Posts tagged village
Arunoday Singh shrugs off his political lineage and says that he is set on making his own way in Bollywood
Namrata Bhawnani (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 23, 2011)
What’s in a last name? Plenty, if you live in a country where dynasty politics rules and stardom is hereditary in Bollywood. So one would assume that the grandson of veteran Congressman Arjun Singh, Arunoday has it all worked out for him.
Not so, says the actor, who got noticed in the Sudhir Mishra-produced turkey, Sikandar, for his portrayal of a terrorist. Aisha followed, where he lent the much-welcome testosterone quotient to the chick flick. Mirch bombed, and now he plays a thug in Yeh Saali Zindagi. The graph and survival rate is not too bad for a newcomer.
The fiendishly tall actor (he’s 6 ft 4) is articulate and candid about his family, work and relationships. “There’s a perception that we get coddled and are surrounded by opportunity. At 21, my father walked away and has been on his own. He raised me the same way,” he says.
“There’s no real school in the village outside Bhopal, so I went to a boarding school at six. I got a scholarship to a university in Boston. I was a bit of a nerd, still am. I studied English Lit. and minored in philosophy. My brain is a high maintenance engine and my mother is central to keeping me sane.”
Arunoday went to New York to pursue acting in theatre because a professor told him, ‘You have a modicum of talent. You must nurture it boy, or you will More >
By Taran Adarsh, December 28, 2010 – 08:20 IST
Notice this. Most of the movies that worked at the box-office this year were desi films. They either had characters from small towns or villages. Or had the rural backdrop. Till the onset of this year, most film-makers were of the opinion that the multiplex junta prefers to watch urban themes, while desi subjects/characters worked with a tiny minority at smaller centres. But the audience proved them wrong yet again.
Suddenly, all of a sudden, the year 2010 witnessed a number of desi films striking gold at the box-office. Take the case of DABANGG, the biggest Hit of the year. It had a rural backdrop and its protagonist, Chulbul Pandey, was an uncouth and brash character. But the film worked big time at plexes as well as single screens. Ditto for ISHQIYA, which was set in a village or PEEPLI [LIVE], which, depicted the rural community. UDAAN too was about the father-son relationship in a small town of India, while TERE BIN LADEN threw light on a Laden lookalike residing in a hamlet. That’s not all, even RAAJNEETI, which depicted the games politicians play, was set in the heartland of India.
DO DOONI CHAAR and BAND BAAJA BAARAAT, though set in Delhi, had characters the desi or the middle class audience could relate to, while PHAS GAYE RE OBAMA had a small town backdrop. This doesn’t imply that urban themes didn’t find acceptance this year. They did. But the point to be noted is that desi films ruled the roost in More >
The great rural-urban divide never seems to go away. While the small towns and villages are epitome of simple living, innocence and values, the cities are modern and often reckless in their outlook. The urbanites are thus perceived as shameless, immoral and disgraceful. However, the truth is not what it seems. People in small town don’t allow their girls to think freely and fly high in the sky as they are expected to get married soon. Also evil practices like dowry continue to thrive in such areas. However, something like this is hardly seen in the urban areas as they have a fresh mindset towards everything and believe in gender equality. Isi Life Mein touches this topic and is also a fun college film and a love story as well. Coming from the Rajshri stable, one definitely expects something as great as Hum Aapke Hai Koun or Vivah. Unfortunately, Isi Life Mein fails to reach that level. While the love story, situations and characters are very sweet, the film gets too simplistic which might be rejected by the moviegoers.
The story of the movie: Rajnandini (Sandeepa Dhar) gets a huge 96% in her Class 12 Boards and she wishes to study further. However, Rajnandini, a resident of small town Ajmer and daughter of a conservative father Ravimohan (Mohnish Bahl) fears that she won’t be allowed to do so. But thanks to her mom Pratibha (Prachee Shah Pandya), she gets a nod to go to Mumbai to pursue her further studies. In her college in Mumbai, she joins Dramatic More >
Bollywood’s Khiladi No.1 has another ace up his sleeve
Meena Iyer | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; November 22, 2010)
Akshay Kumar is getting into the fourth gear of his promotions for Tees Maar Khan that is releasing worldwide on December 24. Simultaneously his banner Hari Om Productions, that has given us entertainers like Singh is Kinng, De Dana Dan, Khatta Meetha, Waqt — A Race against Time, and Farah Khan’s Three is Company have signed Bollywood’s youngest girl Sonakshi Sinha for Shirish Kunder’s Joker.
Shirish says, “Joker will be India’s first 3-D magnum opus. And the reason why I’ve signed Sonakshi is because she is ideally suited for the role. Also, Akshay has acted with almost every heroine on the scene. Sonakshi and he are a fresh pair; the casting is already creating ripples.’’ Says the Khiladi himself, “Joker is not a super-hero film. It is not about me wearing some clown’s clothes or being part of a circus. Why it is called Joker is something you’ll have to wait to know. However, I can tell you, it is going to be one of the most technically advanced movies made in India. Children and adults are going to love it. The story moves from a village to NASA and well after that there’s some suspense involved.’’
Even as he gears up to romance the Dabangg hottie, Akshay says that 2011 will be as action packed as any other year in his career. Says he, “I have Patiala House, Thank You, Joker, my international film — Rob Lowe’s Break-Away More >
By Subhash K. Jha, October 11, 2010 – 10:14 IST
At a celebration party at the Marriott on Monday evening, the Big B would be cutting a 68-kilo cake, 1 kilo for each year of his life.
While the world sings ‘Happy Birthday‘ to the Big B, Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan sing together for the first time in a song composed by the Big B himself! Find that hard to believe? But it’s the truth.
The Big B is a huge aficionado of music and singing. He in fact intends to learn to play the piano soon. But for now he has turned composer for a song that has been sung by the Big B and Abhishek Bachchan.
The song would be part of a comprehensive bio-documentary showcasing the 68-year life-span of Amitabh Bachchan which will be telecast on his birthday on Monday. The Big B has not only taken active and complete interest in the material going into the audio-visual show reel–going so far as to provide never-before pictures, advising on the footage to be used and making suggestions on chronological data relating to his life story– the mega-star has also taken time off from his cluttered schedule to compose the theme song.
While the Big B himself is characteristically dismissive of what could be seen as his first decisive step into direction and filmmaking, Ajit Thakur CEO of Sony Entertainment, the channel which will be telecasting the historic bio-documentary sheds startling light on the project. “Mr. Bachchan has indeed composed a song for the show reel and also sung for it More >
The actress gets to share screen space with Ajay Devgn and Akshaye Khanna in her forthcoming film
Harshada Rege (BOMBAY TIMES; August 22, 2010)
Amita Pathak is all set to share screen space with actors Ajay Devgn and Akshaye Khanna in her second outing as an actor in Big Screen Entertainer’s Aakrosh. The movie that’s produced by Amita’s dad Kumar Mangat Pathak deals with the sensitive issue of honour killing. “A case of honour killing took place in my dad’s village, which disturbed him a lot. Around the same time, we came across this script and he immediately wanted to produce it.” Speaking about the movie, she says, “My character is that of a simple, soft-hearted girl. She is one of the reasons why Ajay and Akshaye come to solve a case.”
Amita is extremely excited to be directed by Priyadarshan. She says, “He is so quick with his shots. He knows exactly what he wants. I don’t remember a single shot which took more than two-three takes. He helped me a lot and never made me feel like a newcomer.”
And the icing on the cake is sharing screen space with actors like Ajay, Akshaye and Bipasha Basu. “Ajay has been a family friend for many years. So there’s a certain comfort level. And no, he didn’t play any pranks on me. Maybe because I know him too well. As for Akshaye, he doesn’t talk much, but he’s a keen observer. If he likes you, he’ll do anything for you, and if he doesn’t like you he’ll just keep to himself,” she adds.
Amita, who More >
Theater actor Omkar Das has come a long way from Bhilai to Mumbai bringing raw folk talent to the fore
Divashri Sinha (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 08, 2010)
Omkar Das, aka Natha, brings his raw and rustic charm to the Mumbai screens, courtesy Peepli Live. Given his pedigree in theatre, he almost sets the tone of his first feature film.
How did you start out in theatre?
I started theatre full-time in the year 2000. Until then, I was a folk singer and used to travel with my troupe of 30-odd singers in Chattisgarh. I always enjoyed entertaining, so theatre came naturally.
How did Peepli Live happen?
I was auditioning for another project in Bhopal when the writer and director saw me and wanted me to audition for Natha. I got the lead role immediately. I never expected it.
How did it feel being on a film set, with untrained actors and a big crew?
Oh, that was something! From street performances and folk songs to big lights, cameras, etc; I was very intimidated. But the director was very helpful.
She asked me to ignore the cameras and be as natural as possible. After the first day, I concentrated on everything else except the camera and soon got over the hesitation.
How popular is theatre in villages now? How much has Bollywood managed to influence its style and subject?
People usually enjoy the song and dance routines much more than staged drama.
Even though the issues may be relevant, naatak is expected to have more entertainment than anything else. There More >
Manoj Bajpai’s character in Raajneeti is inspired by South star-turned-politician Chiranjeevi
Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; May 27, 2010)
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Manoj Bajpai, who will be seen as an ambitious, power hungry politician in Prakash Jha’s Raajneeti, seems to have found inspiration from an unlikely source: actor turned politician Chiranjeevi. The look and the mannerisms appear to be styled on the South icon.
Our source said, “When you see Manoj in the film, especially during the election campaign scenes and notice his oratory style, it bears a striking resemblance to Chiranjeevi. Even his look and his moustache are absolutely similar. The striking resemblance can’t be avoided.”
However, Manoj Bajpai did not agree with the theory. He said, “Not at all. I have never observed Chiranjeevi when he was campaigning. It might be a coincidence or some postures might be similar, but there is no deliberate attempt to copy him.
I have based my character on someone from my village in Bihar, who I have known since childhood. His name is Brijesh Singh. I wanted to capture his charisma as I play the eldest brother in this family saga. He is extremely ambitious and can go to any extent to fulfill his political ambitions. At the same time, he is a great friend and an interesting character in the film.”
Speaking about the scenes where he resembles Chiranjeevi, he said, “Those are the sequences where I am trying to raise a debate. I was trying to look More >
Producer Sanjay Singh, whose movie Udaan will be competing at Cannes Film Festival, talks to BT about his filmi plans
Sanjay Singh is on cloud nine these days. His first production Udaan (produced along with Anurag Kashyap and directed by Vikram Motwane) is competing in the Un Certain Regard, official selection section of the Cannes Film Festival. The festival honours the best in cinema across the globe, and Udaan happens to be the first Hindi film to make the grade after Salaam Bombay. Sanjay, who believes in meaningful entertainment, is obviously thrilled with the development. He says, “We are representing India and that is the biggest achievement possible. To make your country proud is the greatest feeling in the world.” But Sanjay is no taking it easy. The producer has now launched his own production house — Manji that focuses on making real, meaningful films instead of opting for commercially viable projects. “Money or profit is not my priority. I want to produce films that will have the audience thinking about an issue even after they leave the theatre. Of course the movies will be entertaining too,” he says.
He had already planned to produce his next film — Mountain Man. “Mountain Man is the story of a man who fought with nature to create a easier life for people in his village,” he reveals. The movie will be directed by a Cannes festival winner — Mahesh Jha. Sanjay confesses that Mountain Man has him even more excited More >