Once Upon a Time in Mumbai

Am I the only one looking forward to this project? I’ve enjoyed Luthria’s CHORI CHORI, KACHCHE DHAAGE and DEEWARR-LETS BRING OUR HEROES HOME. Not a flawless director by any means, but Luthria still has a firm grasp over the medium and his efforts in both KACHCHE DHAAGE and DEEWARR were commendable given the magnitude of both films(though he fell short in the latter). The teaming up of Ajay Devgan with Emraan Hashmi (someone who I’m a fan of) is in itself exciting, plus the story at hand sounds fantatsic (my favourite genre)…we could potentially have a real winner and dark horse here! Below is an older piece…no doub tI have a great weakness for the title here too!

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Kangana Ranaut is all set to step into the biggest shoes of her career when she attempts to play the role of the legendary actress Madhubala in a flick which is also somewhat about the underworld don Haji Mastan (FYI he was madly in love with Madhubala, she – not so much.) The movie is called “Once Upon a Time in Mumbai” and is being produced by Ektaa Kapoor’s Balaji Telefilms. Apparently Ajay Devgan and Emraan Hashmi have been on board for ages but were waiting for their leading lady to be cast. Ajay Devgan will be seen as Haji Mastan and Emraan will potray the role of young Dawood Ibrahim.

So apparently Madhubala led quite the tragic life. I found this tribute on YouTube check it out.

Continue reading

NY Times review of Public Enemies (2009)

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Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies” is a grave and beautiful work of art. Shot in high-definition digital by a filmmaker who’s helping change the way movies look, it revisits with meticulous detail and convulsions of violence a short, frantic period in the life and bank-robbing times of John Dillinger, an Indiana farm boy turned Depression outlaw, played by a low-voltage Johnny Depp. Much of what makes the movie pleasurable is the vigor with which it restages our familiar romance with period criminals, a perennial affair. But what also makes it more than the sum of its spectacular shootouts is the ambivalence about this romance that seeps into the filmmaking, steadily darkening the skies and draining the story of easy thrills.

The thrills are certainly there in the sensationally choreographed prison break that opens the movie under a bright blue Midwestern sky that stretches across the wide screen like a cathedral ceiling. Dappled by fluffy white clouds, it is the kind of sky that tends to show up as a backdrop in paintings of the Madonna and Child, but here offers a sharp contrast to the long-distance image of Dillinger and his friend Red (Jason Clarke), quickly striding toward an enormous, looming prison. Mr. Mann goes in closer once the men enter the prison, where they help disarm the guards, and he pulls back again for the long view as Dillinger fires on the prison with a machine gun while the escapees make a run for the getaway car.

By force of Hollywood habit, you might expect that this vision of the suddenly lone gunman would serve as a prelude to another exciting joy ride about living fast and dying young. Instead it’s followed by a striking short scene of a wounded escapee being dragged alongside the speeding car while Dillinger and another man struggle to pull him up. In the most startling shot, Mr. Mann places the camera right next to the fallen man, pointing it up at Dillinger’s dark, ominous figure as he almost blots out that blue sky. Dillinger holds on until the man’s grip wilts, the dead body slipping away in one direction as the car races off in the other. Laying the blame elsewhere, he next tosses another man out of the moving car.

This, then, is Mr. Mann’s Dillinger: brave enough to stand his ground, loyal, ruthless. There’s a hint of the demonic in this portrait, particularly when the outlaw is gliding through a bank, his long, dark coat fanning around him and a tommy gun in one hand. This is the stuff of legends, of shoot-’em-ups and matinee gangsters with jaunty smiles. Mr. Mann loves this apparition of calculated bravura and initially he frames the first few heists as seamlessly choreographed set pieces. During the first robbery he shows Dillinger and two accomplices from high overhead, the camera peering straight down as the men fan across a black-and-white bank floor like MGM dancers. When Dillinger leaps across a railing, he soars. Continue reading

Are you the next Bollywood Singing Sensation!

Been singing A.R Rahman in the shower for as long as your can remember? Well hop out put a towel on, and check out the FIRST ever Bollywood online singing competition. Brought to you by State Farm and of course Saavn.com . All you have to do is go here bollystar2009.com, upload video of yourself singing and have your friends vote for you. You could win the chance to be in an upcoming Bollywood flick! Just imagine, singing in the rain with your favorite star because YOU are the next Bollystar.

Want to show off your talents to live audience? Live auditions are being held in California and New Jersey from July 10-11th at your leading Bollywood theater. Check here for more details. As soon as I know them so will you! Just remember the last chance to become the next Bollystar is July 28,2009. Good luck!!! Continue reading

World Bank: Patna better than Mumbai to start business

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This may come as a big surprise to some of you, but a World Bank study says that Patna is ahead of Mumbai when it comes to the ease of starting a business.

According to the World Bank ranking announced on Tuesday, Patna is second only to New Delhi in this regard, but way ahead of Mumbai.

Of the 17 cities that figured in the World Bank and International Finance Corporation’s ‘Doing Business In India 2009′ report. So check out which are the other Indian cities, according to the World Bank, where it is easy to start a business… Continue reading

It’s a blast from the past for Bollywood now

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It was all about looking into the future for Bollywood with films like Aa Dekhen Zara, 13 B and Kal Kissne Dekha hitting the screens in recent times. But now it is flashback time and forthcoming movies will see popular actors exploring the times that have gone by.

These include Saif Ali Khan’s production debut Love Aaj Kal, Akshay Kumar’s Action Replay and Once Upon a Time in Mumbai that stars Emraan Hashmi.

Said director Imtiaz Ali, who has brought together two eras in his Love Aaj Kal: “The film moves in two different eras – 1965 and 2009 – almost simultaneously. They could well be termed as Love Kal and Love Aaj respectively due to their relevance with the characters and the time period involved. Continue reading

I’m proud I brought homosexuality out of closet: Tarun Mansukhani

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Talk about gays and their acceptability problems are no longer hush-hush with ‘Queer Pride’ rallies becoming an annual event in many Indian cities. And one-film old writer-director Tarun Mansukhani takes pride in bringing homosexuality out of the closet in films with his commercial hit “Dostana”. He now plans a sequel to the comedy.

“It was an intentional thought to make a light-hearted film on a serious subject. I personally believe that is the way to make people listen. If I were to attempt an Indian version of ‘Brokeback Mountain’ or make an equally serious film, I don’t think I’d get half the response I’ve received,” Mansukhani told IANS in an e-mail interview.

“I didn’t expect people to walk out of the theatre saying ‘Hey! I?m okay with homosexuality’. I wanted them to walk out laughing and then later when the entire family was sitting at the dinner table laughing about the film, I was hoping that someone would continue the discussion. And I achieved that. I’m proud to say that I?ve made homosexuality come out of the closet and onto the dinner table. I think it worked,” he said.

The 33-year-old now plans to launch part two of his successful hit that had Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham and Priyanka Chopra in lead roles. Continue reading

The art of commerce

Given the moody economy, Anubhav Sindha’s Ra1 loses out to the more successful director Farah Khan’s Happy New Year in terms of priority

In times of recession, Eros International is hedging its bets on a money making director — Farah Khan, rather than bank on Anubhav Sinha. Farah’s successful track record has put the brakes on Anubhav’s Ra 1 temporarily. She will begin shooting her film Happy New Year ahead of schedule, while Ra 1 has been pushed from September to next year.

A few days ago, we told you how Farah Khan had to rush with the script of the first half of Happy New Year to San Francisco where Shah Rukh is shooting currently. It was a known fact that Farah was supposed to start her film only early next year. We hear, Eros International insisted that Farah’s film should start this year, by the end of November.

Ra 1 is being presented by Eros International and produced by Red Chillies. It was slated to go on the floors before Farah’s film, “That’s true,” says the source, “But when Eros studied the project Ra 1, they felt that this film may not derive sufficient returns in today’s economy. They felt that it would be better if the commercial director Farah Khan put her project on the floors first. They wanted to back that first and wait for things to improve on the economy front. They will go with Ra 1 but only at a later date.” Continue reading

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