Posts tagged game
The Abhishek-Sarah Jane Dias thriller has been shot in five exotic world cities
Sharin Wader Butani | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; August 3, 2010)
It’s been their ‘game’ plan for years now and it’s never gone wrong. This time, too, Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani have made a slick film with an impressive star cast and it’s shot in five international cities. Excel Entertainment’s Game, directed by Abhinay Deo, is on the lines of the slick and thrilling Bourne Identity series. It has Abhishek Bachchan playing an entertainment mogul from Istanbul, Jimmy Shergill a Bollywood actor from Mumbai, Boman Irani a politician from Thailand, Shahana Goswami a budding crime journalist from London, Kangna Ranaut the shinning star of the International Vigilance Squad from London, and Sarah Jane Dias the main reason why all these characters cross paths.
Says Abhishek Bachchan, “The wicked, unpredictable mindset of my character in Game makes him a treasure to be with. It was exciting to be shooting across exotic locations around the globe with such an enthusiastic crew and some formidable actors.” And it wasn’t all work and no ‘game’ for the actor. Wife Aishwarya had dropped in on the sets of Greece and spent two weeks with him, cooking sumptuous meals for Abhi and the rest of the crew.
But more than anybody else, it’s debutante Sarah who is most excited. “Game is my first Bollywood film and I could not have asked for a better beginning. Working with Abhinay was a learning experience and I have no doubt that everyone who watches the film will be glued to their seats, it’s a thrilling, international ride. For me, this an opportunity of a lifetime. I think the film will be on par with any actionpacked Hollywood entertainer because of the treatment and the styling,” she said.
By Subhash K. Jha, July 10, 2010 – 11:52 IST
After three back-to-back action films – Mani Ratnam’s Raavan, Ashutosh Gowariker’s Khelenge Hum Jee Jaan Se and Abhinay Deo’s Game – Abhishek Bachchan has had enough action to last him a while. He’s all set for a complete change of pace with 3 comedies to be directed by Tarun Mansukhani, Anees Bazmee and Vipul Shah.
The decision to move away from grueling back-breaking physically exertive action for a while is a conscious one.
Abhishek has just returned from the shooting of Game in Greece and Istanbul and it’s instant replay in terms of gruelling action. The action scenes in Game were the opposite of the ones in Raavan. While Abhishek’s character in Raavan had to survive by instinct in the jungles, in Game Abhishek performed some slick technically precise stunts.
So is he deliberately phasing out his career from project to project, genre to genre? Protests Abhishek, “I’m not the calculating actor. I don’t choose the genres. Rather the genres choose me. I follow my heart.”
The challenge now is, how to make Dostana 2 funnier. Says Abhishek, “Initially I was against doing a sequel to Dostana. I couldn’t see how Tarun Mansukhani could make it funnier. How could he rise to the occasion. Tarun said, ‘Let me write the script. You’ll be the first person I’d narrate it to. If you don’t like it then I’d throw it out.’ Believe me Dostana 2 would be twice as funny as Dostana.”
Another sequel to a sequel Dhoom 3 is also about to begin. “Dhoom 3 is being scripted. Dhoom is nothing without Uday and my character. Uday Chopra and I are the film’s backbone.”
Lots of work for Abhishek. “I am impatient. I like to do a lot of work. I’m happy with the zest with which I work. If tomorrow I want to do only one film a year, I’ll do that. Right now I’m enjoying being a prolific actor. How many actors can claim to have done two films as diverse as Paa and Raavan one after another?”
Ritesh Sidhwani has a firm grip on the reins of one of Bollywood’s biggest production houses
MEENA IYER | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; June 22, 2010)
Actor-director Farhan Akhtar, the face of Excel Entertainment, and producer-partner Ritesh Sidhwani, the force behind the production house, have an enviable slate on hand. The company, in a decade since that cultclassic Dil Chahta Hai, bankrolled Farhan’s Lakshya and Don, Zoya Akhtar’s Luck By Chance, Reema Kagti’s Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd, Abhishek Kapoor’s recent National Award winner Rock On, and Vijay Lalwani’s psychological thriller Karthik Calling Karthik. And currently has on the floor Game (Abhishek Bachchan), Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (Hrithik Roshan, Katrina Kaif, Farhan Akhtar and Abhay Deol) and Don-II (Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra).
Farhan, of course, is the creative strength, but Ritesh is the unsung hero who multi-tasks. Young (in his mid 30s), energetic and affable, Ritesh can be aptly described as the nerve centre of Excel. From being on board the focus groups for scripts readings, to music sittings, casting and actually green-lighting projects, Ritesh does most things effortlessly. With math being his strong point, this astute businessman makes sure that none of their films exceed limits. His logic is simple. “Never over-spend on a project and you will definitely take home some profits. Money must be intelligently spent.’’ Happy to delegate to his line producers, Ritesh says, “Once I put a film on the road, then my role is that of a silent observer.” But everyone knows that if they need some quick troubleshooting, Ritesh’s number’s on quick dial. For Farhan and Ritesh, films are a work of passion. They own the copyright of all their films and while they believe in curtailing budgets, they also don’t compromise on quality.
Ritesh, who admires the business acumen of Hollywood honchos like Jerry Bruckheimer, Warren Beatty and Quentin Tarantino, knows that the only way you can conduct a film business is by being totally hands-on. “It is an all-consuming passion, not a 9 to 5 business, and unless you have a crazy drive for it, you can’t make it work,’’ he says. He feels Excel has paved its own little success story in the decade gone by and worked with every big Bollywood superstar including Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Hrithik Roshan, simply because as a company, they steer clear of politics. Says Ritesh, “Box office apart, we know that films are about good stories and great narratives. Four months of rock solid preparation goes into every film of ours before the principal photography actually begins.”
By Taran Adarsh, June 1, 2010 – 16:30 IST
Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar’s Excel Entertainment have announced their release line up for 2011. GAME, starring Abhishek Bachchan, Kangna Ranaut, Boman Irani, Jimmy Shergill, Gauhar Khan, Shahana Goswami and Sarah Jane Dias, is slated for a 21st January 2011 release; Zoya Akhtar’s ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA, starring Hrithik Roshan, Katrina Kaif, Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol and Kalki, is slated for an April-May 2011 release and DON 2, starring Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Boman Irani, Om Puri and Lara Dutta and directed by Farhan Akhtar, will release on 23rd December 2011.
That’s how the filming of Farhan and Ritesh’s new film is being done in Greece and Istanbul
SHARIN WADER BUTANI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; May 22, 2010)
Guess what Aishwarya Rai Bachchan did before walking the red carpet at Cannes last week? She cooked in Greece for the entire cast of Game — which included hubby Abhishek, naturally, and also Kangna Ranaut, Jimmy Shergill, Anupam Kher, Boman Irani, Shahana Goswami, Gauhar Khan and the film’s co-producers Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar.
Abhishek, who is now in Istanbul, told BT, “Whenever we had spare time, we did a little cooking for everyone.” Apart, of course, from cycling, taking walks and playing volleyball on the beach. “The tourist season hadn’t yet set in and it seemed like we had our own private island,” reported Ritesh. It’s not as if the shooting was unexciting that the cast and crew of Game had to seek entertainment elsewhere.
“We were shooting on a remote island called Samos for 12 days and we hired choppers, sea planes, speed boats and yachts,” Ritesh added. Agreed Abhishek, “Shooting in Samos was an experience in itself, especially the action sequences, as we had all modes of water transport being used.” But amidst the fun and ‘games’, there were some tough and hectic times too with port and airport strikes and protests by the Greek against their government. “But we managed to finish on time and got some stunning visuals,” said Ritesh.
The only person who missed out on all the fun in Greece was Sarah Jane Dias but now she’s more than making up for it in Istanbul. “Filming here is a dream,” said the excited former Miss India making her Bollywood debut with Game, “Istanbul is everything I was told it would be — rich in historical heritage, with breathtaking locations, it’s a great place to party and the food’s amazing.”
NIMISHA TIWARI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; April 24, 2010)
So what if it’s her first film. Former Miss India and debutant actress Sarah Jane Dias is leaving no stone unturned to seduce Abhishek Bachchan in Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar’s Game. The dusky beauty has learned realistic moves of exotic dancing from a Thailand-based choreographer in Bangkok. That’s not all, to master the art, she along with director Abhinay Deo went to almost every bar and club in Bangkok to get the feel of the nightlife there. Excited to the hilt, Sarah Jane said, “I had a blast learning this new style of dancing. I am already a trained dancer in HipHop and Jazz, so that helped me immensely in mastering the exotic swaying moves.” Her character in this film is very intense and goes through three different stages, one of which is that of an exotic dancer. “But I must confess that I was nervous in the beginning. I’ve never done anything close to exotic dancing in my real life. But the Thai choreographer complimented me saying that I’ve got rhythm in my body. So, guess I was lucky to get it just right,” said Sarah with a broad grin. The film will soon have a European outdoor schedule. And the crew will then be shooting in Samos, Greece and later in Istanbul in Turkey.
By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; March 24, 2010)
The name of the Abhishek Bachchan-starrer Crooked has been changed to Game. “Right from the start, we were clear that we didn’t want the film to be titled Crooked. The connotation was too negative. Although we were hunting for another title from the day we started shooting, nothing seemed to fit. And what did fit, wasn’t available to us. We were really getting worried,” says a source. In a fit of desperation, Farhan (who is co-producing the film with Ritesh Sidhwani) even offered Rs one lakh to anyone in the team who came up with a suitable name.
With the film being 50 per cent ready, the need to get a fix on the title had become urgent. Says Farhan, “The title Game was registered with Percept Pictures, but Shailendra Singh was extremely gracious in organising the transfer of the title to us.”