Monthly Archives: February 2009
Taliban [Images] militants have established secret hideouts in Karachi and it ‘could take the city hostage at any point’, according to the Pakistani police.
The Special Branch of police has highlighted the presence of Taliban in Karachi in a report submitted to the Sindh government and the provincial police chief.
The Taliban have ‘huge caches’ of weapons and ammunition, the report said.
‘ONE OSCAR IS EQUAL TO 100 FILMFARE TROPHIES’
Anyone who watched the Oscars this Monday wouldâ€™ve wondered just what it is that makes the Academy Awards such a coveted event and why an Indian award comes off as such a pathetic country cousin.
The reasons have nothing to do with being in awe of the West.
Mumbai: When 2008 ended with a bang — Ghajini and Rab Ne Bana di Jodi did bumper business in the month of December — the film industry was hoping that some of that success would continue in 2009 too.
And with biggies like Chandni Chowk To China, Billu and Delhi-6 slated for release in the first two months, fireworks were expected. Sadly, films this year have come and gone with nothing more than a whimper.
The losses, say trade experts, could be anything between Rs70 to 80 crores. “CC2C, Billu and Delhi-6 (still running) will lose more than Rs 65 crores together,” says trade analyst Amod Mehra. “And with other films like Luck By Chance and Victory failing too, this figure easily touches the Rs80 crore-mark.”
Last year, Jodhaa Akbar and Race, which released in the first quarter, gave the industry something to smile about. This year, only Raaz-The Mystery Continues and Dev.D have managed to make some sort of impact in the first two months.
Heâ€™s more famous for his celebrity family and starlet girlfriend than for his films â€“ but heâ€™s already being called the face of Bollywoodâ€™s next generation.
Just who does Ranbir Kapoor think he is?
Written by Iain Ball
Photographed by Tarun Khiwal
Styled by Arjun Bhasin
Heâ€™s been hailed as the new hope of Hindi cinema â€“ despite the fact that heâ€™s made only two films so far, neither of which has been a hit. Then again, heâ€™s a Kapoor, scion of the nationâ€™s most extraordinary film dynasty. That might not impress those of us weary of Indiaâ€™s obsession with nepotism and dynasties â€“ but you might be impressed with Ranbir, a bright, ambitious actor who clearly knows he has to do a lot more than drop his last name to make it in 21st-century Bollywood. In this interview, Ranbir opens up with some refreshingly honest answers about everything, from riding on his fatherâ€™s coattails to sex and drugs, to why he really doesnâ€™t deserve all the money heâ€™s making.
Mumbai: The dream run seems to be over for Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, the child star of Oscar-winning film “Slumdog Millionaire” with his father slapping him for refusing to give interviews to media.
The 10-year-old child, who was plucked from a Mumbai slum to play the young Salim in the multiple-Oscar-winning movie, has been living amid constant media scrutiny since his return home from Los Angeles.
Tired after a long flight, Azhar wanted to go to sleep and refused to come out to oblige the media. His father Mohammed Ismail wanting to make the most of the newly acquired celebrity status of his son, got infuriated and slapped him.
“I was being naughty. I did not want to give the interview as I was tired so he slapped me but he loves me,” said Azhar.
MAR 1, 2009 – AFTER THE TIRESOMELY BLOATED OSCAR CEREMONY, I think itâ€™s safe to officially declare the Golden Globes as the awards ceremony to hunker down for. For one, itâ€™s the earliest film award of the year (Iâ€™m talking about the circussy ones, not the honourable badges of merit dispensed by sombre batches of movie critics across America) â€“ so there are no clear favourites yet. I remember how my heart was in my mouth when AR Rahman won the Golden Globe. At that point, he was literally the outsider, the long shot â€“ and when he won, the reaction was as much revelry as relief at being able to exhale again. But after the Globes, after Slumdog Millionaire swept every single awards ceremony, Rahman became the hot favourite. So even when the great man won a double Oscar â€“ a glorious event weâ€™re not likely to see again in our lifetime â€“ it was something of an anticlimax.
Oh, there was great pride, greater joy. What was missing was that nail-biting dread in the pit of the stomach, the desperate desire to look upwards and mutter ohpleasepleasepleaseplease â€“ not just in the case of Rahman, but in any category. Despite ringmaster Hugh Jackmanâ€™s valiant attempts to orchestrate distracting, carnivalesque sideshows, this yearâ€™s Academy Awards ceremony was a creaking, groaning bore â€“ about a half-hourâ€™s worth of entertainment padded with three hours of unctuous platitudes that made it appear that the people being honoured had cured cancer or AIDS or both. This is showbiz, folks â€“ and to most people, that means stars. Iâ€™m as appreciative as the next person about the doughty documentarian who chronicles the effects of dwindling shoe polish supplies on the footwear of the Nicaraguan military, but can they not figure out a way to make these segments interesting?
Komal Nahta reviews DELHI 6 (along with opening day report and predictions)
UTV Motion Pictures and RakÂeysh Omprakash Mehra Pictures Pvt. Ltd.â€™s Delhi-6 (UA) is about oneâ€™s roots. Roshan (Abhishek BachÂchan), born to a Hindu father, Rajan (Indrajeet SarÂkar), and a Muslim mother, Fatima (Tanvi Azmi), comes to India â€“ Chandni Chowk area of Delhi â€“ from the USA to drop his paternal grandmother (Waheeda Rehman) back as her only wish is to breathe her last amidst neighbours and friends, in their anÂcestral home. Having been born and brought up in the US, Roshan is both, aghast and amused, by what he sees of India.
The love and close bonds people share, the festivals and celebrations of India, the family feuds and the bickerings, the customs and traditions, the modernity going hand-in-hand with the antiquated beliefs, the communal harmony which turns into hatred, all of these consume Roshan who also soon finds himself falling in love with Bittu (Sonam Kapoor), their neighbour and family friendâ€™s daughter. Bittu wants to make a name for herself and, without the knowledge of her family, gets selected in a television reality show for which she has to go to Bombay. Of course, her father, Madan Gopal (Om Puri), will not hear anything of it and so, she decides to run away with a lecherous photoÂgrapher, Suresh (Cyrus SahuÂkar).
Bittu has a paternal uncle, JaiÂgopal (Pawan Malhotra). Bittuâ€™s father and uncle canâ€™t see eye to eye over a family dispute but the ladies of the house are close to one another. The two families live under one roof, divided by a wall. The neighbours comprise Ali Beg (Rishi Kapoor), dim-witted Gobar (Atul Kulkarni), Lalaji (Prem Chopra) who has a wife one-third his age, Mamadu (Deepak Dobriyal), the Muslim sweetmeat shop owner, and another Muslim man, Haji Suleman (K.K. Raina) etc. The area has an arrogant police officer, RanÂvijay Chaudhry (Vijay Raaz). Thereâ€™s also a sweeper, Jalebi (Divya Dutta), who is treated like dirt by almost everybody.
During Roshanâ€™s stay in Delhi, the story of a mysterious monkey man striking in the dark of night is doing the rounds. In the otherwise peaceful Chandni Chowk area, discussions on the monkey man spark off a communal disturbance which threatens to turn into a riot. How Roshan saves the day forms the climax.
The story and screenplay, written by Rakeysh Mehra, Prasoon Joshi and KamÂlesh Pandey, are well-intentioned insofar as they seek to tell the viewer that thereâ€™s a monkey man (evil) hidden in all of us. But the execution of the plot to pass on this message is so weak and boring that it tests the audienceâ€™s patience.
(Komal usually gives the first day opening report and also his predictions on the performance during the coming weeks. I have highlighted it )
Red Chillies EntertainÂmentâ€™s Billu (formerly titled Billu Barber) is the story of friendship. Billu (Irrfan Khan) is a barber in Budbuda village, who lives with his wife, Bindiya (Lara Dutta), and two school-going kids, Gunja (Mitali Mayakar) and Duggu (Pratik Dalvi). Since he can barely make two ends meet, he takes each day as it comes. His life changes when a film unit comes to the village to shoot. Superstar Sahir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) is the hero of the film being shot at Budbuda.
Somehow, word spreads that Billu and Sahir were childhood friends. Eager to be photographed with the superstar and rub shoulders with him, the villagers suddenly start beÂhaving extra-sweetly with Billu. The moneylender (Om Puri) gifts him a new chair and provisions for his hair-cutting saloon. Even the ladies of the village are kind towards BinÂdiya, all in the hope that her husband would prove to be their ticket to meet the superstar. The principal (Rasika Joshi) of the school in which Billuâ€™s children study, asks Billu to get Sahir Khan to the school and, in return, proposes waiver of fees of the two kids.
Pressurised by his wife, childÂren and the villagers, the shy and simple Billu tries to get in touch with Sahir but fails because the superstarâ€™s staff never lets him meet the actor. The villagers, agitated after waiting for so long, conclude that Billu and his wife had lied about their closeness to Sahir and they now turn their ire on Billu who bears the humiliation silently. On the last day of shooting, Sahir Khan visits the village school to address the children. In his emotional speech, the actor makes a mention of his childhood days of poverty, his childhood friend, Billu, and of how he (Billu) had helped him to realise his dream of becoming an actor.
DELHI 6 all set to join ’30 Crore Flop Club’
February 28, 2009 6:29:19 PM IST
Joginder Tuteja, Bollywood Trade News Network
DELHI 6 has flopped.
After an ordinary opening weekend, the film continued to see a steady fall during the remainder of the week. The film has netted just a little above 20 crores in the first week which is quite a low number considering it’s huge release.
A pretentious film, it’s fall was imminent if reactions after the film’s premier itself were any indications.
Rang De Basanti has to be a huge monkey riding on the shoulder of Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra.Â After making a film that supposedly became an anthem or sorts for energizing the youth, expectations were riding very high for Delhi 6.Â The film had a good amount of hype and buzz and the music was already a winner.Â So it was shocking to see the initial reviews that were mostly average.Â It did help to reduce my expectations as I watched Delhi 6.
Delhi 6 is so much but could have been so much more.Â Front and center in the casting is the city of old Delhi, Delhi â€“ Postal code 6.Â Living there is a microcosm of characters that could represent India â€“ the warring brothers (Om Puri and Pawan Malhotra) with a wall down the middle of their house (I have cousins who live like thatÂ â˜º ), a rich old seth (Prem Chopra) with his young wife, a muslim jalebi waala who is a Hanuman bhakt (Deepak Dobriyal), a benign rich man who plays pool and dishes out advice (Rishi Kapoor), a corrupt and swaggering policeman (Vijay Raaz), a simple minded fool who speaks profound words on occasion (Atul Kulkarni), a lower caste woman with a heart of gold (Divya Dutta), a sleazy photographer (Cyrus Sahukar), a fakir who goes around showing people their faces in a mirror, the women who do not war (Sonam Kapoor, Supriya Pathak, Aditi Rao, Sheeba Chaddha), the usual rabble rousing politicians, maulanas and other â€œholyâ€ men, and kids who want to hurry up and grow up.Â Into this mix is thrown the NRI Rohan (Abhishek Bachchan), when he brings his grandma (Waheeda Rahman) to her home so she can die happy!
The city teems and seethes around this mass of humanity, and each character is etched with enough back-story to make it interesting.Â And it is all shown to us through the eyes of Rohan, as he uses his cell phone to capture everything from the namaaz at Jama Masjid, to cows undergoing parturition in the middle of the city street, to bells on the local temple.Â There is a Ramlila running parallel to the story, at times introducing us to the NRI Rohan (Dadi, the golden DEEER!), introducing the politician who will later foment trouble, the warring brothers, the hypocrisy of revering Shabri while abusing Jalebi!Â Â This Ramlila runs throughout the film at regular intervals and when the film cuts from the riots to the epic battle, the parallel is almost too obvious, although the most mesmerizing scenes of the Ramlila are in the soaring figures in this sequence.Â The urban legend of Kaala Bandar â€“ the mythical monkey man that terrorized Delhi in 2001 â€“ is used by Mehra to set up a hokey McGuffin, representing at the same time the evil that resides within us all, and also the cause around which Hindus and Muslims will eventually rally and set aside their differences.Â The film raises an issue a minute and takes on female choice in marriage, religious bigotry, casteism, superstitions, police corruption, and political machinations (Babri Masjid type scenario also raises its head)!Â This plethora of issues obfuscates the already thin plot (does Bittu love Rohan?Â Does Rohan love Bittu?), and really only leaves a teeming city as the leading star in the story.
The performances are excellent by the ensemble cast of veterans, led by Waheeda Rahman.Â Deepak Dobriyal, Divya Dutta, Rishi Kapoor and Vijay Raaz deserve special mention for outstanding well etched performances.Â Sonam Kapoor looks luminous, but does not have much opportunity to show off her acting skills.Â Abhishek is a bewildered NRI with a confused accent.Â He has his moments, but they are few and far in between, and more often than not he is a mere presence.Â Mehra is to be faulted here for stripping his lead of the considerable charm the man possesses, and making him a mere onlooker and a bystander in the city.Â When he does spring into action, it is in a King Kong suit (do not ask why or even HOW) with a motherboard and blinking LEDs, and by then it is too little too late.Â This is followed by a heavenly jalebi eating episode with his grandfather (played by Amitabh), but by then it is verging on purgatory for this viewer.
I had initially thought all this would be resolved a long long time ago, but seeing as it hasn’t been, I wanted to give my side of things prior to leaving for india and pakistan for a couple of weeks.
First, as Joe DiMaggio supposedly told Paul Simon when he ran into him, I haven’t gone anywhere. What had happened was that I was upset about RKS leaving as a fallout of accusations of bias, hysteria, calls for banning this or that member, conspiracy theories, and the like. There should be no misunderstanding: for me this was NOT about RKS per se (it’s a free world, and who could blame him for wanting a break from all this?!), but about the notion that slander and innuendo could “force out” anyone. IMO this would set a bad precedent. And I didn’t think I could continue until Rohit took a stand in support of the man he had made moderator.
Second, note that the crucial word above is “Rohit”. That is who I was looking to, that is who I was holding responsible. Not any members — because it’s a free forum and everyone has a right to his or her views. Initially I fully expected that Rohit would agree with me, but as days went by with radio silence from his end, I grew dismayed. I recognize NG doesn’t pay anyone’s bills, and one is busy with work, responsibilities etc. However, that is not a sufficient explanation. It simply is not. A few lines could have been written. A gesture of support to the moderator left out to dry ought to have been made. (No one need bother responding on this point, because I am not going to be debating this issue. I feel convinced.) There is plenty of responsibility to go around, but this is an element of it.
Third, shortly after I communicated my perspective to RKS, he approached me about the possibility of me being one of a panel of moderators. I said I didn’t have a problem with that, BUT that I had certain conditions — basically I wanted RKS to also be part of the panel (again because I was concerned that NG not set a precedent whereby any x number of members leads to a modertaor-switch), and I wanted more teeth/power than RKS had (or, than I think RKS had; I do not know the exact arrangement between him and Rohit), because I didn’t want to be accountable to Rohit (otherwise, I quite frankly didn’t see the point). Rohit ultimately seemed ok with this — but then when days and days dragged on without any announcement or resolution, I began to think that perhaps he didn’t like the idea (for instance, I had asked for the power to ban or suspend members; recognizing this is a last last resort, I feel that one can have little authority absent the power to enforce. Shutting down threads because x or y mis-behaves is simply stupid: it in fact gives the power to the person who is misbehaving, and everyone else suffers (a bit like telling the guy holding hostages that you’ll shoot the hostages if he doesn’t surrender!); Rohit might not be comfortable giving me that power — fine, I totally respect that point of view. But then I wouldn’t want to be moderator; there is no element of blackmail/pressure here at all: I have my conditions, shared with the powers-that-be in advance, and now publicly with all of you). I still remain unsure as to what Rohit’s plan is.
Despite the filmâ€™s Prakash Jhaâ€™ish feel, Anurag Kashyap leaves his indelible stamp all over Piyush Mishraâ€™s soundtrack. Gulaalâ€™s music is thoughtfully thematic, atmospheric and intricately layered – almost like a hinterland version of Dev.D!
Listen to the songs …
Get ready for the glittering night of the 54th Idea Filmfare Awards 2008, scheduled for February 28, 2009 Movies that are nominated under the Best Film category this year are Dostana, Ghajini, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, Jodhaa Akbar, …
Sachin Tendulkar reached a new level of fame yesterday when it was announced that a wax figure of his will be part of internationally renowned Madame Tussauds, London in April.
Tendulkar will join Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan and fellow cricket legends Brain Lara and Shane Warne, who are featured in the wax museum.
They are the trio that breaks into groovy open-hand dances under frosty blue neon lights in Anuraag Kashyapâ€™s Dev D. And as Dev sinks deeper into his hallucinations, they reappear with their gravity-defying gyrations in the songs Nayan tarse and Pardesi, lending the moments their psychedelic stupor. They are the Twilight Players, a group of three brothers from London, who are currently visiting their ancestral home in Phagwara, Punjab, and basking in the success of Dev D.
Christened Gurpal Singh Phgura, Amrik Singh Phgura and Sukjeevan Singh Phgura, the three now prefer their â€œtradeâ€ names â€” Sinbad, Ammo and Jimmy. A smart move given that their clients are often some big international namesâ€”theyâ€™ve performed with Michael Jackson, Madonna and Kylie Minogue. â€œOur style is inspired by a number of dance forms and is always about attitude, never just dance,â€ says Sinbad, 42, the oldest, in a heavy Brit-American accent.
Their father moved to London as a teenager in 1959 and the brothers were born in there. Sinbad was still in school when he participated in the BBC TV show Top of the Pops in the 1980s. Shortly after that, he found himself part of a dance troupe in Los Angeles called Twilight East. Ammo, 12 years his junior, says, â€œJimmy and I had always looked up to Sinbad and tried to do things the way he did. We followed him to Los Angeles to dance. The only difference is that we opted for formal education at the Performing Arts School of Hertfordshire, UK.â€
Fans of the 1970sâ€™ funk music and Bollywood among others, their dance moves resemble a cross between the 1950sâ€™ bop jazz and Michael Jackson. The brothers insist that theyâ€™ll never compromise on their dance style, which includes their costumes and attitude. â€œWe turned down several Bollywood projects because they did not suit our style. We met Abhay Deol and Anurag Kashyap a year before the film was to begin through our agent Geeta Handa and hit it off immediately. The results are spectacular because the film allowed us to do our stuff,â€ says Ammo.
The nineties were dominated by the Khan-daan – the trio of SRK, Salman and Aamir (in that order). A quick recap of the box-office events of the nineties makes it even more obvious:
1. Hum Aapke Hain Kaun: 60-65 cr
2. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge: 55-60 cr
3. Raja Hindustani: approx 50 cr
4. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai: approx 50 cr
5. Border – approx 40 cr
6. Karan Arjun: 30-35 cr
7. Dil To Pagal Hai – 25-30 cr
The above count is not just a hit-list but the major grossers of the decade with very high standard deviation from the mean gross of the decade or their year of release.
As we can see, six out of the seven were Khan movies with the lone exception being Border, which was a multistarrer.
Ace cinematographer Rajiv Menon captured some really beautiful moments between Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Mani Ratnam’s â€˜Guruâ€™. Now Rajiv is all set to direct Bollywood’s most talked about couple in his next film.
Reporters spoke to the South based cinematographer who confirmed the news. “Yes…Abhishek and Aishwarya are starring in my next directorial venture titled â€˜Dhunâ€™. It’s a film where music plays a very important role. The film goes on floors sometime in June this year.”
Quiz him on rumors that the film is similar to the Amitabh-Jaya Bachchan starrer â€˜Abhimaanâ€™ and he says, “I think Abhishek has already clarified this. There is no similarity except the fact that the characters in my film also play musicians.”
By Money Sharma,Â February 27, 2009 – 15:00 IST
Chacha Chowdhary, Pinki and Sabu who have entertained a range of generations through the comic books, are all gearing up to hit the silver screen, TV and video game platform, soon.
Diamond Comics, the owner of these characters, has tied up with License India, which is powering the plans of Diamond comics to reach on electronic platform and scouting for partners and people to work on the creative of the project.
Speaking to Bollywood Hungama, Anupama Bindra, Business Head, License India, said, “We are preparing the licensing plans for Diamond Comics and are in talks with several animation studios who can work on the animation feature and TV series. To start with, we are looking at releasing the TV series this summer, when the holiday season starts so that we can reach kids.”
Book Review: Bachchanalia – The Films & Memorabilia of Amitabh Bachchan
‘Bachchanalia’ is indeed special, and exclusive. A lethal combo that makes it a MUST for every cine follower who has claimed to be a follower (even if not a …