds, “I have had a long and happy association with UTV in different capacities. It is wonderful to work with them once again.”
The acclaimed Vishal Bhardwaj, who’s also reunites with the production house in Saat Khoon Maaf, admits, “They have the vision to produce films like Dev. D, Kaminey, A Wednesday, Mumbai Meri Jaan and are willing to take a chance on interesting subjects.” Even John Owen is grateful to Ronnie Screwvala and his amazing team of Vikas Bahl and Manish Hariprasad for believing in his project Peter Gaya Kaam Se. UTV has something for kids too. Chillar Party is the work of debutant directors Nitesh Tiwari and Vikas Bahl. Then there’s Paan Singh Tomar — the true story of an athlete who turns into a dacoit. “I think they are a visionary production house. They even funded my research for this film,” says director Tigmanshu Dhulia. Besides the biopic there are two animation films in the pipeline: Arnab Chaudhari’s Arjun: The Warrior Prince, an action-filled mythological saga; and, Soumitra Ranade’s Alibaba Aur 41 Chor which has dialogue by John Abraham and Priyanka Chopra. Ronnie and Sanjay Leela Bhansali also collaborate with Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in that most anticipated film of the year, Guzaarish. Then there’s No One Killed Jessica, starring Rani Mukerji and Vidya Balan. “This is my second film with them. They are one of the best producers in terms of marketing, promotion, distribution, publicity of a film,” says director Rajkumar Gupta. Farah Khan joins the bandwagon with her Christmas release Tees Maar Khan, starring Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif. Then there’s also Deven Khote’s comedy Phillum City starring John Abraham. Akshay Kumar will once again be seen in Thank You, directed by Anees Bazmee. “Unlike other corporates who put in the money and forget about the project, UTV is involved in the entire process,” says Anees. His film also stars Bobby Deol, Irrfan Khan, Suniel Shetty, Sonam Kapoor, Rimi Sen and Celina Jaitly.
Commenting on the bullish slate, Siddharth Roy Kapur, CEO, UTV Motion Pictures, says, “We have produced some cult and trendsetting films in the past decade and are delighted to be associated with some of the best names to deliver movies that entertain viewers of all ages. We are confident our content will enjoy commercial success and critical acclaim. Hats off to the cast and crew of all our productions, and to our brilliant team that put such a wonderful slate together.”
DEEPALI DHINGRA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; March 11, 2010)
Probably the most difficult thing for Aanaahad, the lead actor of Warner Bros and Sai Om Film’s Lahore, was to become a non-vegetarian! “I play a kickboxer in the film,” says the 25-year-old newcomer, “The requirement of the role was that I look fit, flexible and lean.” So the actor spent six months in China to train in Wu Shu, a form of martial arts. “Ab China mein main kahaan vegetarian food dhoondta. So I started with fish and graduated to other stuff,” he smiles.
The film has taken three years of Aanaahad’s life, but the actor couldn’t be more grateful. “I was in college in Delhi when I realised my calling was acting. I came to Mumbai and started assisting a director. Here I met director Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan who narrated the script of Lahore to me,” says Aanaahad. And the rest is, well not history, but it certainly opened up a whole new world for the actor. Along with learning martial arts for a period of almost two years, Aanaahad got a chance to work with veteran actors like Farooque Shaikh, Nirmal Pandey, Sushant Singh, Sabyasachi Chakraborty and Saurabh Shukla. “From Farooque sir, I learnt that if you want to be successful, you should do your work with complete honesty,” says the actor.
The honesty certainly seems to have shone through. The film has garnered critical acclaim in film festivals across the country and Aanaahad has won himself Best Actor awards at two of them. “When you work with such powerhouses of talent, your performance gets enhanced. That’s what got me these awards,” he says modestly. And yes, he is glad he made his debut with a film like Lahore that’s all set to release on March 19th. “The film chose me, I didn’t,” he adds with a smile.
Katrina Kaif, Kareena Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra may be ruling Bollywood today, but it is Kareena who has toppled the other two by being the highest paid actress. She has been signed for a whopping Rs 7 crore by Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd for their next, Golmaal 3, directed by Rohit Shetty.
A source says, “Kareena hasn’t given any hit last year except 3 Idiots and has raised many eyebrows for being signed for the exorbitant amount. While Bollywood actors are slashing their prices to cope with the recession, it is surprising how much the industry is paying the actresses. Even A-list actors are not being offered such a huge amount.”
It is learnt that Kareena will be the only heroine in the film as she has made it very clear that she does not want to work in multi-heroine projects.
And why not? After the success of Jab We Met and the critical acclaim she received, Kareena’s career graph rose. Reportedly she was paid Rs 2.5 crore for Kambakkht Ishq and little more for Golmaal 2. The source continues, “After Golmaal 2 proved to be a hit, director Rohit Shetty only wanted Kareena in the film and convinced the producers to sign her. Moreover, the Kapoor lass has never been a part of sequels, so to make her sign this film, she was offered and signed for a huge amount.”
Kareena is the only female lead along with the five actors – Ajay Devgan, Sharman Joshi, Tusshar Kapoor, Arshad Warsi and Shreyas Talpade. She won’t be playing the love interest of any of the actors.
Kareena’s manager says, “The fees are too personal to comment on.” However, a source close to Kareena confirms, “She has been signed for Rs 7 crore and this is the first time a Bollywood actress has been paid such an exorbitant amount.” More power to you, Kareena.
The publicist of Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision is dismissive. He says, “Kareena Kapoor has already been signed and we have definitely not paid her Rs 7 crore for Golmaal 3.”
By Joginder Tuteja, January 13, 2010 – 16:14 IST
After nominations for SCREEN awards were announced Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra was seen blasting SCREEN for largely ignoring Delhi 6 from the nominations that have been announced, it is Madhur Bhandarkar’s turn. Reason? His Jail has been truly and completely ignored. While it can be argued that nominations were based on popularity quotient of the films and the artists involved, Bhandarkar is holding a grudge.
While Jail hasn’t fetched him any nominations, Madhur is even more shocked with the exclusion of Neil Nitin Mukesh from the list created for ‘Best Actor’. The ones who have made the cut are Aamir Khan (3 Idiots), Amitabh Bachchan (Paa), Ranbir Kapoor (2 nominations for Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani and Rocket Singh Salesman Of The Year), Saif Ali Khan (Love Aaj Kal) and Shahid Kapur (Kaminey).
Says a source close to Bhandarkar, “He is just not able to digest that Neil’s performance in Jail has been ignored. Ok, so the film didn’t do too well at the box office but at the end of the day it wins critical acclaim. It’s really surprising and only leads one to look at the nominations list more carefully.”
It could well be a trend in the making for Madhur Bhandarkar as far as SCREEN nominations are concerned. Last year too when nominations were announced for the ‘Best of the Best in 2008′, Fashion wasn’t nominated for Best Film, Best Music or Best Director. However, Priyanka Chopra and Kangna did see nominations coming their way while there were a few other categories as well where Fashion did make a cut.
“See, Madhur is not taking things personally because of him being ignored in the nominations. He is sport and mature enough to understand that. However, he doesn’t buy the point around popularity quotient being the deciding factor. After all actors, from certain films which didn’t work at the box office have also been nominated”, questions the source, “Also, let the fact be known that from recovery standpoint, Jail was a breakeven preposition for the makers.”
Madhur Bhandarkar, who has recently returned from Kashmir after a family holiday, has ever since then been severely disappointed with the state of affairs. Though he was unwilling to comment on exclusion of Jail in general, he didn’t mince words when it came to Neil Nitin Mukesh.
“It’s a known fact that almost all critics, quite a few prominent members from the film fraternity as well as audiences who saw the film had hailed Neil’s performance. Really, if performance was the only criteria for an actor to be nominated, then Neil should have made it to the list and so should have Manoj Bajpai for Best Supporting Actor. These exclusions only lead me to speculate about what happens behind closed doors when it comes to awards”, comments Madhur.
Bollywood tends to have this fixation with certain character artistes and they tend to get recast in similar roles endlessly. The doting, loud and aggressive Punjabi mother which has been played oh-so-well by Kirron Kher has been accepted and applauded by Indian audiences. She has gone on to become a favourite in films like Hum Tum, Rang de Basanti, Om Shanti Om, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna and in Dostana.
Fans have loved the spirited, loud, over-the-top at times, yet ever-affectionate and loving mother played by Kirron Kher. We have actually come to a point when we can only think of her when it comes to the Bollywood Punjabi mother.
However, Kirron is not very happy with this. “I’m really fed up of the Punjabi mother roles I have been playing,” says this National Award winning actress who would love to do something more, something different.
Her screen sons have included the likes of Saif Ali Khan, Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, and even a Sunny Deol. Ask her who among them is her favourite son and she promptly replies, “I do not have any favourites. Everyone is a professional, and they are all good colleagues. I have even played mother to actors who are just a few years younger to me, but then that is how the Hindi film industry works.”
While she may reserve her comments on playing ‘mommy’ to heroes in her age group, Kirron does have her wish list of heroes that she would like to play mom to. “I don’t mind playing to mom to the younger lot. Like Ranbir, whom I’ve seen as a child,” she says.
Kirron’s favourite roles have been the ones she played in Bariwali and Khamosh Paani – which won National and International awards, and received critical acclaim across the world. But she has her favourites in popular cinema too. “My role in Devdas and Rang De Basanti are amongst my favourites in commercial cinema,” says the gifted actress.
Her son Sikandar’s career has still to take off as he’s yet to get a hit to his credit. But his talented parents are making sure to leave no stone unturned to make sure he makes a niche for himself in the industry. “We (Anupam and I) are planning to produce a film with him in the lead,” she shares.
She’s also excited about a film she’s doing with Homi Adjania (who directed Being Cyrus). Her eyes sparkle when she gushes, “I have high hopes from the film. I have always wanted to do films laced with black humour.No one has offered something like this to me before.”
Her other forthcoming releases include much-talked-about films like Kurbaan with Dharma Productions and Action Replay with Vipul Shah.
MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; August 26, 2009)
And, while she is killing herself over reactions to her next film What’s Your Rashee? — where she essays 12 diversely unique parts, she is seriously worried about the impact of it all on her health.
“I have said this earlier,’’ says the actress, “it’s the same OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) at work. I’ve been warned by my parents (both doctors) and well-wishers not to let work take its toll on me. And, though I wish to pay heed to their advice, I can’t stop myself from getting excessively involved with the work I take on. Honestly, I drive myself to a point of no return when it comes to any part that I undertake in a film. I’m just so involved that it starts to hurt. And I don’t realise I’m bleeding till such time as I’m on a set because I don’t stop to look.’’
The actress has forcibly been ordered a hiatus from the studios by her parents. And, when she returns, she hopes to once again start promoting her WYR? and Pyaar Impossible with gusto.
With some girls — there is absolutely no such thing as a ‘take-it-easy-policy.’ Hai na, PC?