Posts tagged gangster
Dressed in a wispy Stella McCartney dress, relaxed at home surrounded by family and dog, Kangna Ranaut basks in the success of her latest film. With her legs folded under her, she looks like a little girl but comes to life and is all-woman when our photographer enters the room. That’s typically her, an actress who can change mood and look in seconds as she talks about her life and where she sees it going.
• Could you ever submit yourself and your career totally to one man the way your character did in Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai?
Gosh no, the thought is scary. Thank God we don’t live in those times when we could be told that if we did or didn’t do something we would be shot. I am very happy to be living in the times I do when things are cool and we can date whoever we want to without fear of repercussions. I am in Mumbai because here I have freedom. If I have to be told what to do I would rather live in Manali, with its social pressures.
• So much of freedom and you aren’t even dating?
Trust me I am exercising my freedom but because I am surrounded only by married guys, I don’t get a chance to go on dates. Freedom is not about walking into a club and saying hey, I’m single. I always say that I am late by 10 years in the industry because all our best heroes, directors and producers who I deal with daily are married and have children. Unfortunately, I never meet any businessman, investment banker or engineer, and even if I do all they want is an autograph.
• This seems to make you sad…
Yeah, it is sad at times. I am young and all my friends are dating or getting married but I have been exceptionally unlucky with love. None of my relationships have really worked.
A lot of my friends have been in love for 10 years and are now getting married. But I didn’t meet any guy in school; I grew up and just randomly dated. That’s why I say I have been exceptionally unlucky. Today, I am totally open to somebody match-making for me.
• What have your characters taught you about yourself?
It is weird that whatever I have learnt about myself, my life or other people, it has been through my work. I am not well educated. And though I read a lot even more than that I observe people, see their expressions and emotions and every script and every story tells me so much about life and people. During Gangster itself I realised that I am exceptionally talented. So now I don’t underestimate myself.
The other thing I have learnt about myself is that there are many sides to me. I can be extremely aggressive and I can be extremely tender. And because I have been subjected to the most difficult circumstances at a very young age, I tend to behave like a man most of the time. When I meet a man I act so much like him that I evoke more competition than desire in him. But when I emote romance, a very soft and feminine side to me emerges.
• And from being a part of the film industry…
There is one thing about the film industry that hurts me very much. And that is that the industry on the whole is very partial to its own people. I know that if Gangster had flopped, then, despite my performance, I would have never been given another chance. But I am God’s favoured child so no one can do anything about it. I have a success percentage of 99 per cent which sometimes surprises me too.
Actors who belong to the industry are given chance upon chance till they make it, which is ok, but when there is an exceptional talent, the industry should be kinder to them. It should not be all about babalog and babylog.
There is no doubt that our work is given not only less appreciation but also less respect. Otherwise why would I have been jobless for a year between Life in A Metro and Fashion?
• You were not offered any roles?
I was offered roles but they were all B-grade or C-grade films. Today people are very kind but I remember a time when they would do everything to keep me out of the big league.
• And are you being selective now?
No. I don’t want to only have two films a year. I am in the process of experimentation. I will keep doing comedy, thriller, dancing singing roles, intense characters and romantic love stories so that by the middle of 2012 or so I will know my forte. I am probably the actress working on the maximum films. I have seven releases coming up and am working on five films. If I have signed 15 films, you can figure that I must have been offered at least 25.
• What are your securities and insecurities at this point?
My biggest security is my talent, my passion, my enthusiasm. My inspiration comes from within and I totally ignore people who are negative. When I am low and my father tries to be supportive and says, “You don’t need to do this. Why are you crying and feeling bad? Don’t forget we have a beautiful house, we can go back to it” I am like, “Can you please go from here?” Whenever I am upset my inspiration comes from within. My spirit is all I have.
Like any other person I feel extremely insecure, sometimes. Today I am on my way to doing things that will take me to my goal, the things that will make me happy and feel complete.
But my biggest fear is that what if I get there and then don’t get that feeling? What if I feel this is not what I should have done. Is this the meaning that everyone is looking for in life? That really scares me.
By Taran Adarsh, July 26, 2010 – 13:29 IST
The fascination with gangster movies has been immense worldwide. On this side of the Atlantic, several gangster films have left giant footprints on the sands of time. Films like DEEWAAR [Yash Chopra], DHARMATMA [Feroz Khan], NAYAKAN [Mani Ratnam], ANGAAR [Shashilal Nair], PARINDA [Vidhu Vinod Chopra], AGNEEPATH [Mukul Anand], SATYA and COMPANY [Ramgopal Varma], VAASTAV [Mahesh Manjrekar], GANGSTER [Anurag Basu], D [Vishram Sawant] and SHOOTOUT AT LOKHANDWALA [Apoorva Lakhia] have tremendous recall value to this day.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI recreates an era that so many of us have left behind and for those who arrived on this planet post 80s, I am sure, they must have visited the era through some medium or the other, mainly movies and internet or during their academic careers.
|BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI is not part of history, but it attempts to portray on celluloid tales that are now considered legendary, that continue to make news to this date. Of course, the disclaimer claims that it bears no resemblance to a particular person, but you can’t help but draw parallels with real-life characters. It could be a coincidence, though!
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI is a fascinating story that talks of how the mafia came into force for the first time in Mumbai. A thriller that depicts the crime scenario in Mumbai during the 70s and 80s. The rise to power of two young boys, in different age-groups, who grew up to ‘rule’ the streets of Mumbai.
Since there’s tremendous speculation in the media that ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI chronicles the lives of Haji Mastan and Dawood Ibrahim, the curiosity to watch the film increases manifold. Of course, I am no one to comment if it’s actually based on their lives or merely borrows a few incidents from their lives or is pure fiction, but as a cinematic experience, I couldn’t help getting transported to the bygone era, getting sucked into a world I had no clue of.
Besides the gangster chapter, one enjoys this film also because of its riveting drama and the power play. It could’ve been set anywhere, in the corporate world, in politics, in the film industry. Anywhere. The rise and subsequent fall of the King and the emergence of the Prince as the super power is what makes this film a compelling watch. The icing on the cake is the magical and lilting song compositions that are juxtaposed so beautifully in the goings-on. On the sidelines of the power play, a game of hearts is being played and that’s what makes ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI a wholesome movie experience.
Final word? ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI is not to be missed. Set everything aside this coming weekend and watch this one. Strongly recommended!
The film, set primarily in 1970s Mumbai, follows the rise of Sultan Mirza [Ajay Devgn] and the conflict that ensues, when his protégé Shoaib Khan [Emraan Hashmi] challenges his supremacy and usurps power to rule the murky underbelly of Mumbai.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI is a power-packed drama that makes you thirst for more. You rewind to an era of romance, smuggling, cabaret and mafia, but director Milan Luthria and writer Rajat Aroraa ensure that there’s no sleaze or bloodshed-n-gore. In fact, there’s hardly any violent sequence in the movie, except for one when Ajay hammers a cop during a naaka-bandi.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI is not a biopic, but narrates the story through the eyes of a police officer [Randeep Hooda], who traces the changing face of the Mumbai underworld. The screenplay encompasses several moments that may compel you to draw parallels with real life, but talking strictly from the movie-going point of view, it satiates you completely. In fact, the writing is cohesive, smart and watertight and there’s never a dull moment. Besides, there’s no time to think whether it’s factual or loosely based on someone’s life or a work of fiction.
As I look back and recall the movie, a number of sequences flash across my mind. Note the sequence when Ajay divides the city amongst gangsters… The train sequence at the very start… The introduction of Emraan Hashmi’s character… Randeep Hooda’s landing on a film set and confiscating the equipment… The subsequent sequence, when Randeep is framed for accepting bribe… The romantic moments between Emraan and Prachi in the jewellery shop… Emraan starting his business and the confrontation that ensues between Ajay and Randeep… The showdown between Ajay and Emraan, with Ajay slapping Emraan in full public view… The conclusion to the story is equally novel. It stays in your memory and sets you thinking.
On the flipside, the story begins with Randeep attempting suicide, but the writer should’ve cited the reason that prompted him to take that drastic step. Sure, there’s a mention at the start, but it doesn’t register well. Also, you are keen to know the chain of events that drove Randeep to suicide. Also, the pace slackens in the middle of the second hour, but picks up dramatically when Ajay returns from Delhi and confronts Emraan. Besides, how I wish the film had a shorter, mass appealing Hindi title to attract more eyeballs and a big jump in footfalls [at single screens and smaller centres mainly] for a mass appealing subject like this.
This is director Milan Luthria’s best work to date, no two opinions on that. Recreating the bygone era is tough and the director, the writer and the art director [Nitin Chandrakant Desai] deserve brownie points for giving the film that authentic feel. In fact, the film wears a chic retro look throughout. Even otherwise, Milan’s handling of the subject material is exemplary. This film is sure to catapult him to the top league. Rajat Aroraa’s screenplay is powerful and engaging. The writer marries heavy-duty drama and subtle and delicate emotions beautifully. I would like to make a special note of the dialogue, also penned by Rajat Aroraa, which are simply fantastic. In fact, the dialogue writing is such it elevates even an ordinary sequence to great levels. One rarely comes across such potent dialogue in today’s times.
Pritam’s music is another ace. Injecting songs and that too a terrific soundtrack in a gangster film is tough. He did it in GANGSTER. He does it again in ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI. ‘Pee Loon’, ‘Tum Jo Aaye’ and the remix of APNA DESH track are super compositions, which are also placed appropriately in the plotline. Cinematography [Aseem Mishra] captures the look to perfection. Akiv Ali’s editing is sharp.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI is embellished with fantastic performances. Ajay Devgn is splendid as Sultan. The actor had enacted a similar role in COMPANY, but it must be said that his interpretation is so different in ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI. He adds so much depth to the character, which only goes to prove his range and versatility. This is, without a trace of doubt, Ajay’s finest work so far. Emraan Hashmi is brilliant as the power greedy, wildly ambitious rebel. He plays the dark character to perfection. He’s incredible in the penultimate moments of the film in particular. Besides carrying the look to perfection, Emraan is sure to break-free from the lover boy, serial kisser image with this film.
Kangna Ranaut is extremely natural and performs very well. Also, she brings so much of sensuality and glamour to her character [an actress of the 70s]. In fact, Ajay and Kangna make a wonderful on-screen pair. Prachi Desai is a bundle of talent who proves her mettle yet again. She’s proficient in emotional scenes and sizzles in the BOBBY song-sequence. Besides, the chemistry between Emraan and Prachi is exciting. Randeep Hooda is top notch. Even though the film belongs to Ajay and Emraan, Randeep makes his presence felt with a powerful performance. This film should prove to be the turning point in his career.
Avtar Gill [as Home Minister] is good. Naved Aslam [as Patrick, Ajay's trusted lieutenant] is perfect. Mehul Bhojak [as Emraan's friend Javed] is competent. Ravi Khanwilkar [as Vardhan] is satisfactory. Gauhar Khan sizzles in the remix track.
On the whole, ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI is an extremely well-made film that lingers in your memory. The realism coupled with stellar direction, power-packed writing, exceptional performances and ear-pleasing tunes are its trump cards. An outstanding cinematic experience!
The actress will star opposite Khan in his maiden production, to be directed by Mahesh Manjrekar
For Kangna Ranaut, year 2010 is proving to be rather experimental. After being oddly paired with Ajay Devgn in Ekta Kapoor’s Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai, Kangna has now been paired with none other than Salman Khan.
According to sources, Salman Khan has cast Kangna Ranaut in his first maiden production. The film will be directed by Mahesh Manjrekar and will have Salman playing the lead. It’s surprising that instead of casting Katrina Kaif or perhaps her look-alike Zarine Khan, Salman has chosen Kangna.
|Salman Khan||Kangna Ranaut|
From her days at Vishesh Films (Gangster, Woh Lamhe), Kangna has indeed come a long way. A few days ago, as we reported, she signed the Sanjay Dutt production Rascals. Her latest catch, Salman Khan’s untitled production, is definitely a big accomplishment.
Talking about Salman casting Kangna, the source said, “Salman and Manjrekar wanted someone who could emote very strongly and look glamorous too.” Her 12 different hairdos in Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai, should take care of the glamour part.
When contacted, Mahesh Manjrekar confirmed that he is working on a film, which will be produced by Salman. “The film will have a lot of elements. It will be a hard-hitting film with its fair share of comedy,” he said.
The film is a remake of his recent Marathi film, Shikshanacha Aaicha Gho.
Hesitant about divulging more details on the film, Manjrekar clarified that the project is at a very nascent stage right now. He said, “It is too early to talk about it since we are still working out a few details. The picture will be clear in the next five days.”
Salman and Kangna remained unavailable for comment.
Is Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai about him or not? Read this life-sketch of the legendary smuggler and check for yourself
For Bollywood scriptwriters who tend to seek inspiration from the underworld, Haji Mastan would be hard to resist. Movies like Deewar and Mukkadar Ka Sikandar were loosely based on the life of this smuggler.
As Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai is all set to release next week – with a disclaimer as directed by court - we put together the stories from the life behind the legend.
Contrary to his eulogised figure in movies, Mastan was no dreaded don or gangster. He had never killed a man or shot a bullet in his entire life. He was merely a smuggler with money and connections. What turned him into our Don Corleone was his penchant for exhibition - of power in Robin Hood style and of luxury in the company of the glamour world.
|Haji Mastan with Sona, a starlet he fancied, financed movies for and later married|
Haji Mastan was born Mastan Haider Mirza on March 1, 1926 in Panaikulam village near Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu.
His father, an impoverished farmer, migrated to Mumbai with Mastan in 1934. They ran a small cycle-repair shop near Crawford Market that barely fed the family.
As Mastan toiled through the day at the shop, Mumbai’s cruel wealth whizzed past him in luxury cars and beamed through the posters of art-deco film theatres. No wonder, he started nursing fantasies of breaking out of his circumstances.
In 1944, Mastan joined the Bombay docks as a porter - a job that turned his life on its head. Unloading cargo that came from Aden, Dubai, Hong Kong and other cities, amiable Mastan, developed good relationships with much of the staff and officers, and most importantly, regular travellers.
Because of heavy taxes on electronic goods, gold and silver, there was room for smuggling. This is where Mastan came in.
Retired ACP Isaque Bagwan, who saw the rise and fall of Haji Mastan, recalls, “People who came back from Haj brought electronic items like transistors and watches. Some of them even brought gold biscuits. Mastan helped them smuggle these items out of the port by hiding them in his clothes, headband or underwear. He was well rewarded.”
Mastan’s adopted son Sunder Shekhar, 54, shares a dramatic story of how his father earned the trust of the hajis and regular travellers. “A man was trying to smuggle gold biscuits with the help of my father.
|In the ’80s, Mastan had formed the Dalit Muslim Suraksha Mahasangh with Dalit leader Jogendra Kawade|
While my father managed to sneak out with the biscuits, the man was caught. After three years of imprisonment, when he came out, my father returned him all the gold. That man never did business with anyone but my father after that.”
The big game, however, started when Mastan came in contact with Daman’s fisherman-turned-smuggler Sukur Narayan Bakhia in the mid ’50s. Both became partners and smuggled gold and electronic items from Dubai and Aden.
By mid ’60s, Mastan had become rich and powerful, thanks to underworld friends like Karim Lala and Varadrajan Mudaliar and politicians who hobnobbed with him because of his influence over Mumbai’s Muslim voters. “Sanjay Gandhi never missed the opportunity to visit daddy, when he came to Mumbai,” says Sunder.
|Mastan with underworld don Karim Lala. Both were good friends|
Mastan was almost out of bounds for the law. However, there was one Customs officer who gave him a tough time. When Mastan could not buy his integrity, he got him transferred.
When the officer was leaving the city in a flight, a gloating Mastan went to the airport, climbed the flight ladder and waved the officer goodbye. “That was the clout and confidence that Mastan had in the ’70s,” says former DGP T Singarvel, who was in Mumbai at that time.
He adds, “Even when he was arrested in 1974, the two officers who arrested him gave him king’s treatment at a night halt in Kolhapur, with Mastan dressed in impeccable whites enjoying bowls of dry fruits. His arrest itself came after then union minister of state for finance sat on a dharna in Delhi.”
Since mid ’60s Baitul Surur, Mastan’s palatial bungalow on Warden Road in South Mumbai also saw a constant stream of stars.
“During ’70s, daddy had excellent relationship with Dharmendra, Firoz Khan, Raj Kapoor, Sanjeev Kumar and Dilip Kumar. Salim and Amitabh often visited him while Deewar was in the pipeline,” says Sunder.
|All his life, Mastan lived in a 15×10 feet room on the terrace of his plush bungalow on Warden Road||Mastan when he was young|
Mastan married a starlet called Sona and financed a few films for her. However, neither Sona’s career as an actress nor his as a filmmaker took off. “His films either bombed or never saw the light of day,” says Sunder.
With these indulgences, Mastan was also trying to shake off his past -poverty and infamy. “He wore designer suits, ties and his hair was neatly combed back. He had a Mercedes Benz, plush with TV and radio, and puffed 555 cigarettes. If someone spoke to him in English, he would just keep saying: ‘Yeah, yeah’,” says Sunder.
The 18-month incarceration during Emergency, however, took the wind out of Mastan’s sails. He became increasingly scared of the law. Surrendering to Janata Party leader Jayaprakash Narayan, he quit smuggling. He went on a haj and started prefixing his name with Haji, which means ‘devout Muslim’.
While he held janata darbars in his heydey, in the late ‘70s, he went on a social work overdrive. “He doled out money to the needy or solved their problems through his influence. There used to be a queue in front of the bungalow every day for food,” says Sunder.
|Mastan with his son Sunder and actor Sunil Dutt|
In early ’80s, he made political forays by teaming up with Dalit leader Jogendra Kawade and formed the Dalit Muslim Suraksha Mahasangh, which was as unsuccessful as his films.
Before his death due to cardiac arrest in 1994, Mastan had started spending more and more time with his family, which he had ignored before. “Once he took me to our native place by train. He sat by the window like a child looking at hills and rivulets and animatedly calling our attention,” says daughter Shamshad.
Despite all his efforts, people didn’t accept him either as a filmmaker or as a politician. People liked him as the smuggler who played godfather. Mastan struggled to shake off this image, which Bollywood has since lapped up.
By Joginder Tuteja, July 16, 2010 – 11:24 IST
There is no denying the fact that Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai has fast turned out to be one of the most awaited films of the season. Credit it to the Ajay Devgn factor as he seems to be walking in straight from the days of Company, the charm of Emraan Hashmi who seems to be on a role reversal of sorts after Gangster, the music by Pritam which has everything going right for it, the Bobby nostalgia that has been created by Prachi or the mystery called Kangna Ranaut which seems to follow her film after film.
Kangna Ranaut – a mystery, something that led to names like Madhubala and Meena Kumari being thrown around as the reference points for the role of an actress that she plays in this Milan Luthria directed film. Still, there was no concrete information coming in from any quarters. Now that the film is just a few days away from release, a couple of shocking truths have been revealed.
First and foremost, it has been declared that Kangna’s character is indeed based on an actual heroine from the 70s. Secondly, the actress in picture is neither Madhubala nor Meena Kumari but a small time actress whose name was Sona. A girl who had actually acted in a couple of Bollywood films in the 70s, Sona was also the love of Haji Mastan on whom Ajay Devgn’s role in the film is based. Since Kangna plays the female lead opposite him, it was obvious that the reference point was Sona.
“Well, I have been told that Haji Mastan was in love with this girl called Sona”, Kangna says in a hush-hush tone, “She was a Madhubala look-alike and a struggler during the 70s. When the two came together, they became romantically involved. He even went on to make a movie for her.”
A quick Google search assures that Kangna’s claims were indeed true. Sona did actually work in a couple of films though the one which was notable was Raj Khosla’s Kuchche Dhaage where she had Vinod Khanna, Moushumi Chatterjee and Kabir Bedi for company. Incidentally, another striking factor about this casting and the film was that Moushumi’s screen name here was, as you guessed it right, Sona.
Cut to 2010 and there are obvious similarities in Kangna’s characterisation. As Rehana – an actress, she plays the love interest of Sultan (played by Ajay Devgn) who is a don in the Mumbai of 70s. “Rehana is basically a cross between Madhubala and Sona. She is really desired and is madly loved by Sultan”, confirms Kangna.
Unlike Sona though, Kangna gets the perks of playing a superstar instead of a struggler in the film. “Ajay’s character feels connected to her because he knows her only through the big screen. Once the two fall in love, Rehana becomes really vulnerable. You can say that while Ajay is the positive force of the film, Emraan is the negative force and I am the romantic force.”
Of course Kangna, we would like to believe that!
By Shaheen Parkar (MID-DAY; June 2, 2010)
Here’s a look at Kangana Ranaut in Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai.
The actress, who is known to reinvent herself for her roles, combines sensuality with drama for her styling for this set-in-seventies flick directed by Milan Luthria and produced by Ekta Kapoor.
“There is a lot of her in the character,” says Luthria. “She lends herself because she has a great body which does not look vulgar and her face is chameleon-like – she can change into different looks everyday!”
Kangana plays a Bollywood diva called Rehana who is bohemian in character. Sparks fly when she meets a gangster Sultan (Ajay Devgn). Their relationship is a turning point in the film’s plot.
“As it was the time of flower power and when women were getting liberated and live-in relationships came out in the open, her styling reflects all these aspects,” adds Luthria.
Her costumes have been designed by Manoshi Nath and Rushi Sharma.
The actress also did a lot of homework for the role. “We not only looked at actresses of the ’70s here but also the trends that were prevailing in the West at that time. But Kangana arrived at the office with a spiral bound book of her research for the movie. She had prepared a detailed account of the style, hairdos and accessories scene-by-scene which was also incorporated for her look.”
Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai releases on July 30.
If it weren’t for a failed exam, Kangna Ranaut wouldn’t be breaking a million hearts; she’d be medically treating them
If only, the Himachali belle’s first film was called Doctor, not Gangster, it would have been oddly autobiographical, for in real life the actress wished to practise medicine. An out-and-out geek, Kangna was a student of Science in thick glasses, swamped with laws of physics and happily so. Not even remotely interested in a sport or an extra curricular activity, she would mostly be seen lost in her books.
“I was brought up being told that medicine was a noble choice of career, that I should grow up and be a doctor so I could treat the poor for free. I believed in that, wholeheartedly because that’s how kids in those days were trained to ‘be good and do good’” says Kangna. And luck too was on her side as she aced all her exams in school. Until she failed one Chemistry unit test in 12th standard. “I was made to stand outside my class and that’s where I started thinking differently.”
Though Kangna sailed through her Higher Secondary final exams with an easy 85 percent, her scientific bent of mind wavered. “I had switched off. Unlike earlier, my name was nowhere in the toppers’ list this time. I prepared for the pre-medical MBBS exam, filled up the form and never appeared for the test,” says Kangna. As for academics, this was the end of the road for her. “I’m not even a graduate; almost an illiterate actually,” she quips.
|Pic: Yogen Shah|
Kangna’s analytical mind was simultaneously veering towards the arts, especially poetry. In a Hindi medium school then, she would often borrow books on Harivanshrai Bachchan’s and Munshi Premchand’s poetry and would wonder why her classmates couldn’t understand or appreciate them. “Honestly, I didn’t even try reading any English authors at the time, I was drawn to Hindi literature. Luckily, my rich friends in the hostel wouldn’t think twice before parting with these books,” smiles Kangna.
Her shift to Delhi at this point thus happened at a crucial crossroad. An enthusiast of the arts now, she found her calling in theatre, which eventually landed her in Bollywood.
Pursuit of happiness
The ride wasn’t easy at all though, Kangna declares, who had started her journey at the nubile age of 16. And convincing her parents was a tough hurdle to cross. “You see, mountain people are mostly content leading simple lives,” admits Kangna, “Despite their lack of exposure to what’s happening in the rest of the world. So convincing my parents to let me go away for a year was difficult, more so, because I myself didn’t know where I was headed. I was too young. I would pick up bad words, habits so easily.”
But Kangna dived into her newfound passion nevertheless. Guess that’s what life in a metro is about.
When talented personalities like Hrithik Roshan, Rakesh Roshan and Anurag Basu come together, you expect nothing short of an outstanding film considering their awesome track record. Expectations are bound to be skyhigh even if you are the one who go for any flick with negligible expectations. Hence, it is really feels disappointed to know that Kites fails and that too very badly in meeting the expectations. In other words, Kites is a turkey!
The story of the movie: J (Hrithik Roshan) is a young, carefree salsa teacher in Las Vegas. Orphaned at a young age, he has lived in utter poverty and hence is always trying to earn money by hook or crook. When he realizes that Gina (Kangna Ranaut), daughter of millionaire Bob (Kabir Bedi) has fallen for him, he realizes that this is the best thing that could have happened to him. He pretends to be in love with her although he is not. Unfortunately or fortunately, he soon falls in love, not with Gina but with Natasha aka Linda (Barbara Mori), fiancée of Tony (Nick Brown), Gina’s ruthless brother. Just like J, Gina is from a poor family and is marrying Tony only because he’s rich. In no time, J and Natasha fall in love, upsetting Tony, Bob and Gina. How they escape from Tony’s clutches and their journey thereafter is what the rest of the film is all about.
Kites begins very well and there are several scenes that are exceptionally handled by director Anurag Basu. The 1st half is fast and slick and one might expect 2nd half to be better. The story moves back and forth (reminds of Basu’s Gangster) and that was indeed impressive. Hrithik’s intro, his courtship with Kangna and meeting Barbara at Kangna’s place was very well treated. And the best part of the film was undoubtedly Hrithik-Barbara’s romance. Both J and Natasha didn’t know each other’s language and the way they fall in love is wonderfully executed and doesn’t look fake at all.
However, the 2nd half is what disappoints big time. There are numerous chase sequences which isn’t a problem since the action sequences are awesome and locales breathtaking. However, the way the couple manage to give the cops and the goons a slip each and every time seemed unbelievable and far-fetched. Also, the climax seemed lame. It was quite hatke but frankly, the writers could have come up with something way better. Also there’s no mention as to what happened to Barbara’s folks (the goons had entered their village), Kangna and also of Kabir Bedi, one of the villains.
Inspite of the flaws, what makes the film watchable is Basu’s direction and Hrithik-Barbara’s sizzling chemistry. Their conversations and scenes were a treat. They indeed seem excellent together!
Every actor pitched in a fine performance. Hrithik Roshan yet again comes up with a flawless performance. His smile, looks, dance and the way he has handled difficult scenes with utmost ease is commandable! This is Hrithik’s first film after 2 ½ years (his last was Jodhaa Akbar, if one doesn’t count his special appearance in Luck By Chance). If only the script was as good as his performance! Thankfully, Hrithik will soon be seen, in Guzaarish and Zoya’s next!
Barbara Mori is a stunning beauty and delivers a bravura performance. She was apt for this role and doesn’t disappoint. The Hrithik-Barbara jodi is amazing and one of the best of recent times! Kangna Ranaut as usual does a great job but she has a very limited role. In fact, the writers could have added some twist in the tale with emphasis on her character. Kabir Bedi shines as the villain although he is hardly there in the 2nd half. Nick Brown comes up with a mind-blowing performance. Great job! Yuri does fine while the actor who plays J’s pal was very good.
Rajesh Roshan’s music compliments the goings-on well. Fire, Dil Kyun Ye Mera and Zindagi Do Pal Ki are the best songs of the lot. When Salim-Sulaiman are handling the background score, it has to be amazing and Kites is no exception!
The film has been shot in some of the best breathtaking and visually stunning locations. Thankfully, cinematographer Ayananka Bose does total justice and an outstanding job. The film looks ever inch an international biggie thanks to his great work! Action scenes are a treat although some action sequences were plain nonsense!
Akash Khurana, Anurag Basu and Robin Bhatt have written the story. Damn surprising! A film which doesn’t have much of a plot has 3 writers! Anyways, they came up with a nice story but faltered with the climax. However, Anurag Basu’s direction saved the show to quite an extent. His creative brilliance can be seen in several scenes and he lifted the film with such a mediocre plot. Even the climax was very well executed although it wasn’t impactful. Overall, a nice job by Basu and a request to him and Roshans and all other filmmakers-when you are willing to spend huge amounts of money on a film, at least come up with a sensible script. Times have changed and people are now willing to shun a film which stars their most favorite celebs if the script is a letdown. So stop taking viewers for granted and hope to see you guys with a much better product next time!
Some of the best scenes:
1. The first scene
2. The songs Fire, Dil Kyun Ye Mera and Zindagi Do Pal Ki
3. J comes across Natasha at Tony’s place
4. J with Natasha a night before their wedding (watch out when J shares his mother’s death tale with Natasha)
5. Intermission point
6. J and Natasha rob a bank
7. J and Natasha at latter’s village
On the whole, Kites is plain disappointment all thanks to average stroryline and disappointing culmination. Watch it only for Hrithik and for Hrithik-Barbara piping hot chemistry. The film has arguably given the widest release ever (1198 shows of Kites running in 117 theatres of Mumbai daily!). This and the enormous curiosity will ensure the film gets adequate audiences for the 1st 3 days. But from Day 4, the film will surely fall big time. Very very very unfortunate!
My rating-** out of 5!
GET READY FOR THE ‘BIG 3’!
The next 6 Fridays will see the release of 3 biggies every alternative week. So while Kites will release tomorrow, Raajneeti will release on June 4 and Raavan on June 18. The hype surrounding these 3 films is so huge that there would be hardly any release between the release of these 3 films (i.e. on May 28 and June 11).
Talking about Kites, the film is hugely awaited ever since it’s filming commenced way back in 2008. The hype increased when news came out that Hrithik is having an affair with Barbara and that Sussanne might divorce him. It seemed like a publicity stunt but it paid off so well! The name of the film was on everyone’s lips and Barbara instantly became a household name!
The film has all factors going in its favour. This is Hrithik’s first film after Jodhaa Akbar which came way back in 2008. The Hrithik-Barbara jodi is piping hot. Promos are excellent and songs have been well received too. The film is produced by Rakesh Roshan. Whenever the son and dad have joined hands, they have created history (Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai, Koi Mil Gaya, Krrish). Hence everyone’s hoping that Kites would surely be rocking! Moreover, the film is directed by Anurag Basu who has won hearts with Gangster and Life In A Metro. Hrithik, Rakesh, Anurag, Barbara…with so many big names, the expectations are bound to be skyhigh!
The Roshans and the distributors Reliance Big Pictures have ensured that the film makes its presence felt like no other Hindi film has done before. Besides giving it a wide release and record number of shows in multiplexes, a separate version of the film will be released for international audiences. Titled Kites: The Remix, the film’s duration is of just 90 minutes as against the actual duration of 120 minutes. Brett Ratner, director of X Men and Rush Hour, has done the editing of the international version. The poster of Kites: The Remix is also modified and you can see it for yourself. The wound on Barbara’s arm is made bloodier! A gun is thumped in Hrithik’s hands. Brett Ratner’s name is mentioned in bold while Anurag and Rakesh Roshan’s name is lost somewhere in small print!
The international version can work provided the promotion has been satisfactory. My Name Is Khan also adopted a similar strategy and its international version released on May 7. However, there was zero hype surrounding it and hence the film’s collections were shockingly poor. I hope the same doesn’t happen for Kites: The Remix.
While the fate overseas is unclear, one thing is for sure and that is Kites’ would surely take an earth-shattering opening in India! In fact, it has the chances to be the biggest grosser out of the Big 3 (Raajneeti, Raavan). Heartfelt best of luck to the entire team! Dhoom Macha Do!!
Casting agent and director at loggerheads over a film called Black Boys that does not even exist!
Here is a story of a fake casting company gone very awry. A casting agent and an aspiring director — Vansh Pathak and Vijay Babu — are at war over a film that may not even make it to theatres.
Vansh Pathak has a website called crewhunt.com, wherein he says that he is looking out for four young boys and four young girls for a film titled Black Boys, which “will be produced by UTV”. But there is no such film. When contacted, a source from UTV said they are producing no film titled Black Boys. Black Boys though is very much on the cards as far as Vijay Babu is concerned.
|The casting agent claimed to have worked with Mohit Suri (Bottom). Mohit has denied this|
The casting scam came to light when Pathak told a model (name withheld on request) that he could cast him in Black Boys if he fits the bill. The model told Mumbai Mirror that the whole deal sounded extremely fishy. “The guy sounded pretty weird. He told me had worked with Mahesh Bhatt and Mohit Suri on Gangster and Awarapan. I checked with Suri. When I learnt that Suri didn’t know him at all, I figured something was wrong,” revealed the model. Even Mohit Suri confirmed that he didn’t know any Vansh Pathak. “God knows who he is,” said Suri.
On calling Pathak on Saturday, he said, “UTV has not appointed me. A director called Vijay Hyderabadi appointed me. You can also call him Vijay Shetty.”
After several attempts, we got in touch with Vijay Hyderabadi, who said that he is Vijay Babu and not Vijay Hyderabadi. He said, “I don’t know what Vansh Pathak is telling the world. I have many casting agents, Vansh is one of them. I can’t keep a check on what he tells the aspirants.”
We then called Pathak to tell him this, he developed cold feet and said that he would prove that Vijay Babu had told him that “UTV would be involved in the project”. He offered, “Let me put you on a conference call with him.”
On the conference call, the situation turned even murkier. Pathak and Vijay started fighting. Pathak clearly told Vijay, “While appointing me you had said that UTV was involved in the project. So I acted accordingly.”
After this call, we again called Vijay. He didn’t know that we were all ears on the conference call. “I have not told Vansh Pathak that Black Boys will be produced by UTV. If such big companies are involved, won’t I have a letter in this regard? I don’t have any such letter.”
That’s all for now. May Black Boys find the clear light of day…