Posts tagged Madhu Mantena
The fight between Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar and Saif Ali Khan over the remake rights of Telugu film Don Sheenu just got bigger
Soon after Mirror reported (September 25, 2010) that three Bollywood A-listers, Salman, Saif and Akshay are fighting for the remake rights of Telugu super hit Don Seenu, more players have joined in.
And this time the war will be between two studios for producing the remake.
A reliable source revealed, “Eros International wishes to produce the film with Salman Khan and wants it to be directed by Sohail Khan. And Studio 18 wants to make it with Akshay Kumar as lead and Shirish Kunder as director.”
The director Gopichand Malineni didn’t confirm or deny the story but added, “Even Madhu Mantena (producer of Ghajini) is keen on watching the film.” Madhu Mantena confirmed this too.
Added to this, Shirish Kunder too confirmed watching the film but expressed ignorance about directing its remake.
Meanwhile, the source also claimed that Salman Khan has won the race and Eros will produce the film, “Since Salman is very busy, the film is expected to go on floors only next year and will be entirely shot in Switzerland.”
Ram Mirchandani, Chief Creative Officer of Eros finally said, “Eros has indeed seen Don Seenu and finds it has solid potential to be a Hindi blockbuster. We still haven’t locked the cast or the director, as we haven’t yet officially bought the rights.”
That ‘unofficially’ a deal has been signed may seem like conjecture right now but keep reading this space for more.
But the producers of Jhootha Hi Sahi, which has been pushed to October 22, insist that it’s to offer the maestro more “creative freedom”
Jhootha Hi Sahi which was slated to release on October 15 has been pushed by a week. The reason being its music director A R Rahman. The background music of Jhootha Hi Sahi still requires some work and therefore director Abbas Tyrewala has decided to postpone the release. The film will now release on the October 22.
Our source said, “Abbas Tyrewala wanted to give A R Rahman creative freedom and not nag him with deadlines. Therefore without batting an eyelid Abbas decided to push the release date and give A R Rahman more time to work on the background score of Jhootha Hi Sahi.
|A R Rahman and Abbas Tyrewala|
Although Abbas was travelling with Rahman everywhere to finish the background, it is obvious that the work is far from over. Abbas took a completely creative decision when he postponed the release date by a week. He feels that what Rahman brings to a project is very valuable. He did not want to hamper A R Rahman’s creative process by bogging him down with time limits.”
Producer Madhu Mantena confirms the news. “It’s true that we’ve decided to release Jhootha Hi Sahi on October 22. It’s only good, as we will utilise this extra time in promoting our film. It was a decision that we all took together. Rahman and Abbas have been working on the music and it sounds fantastic. However they feel that a little work is still required towards the end of the film. So we decided to push the film for now. It is for the betterment of the film and no date is more important than the film itself.”
When asked about the deadline to finish the music, Madhu said, “See they can still kill themselves and complete the flick in time as we have a week. However it is not fair to put these creative people under so much pressure. I think they need time to do their best work and that’s what we are doing.”
It is all very cooperative of these folks. But we wonder what Side B of the same argument sounds like.
By Taran Adarsh, October 5, 2010 – 08:38 IST
There’s a strong possibility that JHOOTHA HI SAHI may be postponed by one week. Slated for release next week [15 October], the film may now arrive on 22 October because music composer A.R. Rahman is yet to complete recording the background score of the film. Producer Madhu Mantena doesn’t rule out the possibility. “Yes, the film may get shifted to next week. It’s true that Rahman hasn’t completed recording the background score. Also, with two major films clashing on 15 October [AAKROSH, KNOCK OUT], there’s no point releasing on that date. Besides, the music of JHOOTHA HI SAHI is picking up and if we shift the film ahead by one week, it will only help the music to grow further,” Mantena states.
If JHOOTHA HI SAHI is shifted to latter date, Madhu Mantena will hold the distinction of releasing four films on a single Friday – JHOOTHA HI SAHI and the three versions of RAKHT CHARITRA [Hindi, Tamil and Telugu].
So that Jhootha Hi Sahi releases on time, Abbas Tyrewalla is burning the midnight oil with Rahman
A R Rahman might be the toast of the Indian music industry, but Abbas Tyrewalla has had to face the brunt of working with the Academy Award winner.
His film, Jhootha Hi Sahi, will be releasing in a couple of weeks. However Abbas is travelling with Rahman to finish the background score all over the world.
Our source said, “Rahman left for his world tour, which started on the 11th of this month. However, the background score of Abbas’s film, Jhootha Hi Sahi is yet to be completed. So Rahman called Abbas over to Boston, where he was doing a show and then travelling all over.
Rahman finishes his concert and in the night goes to a local recording studio and records the background score for the film. Imagine travelling all over the world and recording a score in bits and pieces? They have already visited around seven cities, which include London, LA, Boston, New York and Vancouver, apart from Mumbai and Chennai, where work on the soundtrack had initially started.”
When contacted, Madhu Mantena, the producer of the film, said, “I don’t think Abbas is complaining at all. I am. He is having a ball travelling all over and working with a world-class talent.
However, for me as a producer, it is touch-and-go as the film is releasing on October 15, and the overseas delivery has to go on the 7th of October. The last part of the film has turned out to be toughest. However, it’s Rahman’s magic and so, we are not complaining.”
Abbas Tyrewala says he didn’t want the John Abraham of Dostana in his film
Prithwish Ganguly | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; September 25, 2010)
Abbas Tyrewala’s Jhootha Hi Sahi has something common with his debut blockbuster Jaane Tu … Ya Jaane Na — both films are based on ‘gang dynamics’. While the latter is about friends and their interpersonal relationships just after they pass out of college and are into their first jobs, the former was all about friends in college.
Ask him if he is drawn to such themes naturally and Abbas who makes simple films – comprising real people, real locations and real situations, says, “Sometimes you are good at something that you don’t like very much. Because Jaane Tu.. did so well, the desire and expectation of my partners to make another film on those lines was high. Pakhi (his wife) had worked on this script for one-and-a-half years and everyone loved it. My kind of film is Godfather, and the Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino cinema. After this I will do something else for sure.”
Saregama’s Jhootha Hi Sahi, produced by Apurv Nagpal along with Madhu Mantena that releases on October 15, also boasts of an eclectic mix of Asian friends staying in London — a scenario that is again very true and real to the city. The film also has another big USP in John Abraham’s geeky look. Abbas transforms the Bollywood hunk into India’s Clark Kent complete with toned down physique and nerdy look.
“The decision was to choose an actor who could play the character of Siddharth – someone who was on the heavier side in his childhood and who stammers in front of girls. I told John that I was not interested in the John Abraham that we all know. The John from Dostana wouldn’t be hesitant around anyone. It’s great that people are responding to the look in a whole different way,” says Abbas of the role for which John lost 8-10 kilos. Abbas, in fact, maintained constant vigil to ensure John didn’t sneak off to the gym to pump up his muscles.
As for Pakhi, she was Abbas’s casting director on Jaane Tu… and now she plays the lead in Jhootha Hi Sahi. “We had many showdowns where she would accuse me of messing up with her script. I would tell her that the writer has to step back once the director takes charge. We both are very passionate people and the film came first. But as an actor, Pakhi was completely different. She understood there was no functioning if she didn’t surrender,” adds Abbas.
By Taran Adarsh, September 21, 2010 – 08:18 IST
With ANJAANA ANJAANI being pushed ahead by one week [the film will arrive on October 1], a number of forthcoming films are likely to be pushed ahead as well. Why clash with another biggie and divide the business? However, producer Madhu Mantena is sticking to the release date of both his movies – JHOOTHA HI SAHI [15th October] and RAKHT CHARITRA – Part I [22nd October]. “I am not shifting ahead,” Madhu quashes rumours about RAKHT CHARITRA – Part I getting shifted to a latter date. In fact, RAKHT CHARITRA – Part I will open in three versions [Hindi, Tamil and Telugu] on the same date – 22nd October.
Meanwhile, the makers are ready with RAKHT CHARITRA – Part II as well and will decide the release date once the first part has released.
By Bollywood Hungama News Network, September 20, 2010 – 17:45 IST
After an impressive directorial debut in the form of Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na, all eyes are now on Abbas Tyrewala’s next outing as a director- Jhootha Hi Sahi. The film stars John Abraham and Pakhi in lead roles with a host of supporting actors such as Raghu Ram, Manasi Scott and Anahita Nair.
However, besides the above mentioned names there is a surprise element. One would also get to see R.Madhavan and Nandana Sen in guest appearances in the film. In fact, there were talks that even Kajol would be seen in the film. What’s more, the film’s official website also mentions her name as part of the cast. However, when we contacted producer Madhu Mantena, he confirmed Maddy and Nandana Sen’s presence in the film but denied the rumour that Kajol is in the film.
Has India’s favourite music composer moved on to a bigger, global platform?
From Internet blogs to the denizens of Delhi’s South Block, everyone is splitting hair over his compositions. But the man behind it all is ensconced in his Chennai studio, unfazed by the furore around him. Like the proverbial eye of the storm.
For A R Rahman, these are the best of times, the worst of times. His art is at its most eclectic, garnering international acclaim heralding him as one of the world’s best. In his own country detractors are declaring that he has lost his touch. He is buying a five-acre plot in Los Angeles to set up his production facility with sound engineer Resul Pookutty. He is also being accused of being indifferent, aloof to his Bollywood projects, delaying them and churning out music that often stumps listeners. With every milestone in the West, Rahman seems to move a step away from home.
His fiercest critics are ironically in the industry that has given him his biggest successes — until of course Slumdog. The Hindi film fraternity has always had an uneasy relationship with Rahman, who is still god down south. Many in Bollywood find it hard to accept his artistic ways — he remains in Chennai, works mostly at night, has his own creative yardsticks for choosing projects and delivers only when he is ready. Some feel his best is behind him, others feel he is constantly breaking new ground.
“Given his style of functioning and his inaccessibility,” says trade expert Amod Mehra, “Bollywood always had a problem working with him.” Rahman has never made any excuses for the way he functions. And his studio can seem forbidding, or inspiring.
“There is a divine energy there,” says filmmaker Subhash Ghai, who has shared an emotional bond with the composer since his Shikhar days. “It is not your usual sharaab-kebab kind of atmosphere that you encounter in most Mumbai studios.” Ghajini-producer Madhu Mantena, who has worked closely with Rahman since Rangeela, too says watching the maestro in his studio is like entering a very sacred space.
But Rahman’s inaccessibility — which critics say has increased post his international-success — has not helped.
|“He is so dedicated to his work that each song probably goes through more changes than the
“If you are a newbie,” says a producer who has met the maestro and is still waiting for his verdict on his proposal. “You have to make at least 10 trips to his studio to discuss your project with him. Unlike other music composers, money is no criteria for him. There is no saying why or when he will pick one project over the other,” the producer adds.
“Now he is zipping around the world,” rues an ad filmmaker who is still waiting for a meeting, “it is almost impossible for one to get his time and consent.”
Rubbishing these as conspiracy theories, Mantena points out that Rahman has worked with several newcomers including Abbas Tyrewala, whose Jaane Tu… he had accepted way before Aamir Khan came into the picture.
“Besides, he is so dedicated to his work that each song probably goes through more changes than the script itself,” Mantena reveals, agreeing with other insiders like Ram Gopal Varma. “No matter how pressured he is, Rahman will never let a tune pass until he is happy about it.”
On the flip side, that can translate into nail-biting moments for the always-in-a-tearing-hurry Bollywood producer. Thus, the notion that Rahman is delaying projects.
Mantena denies the maestro kept him waiting for months for the title track for his latest, Jhootha Hi Sahi. “There are nine songs and the time taken was the same as any other album,” the producer says.
There were also rumours that the Jodhaa Akbar music launch was delayed because the soundtrack was not ready, though the label and the production house denied it. The Commonwealth Games theme took six months, and then it was back to the drawing board after the organising committee wanted Rahman to make changes.
|Subhash Ghai, Filmmaker:|
|“While working with him on Yuvvraaj, I realised he was
probably having trouble
“A single failure does not bring anyone down, not at least Rahman, who still has the mass with him,” says Mehra, referring to the Commonwealth controversy. “However, Rahman has not been showing his best elements on his recent works,” he adds.
“You cannot judge Rahman on the basis of one song,” says sitar maestro Pandit Kartick Kumar, who was featured in Rahman and Bharat Bala’s Jana Gana Mana project. Pandit Kumar worked with Pandit Ravi Shankar during Asiad ‘82, when the sitar legend composed the then-hugely popular Swagatham. “People have been comparing that tune to what Rahman has created. It is not fair to compare a classic with a more contemporary track,” Pandit Kumar says. “But, yes, maybe Rahman should not have sung the song himself. Just because his Vande Mataram clicked, does not mean he can bring the same energy to every song he lends his voice to,” adds Kumar. The veteran sitar exponent puts it down to an unfortunate error of judgement by an otherwise superlative production designer and musician.
Rahman’s world is divided into critics and loyalists. “It is every filmmaker’s dream to work with Rahman,” says director Anthony D’ Souza, who has graciously accepted all the brickbats for the mega-budget disaster called Blue. Critics flayed Blue’s Chiggy Wiggy, in which Rahman worked with one of the world’s biggest pop stars, Kylie Minogue. “I am willing to do anything to have Rahman agree to my next,” D’Souza maintains.
Rahman loyalists say you cannot judge a Rahman tune instantly; it’s not fast food, it’s gourmet cuisine. Others seriously question whether he takes any real interest in the Bollywood projects any more.
Ram Gopal Varma, who gave Rahman his first Hindi break with his 1995-hit Rangeela, wrote in his blog about the making of the soundtrack: ‘…the compositions he came up with used to surprise me, though not always pleasantly. That is because his tunes were so original in his interpretation of the emotion of a situation that a conventional ear will take time to let it sink in.’
Mantena too believes Rahman’s style is so ‘different’ that it shocks you the first time. “It depends a lot on what you have been used to listening to,” adds the producer.
“Rahman has always maintained he cares less about how the music is received and more about being true to the project,” says Mehra. “And while in the past his musical instincts have served him well, something seems to be going wrong now.”
The evolution of Rahman from the man who made hummable, instantly likeable tunes to someone who makes stylised and challenging music that often leaves you scratching your head on first listen, has coincided with his exposure to the best in the West. Sagar Desai, composer, sound designer of Quickgun Murugan-fame, has an explanation: “May be Rahman does not feel obliged to make tunes that appeal to the humble rickshawwallah anymore, but is more interested in staying true to his artistic core, no matter what the consequences.”
There’s no denying Rahman is one of the world’s busiest musicians. He has toured across continents — including trying to put up a Michael Jackson-esque show in his last aborted US tour — worked on some of the world’s biggest projects, with the world’s biggest names. He has also delivered at least 60 soundtracks (Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, you name it), with a hit or three in every one of them. But increasingly, the misses have piled up. Has Rahman —who once admitted to being bad at multitasking — spread himself too thin?
“When Rahman was working for Taal,” says Ghai, “he was completely immersed in the craft of composing. But while working with him on Yuvvraaj, I realised he was probably having trouble focusing with so much on his plate these days. You cannot blame him. He is an explorer who is hungry for more and wants to discover new sounds and new techniques. You have to allow him to grow. May be there are not enough challenges for him here.”
One of Rahman’s biggest contributions to the Indian music industry is the way he has treated musicians, who often feel short-changed by most composers.
“What makes him stand apart from the others is his ability to understand a musician and his comfort zone,” says Neil Mukherjee, who has played guitar for Rahman over seven years on several projects. “He will never make you feel uncomfortable.” And this quality of empathy, feels Mukherjee, is also tied to the maestro’s strong spiritual leanings.
But in the chop and change world of Indian film music, you cannot survive on spirituality. “He is extremely spiritual and sharp at the same time,” says Ghai. “He is like Lord Krishna.”
Rahman’s demanding the lion’s share of the music publishing rights for his films has not earned him too many well-wishers in the industry. The Om Shanti Om music composer shift (from Rahman to Vishal-Shekhar) was because Rahman wanted part of the music royalty rights. “Any change is frowned at,” he said then, “I am standing up for what I think is right.”
Ghai also says Rahman has become tech savvy, worldly wise over the years: “I have seen him update his gadgets and consoles after every six months, and 2001 onwards [post-Lagaan], I have seen him get increasingly clued into what is happening across the world. He is the best we have. Sometimes the artiste becomes much bigger than his art. You can’t help it.”
• CWG Anthem – Only for Rahmaniacs
• Robot – Hit in south, crashing elsewhere
• Raavan – Confusing
• Blue – Mixed, mostly negative
• Slumdog Millionaire – Global phenomenon, but perplexing at home
• Delhi 6 – Acclaimed
• Jaane Tu… – Pappu made India dance
• Yuvvraaj – Better than the film
• Ghajini – Mixed response
• Jodhaa Akbar – Esoteric, classy
• Sivaji – Fans rejoiced, few takers elsewhere.
Meena Iyer | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; August 26, 2010)
Producer Madhu Mantena is more famous as actress Nandana Sen’s boyfriend! Or is even often referred to as filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma’s cousin. Both introductions are a bit unfair to Madhu because he is an independent producer. He made the super-hit Ghajini and the dud Rann. And he also has four films coming up for release.
In fact, Madhu is likely to be up for a unique distinction and the charming guy may even make it to the Limca Book of Records because he has four films in different languages releasing within a span of 40 days. Madhu is in serious expansion mode and he says, “I was not even aware of this, but I got a call saying that it is a record of sorts. And when you are releasing four big films in different markets within such a sort span rest assured that you will not notice something like this. It requires a very different skill set to release films in different languages. India is truly diverse and each market is so unique.”
Madhu’s four films include Jhootha hi Sahi (Hindi) directed by Abbas Tyrewala, Rakta Charitra (Telugu) directed by Ram Gopal Varma, Autograph (Bengali) directed by Srijit Mukerjee and Rakta Charitra II (Tamil) directed by Ram Gopal Varma