Bollywood meets Dickens

Mumbai may be reeling after the terror strikes, but Slumdog Millionaire, a film about a Mumbai slum kid rising to the top of Kaun Banega Crorepati, is making waves in the West. Sandip Roy meets its director Danny Boyle

Anil Kapoor was nervous about his first English film. “He kept saying, don’t be frightened to tell me to tone it down,” remembers director Danny Boyle. “But I like big performances. I like it full on.”

Boyle also gives it full on in his new and critically acclaimed film Slumdog Millionaire. It’s loosely based on Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup’s novel Q & A — a rags-to-rupees plot about a slum kid rising to the top of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) and then being accused of cheating. The film hurtles back and forth through time, like a jam-packed Mumbai local train, stuffed with everything you can imagine — hookers, pimps, mafia dons, Hindu-Muslim riots, orphans, maimed beggars, open latrines, the Taj Mahal and a big dance number at Victoria Terminus station.

It’s Bollywood meeting Dickens in Maximum City. “You can call it melodramatic but we respond to that on a human level,” says Boyle. “It’s no coincidence that Dickens’s work came out of that Victorian explosion of opportunity and wealth creation. Suddenly a mass of poor people had a little bit of purchasing power. And they wanted to be entertained. Dickens provided that. And Bollywood does too.” Continue reading

Voice politics


Jumbo, the animation film for children and families which is being heavily promoted by Akshay Kumar, has been seeing some rather jumbo-sized politics backstage. The whisper is that Akki was paid a hefty Rs 9-crore fee by Percept, only for lending his voice to the main character, as a bait for completing their other film, Eight By Ten. Of course, that fee was paid before the market turned cautious over elephantine salaries. But it has ultimately worked out well because once Akshay came on board he didn’t stop at providing only a voice over. He roped in star names like Lara Dutta to dub for the other characters, held rehearsals at his house, took a personal interest in turning Jumbo into a glossy biggie and he has now pulled out the stops for its promotion. He’s virtually functioning like the brand ambassador for the film.

It has been a successful deal after all for Percept as their incomplete Nagesh Kukunoor film Eight By Ten also huffed and puffed to the finish line last week. The film had got stuck when an entire schedule in Canada went haywire and Akshay’s precious dates were wasted. That had miffed the actor and thereafter wooing him to complete the film was a screenplay of its own and took over a year to accomplish.

An inside source says that Akshay may have finally done all his shooting for Nagesh’s film but it was all far from hunky dory. On the sets, Akshay had his own ideas for executing a scene which, of course, differed widely from director Nagesh’s vision. Kukunoor wanted scenes done his way, underplayed and natural, while Akshay Kumar has a predilection for louder, commercial acting. So after a scene was shot Kukunoor style, Akshay would say, ‘Ok, you’ve done it your way. Now let’s do it my way.’ And the scene would be shot all over again! Continue reading

Slumdog scoops Indie film awards

Slumdog scoops Indie film awards

Slumdog Millionaire sees a young boy enter Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

A movie about a poor Indian boy who wins a game show fortune has taken three prizes, including best film, at the British Independent Film Awards.

Slumdog Millionaire, which is not out in the UK until January, also won best director for Danny Boyle and best newcomer for 18-year-old Dev Patel. Continue reading

Hrithik tops Cosmopolitan Sexiest Men

We generally see sexy babes toplist by number of magazines like Maxim. Cosmopolitan does the role reversal with its list of ‘Cosmos 20 Sexiest Men’. Hrithik Roshan tops the list followed by: Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal and Kunal Kapoor.

List feature some of the popular and well known faces from bollywood like Shahrukh, Aamir, Saif, Salman and Abhishek. It also has some non filmy names like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Rahul Gandhi, Leander Pace etc. Checkout full list in images.

Continue reading

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