Posts tagged madhur bhandarkar
Madhur Bhandarkar on coming a long way from being a video delivery boy, on testing new genres and believing that Kareena will eventually come around to act in Heroine
• Comedy is not your forte. Why are making one, Dil To Bachcha Hai Ji ?
It was not an easy decision to make. While some have been saying that I shouldn’t get into other genres of cinema, others say that it’s time for a change. I have always considered myself as an experimental filmmaker and this is another one of my experiments. Actors who have worked with me will vouch for my sense of humour. More often than not, I have them in splits on my sets. In fact, Tabu (who starred in Chandni Bar) used to always ask me why I hadn’t directed a comedy yet.
• After dropping out from school you even worked as a delivery boy for a video library. Did you ever think that you’ll get this far?
Honestly, no. God has given me more than I asked for. I guess it has been a mixture of hard work and luck. I think I am God’s blessed child. And I am not going to get carried away.
• Your male-oriented films, Traffic Signal and Jail, don’t do particularly well. Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji too is male-oriented. Are you nervous?
I am nervous. But that happens with me before the release of any of my films. Think of it, isn’t it early days to say that Madhur Bhandarkar makes only good female-oriented films? I don’t jump into making films just for the heck of it. Recently I had offers to remake some top South films but I didn’t see any creativity in that.
Tell me one good reason why shouldn’t I attempt to make a comedy, or say, even a romcom or a thriller, as long as the characters in my film are well fleshed out? Sooner or later, I’ll touch upon all genres.
• Will you cast Neil Nitin Mukesh (Jail) and Kunal Khemu (Traffic Signal), who seem to have lost the plot?
If I have a script for them, why not? I don’t cast actors as per their market status. Didn’t I cast Samir Soni, Arjan Bajwa and Arbaaz Khan in Fashion despite people’s apprehensions? Again if you see, I have three newcomers in Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji : Shruti Haasan, Shazahn Padamsee and Shraddha Das, whose debut films have flopped.
• Perhaps budgetary constraints might have resulted in this benevolence in casting.
Yes, I do make films within a stipulated budget. I never spend too much, I don’t overshoot. My homework is very strong. Even Jail broke even.
• Your next female-oriented film Heroine is stuck. Kareena Kapoor is latkofying you…
Kareena and I have not been in touch. She has been very busy with RA.One and Agent Vinod. But we are going to meet soon.
• She’s ditched you with Page 3 and Fashion as well…
I think Kareena is a remarkable actress with a great screen presence. From the minute I saw her in Refugee, I knew she will go a long way. I think I will be third time lucky. She deserves a lot more from this industry. I believe that Heroine will give that to her, it’s a dream role for any actress.
• What happened to that biopic on Lalit Modi called Commissioner ?
Things didn’t work out. Besides, the Lalit Modi controversy would have been too hot to handle.
• You have always been a ladies’ man. We’re disappointed to not have heard of any link-ups. Have you really changed or are you a smoother operator now?
(Laughs) Today, I am very happy the way I am living my life. Do I really need to answer this question?
• All the more…
Un dino, meri shaadi nahin hui thi. And people just perceived me that way. (laughs again).
Image courtesy: Prasad Naik
Being a small-town 17-year-old from Bhambla in Himachal Pradesh didn’t stop this stunner from taking on Bollywood. Waiting in her vanity van to front the camera for Knock Out, her latest movie with Sanjay Dutt and Irrfan Khan, where Kangna plays a crime journalist – today’s Kangna is confident, composed and totally at ease with being ‘real’.
Excerpts from the interview:
What made you become an actor?
I was restless when I was 15/16. I was pursuing science but I was more attracted towards art. So I started pursuing theatre. Thereon, I also tried modelling because people kept harping that I looked different. I signed up with a modelling agency and took it quite seriously. Unfortunately, modelling didn’t take me very seriously! I figured that in India, modelling is only something you can be happy doing part-time. In the mean time, I was pursuing theatre and my guruji, Arvind Gaur encouraged me a lot. I started giving auditions for movies. The truth is even if I wasn’t selected for Anurag Basu’s Gangster, I would’ve tried other projects. However, I got selected and Bollywood became my career.
What is the creative process that goes behind every character you etch?
Each role is challenging. You have to do your homework. For instance, in Abhinay Deo’s Game, I play a cop from London and she has a Brit accent. It was difficult for me to emulate that. Acting is a job where you have to learn to look, talk and project a certain body language. The trick is to remain focused, yet flexible.
With no filmi background, how do you hold yourself in this fiercely competitive industry?
People in Mumbai are judgemental. Here, your fate changes every Friday. Also, it’s true that if you’re a star kid or if you’re a star girlfriend, you get extra mileage. But if none of these things work in your favour, you tend to work on your talent. My challenge was to be able to fit in here. People criticised the way I talked, walked and even the way I looked—more so because I come from a small town. There are two ways of dealing with such a situation: either you care a damn; or you can improve yourself.
You’ve gone through several ups and downs in your personal life. Do you think the media has been fair to you?
I feel that the media, somewhat, is nicer to people coming from a filmi background, or personalities they have connections with. The media doesn’t accept you easily. A Shah Rukh Khan or Aamir (Khan) have been around for two decades and have established a relationship with the media and the public. That’s why their films get 90% opening. So, tomorrow, of course their children will get special treatment because the rapport is already there. But now I realise that if I connect with the media personally, it always works better. They figure out your dimension too.
And how have you evolved as an actor?
I’ve always been surrounded by very creative people—whether it’s Bhatt saab, Anurag Basu, Mohit Suri, Madhur Bhandarkar. I can write a whole book on my experiences and the craft I’ve learnt in the last five years! (laughs) When I entered Bollywood, (Mahesh) Bhatt saab made me unlearn everything – he taught me not to act and be real in front of the camera. You don’t fake crying or laughing. You actually do it.
But the turning point came when one day Bhatt saab told me I was the ugliest woman he’d seen. I asked, why? He retorted, asking where my dark circles, pimples were and why I was hiding behind makeup. He called me a mannequin! That’s when I realised that it’s important to be real.
Can you actually be ‘real’ in Bollywood?
It’s difficult. It’s almost like being naked in front of the public. Every time you’re in front of the camera, there are so many emotions you let out and you’re not scared. You may even portray emotions that might not be familiar to you. But you need to be you, your real self, to give that astounding performance.
How do you keep fit?
I take care of my body and make sure that I’m happy. I work out, but I don’t over-do. I don’t remove that cheese slice from my sandwich; or remove the oil when I’m having kheema pav! I try to be as normal as I can be in my habits. I love food and I love life. So I’m not the kind who’d count calories everyday and kill myself in the gym, or die doing yoga. I listen to myself and my body. I don’t push myself very hard.
What’s more important to you: critical acclaim vis-à-vis box office success?
For me, there are two kinds of movies– good or bad. To please only a particular group of people is not my goal. I think a film should be entertaining.
Kangna’s hit list
Holiday destination: Paris
Perfume: I wear men’s perfume. But I like Chanel.
Dream director: Aamir Khan
By Joginder Tuteja, October 8, 2010 – 12:48 IST
Crook releases today and while the entire team waits to see audience reactions, there is one actor who is already content. He is Arjan Bajwa, the anti-hero in the film, who is elated with the very fact that Mahesh Bhatt (who is presenting the film) has singled out his performance for being expressive and honest. Apparently, when the senior filmmaker watched the film, he showered appreciation on the young actor.
“Even after I had shot for the film, I was apprehensive about whether I had indeed performed well”, says Arjan who had earlier seen good appreciation coming his way for the mean character he had played in Mani Ratnam’s Guru, “Everything got sorted out by itself when Bhatt saab called me and shared his views about my performance in the film.”
Though he pauses here, a close associate of his who has also worked in the film divulges, “Bhatt saab was mighty impressed by Arjan. He commented that Arjan was not a flat or a mechanical actor and was pretty expressive in his act. He also added that his eyes said whatever he was thinking which came from the fact that he was emoting in his mind as well. Now that was pretty reassuring and encouraging because Bhatt saab has worked with the biggest actors in the industry and is one of the most respected film personalities around.”
On his part, Arjan is glad that he bagged Crook as his first major film after Fashion.
“Yes, it has been a big moment”, smiles Arjan, “It has been a conscious effort for me to work with the best. I am not looking at quantity here. If that was the case, I would have signed half a dozen films in last couple of years. However, after working with Madhur Bhandarkar (Fashion), Mani Ratnam (Guru), Hema Malini (Tell Me O Khuda) and now Mohit Suri (Crook), I have to maintain a certain track record. I agree that my journey has been slow but then it is steady. It takes a lot to resist the temptation of working in numerous films and wait only for the best.”
Well, one looks forward to how best does Crook turn for Arjan. In the film, he plays the part of a quintessential hot headed Punjabi guy who is living abroad and takes extreme measures to save Indian culture and its roots. While his ways to fight racism are pretty radical, in his heart he carries a desire to safeguard Indians.
“In a way he is a face off opposite Emraan”, adds Arjan. And how about the songs? After all it is Emraan who has walked away with the chartbuster songs again. “Well, Mohit has compensated for that by giving me a wonderful role while from Bhatt saab is worth a million songs”, he signs off.
BOMBAY TIMES (October 5, 2010)
If there’s one actor who’s revelling in his new found glory it’s star son Aarya Babbar. The actor not only has his hands full with two mainstream film projects, but is also involved in far too many things than what people know. Recently, the actor also launched the first look of his graphic novel Pushpak Viman. Ask Aarya how was it to shift gears from acting to writing and he says, “I’m not shifting gears, writing has been my passion all along. So when I came across a good story to narrate, I thought why not give it a shot?”
Post his critically-acclaimed performance in Madhur Bandarkar’s Jail, life has really turned up trumps for him. Acknowledging it, Aarya exuberantly says, “It’s actually given a new lease to my career so much so that it got me Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khan where I star alongside Akshay Kumar and also Anees Bazmee’s Ready where I share screen space with my most loved superstar Salman Khan!”
Not many know that Aarya is also dabbling between an international project, regional cinema and producing his first stage project, too. “By God’s grace, after four years of no work, I am finally happy that I have enough work to keep me busy. I have yearned for all this and now that I have so many things, I’m going to savour every moment,” says the earnest actor.
Despite so much in his kitty he claims to still be struggling. Ask him for what and he quips, “To give everyone around sleepless nights!”
By Taran Adarsh, October 1, 2010 – 12:00 IST
Madhur Bhandarkar’s body of work boasts of two prominent films – CHANDNI BAR and PAGE 3. CHANDNI BAR was the first film that made the viewer peep into the lives of bar girls, while PAGE 3 exposed the shallow lives of the glam brigade. Director Yunus Sajawal combines CHANDNI BAR and PAGE 3 in BENNY AND BABLOO. The film looks at the lives of bar girls and concurrently, talks of the dual standards of the elite, who often masquerade as moral guardians of the society.
The question is, since we’ve seen it all in the past, does Sajawal go beyond CHANDNI BAR and PAGE 3? BENNY AND BABLOO tells the story from a bell boy [Kay Kay] and waiter’s [Rajpal Yadav] point of view and though the story isn’t innovative, it has its share of absorbing moments. Also, it tells you in very clear words that bar girls shouldn’t be ostracized because of their profession. They’ve a responsibility to fulfill and a family to support. It also states, very coherently again, that the glam brigade is a sham. They’ve far more skeletons to hide in their closet.
|BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM
Final word? BENNY AND BABLOO may not be path breaking or innovative as such, but it keeps you hooked in most parts, especially the finale.
The story is about two good-hearted samaritans Benny [Kay Kay Menon] and Babloo [Rajpal Yadav], who, like the any other Indian, are smitten by the glamour of Mumbai. After a brief stint as waiters in a typical Mumbai-style Irani restaurant, the two land up in distinctly different jobs. Benny takes up the job of a bell-boy in a suburban five-star hotel, whereas Babloo lands up as a waiter in a ladies bar.
Benny considers his job to be far superior to Babloo’s and ends up making fun of him more often that not. Both gradually realize that they were actually in similar professions with two different exteriors, but the same interiors. Benny witnesses innumerable social evils at the five-star hotel, right from drug abuse to political fiascos, while Babloo meets the more human side of the otherwise condemned part of the society.
Yunus Sajawal is best known for scripting comic entertainers and in BENNY AND BABLOO, there’s an undercurrent of humour in most parts. But he could’ve conveyed what he intends conveying in a concise format. Too many characters, too many sub-plots and the culmination to each story/character only add to the length of the film.
As a first-time director, Sajawal is in comfort zone handling the light moments well, but the impact of some dramatic sequences isn’t as strong. One of the reasons, perhaps, could be because the writing banks heavily on been-there-seen-that kind of situations. Yet, it must be said that the film doesn’t seem like it has been helmed by a first-timer, since a number of sequences are very well handled. Music is dull. Cinematography is alright. Dialogues [Farhad-Sajid] are wonderful.
Kay Kay does well, as always. Rajpal Yadav is natural to the core. Rukhsar is efficient. Abigail Jain [the girl in need of payment for her father's illness], Anangsha Biswas [plays Sony] and Richa Chadha [as Fedora] stand out with confident portrayals. Kiran Janjani is fair. Anita Hassanandani is good. Riya Sen leaves a mark. Anant Jog enacts his part convincingly. Kishori Shahane Vij is effective. Shweta Tiwari doesn’t get much scope. Hiten Paintal is confident. Aasif Sheikh is adequate. Hussain is excellent.
On the whole, BENNY AND BABLOO is a decent effort, but what goes against it is the fact that it has been released alongside hi-profile movies.
May not do Madhur Bhandarkar’s film which apparently is on the life of the veteran Hollywood actress
Meena Iyer | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; September 27, 2010)
Strong reports suggest that Kareena Kapoor and Madhur Bhandarkar, who had decided to start work on Heroine, may not end up doing the film together — at least not yet. Though earlier Bebo was very excited about her association with Madhur, who is fantastic with women-oriented subjects, a source says, “The first round of stories suggested that Madhur was making a film based on the life of Hollywood sex symbol Marilyn Monroe. Later, others suggested he was doing a Sunset Boulevard kind of a film. As the speculations continued, it turned out that Kareena had not even had a complete story narration.”
To make matters worse, Kareena and Madhur didn’t address this issue. An insider adds, “Madhur’s script is allegedly based on the life of Elizabeth Taylor and her tumultuous love affairs and various marriages. Rumours say that Arjun Rampal was to play a role similar to that of Richard Burton. And talks were on with various other actors to play Liz Taylor’s other husbands. Emraan Hashmi’s name also cropped up for an interesting part. Though Kareena and Arjun got along like a house on fire while shooting We Are Family, somewhere along the way, she developed cold feet when it came to playing Liz Taylor.”
As things currently stand, neither Kareena nor Madhur are willing to say that their project is not happening. In fact, several intermediaries are at work to get them together. One still continues to hear that the film is deferred and not shelved. But if you follow the dots, then you’ll note that Bebo’s date diary now includes Bodyguard with Salman Khan, Short Term Shaadi with Imran Khan, Agent Vinod with Saif Ali Khan and RA One with Shah Rukh Khan. What’s more, all these Khan films will be shot back-toback. So despite their “no-comments” stand, one can safely assume that Kareena and Madhur will not be working together — like we said, at least not yet.
By Bollywood Hungama News Network, September 24, 2010 – 13:00 IST
Just as the Aam Janta is perplexed about the impending Ayodhya verdict, so is the Bollywood fraternity as they sit in speculation of when and what the outcome would be. Keeping business aside, the Bollywood biggies came together and indulged in a pure selfless act of spreading peace and harmony among the society in general as they organised a press con at the Mehboob Studio in Mumbai to promote National Integration.
It may be a small step towards something meaningful but in terms of a gesture, it is extremely praise worthy. It was initially planned in anticipation of the Ayodhya verdict but even after its postponement, everyone went ahead with it. Among the ones who attended the press con was Ajay Devgn. Sajid Nadiadwala, Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, Ranbir Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Madhur Bhandarkar, Sajid Khan, Sophie Choudry, Zayed Khan, Ritesh Sidhwani, and Pahlaj Nihalani. Along with the Bollywood celebs, even the Mumbai Police joined hands to spread the word of solidarity and unity.
Despite its lowbrow sensibilities, ‘Dabangg’ has gone on to break box office records thanks to the charms of superstar Salman
|Salman Khan is one of the main reasons behind the success of Dabangg, say industry people|
How does one explain the stupendous success of a film like Dabangg, which is a cross between a Dharmendra and a Rajnikant movie? Why has the Salman-starrer grossed more money than Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots and Prakash Jha’s Raajneeti, which have (arguably) far superior content? What has endeared it to the urban multiplex audience despite being aimed at small-town India?
The answer lies in the fact that it is an unpretentious entertainer rooted in Indian reality, say directors Mahesh Bhatt and Sudhir Mishra. “Dabangg (fearless) reclaimed the space that Hindi films had ceded to Bhojpuri films because of the metrocentric sensibility of Bollywood directors,” explained Bhatt.
Mishra, known for acclaimed films such as Dharavi, Chameli and Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi said, “Our directors are living in their heads in America, they are ashamed of making Hindi films.” Big films, according to him, come from Indian reality “but of late, directors who come from Bollywood families have abdicated this space to small-town boys such as Vishal Bharadwaj, Raju Hirani and Anurag and Abhinav Kashyap.”
Bhatt said, “Just as Indian cinema was patting itself on its back for having grown up, the whole thing has been turned upside down!”
Explaining why the urban audience loved the film, Bhatt said, “The sophistication of our metro viewers is skin deep. Below the surface, we are all unabashed lovers of the ‘mela’, and this film has that carnival sensibility. It has met that elemental appetite.”
Alankrita Srivastava, Prakash Jha’s assistant whose debut film, Turning 30, is under post-production, went to see Dabangg with her friends expecting nothing more than the filmi equivalent of a ‘nautanki‘ (folk theatre). “We went to be entertained by Salman Khan and he did not disappoint us,” she said.“Of course, there are gaps in the story and awkward moments in the film but no one was looking for the negatives.”
“This is not my type of film but I made an exception for Dabangg being a former Salman fan. His appeal lies in the fact that he retains that unaffected and unsophisticated character of a `tapori’ (streetside ruffian),” said Shrivastava.
Director Madhur Bhandarkar, who saw the film at Bandra’s Gaiety theatre, said Salman has struck a chord with the masses as well as classes with his uninhibited performance. “Fans went hysterical, clapping and whistling at Salman’s lines. The last films I saw getting such reaction were Gadar and Lagaan,” said the director who shot to fame with Chandni Bar.
Paying tribute to Salman’s prowess as a star, Bhatt said, “A weak character cannot carry a strong plot but a strong character can carry a weak plot.” Indeed, even those who panned the film agreed that Salman has played the role of a corrupt but lovable cop with abandon.
The charm of the film was that it was an unapologetic and unabashed Salman starrer which went the whole hog, said Mishra. Bhatt admired the single mindedness and audacity of the filmmaker, Abhinav Kashyap.
The pre-release publicity of the film and the fact that it delivered what it promised — a total Salman Khan experience — also played its part in Dabangg’s success, said Shrivastava.
However, film critic Deepa Gahlot does not think much of Dabangg and dismisses it “a jazzed-up B-grade Bollywood film which Mithun Chakaraborty did by the dozen”. “It is only that this generation has grown up without watching such films.”
Bhatt and the other directors say the success of the film all over India shows that it has connected with the people. “It is very easy to fool the high-brow audience but difficult to entertain the masses,” said Bhatt.
Shazahn Padamsee, who made her debut in Rocket Singh–Salesman Of The Year, is on a high. After working with Madhur Bhandarkar in Dil Toh Bacha Hai Ji, the young lass has gifted herself a model from the BMW-3 series
An excited Shazahn said, “BMW is my dream car and I have finally managed to get it with my own hard-earned money. It feels great to buy something of your own with your money. It is a white BMW. I was waiting all this while for the beige interiors in the car, and they have finally arrived.”
She seems inspired by George Michael’s ‘Fast Love’…