Posts tagged emotion
By Joginder Tuteja, October 19, 2010 – 15:32 IST
Ever since the announcement of Action Replayy, there have been speculations galore around whether the film was inspired from Hollywood science fictions. Quite a few names were being thrown around and the most amusing piece that came out a few months back was around Akshay Kumar playing Brad Pitt (who went through reverse ageing) from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
“I couldn’t stop laughing when this theory came out”, Vipul looks back in amusement here, “I was quiet for all these months because the film was still being made and anything being said wouldn’t have accounted for much. However, quite a few murmurs have died their natural death ever since the film’s theatrical promo came out. Now that the songs are on air too, everyone knows that Action Replayy is as Bollywood as it can get.”
Well, one can see that as the focus here is on getting the retro look right for the film rather than it being projected as a science fiction, something which was last tried in Love Story 2050.
“My belief is that if you focus on the element of science fiction, you end up sacrificing on emotions. I am a person who would rather focus on emotions than get overtly technical in the story telling”, says Vipul who could well be right here if his dramatic fares like Waqt, Namastey London and London Dreams are any indication.
On being quizzed on the time travel aspect in Action Replayy and how much of that has been explored in the film, Vipul says, “Time travel is just the means of getting the two worlds – that of past and present – together. There is nothing else to that.”
When he could have attempted a tale in the future, what made him to go back in the past?
“First and foremost, the core story of the film is about a boy trying to make his parents fall in love in the past. So it was inevitable that we go back in time”, reasons Vipul, “Moreover, if you look at it, our emotions and relationships were far purer, better and more important in the years gone by. Life was more colourful and celebratory during the 70s. I wanted to bring on those elements. This is why I selected that world which was full of fun, romance and brightness. Now that the film is seeing a Diwali release, it only compliments the look and its flavour.”
Well, let the celebrations begin!
By Neville Bode, October 18, 2010 – 15:43 IST
With the enormous success of the South Indian blockbuster, Robot (Endhiran) has already made a benchmark in the evolution process of filmmaking in India. The Rajinikanth – Aishwarya starrer directed by S.Shankar, got rave reviews for its uniqueness in action and visual effects. With a budget of over a hundred and fifty crores, 25 % of the funds were allotted in executing the commendable work done in VFX that helped in the narration of the film.
The film revolves around Dr. Vaseegaran played by Rajinikanth who invents a High-end robot named Chitti, a mirror of his own image. The scientific body, AIRD, declines the approval of the robot stating that it does not have emotions and the ability to make rational judgment. An unexpected flash of lightning induces emotions in the robot, and Chitti is geared up for its integration into the human world. Chitti then falls in love with Dr. Vaseegaran’ fiancée Sana played by Aishwarya Rai and goes against his creator.
The film has already spread its wings across the globe with raking in massive box-office collections. V. Srinivas Mohan, the VFX supervisor of this film and CEO of the VFX studio – Indian Artists, utilized the innovative skin grafting technology that got laudable appreciation from critics for Sivaji. Shankar got him on board for his latest endeavor Endhiran. He has also worked with the director in Aparichit and Boys hence it was certain that the director would need the VFX extraordinaire in executing the science-fiction film. Along with him Frankie Chung of Kinomotive studios and Eddy Wong of Menfond Electronics & Arts, both from Hong Kong, also worked as additional VFX supervisors for their respective sequences.
Robot boasts of a mammoth 2000 visual effects shots in 40 scenes. The bulk of the VFX work was undertaken in Srinivas’ Indian Artists Computer Graphics Pvt. Ltd., Kinomotive Studios, Menfond Electronics & Arts, Pixion, Vensat, Firefly Creative Studios Hyderabad, EFX Prasad Studios, Oyster and Ocher studios also assisted in executing some of the VFX and post production work for the film.
Apart from the studios that were on board in this project, talented freelancers from London, Iran, Germany, France and Hong Kong were required for their expertise.
In this exclusive two part case study, BollywoodHungama gets to the bottom of the making and visual effects process that made this monumental film and Rajinikanth shine like steel.
Shankar the director called up Srinivas in the winter of 2007 and narrated the entire story to him for over four hours. Amazed and excited about the project since nothing of this nature was undertaken by any filmmaker in India before. The conceptualization and ideation was done entirely by the director. Following the preparations of the script, Srinivas explained to the director that pre-production and planning was needed to execute his ideas before production of the film began.
When Srinivas, the VFX supervisor, understood the script, a test was carried out to get a glimpse of the scene with visual effects. The director and Srinivas chose the train sequence for the test. With the shot divisions regarding the different camera angles in place during pre-production, an animator Sanath P.C. from Hyderabad was roped in to enhance the pre-visualization process.
Maya, an academy award winning software was used to create a digital set based on the script. Layouts of the train and characters were made using the software, although the team didn’t finalize any locations during the test, they used actual physical proportions of a real train. Once the director approved of the layouts, basic actions of the scene were carried out.
Srinivas along with the director and the director of photography blocked the camera angles for the scene using the software. Each shot had 2 to 3 versions of camera angles made to get a better view of the sequence. With the digital shots in place, temporary clips better known as ‘playblasts’ were extracted from the software to view the shots they made in real time. With these clips in hand, Anthony – the editor, was required to line up these clips according to the scene. This gave the team some room in improvising the shots that were made. Utilizing this method, the team planned out 40 crucial visual effects scenes of the film.
After the test
Shankar did the shot division of the script which he handed over to the supervisor for pre-visualization. With the pre-visualization sorted out, Srinivas who headed the visual effects team did the entire VFX breakdown of the film. With this the team had more clarity in terms of execution and knowledge of the different layers that consisted of live action, CGI and animatronics. Based on the breakdown, Srinivas started hunting for appropriate artists and talent they needed for the film.
Director of Photography
The D.O.P, R.Rathnavelu was instrumental in the pre-production stage; he helped Srinivas and the director in blocking the different camera angles that were required. This clarified what was needed in all the different layers involved in the shots. With his tremendous knowledge in visual effects, Rathnavelu pointed out the constraints in executing the shots in terms of lighting and other technicalities.
The opening shot of the film
The opening shot of the film where-in the robot gets assembled and the credits of the film are rolling weren’t decided in the script initially. Instead of the animation sequence seen in the film, the makers had initially thought of using live action for the introduction sequence. This didn’t go well for an opening shot. With this in mind, Srinivas consulted the director and suggested using an animation of the robot getting assembled in the scene.
He points out that this was a last minute decision which worked in their favor. Pre-visualization and implementation of the animation was done in a week. Pixion in Chennai did the opening credits and animation for the opening scene.
Animatronics is mostly used in filmmaking and other avenues of entertainment. It is basically electronic puppetry that simulates real life in front of a camera. This technology is used in a large number of films in the west. Srinivas insisted in using this unique innovation for Robot based on the visual effects break down that was made for the film.
He approached Legacy Effects formerly known as Stan Winston Studios in LA, to assist in the making of the film. The American studio worked in movies like Terminator: Salvation, Avatar, Alice In Wonderland etc. Srinivas points out that they utilized electronic puppetry in place of the actor for its realism. The scene where Rajinikanth places the eye on the robot was all executed by Legacy Effects. They also assisted in special make up that was required for Rajinikanth.
(Stay tuned for part two of Rajinikanth Amalgamation into Chitti)
Buzz is that Bhansali’s magnum opus had too many English dialogues. These have been changed to Hindi to increase the film’s mass appeal
As Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Guzaarish nears release, the Hrithik-Ash starrer is going through some last-minute changes to give it more mass appeal.
The film, which has been set in the Portuguese pockets of Goa, had a lot of English dialogue, which have now been dubbed in Hindi.
The film, which had many crucial scenes in English, will now be seen with 95 percent Hindi dialogue to avoid any risk of losing patronage.
Our source said, “The film is based in Goa, in a part where the inhabitants are Portuguese, so it was bound to be in English. However now that the film is shot and done with, the producers of the film, UTV as well as Bhansali, felt that the film needed more Hindi dialogue to appeal to wider audiences.
The initial thought was that the film will only appeal to the gentry, but they realised that it does strike an emotional chord with one and all. They do not want to limit the prospects of the film by having more English as Hrithik’s last film Kites bore the brunt of having too much of a foreign tongue.
However, in this case, there is Sanjay Leela Bhansali and the combination of Hrithik and Aishwarya Rai, so why not go all out and target all sections? Keeping all these aspects in mind, most of the English portions were changed to Hindi.
Now the film is 95 per cent in Hindi. The film is based on the concept of euthanasia (mercy killing) and these were shot in English. However, now the producers feel that these scenes need to be made in Hindi. At the end of the day, it is the emotions in the film which count.”
The source added, “Bhansali is confident about the film and in the past too his film Black, which had a lot of English dialogue, was a blockbuster. So, he wanted to go by his conviction even with Guzaarish. But since everyone said that some vital scenes have to be in Hindi, he agreed to this.”
Conversely, when contacted, CEO of UTV Motion Pictures, Siddharth Roy Kapoor, denied the story. He said, “That’s not true. It’s a Hindi film made for audiences in India and for South Asians overseas. There is no separate dub at all.” The official spokesperson of Sanjay Leela Bhansali also said, “The film was always in Hindi and shot in sync sound, so there is no question of making any changes.” Theek hai, point noted.
|A still from Guzaarish|
By Taran Adarsh, October 8, 2010 – 08:29 IST
The highpoint of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s movies was the simplicity with which he narrated the story of ordinary people. Soaked in humour with an undercurrent of emotions, the films made by Hrishi-da are fresh to this date, inspiring the present-day film-makers as well. DO DOONI CHAAR, directed by debutant Habib Faisal, could easily pass off as a Hrishikesh Mukherjee film. A simple plot involving simpletons and straight out of life situations makes this one an extremely watchable experience. The casting of Rishi and Neetu Kapoor in pivotal parts is, without doubt, the icing on the cake.
|BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM
Come to think of it, DO DOONI CHAAR is a complete contrast to what’s being made these days. It’s far from glossy, the setting is a middle class house in a tiny colony of Delhi, the characters are far from classy, the problems are very, very real and yes, there’s a message towards the final moments of the film. But it’s these factors that make DO DOONI CHAAR a notch above the commonplace. Most importantly, this film has soul, which most films lack these days.
Final word? The life of the ordinary is presented most extra-ordinarily here. DO DOONI CHAAR is a little gem that should not be missed!
Life can be tough for a man who teaches at a school for a living, lives in a tiny flat in Delhi and is coping with the double digit inflation rates and single digit increments in his salary. Add to that, a teenage daughter, a fast-track son and a wife who loves the good life. The life of the Duggals is passing by in simply taking care of the basics. Until one day, they decide to dream.
Their ticket to dreaming comes in the form of a wedding invitation. What follows is a journey of chaos, realizations, calculations, confrontations and bonding. This crazy Duggals will fight it out at home [and the neighborhood] for what they think is a ‘good buy’ for the family: a four-wheeler.
DO DOONI CHAAR works for a number of reasons, the prime reason being its tight and interesting script which abounds in real-life situations that have been presented with utmost conviction. Desperately wanting to possess a four-wheeler, the story unfolds beautifully and the characters, each of them, only enhance the impact. Even the individual stories of the two kids are wonderfully presented.
Any hiccups? No really, but the pre-climax tends to get unbelievable when the free for all takes place in a fast food joint and the chase that ensues. However, the conclusion carries a strong message, which registers a strong impact.
Habib Faisal is a director to watch. His writing is the highpoint and his handling of the subject is top notch. He has executed the light moments as well as subtle emotions amazingly well. The songs are smartly placed in the narrative, with the title track topping the list.
Rishi Kapoor is the lifeline of the film, he delivers a sparkling performance. The veteran has delivered incredible performances in the past and his work in DO DOONI CHAAR is at par with those terrific portrayals. Neetu Kapoor is admirable. A complete natural, she adds so much to a scene, which otherwise would’ve fallen flat had a lesser actor been cast in that role. More than anything else, it’s an experience watching this real-life jodi together after a hiatus. The two kids – Archit and Aditi – are excellent in their respective roles. Akhilendra Mishra is first-rate. Supriya Shukla is fantastic.
On the whole, DO DOONI CHAAR is a delight to watch. Just don’t miss this one!
In the wake of Rajni’s blockbuster, King Khan called for a day-long meeting with the RA.One team, deciding to make it the first-ever interactive gaming flick
The spectacular success of Rajnikanth’s Robot has made Shah Rukh Khan and his team of RA.One sit up and become doubly alert about their pet project.
An SOS meeting was summoned at Mannat on Sunday. Those present at the meeting included director Anubhav Sinha, sound recordist Resul Pookutty and producer Shah Rukh.
After viewing the rushes, a number of vital strategic ideas were devised, following a heated debate, after which everyone let their hair down at a Bandra bar. The most startling resolution during the day-long meeting was to convert RA.One into a full-fledged gaming movie. Sound designer Resul Pookutty says, “The challenge with RA.One is to create a balance between the two distinctly different worlds of gaming and movies.
We met at Shah Rukh’s home on Sunday and watched the film. And yes, we’ve come up with a number of strategies to make RA.One different from all other super-hero films.”
Says a source, “The climax of the film will actually allow audiences to play the RA.One game in theatres as they watch the film. This kind of participative cinema has never been done before in any part of the world.” We can’t wait to push the right buttons.
It has also been decided that a super-hero film without the drama and emotions won’t appeal to Indian audiences. Says the source, “Shah Rukh feels Robot worked so well because it combines special effects with emotions and drama. In RA.One he wants the spectacle and the emotions in equal measures.” Shah Rukh has invited Martin Walsh, the editor of Rob Marshal’s musical feature film Chicago, to edit RA.One. Says the source, “The choice was between the editor of Avatar and Chicago. Shah Rukh has chosen the latter because he feels Chicago is closer to the pulse of a Bollywood drama than Avatar.”
RA.One is 80 per cent complete. The remaining 20 per cent would be completed only when Shah Rukh is sure that James Cameron’s Avatar and not Shankar’s Robot is given a run for its money. Beep, beep. Game Over.
|A still from RA.One|
BOMBAY TIMES ARTICLE:
Bollywood hotties Imran and Kat drop their defences!
Meena Iyer | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; October 2, 2010)
The Imran Khan-Katrina Kaif association has a Mills & Boon quality about it. It started with indifference and now these two Bollywood hotties share a good working relationship.
The first beneficiary is filmmaker Aditya Chopra who has signed this striking looking couple for his high-energy, romantic comedy Mere Brother Ki Dulhan. Earlier Imran and Katrina were signed on for 7 Days in Paris, which got shelved. The actors rediscovered each other on the sets of MBKD. Says Imran, “We were like total strangers before this film started. And we barely had any time to get acquainted. At the very start of the schedule Katrina and I shot for some key scenes with a lot of dialogue and emotions. And I must tell you Katrina is becoming a pro with her Hindi dialogue. This film is set in Delhi, Chandigarh, and Himachal. And Kat has managed to get even the local flavour of the Hindi spoken in the heartland of India. She managed a two page dialogue with ease…’’
Imran also feels that in MBKD, Kat has an author-backed role and will walk away with the accolades. “I have always enjoyed working with people who are out to prove a point,’’ says the light-eyed actor. “That way all of us end up giving our best.’’ On a lighter note, he adds, “Kat has lost a good amount of weight and I have grown up from a bachcha to a young man. So I guess we will not only make a good looking couple, we may also come out as a good performing screen pair.’’
Kat on her part laughs and says, “What does Imran mean when he says that I have lost weight? Was I fat before I started this film?” But good-natured barbs aside, Kat and Imran are getting along truly well. Adds Katrina, “Imran is a very simple person. He is absolutely straight-forward and focussed on his work. And I like working with people for whom everything except their work is secondary.’’
BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM ARTICLE:
By Bollywood Hungama News Network, October 2, 2010 – 13:08 IST
Yash Raj Films next project starring Imran Khan, Katrina Kaif and Ali Zafar in lead roles is titled, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan. The film is written and directed by debutant Ali Abbas Zafar and produced by Aditya Chopra. Shooting started last week and the movie is scheduled for a mid-2011 release.
Mere Brother Ki Dulhan is a musical romantic comedy set amongst upper middle class families in North India. A topsy-turvy story which takes you on a fun-filled ride of humour and romance, where Imran falls in love with his brother’s dulhan!
The director, Ali Abbas Zafar, has been with the Yash Raj banner for many years and has assisted on films such as Badmaash Company, New York, Tashan and Jhoom Barabar Jhoom.
Watch this space for more details!
By Taran Adarsh, October 1, 2010 – 10:12 IST
One, it’s difficult to conceptualize and execute a film like ROBOT.
Two, when Rajnikant’s name comes in the credits, one cannot hear anything for the next two minutes. His name is greeted with a thunderous applause, whistles yells and cheers. Such is the charisma of this superstar. Rajnikant is the Boss. The real Badshaah.
ROBOT, directed by Shankar, is a Rajnikant Express that transports you to a world you can’t envision. Rajnikant’s feats are legendary by now. In ROBOT, he goes a step further. The Robot in ROBOT not only follows orders of his creator, but also cooks, fights, romances and wonder of wonders, has a lengthy conversation with a mosquito and scan loads of books/magazines and an entire telephone directory in a second. Yes, you read it right!
|BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM
That’s not all, this Robot is Superman + Spiderman + Terminator + Godzilla, all rolled into one. There’s more to this Robot. It can replicate itself, wage a vicious battle, turn into an Anaconda or a monster ball and wipe off an entire army. Whew! Known for larger than life canvas, ROBOT is Shankar’s most expensive and if I may say so, his most imaginative film thus far. And who better than Rajnikant for the pivotal role!
Final word? A Rajnikant film is an event and this combo’s [Shankar - Rajnikant] new outing ROBOT is sure to strike like Tsunami. Let me make it short-n-sweet. If you miss ROBOT, it’s YOUR loss!
Location: Chennai 2010. Mission: Creating a robot Chitti. Purpose: To help the society. Development time: 10 years. Special Features: A human who is not born, but is created. He can dance, sing, fight, is water and fire resistant. He can do all that a human can and more. He feeds on electricity. He takes instructions literally. Where a human can lie to save himself, this robot cannot lie.
Where he has a razor sharp memory and can memorize an entire telephone directory by just running through the pages, he cannot understand human emotions. Dr. Vasi upgrades Chitti’s processor and simulates human emotions without realizing the repercussions. Chitti gets transformed. He can now feel and the first feeling that he discovers is Love. Will this love come in the way of Dr. Vasi’s purpose of creating Chitti? Will Dr. Vasi’s own creation destroy him?
A title like ROBOT automatically puts tremendous responsibility and pressure on the director’s shoulders. And ROBOT is not merely a display of VFX, but it also has soul, a story to tell. At first, ROBOT comes across as a clash between the virtuous [Rajnikant] and wicked [Danny Denzongpa]. But ROBOT changes gears in its post-interval portions as the focus shifts to the creator [Rajnikant] and his creation [Rajnikant].
It’s a Rajnikant film and it would be incomplete if his loyal fans don’t get to watch his stylish actions and feats. Thankfully, ROBOT showcases it all. He can glide on the railway tracks, run horizontally on a moving train, transform into an Anaconda, can swallow helicopters and even fire at people with his fingers, without using a pistol. These are truly clap-trap moments!
Even otherwise, the screenplay is really well penned and absorbing. While the film is a super ride from start to end, it’s the penultimate 25 minutes that leaves you awe-struck and speechless. You can’t imagine a Hindi film having such an out of the world climax. There will be pandemonium inside theatres when the climax unfolds, I am sure. Let me confess, it’s the mother of all climaxes!
Only thing, Shankar could’ve controlled the length of the film. It could’ve been shorter by at least 10 to 15 minutes, which includes doing away with a song or two. Of course, like all Shankar movies, the songs are filmed most imaginatively on exotic locales, but what’s the point of having songs if they act as speed breakers?
That Shankar ranks amongst India’s best directors is well known by now and ROBOT only cements the fact. His vision and execution of the difficult subject deserves the highest praise, in fact distinction marks. He not only dreams big, but the outcome is incredible too. A.R. Rahman’s music doesn’t compliment the content of the film, but like I pointed out earlier, every song has been filmed exquisitely. The action and chase sequences are outstanding [Yuen Woo Ping, action choreographer in the MATRIX and KILL BILL sequels, was the stunt coordinator]. Visual effects are spectacular [Stan Winston Studio, the studio behind JURASSIC PARK, PREDATOR, TERMINATOR, IRON MAN, AVATAR, provided the animatronics technology]. Cinematography captures the grand production values with precision. The locations of Austria, Machu Picchu in Peru, U.S.A. and Brazil only enhance the visual appeal of the film. The sets are mind-blowing. Dubbing is near-perfect.
ROBOT is a Rajnikant show from start to end. And no other actor, not from Bollywood at least, would be able to do what he does with such amazing ease. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan looks stunning and acts most convincingly. Danny Denzongpa is efficient, as always. The remaining actors enact their parts well.
On the whole, ROBOT is a crowd-pleasing and hugely mass appealing tale of android revolution with a thrilling plot, rich and imaginative screenplay, super action, astounding effects and most importantly, Rajnikant, who is the soul of the film. It’s the Big Daddy of all entertainers. Miss it at your own risk!
Dharmendra talks about battling booze, making movies and getting fitter
• In your forthcoming film Yat Yamala Pagla Deewana you are working with your sons Sunny and Bobby for the second time after Apne. How is working with family?
With family, there are no ego clashes, no negativity. It always gives you an extra boost, which shows in the final output. After Apne, we were flooded with offers from filmmakers who wanted to cast the three of us. But we were waiting for a good script.
Yamala Pagla Deewana is a comedy, but the backbone is the emotion. Sunny and Bobby play my sons. I play a thug who has separated from my wife (played by Nafisa Joseph) and take Bobby with me. Let’s keep the rest of the story under wraps (smiles).
• You are working with your daughter Esha too in Tell Me O Khuda…
With daughters, you see, I am still a man from the village. Let’s not go there. All said and done, we live for the happiness of our children, don’t we? I felt very tense when I saw her doing so many action scenes. She was hanging from the wing of a plane. I was waiting in my vanity van and I called her. Her phone was off. I called up the director. She was hauled up and assured me that she was fine. When I wasn’t convinced, she said that she has my Jat blood and I should stop worrying about her.
• Does Hema Malini worry about her?
You rarely get such a brave and strong mother like her.
• And how is she as a director? Now that Mayur Puri, the director of Tell Me O Khuda, is out she is directing you…
On the sets, I only think of her as a director. The same applies to all my directors, even if they are my friends. Hema is a capable director. She knows what she is doing.
• Does your family come to you when they have issues?
(Smiles) No. They don’t want to give me any pain, I guess.
• Recently, you told Ramesh Sippy on national television that he should make a sequel of Sholay with Bobby and Abhishek in lead roles…
I was toying with the idea of a sequel. But it will never happen. It’s too late, 35 years have elapsed.
• But what do you envisage in the sequel?
I was thinking that Amitabh should be a soul who is still attached to Jaya. I return to the house where Jaya lives, but she informs me that the village now has more brutal dacoits than Gabbar Singh. I recruit Bobby and Abhishek to wipe them out. And then Jaya tells Amitabh’s soul that Bobby is his new Veeru, but he too is a boozard (laughs). Actually, I am writing a film script.
• Film script?
Yes, with Bobby in the lead. The film will be called Portable Lover. The protagonist is an emotional person who gets into various relationships. Many girls come into his life and go away. I will also play a role.
• You’ve completed 50 years in Bollywood. What are the high points of your career?
In terms of movies, I would say the highs have been Phool Aur Pathar, Sholay, Chupke Chupke, Anupama and Bandini. In terms of adulation, I think I am blessed. I am born to love and to get love. I want to trace even one person who doesn’t like me. I had wanted to attain heights and never retire. But frankly, I hadn’t expected that I’ll last 50 years in Bollywood.
• What is your day like?
On most days, I get up by 6 am. I get on the exercycle machine for an hour. I gradually raise my heart rate to 100 per minute. Then I feel on top of the world.
• Have you stopped drinking?
Yes. That’s why I am kicking again. I mistreated alcohol. Sharab mujhse gussa ho gayi, usne mujhse kaha ki tumhe mujhe peena nahin aaya. Chahte toh, zindagi bhar pee sakte.
• When did you realise that you should stop drinking?
The realization dawned often. But I’d go back to drinking again. Lekin ab, bilkul nahin, bahut ho gaya. It’s been six months now. I am enjoying working out. I am enjoying my food; I eat cereals in cold milk in the morning, just one chapati and bhaji for lunch and a soup in the evening. No food after 7 pm. I am enjoying my newfound fitness.
• There were reports that you had a heart scare…
No. I was just hurt and was admitted for a check-up.
• Is Sunny Sound Studios being redeveloped?
Yeah. The plan is to make a building there.
• Do you watch films in a theatre?
No. That excitement is gone, woh zamaana kuch aur tha, first day first show, ghanti bajti thi, news reel, those samosas in the interval. If a child cried, the audience would get irritated. Today, it seems people come to theatres to recline in comfortable seats, have popcorn and drink colas.
• What do you think of today’s films?
I think films are still good. Only they have become shorter. They don’t take time to explain the characters and the situations. But then, the world is in a hurry, isn’t it?
• What else is happening in your life?
I am writing my autobiography. I also want to put my life on celluloid by making a short film.
Karan Johar lays out red carpet for great big television family
Meena Iyer | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; August 30, 2010)
Some of his peers may think that the saas-bahu soap operas that dominate Indian homes every evening are low-brow. But Karan Johar begs to differ. The master filmmaker has organised a special screening of his Kajol-Kareena Kapoor-Arjun Rampal flick We Are Family, that is releasing worldwide on September 2, for the best known saas’ (mothers-in-law) and the cattiest bahus (daughters-in-law) of the television fraternity.
And Karan is very clear about his motives for this exercise. Says he, “Television is the one medium that has in the recent past managed to tap the ‘family’ genre very effectively. For over a decade, the saas-bahu serials on prime time television have had the nation hooked. I have seen my own mother drop everything to watch her favourite family sagas. And, when Siddharth P Malhotra and I decided to make We Are Family, a film that revolves around a very unusual family situation, we decided that we should get the members from the most watched saas-bahu serials and hear what they think about our film. I also feel that the synergy between the big Indian television fraternity and the Indian film family can put things in the right perspective for us.’’
Karan adds, “Everyone knows that WAF is adapted from the 1998-Hollywood film Step-Mom. But WAF is more than just an adaptation. We have ‘Indianised’ the script to suit our palate; and I’m very sure that the film will resonate with Indians across the globe.’’ Looking back on family films in India, Karan recalls how this genre dominated the 90s and found huge success. His own banner Dharma Productions produced super-hit family entertainers like Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham; and while family values and sentiments have been at the core of many of his productions, WAF he feels, will supersede most other films when it comes to dealing with family emotions. “The family is at the centre of everything we do. Our angst, emotions, sense of responsibility — all of it comes from our deep-rooted desire to be part of a family. As a country, we are dominated by the joint family system and therefore, there is a deep resonance for anything connected to this subject. My own take as far as this genre goes is that you can never go wrong with family films, if you don’t manipulate and just hit the right emotional connect.’’
By Joginder Tuteja, August 11, 2010 – 12:32 IST
Ten years back, with a title like We Are Family, one would have expected the kind of soundtrack which is associated with Sooraj Barjatya films or closer home, even Karan Johar’s own venture like Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. ‘Pooja ki thaali’, a mother waiting for her son, 100 odd background dancers, antaakshari, dumb charades – all of this and more would have been the order of the day. Not anymore though with films going through a complete makeover in the decade gone by. This is the reason why you expect some modern songs that belong to today’s generation in We Are Family. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy pairing up with Irshad Kamil (who has extensively written with Pritam) is another reason to look forward to what the music has to offer.
|BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM
It’s a good start for We Are Family with Rahat Fateh Ali staring from the credit details in the very first song. Now that’s a reason good enough to rejoice because the least you expect is a quality outing with purity written over it. This is exactly that one gets with ‘Aankhon Mein Neendein‘ turning out to be a sweet-n-melodious track. Shreya Ghoshal and Shankar Mahadevan give Rahat Fateh Ali Khan good company to ensure that this romantic number passes by seamlessly. Ok, so this may not be the most memorable chartbuster that 2010 would end up with but it doesn’t harm one either. And yes, thankfully there is no ‘remix’ here.
On the contrary a song that doesn’t come with any ‘remix’, is basically an official adaptation of a Western hit and still doesn’t work is ‘Dil Khol Ke Let’s Rock‘. Agreed that the song was meant to be a parody but it still turns out to be a complete no-no. Meant to be a fun affair with the lead actors trying to form their own Hindi version of ‘Jailhouse Rock‘, this song only ends up distracting a listener and makes one worry about what’s next in store. Written by guest lyricist Anvita Dutt Guptan, this attempt at rock – even with hot blood singers like Anushka Manchanda, Suraj Jagan and Akriti Kakkar – deserves a quick skip.
Thankfully, We Are Family gets some redemption for itself with ‘Reham O Karam‘. Reminding of ‘Noor-E-Khuda‘ (My Name Is Khan) in the way it is presented, ‘Reham O Karam‘ starts off as a slow track and makes one wonder if it is an unplugged take that is being offered. However, the momentum picks up 70 seconds into the song and it turns out to be an enjoyable soft rock. Of course one does wonder how a track like this will fit into the film’s narrative because of the distinctive genres. Still, coming together of Vishal Dadlani and Shankar Mahadevan behind the mike brings in a certain class to the proceedings.
It’s a soft beginning for ‘Hamesha & Forever‘, a quintessential family number, which finally makes an appearance in We Are Family. Of course it is presented in a new age avtar and has a definite Western mood to it. It is always a delight to listen to Sonu Nigam and he does well again with his soft vocals once again. He is given company by Shreya Ghoshal in ‘Hamesha & Forever‘ which is not designed as a chartbuster but more in the mood of the kind of background score that runs in Western family flicks. A situational track.
The same theme continues for ‘Sun Le Dua Yeh Aasman‘ which has Bela Shende going solo. An even slower follow up to ‘Hamesha & Forever‘, this one is seemingly designed as a track which would get emotions oozing on screen in a trademark Karan Johar manner. Finally, the album ends with a three minute theme piece ‘We Are Family – Theme‘ which basically follows the mood that has been set in the preceding two tracks.
Music of We Are Family isn’t designed to turn into a mega commercial success. While half the album basically comprises of theme tracks, the sole intended chartbuster (Dil Khol Ke Let’s Rock) doesn’t work. The only number which has the potential to cover some good distance is ‘Aankhon Mein Neendein‘ with ‘Reham O Karam‘ carrying potential to work with a niche audience. The album (basically the situational songs) has its chances of growing further but only once the film is a success.
‘Aankhon Mein Neendein’, ‘Reham O Karam’