Episode 105 of Khandaan: A Bollywood Podcast is extremely retro with star of the week, Amjad Khan.
Our journey into the world of The Other Khans goes way back in the time machine this week with 1981’a LAAWARIS.
Directed by Hindi film legend Prakash Mehra, this sprawling masala entertainer is largely remembered for Amitabh Bachchan’s performance as a social outcast who doesn’t know what happened to his parents or why he was abandoned. The trope of the illegitimate child and the stigma he or she faces in a conservative society makes for the subject of a sensitive film – or it could be Laawaris!
While the movie allows Amjad Khan a complete character arc, which was the reason why we chose this film, it is also chiefly notable for several execrable choices, none of which we enjoyed. Co-starring Zeenat Aman, Suresh Oberoi, and Rakhee in a special role, Laawaris is your glimpse into old school masala filmmaking, Khandaan-style.
For Episode 20, our guest is a fellow podcaster: Maxdavinci of The Lewd Cabal, your go-to podcast for an eclectic selection of topics including deep dives into South Indian cinema, food, sports, and a whole lot more to come. For his debut appearance on The Khandaan, Max chose an evergreen classic: 1992’s Salman Khan-starrer, Suryvanshi.
This legendary piece of cinema was allegedly a figment of Salman’s imagination – a film unmatched, as Max points out, in not only Hindi but in all Indian cinema for decades in its scope and concept. The costumes, the special effects, the homage to Arnold Schwarzenegger, the boundless racism, the indifferent songs that at least two of the four people on the podcast have seared into their lizard brain, the camera’s unerring eye for thrusting bosoms… this is a movie that offers much to the discerning viewer. Co-starring an extremely hammy Saeed Jaffrey, a disconcertingly excellent Amrita Singh, a sanskaari Sheeba, Sushma Seth, Shakti Kapoor, Kadar Khan, and Puneet Issar, Suryavanshi is a lot.
As usual, we also discuss some of the new releases and trailers – Thugs of Hindustan and Bazaar, as well as Sui Dhaaga, Chekka Chivantha Vaanam and Pataakha. We discuss the sheer and welcome reliability of filmmakers such as Vishal Bhardwaj and Mani Ratnam before somehow ending with plans to watch 1990’s Tum Mere Ho.
If there are movies or guests you would like to see featured, do remember to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Give Away: If you want to win 1 of 3 Sui Dhaaga- Made In India goodie bags, head over to the Kenz Now Website by clicking here
Asim, Sujoy, and Amrita, co-hosts of the Khandaan podcast, wrap up their re-watch of the Khan-debuts with Deewana. This 1992 blockbuster is the movie we chose as Shahrukh Khan’s debut feature despite his earlier appearance as a supporting character in the artsy In Which Annie Gives It To Those Ones (1989) and his official debut as a lead in Hema Malini’s Dil Aashna Hai, which released later in 1992.
Shahrukh is an electrifying presence in this movie, waking up the audience from its Rishi Kapoor-induced stupor when he makes his appearance in the second half, riding a motorcycle through the streets of Bombay, singing “Koi na koi chahiye…” 1992 was a banner year for SRK – in the history of Hindi cinema, nobody has ever had a debut like him. Signed on to five films (Dil Aashna Hai, Deewana, Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, Chamatkar, and Idiot) on the strength of his popular TV presence, SRK cartwheeled on to the scene with a brash energy and a willingness to upend everything in sight, immediately rendering everything and everyone before him slightly dated and old-fashioned. This is particularly evident in his scenes with Rishi Kapoor where the two of them appear to be acting in two different movies.
Asim, Sujoy and Amrita agree that Deewana is quite the worst film out of the three Khan debuts. If the second half of the movie features SRK laying the foundations of his obsessed creep/lover persona, the first half of the movie is interminable and stars Rishi Kapoor as a schlubby pop star who gets faux-murdered for his inheritance after successfully wooing the leading lady who looks young enough to be his child. Said lead is Divya Bharati, whose remarkable career in Hindi cinema spanned roughly 18 months during which time she starred in 14 films – an unbroken record to this date. Her tragic death under suspicious circumstances a year after the release of this movie is perhaps one of the only reasons to re-watch this film unless you’re a SRK completist.
Deewana also has the weakest soundtrack of the three debuts but it scores highly on nostalgia. Sujoy was the only one with strong opinions – he’s a big fan of the Rishi Kapoor number, “Sochenge tumhe pyaar“.
Have a listen and let us know if you agree that when it comes to Bollywood, nothing matters but the Khandaan.
Note: The Khandaan podcast is an interactive experience! Please click below to vote for the movie you think we should feature in our first official episode.
Final Week to make a vote!
Deadline is 17th January!
Our awesome theme song was created by mash up king Dj Shai Guy!
Follow him on Bombay Funkadelic Facebook page or twitter so you can attend his unforgettable Bollywood parties all around the UK as well as his awesome mash up mixes that are regularly featured on BBC Asia.
The team of Sujoy Ghosh (this time as producer) , Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vidya Balan (switching roles as lead vs guest appearance) that brought us one of the best Indian movies, Kahaani, of the last few years comes together again for Te3n.
The movie is set in Kolkatta and is a the remake of the Korean thriller Montage, but this time added with an amazing central performance by the living legend that is Amitabh Bachchan and directed by Rubhu Dasgupta.
Josh Hurtado from TwitchFilm joins us to break down if Te3n delivers on it’s promise, where it ranks in terms of recent Indian trillers as well as child abduction movies like Talaash and Ugly.
We keep the review spoiler free until the midway point, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, we warn you in advance where to stop listening.
Do also check out our interview with the talented and wonderful Vidya Balan by clicking here.
We had the opportunity to speak with the amazingly talented Vidya Balan about Te3n which hits theaters today in the UK.
As usual on Upodcast we talk about the most random things:
Greed as an actor
Our theory that Vidya might be a superhero ninja
How hard it was for Sujoy ghosh to not direct the movie
Vidya reveals a little about Kahaani 2 and we pitch our ideas for Kahaani 3
How the ending of Te3n was kept secret from the cast
We’ve been having quite a few amazing acts lately at the O2 AR Rahman, Atif Aslam but we got very excited to hear that Pakistan’s most famous Qawwali singer Ustad Rahat Fateh Khan, the nephew of the late, world-renowned singer Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, will perform his greatest hits live for the first time at The O2 on Sunday 14 August 2016.
The performance will coincide with Pakistan and India’s independence weekend celebrations and will be Ustad Rahat Fateh Khan’s only London show this year. Discussing his forthcoming show Ustad Rahat Fateh Khan said; ”I’m very excited to be performing at The O2, London, for the second time, following my sold out tour in 2013.
“Coming to the UK is always a thrill for me and my performance is timed to fit the Independence Day celebrations for both Pakistan and India. I have a fantastic team of musicians joining me and will be performing my greatest film hits and new material, as well as my esteemed Uncle, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s popular Qawwali numbers, to rock the arena.”
Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was chosen at birth by his uncle Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan for tutoring in the traditions of qawwali music, a form of Sufi devotional popular in South Asia. Six weeks after his uncle’s death in 1997, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan took his position as leader of the group and has since become one of the most talked about Pakistani artists in the world.
Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has performed on a variety of recordings, and his songs and vocals have featured in numerous hit Hollywood and Bollywood films including Bodyguard, My Name is Khan, Dabangg, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Drishyam, the Hollywood film Apocalypto and many more.
The maestro has released over 50 albums with over 100 hits in Bollywood and has been presented with numerous awards including Star Screen Awards for Best Male Playback 2010 and the IIFA award for best male vocalist 2011. He has also been a judge on top TV shows in India such a Chhote Ustad and Junoon, Kuch Kar Dikhaane Ka. He was the headline performer at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in 2014 and recently performed at the United Nations General Assembly Hall in March 2016.
In 2014, Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan released his latest album ‘Back 2 Love’ which sold millions of copies worldwide.
The ticket will also include access to a variety of free live events and activities including Bollywood dance workshops, DJs, specially selected street food stalls and more.
Wazir tells the tale of two unlikely friends – a wheelchair-bound chess grandmaster (Amitabh Bachchan) and an ATS officer (Farhan Akhtar). Both are brought together by grief and a strange twist of fate as part of wider conspiracy that has cast a dark shadow over their lives. Wazir is a pulsating thriller, a moving character study and a gripping revenge story.
This episode we are joined by Sujoy Singha, also known as @9e3k on twitter, where we try to be as careful as possible and not reveal anything that isn’t in the trailer or promo’s.
There is a spoiler warning from the 43 min mark, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, you can still listen up that point.
For those have seen it, let us know what you thought of uPodcast in the comment section below.
Haraamkhor is exactly the kind of film one hopes to see at a film festival – a film that pushes the envelope, has been made with care and attention and has lots of soul. Keeping a packed audience engaged throughout, the cosmos built by Haraamkhor instantly felt very real and three dimensional.
The story focuses on a love affair between a married teacher Shyam (Siddiqui) and his student Sandhya (Tripathi) as viewed by two of her mischevious male classmates Mintu and Kamal. Kamal is also madly in love with Sandhya and seeks Mintu’s advice on how to woo her. As the story takes an inevitable turn, the fall-out from it has varying consequences for all the characters.
Sharma guides the story with a steady hand so that the focus of the story remains on the relationship between the teacher and the student. What makes this seemingly familiar story so unique is the absence of any judgement so that the audience can make their own minds up – we see for ourselves how Shyam manipulates Sandhya as well as his wife and how his world falls apart when those around him don’t subscribe to his patriarchal thinking. I also loved the way in which the script manages to empathise with the anatagonists as well as the protagonist – we feel for Sandhya who is abandoned by her mother and is clearly in need of companionship but then we also find we cannot entirely hate Shyam (who on paper is incredibly unlikeable) and I also liked how the viewer mirrors Sandhya’s journey and learn to trust Sandhya’s future step mother (who turns out to be her saviour and friend she has needed all along).
It should be no surprise that Siddiqui turns in a stellar performance as Shyam – to play a paedophile sympathetically really demonstrates his strength as an actor and the way he can summon emotions almost at will and heighten or downplay any scene is simply amazing. Shweta Tripathi is excellent as Sandhya, giving her a vulnerability and innocence that immediately endears the viewer and makes one root for her throughout. The chemistry between Siddiqui and Tripathi is electric and really does elevate the script further. I absolutely loved Mohd Samad and Irfan Khan (not that one!) as Mintu and Kamal – both are refreshingly natural and play their roles with panache and gumption that entertains the audience but also gives the film some much needed balance from the darker moments of Haraamkhor (of which there are many). I also loved Shyam’s wife and Sandhya’s step mother who underplay their roles with skill and compassion.
Haraamkhor was without doubt my favourite film at the London Indian Film Festival 2015 – it is a film that manages to encapsulate a vast canvas without losing any of its quality or vision. I loved how it kept my attention throughout and I also have to praise the cinematography which really comes into its own in key scenes. Like all good independent Indian cinema, Haraam Khor has a universality to it so that it can be watched the world over and resonate across the board but also have local meaning too. I really hope this film gets a worldwide release as it will be loved not only by lovers of World Cinema but fans of great cinema too. Recommended.
Haraam Khor (The Wretched)
Directed by: Shlok Sharma
Starring: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Shweta Tripathi, Mohd Samad, Irfan Khan
Bhushan Kumar is a Hindi film and fashion obsessed being living and working in London.
We’ve been having a hard time understanding what Besharam is all about. From the throwback promo to having Abhijeet sing Dil Ka Jo Haal Hail, it seems the team has been stuck in some sort of time warp where the 90’s never ended.
Here is the new Song Promo:
The entire Cast inluding Ranbir Kapoor and new comer Pallavi Shadra as well as Mom and Pop Kapoor and direct Abhinav Kashyap did a Media Q&A in India, and here is hoping to shed some light on what this movie is all about. Be warned though the interview is so generic that your eyeballs might fall asleep whilst reading it.
Ranbir Kapoor Q&A
What prompted you to sign Besharam?
It was several things that made me sign for Besharam. I am a big fan of director Abhinav Kashyap’s work. Abhinav knows how to tell a simple yet very interesting story. This film has it all; it has romance, action and comedy. It tells a simple yet effective story. I was also drawn to my character. It is a very different type of character to play and it allowed me to express myself in a new and creative way.
Were there any particularly special moments whilst making the film?
The entire film was a blast to work on. My character ‘Babli’ has very few hang-ups and inhibitions, he more or less does as he wants and so this was fun to portray. Also, I had fun working with my co-stars and my parents.
What was it like working with your parents for the first time?
It was fantastic working with my parents. I am a great admirer of my father and I’m in awe of my mother. They are both such professionals and great actors. They never once dictated to me during the shooting of this film, in fact I gave them suggestions on how I thought their characters should be portrayed. We had a lot of fun working together and it helped me to overcome a lot of inhibitions.
Do you feel pressure to have the same success as your famous parents?
Overall, I don’t feel that it has been a hindrance to come from a famous family. I have been exposed to cinema from a very young age and I absolutely love watching my family’s films. I wouldn’t say I have pressure on me to succeed, but it has been a bit of a struggle at times because of who my parents are. There is a ‘celebrity kid’ label attached to me that I have had to overcome to prove myself as an actor and as an individual.
Tell us about your character in Besharam?
I play a character called ‘Babli’, who is an orphan and petty car thief. He is a guy with no inhibitions; he lives life by his own rules. Babli is a very flamboyant and loud character, but underneath it all he is a good hearted kid. His main priority is to get money to help the children in the orphanage. It was an amazing experience to play this type of role, as I could take the character to new depths and have fun with it too.
Did the film allow you to let loose and have some ‘Besharam’ moments?
Of course! There are certain things that I could get away with that I wouldn’t normally be able to. My character is really shameless and so he does some pretty weird and gross things. One example that comes to mind is that in the film my character is obsessed with playing with his chest hair all the time, this isn’t something that I’d normally do in real life!
The film has a powerful message about doing good for others. Do you support many charitable causes?
I strongly believe that charity comes from within you. You can be charitable wherever you travel to; charity comes from the heart and soul; it is found in the little things we do every day to help someone and make their life a little better. I do support some charities, but I still feel that there is much more I can do and so I intend to support more charities in the future.
In Besharam your character loves football. Are you a football fan?
I’m a big football fan! I have always loved football from childhood and used to play when I was in college. I am the Indian brand ambassador for Barcelona Football Club and I’ve been lucky enough to see them at different stadiums. In the film I insisted on my character playing football whenever possible! If I wasn’t an actor I would have been a football coach I think.
Bollywood recently celebrated its 100 year anniversary. How do you think the industry has developed?
I think it is a very proud moment for the Indian film industry to celebrate such a milestone. I feel honoured to be a part of the Indian film industry. My family has been in the industry for 80 out of the 100 years and this is a wonderful achievement. I think Bollywood is now attracting global audiences in a more engaging way. There is a healthy blend between the typical ‘Masala’ film and mainstream elements. An example I would give is the film Barfi, which was India’s official entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars.
Is there a set format for a successful Bollywood film?
There is no set format. People just want good entertainment. A Bollywood film entertains you; it is three hours of music, drama, romance, action and comedy.
Who are your role models within the Indian Film Industry?
There are so many people I admire. I look up to Amitabh Bachchan. I also think Shah Rukh Khan is a good ambassador for the industry.
Do you see yourself making the transition to mainstream/Hollywood cinema?
At the moment I am very happy doing what I’m doing. I think the Indian film industry is booming and is a great thing to be a part of. I truly enjoy my work and the roles I’ve played so far. A good film is often one that takes elements from its own culture and tradition rather than trying to just incorporate a mainstream/Western format. For example in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Ang Lee took inspiration from his own culture and created a fantastic film.
Rishi Kapoor Q&A
Did you enjoy acting together as a family?
Yes very much so. We are all very busy people and do not always get time to spend together due to our separate professional schedules, so it was great to be able to spend time together on set and to work together.
How did you end up being cast for your role?
It was actually Ranbir who suggested to Abhinav that I play the role. After confirming his own commitment to the film Ranbir was discussing who could play a middle aged cop with Abhinav and he suggested me as I have rarely done it before.
The film’s trailer has received excellent comments, why do you think this is?
The trailer really captures the spirit of the film and manages to tease audiences with short clips showing the diversity of the action and comedy.
How much influence do you have over Ranbir’s choice of films?
He is an actor who has taken a less travelled route. He is choosing different films and doing films that are not the staple diet of film heroes. For that I give him credit. The choice of his films are totally his, all creative decisions are his, I have no contribution to that at all. People feel I chose his films, but it’s not so. I am just his father, not his manager.
Neetu Singh Q&A
How did it feel to act with your husband and son in a movie?
I was overwhelmed when I heard we were going as a family to act in Besharam. My acting scenes came naturally from the start, as it was easy to act and be myself in front of them.
Can you tell us some details about the film’s narrative?
Of course. Babli (Ranbir Kapoor) is a street smart car mechanic living in a Delhi orphanage. He is charming and lives life to the fullest. He also steals cars to support his orphanage. He has no sense of right or wrong until he unwittingly hurts the love of his life, Tara (Pallavi Sharda). Babli realises that there is no right way of doing the wrong thing. Babli sets out to fix all the wrongs in his life and he continues to be shameless about it.
Your son, Ranbir Kapoor plays a very different role to his previous films, why do you think he was interested in playing Babli in Besharam?
I think Ranbir has done a fantastic job in his previous films and has managed to win many awards for his portrayal of a traditional Bollywood hero. However, I think he was keen to stretch himself as an actor, to explore new territory and to challenge himself rather than become too comfortable. His role as Babli is a very diverse role and requires a portrayal of many different emotions on screen, I think this appealed to Ranbir as he is always keen to try something new.
Is there a scene in the film that is particularly close to your heart?
I think the performance of the title track was a lot of fun for the cast and crew and is definitely a highlight for me. Ranbir suggested that we include the director and choreographer in the sequence, and even choreographed the sequence himself. It was a lot of fun to see Abhinav Kashyap get involved in the film in front of camera for a change. I think everyone got the chance to be a little Besharam that day.
What role do you play in Besharam?
Myself and Rishi play bumbling cops on the trail of Babli, trying to deal with his shameless acts.
Abhinav Kashyap Q&A
Talking about the film’s songs, why did you pick Ranbir Kapoor to take the lead in singing?
When the concept was formulated, there were no second thoughts about Ranbir singing this song as it is almost in verse form and no other sound would have worked.
What are your Box Office predictions?
Of course I do hope the film enters the new ‘Crore club’…but this isn’t my sole motivation.
As a director could you have changed a few things in Besharam’s production?
No, this film turned out exactly as I would have wanted it too. I’ve written over 14 drafts of scripts before finalising the last piece and undergoing production
If you don’t mind me asking, why so many drafts?
I’ve worked exceptionally hard on this film. But it isn’t like I had a hardbound script. I wrote 14 drafts because every time I gave the script to a friend, to my star cast, or even to my brother Anurag, they all made suggestions towards it. All of them asked questions. I incorporated all those changes in my final draft. I believe that if a script has to deliver then it has to answer the various questions that people who hear the script ask. A good script has to flow smoothly. And since I have followed that philosophy, I’m confident that Besharam will deliver.
Is it true you will feature in your own movie?
Yes, but only as a cameo appearance, as it was Ranbir’s idea to have both me and choreographer Remo D’souza to groove on the title track with him. Not only did the young actor suggest this idea to me, he also choreographed the dance routine. We had an amazing time shooting for the song. Ranbir told me he thought that featuring me and Remo would just enhance the fun quotient of the song. And I totally agreed with him.
Pallavi Sharda Q&A
Before the TV industry, what were you doing?
I was a famous Indian dance instructor in Australia then I changed paths when I came to India.
What was your experience of working with director Abhinav Kashyap?
It was great working with Abhinav; he’s put his foot down to choose me for this role and so I wanted to do my best to impress him while we were on set.
What was the hardest element to shoot for this film?
The hardest element during the shoot of the film for me was the dancing parts of the film, as we did so many takes until Abhinav was happy with what we had. Also, I had to really get in close contact with Ranbir during our dance scene and it was really hard to keep those same emotions throughout that many takes.
Why should audiences see this film?
Audiences will want to see Ranbir’s new side, as an on-screen Besharam!
God that was boring…The Besharam team is coming to the UK to promote the movie so we hope to be able to ask some sensible questions. I wonder if the jounalists asking these questions have any sense of sharam….
Besharam releases in theaters worldwide on 2nd October 2013.
The 2nd part of our chat will be posted in a couple of days but for this episode of Upodcast we start off with a recap of 2013 in Bollywood comparing the top 10 grossing movies at the Box Office in terms of quality and Revenue.
But you can’t have the queens of gossip on your show and not talk about the biggest News stories and juicy gossip of the year.
We talk about:
Himmatwala’s Epic failure
The greasy palms of TOIFA
Ameesha Patel went to Cannes and so did some other people…
Sanjay Dutt’s Chakki peasing
The loss of Jiah Khan
And as usual much much much more
Subscribe to iTunes and make sure you don’t miss the 2nd part.
Until then you can leave a comment below and listen/stream/ download the episode here:
Not only is Leonardo Dicaprio teaming up with Baz Luhrman after Romeo + Juliet, but also with long time friend Toby Maguire. It seems that Baz Luhrman is bringing a lot of his trademark elements to this adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald classic novel.
The film is shot in 3d and adding to that the visual energy which Baz is known for in all his movies and the amazing cast supported by Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan (“An Education”) and Joel Edgerton as Daisy and Tom Buchanan; Isla Fisher and Jason Clarke as Myrtle and George Wilson; and newcomer Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker.
And finally we get a good look at Amitabh Bachchan and his awesomeness playing Meyer Wolfsheim. ( Kinda pissed off that he didn’t get his own character poster but we probably shouldnt get our hopes up about the length of the role)
Mouling Rouge had quite a few Bollywood elements in it so Baz probably knows the hindi cinema a bit at least.
Here is the amazing trailer and a plot synopsis: “The Great Gatsby” follows Fitzgerald-like, would-be writer Nick Carraway as he leaves the Midwest and comes to New York City in the spring of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz, bootleg kings, and sky-rocketing stocks. Chasing his own American Dream, Nick lands next door to a mysterious, party-giving millionaire, Jay Gatsby, and across the bay from his cousin, Daisy, and her philandering, blue-blooded husband, Tom Buchanan. It is thus that Nick is drawn into the captivating world of the super rich, their illusions, loves and deceits. As Nick bears witness, within and without of the world he inhabits, he pens a tale of impossible love, incorruptible dreams and high-octane tragedy, and holds a mirror to our own modern times and struggles.”
Hey Guys, here are some media type questions that were asked to Abhishek Bachchan at a recent media Q&A as usual they are as generic and harmless like kitten wrapped in a silk blanket wathching day time TV.
The pictures are kinda sweet though. Check it out!
1. One can see from the photograph and trailers that there’s two of you in Bol Bachchan. That must have been fun?
If my memory serves right, this is actually my first ever double role. I have done films in which I have had one character donning various avatars, like I did in “Bunty Aur Babli” (2005), in which I played a con man. But “BB” is the first bona fide double role that I have done. It was a challenge.
2. Director Rohit Shetty has enjoyed huge commercial success. You have worked with him in his debut film Zameen (2003). What is the difference that you see in him since he directed you for the first time?
I think Rohit has become more confident now. He is as hard working and humble as he was when we were making Zameen. He is one of the most successful directors that we have in our industry and his track record speaks for itself. He is like a machine who works for like 20 hours a day.
3. Abhishek Bachchan or Abbas Ali – which character was more challenging?
Both Abhishek and Abbas Ali have unique characteristics. They couldn’t overlap in any which way. Keeping the divide was difficult as they are poles apart. They are not identical twins with similar traits and I have literally played two separate characters. If you must know, between Abhishek and Abbas, the most demanding was Rohit Shetty.
4. This is your second song with your dad after ‘Kajra re‘. Are you nervous at all around him?
It is weird, but dad is the one co-star with whom I have done the maximum work. We’ve done “Bunty Aur Babli”, “Sarkar”, “Kabhie Alvida Na Kehna”, “Sarkar Raj“, “Paa”, “Buddha Hoga Tera Baap”, “Jhoom Barabar Jhoom” and now this song in “BB”. Coming to the bit about my not being nervous around him – actually I was not nervous around him even when we did our first film together. It is every actor’s dream to work with Amitabh Bachchan. And dad’s greatest quality is that he puts you at ease. Being an actor and having the kind of experience he has on his side, he understands that for an actor to perform at his/her optimum, he has to be completely at ease. If there is any tension, an actor just folds up and closes in. He is aware that people get gobsmacked in front of him, so he goes out of his way to make them feel comfortable. He does it for the sake of the film. Also when he is shooting a song, he likes to have a lot of fun.
5. How would you define your style of comedy?
My style of comedy is more deadpan and straight-faced whereas the comedy that I did in the film was very demanding, as a lot of energy was required. We all had to keep our energy levels high all the time. It took me a week to adapt to Bol Bachchan. The first week of shooting was really tough for me. I came with a particular mind-set for the film and Rohit wanted something exactly opposite to it. I thought this will be the easiest film to do and it turned out to be the most difficult film of my career. It looks like a fun film and I thought it is a comedy film where I will enjoy, but I was proved completely wrong. I have told Ajay if the film does well he has to send me on a holiday (Laughs).
6. Ajay Devgn said that they literally had to groom you into their style of comedy. What was that experience like?
Ajay and Rohit taught me that there is a pitch behind every film and you have to match it. I cannot repeat my characters as it will not suit the script. My style of comedy was very different from what Bol Bachchan required me to do. The two literally made me unlearn what I already knew and adopt a different style of comedy, which was very difficult for me.
7. How are you doing post your accident on the sets of BOL BACHCHAN?
These things keep happening. I had a small accident…cut my eye and injured a finger. But I am okay now. All good!
8. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your performance in Bol Bachchan?
I’d give my final performance a five. I’m very harsh with myself 🙂
‘Bol Bachchan’ produced by Ajay Devgn Films and Shree Ashtavinayak LFS Infra Ltd and presented by Twentieth Century Fox hits screens on 6th July 2012
We team up with FilmiGirl to talk about Sujoy Ghosh’s Kolkata based thriller Kahaani starring Viday Bhalan.
Upodcast are in depth film discussions for film geeks so we have two part in the show. We stay spoiler free until the mid point and after the interval we delve right into spoiler territory as a film like Kahaani deserves a in depth discussion.
As usual we go off on a few tangents as the filmography of Sujoy Ghosh, Why his Aladin is an underrated crowd pleaser, Bollyfatigue and if celebrities should be retweeting every review on twitter?
After the spoiler section we talk about how Kahaani stands up to other movies with a famous twist, who else could have played Vidya Bagchi and the soundtrack and religious themes in Kahaani.
I hope you enjoy the show and do leave us a comment below or a review on iTunes.
You can read FilmiGirl’s review on her website by clicking here.
Disclaimer: at my 2nd viewing of Kahaani I noticed I had walked in late and missed the first 10 minutes of the movie so some of my comments might seem a bit nonsensical but hey ho, it’s all part of the fun!
Farhan Akhtar one of my favorite directors/producers has been doing some interviews during some media round table. Upodcast were unfortunately not invited, if we were the questions would have been a hell of a lot geekier 😉 but we are lucky enough to post some of his thoughts about his forthcoming sequel Don 2 starring Shahrukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra amongst many others.
Tell us something about Don 2.
I really don’t know what to say about the film as that way I will be giving out the whole story. It has been fun, challenging yet a satisfying journey so far to make this movie. I was guilty of saying that I won’t probably make a sequel of Don, but my obsession with the character got the better of me. With amazing help and support and almost a sharing of vision with Ritesh (Sidhwani, producer) and Shah Rukh and rest of the team, I could not help but make Don 2.
Who is the ‘King’ of Don 2: The King is Back?
The King of Don 2 is undoubtedly Shah Rukh Khan.
Did you consult your father and writer Javed Akhtar on the script of Don 2?
Whatever film I write, I give it to him (Javed Akhtar) to read. I want him to give his feedback on screenplay, dialogues. He is somebody who is extremely experienced, somebody who is very good with the art and craft of writing; and fortunately I have this kind of access to him. It makes sense for me to use him and I use him to get feedback on not only this, but every script.
When you were making Don: The Chase Begins Again, you consulted Salim Khan (Salim-Javed being the screenplay writer of Amitabh Bachchan‘s Don in 1978). Did you do the same this time too?
I had gone to him to request him to give permission to make the film. I thought it was important that people who worked on the earlier film be happy with the remake we had made. So I met him regarding that, not the screenplay or such things. He was very, very kind and completely wished us all the best for the remake. Hopefully that applies to the sequel as well.
In the 2006 film, you retained some of the dialogues from the 1978 film like Don Ko Pakadna Mushkil Hi Nahi Namumkin Hai. Are you trying some new lines in the sequel or want to carry forward the legacy?
There are other dialogues in the film of course. For us, the line you just spoke about, strike a chord. But who knows, may be some other dialogue Don says in Don 2, might match out to the audience. While writing dialogues and thinking about the style of the dialogues, I knew that the approach has to be to write it in a way that films of that time (1970s) were written, where people spoke with a bit of theatrical sense. There was a lot more drama in the lines. So I maintained the approach as it gives you good feeling and also makes the film sound different. It takes you back to the times when you got to see films like this where you know every dialogue was a DIALOGUE. So it is written with that in mind. But again, whatever people take from that, is upto them. There are fun lines in the film, hopefully they will enjoy.
Did you ever think of another actor for Don, had Shah Rukh said ‘no’ to you?
I don’t even want to think about that. When I started out to make the film, I wanted Shah Rukh to play the character and he loved the part. Beyond that, I stopped thinking about any other actor as I got the person I wanted for my film.
Social networking sites are flooding comments since Don 2 trailer was put on Youtube. What is the best compliment you have got so far?
The best compliment I have got about the film so far is ‘Thank You for making Don 2’…that’s the sweetest thing one can say with minimum words.
Why did Don 2 take so long in the making (five years)?
Well, it was a challenging but extremely satisfying journey. I was guilty of declaring that I won’t make a sequel for Don 2, but once I spoke to Ritesh Sidhwani and Shah Rukh Khan, I could conceive it.
Why have you decided to make the film in 3D?
The film is not shot with the 3D camera. But when we saw that there is a possibility to make it in 3D, we gave it a shot. The people at Reliance made a demo and it looked very good. Technology has advanced a great deal; it is great to watch the film in 3D as well.
So who is Farhan the actor’s favourite actor?
I like many actors. All actors have their own strengths. But I do enjoy watching Hrithik Roshan, Aamir Khan and Ajay Devgn purely for the fact that when you see their body of work and the body of work of most other actors, you notice that these guys bring something new to the table by way of a story or character. I love the way Ajay keeps reinventing himself as an actor. I would hate to watch the same kind of performance over and over again. An actor must keep challenging himself if he wishes to have a really long innings. Even as a filmmaker, I believe in mixing genres. A film must be entertaining. When I say entertaining, I don’t mean that you should only make people laugh. You can enthrall them with drama or comedy. There should be a sense of variety in storytelling and performance.
I have to say that the approach to 3D is worrisome, post converted 3D usually sucks and some of the questions are really derivative but I am sure a lot of people out there will love reading up on this.
We’re still super Psyched for the movie which will be out Wednesday 21st December 2011 in theaters worldwide
Indian stars command a different level obsession than their western counterparts. The love and adulation we feel for “our favorites” combines the passion for a sportsteam with the myth of a rock star. We tailor our personal style, conversational idioms and day to day jokes towards them and every generation (even if they won’t admit it) has that one star that just sends them into a frenzy. My parents had Dilip Kumar, growing up we had Amitabh Bachchan but from adolescence there was only one name for me and that was Salman Khan.
The release of his Bodyguard is just around the corner (31st of August) and we had a podcast planned with him but then got diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, a very painful nerve disorder for which he had to fly out for treatment for the US. But Salman Khan “ne ek bar jo commitment kardi, toh phir woh apni bhi nahi sunta” (once he makes a commitment, then he doesnt even listen to himself) and he took to answer some of our questions via email just before he flew out. And truth be told, I don’t know if I could have contained my excitement if I had gotten a chance to speak with him. (Clearly Upodcast is a place for fans more than journalistic professionalism)
Sabka hai Ek Bhaijaan, here is the one and only Salman Khan in his inimitable style answering questions from yours truly.
Photo Credit: www.SalmanOnline.net
Sorry to hear about your ailment through the news. I hope you are well
and that it doesn’t hurt too much? How were you able to cope with it
Ya, did get unbearable at times… I had planned to get myself treated
after the shoot, post productions and promotions for Bodyguard are
completed. But now pain has become unbearable.
You have had a time honored equation with music over the years? Is
that just luck or do you have a musical ear? Did you sit down with the
music directors of Bodyguard and discuss what was needed?
Na I have been lucky… my music directors do a good job.
I have been lucky enough to have all the talented music directors
composing music for the songs that I dance to on screen. I had given
certain inputs in the song ‘Teri Meri’ but it was entirely Himesh’s
creative efforts that the song a creating a buzz among people.
Desi beat has a slight tinge (maybe a sample) of “Kabooter Ja Ja” from Maine Pyar Kiya. Do you reminisce about some of your earlier roles? Do
you rewatch any of your older movies?
All I can say Desi Beats is a big success in India and overseas. I do
recall my roles at times as I did them because I liked the role but
now I am always looking forward to do something new and exciting.
Did you bring any of those sensibilities from older movies to
Bodyguard? Is there a Jaagruti -style jungle
Bodyguard is a very different film. I think it is an innocent love
story. It is a good balance of emotions, romance action and drama. As
far as action in the film is concerned the entire credit goes to
Vijayan Master. He directed my wanted and dabbang and wanted to push
limits with this one too.
What were the roles you think you nailed but maybe didn’t work with
audiences as well? How do you deal with a movie when it doesn’t work?
Yes, film is to be approached with new enthusiasm and more motivation.
If the film turns a blockbuster it’s great and if it doesn’t you have
to move on. The number of people watching your film is directly
proportional to how good the film is. The intension is always to make
a good movie and positive responses definitely make me feel good.
Are there times whilst shooting that you know it’s not going well? And
if so is there sometimes you pull back?
There are hardships everywhere. Facing the obstacles is the only way
to overcome them. If things don’t go well at times you just have to
work your way around it rather than pulling back.
You have been doing action movies since the start of your career but
now since Wanted it had taken another level. What has changed in your
Wanted has certainly added a lot to my performance and enhanced my connect with the viewers. But every role brings something new to me intensifies my ability to act.
Is it the effect of your TV presence that you have created a closer
bond with your audience?
Television is definitely a vibrant medium and reaches to masses far
and wide. It has been a platform to reach the audience who probably
miss out on catching me on the larger screen.
From Baaghi to Veer and of course your much respected
father (Salim Khan), writing has been a part of your life. You have taken on
painting since a few years too. Do you feel that these are ways you
communicate with your fans and audience or is it more of an internal
process where you deal with your own thoughts?
Just as everyone develops certain interests at different points in
their lives I am drawn towards painting. I am interested in painting
as it is an art form that helps me to express myself.
What type of creative input did you have in Bodyguard as the
production team is family?
My first responsibility is with my audience then it is to producer.
Who is the producer is not important. Atul (Agnihotri, producer and Salman’s brother in law-ed) came with this script
before the Malayalam bodyguard was made. And we had decided to make it
in Hindi whatever may be the faith of Malayalam.
You started the trend of South indian remakes with Tere Naam. What do
you think needs to be adjusted or tweaked when remaking a South Indian
movie to North Indian audiences?
I have loved the subjects of all the remakes I have done so far. Tere
Naam and Wanted fetched quite good results this only indicates
audiences liked the concept and the films at large. I believe it is
entirely the film maker’s call. Bodyguard which is a remake of the
Malayalam version had drastic changes in the characterization and
these were Siddique’s efforts to bring the film in a fresh form to
Are there any South Indian stars or movies you are particularly fond of?
Rajnikanth with out doubt…
Would you ever consider making a work-out dvd for all your fans that
want to be buff like you?
Agneepath, the Amitabh version of the 1990’s, was always a very special movie for Dharma Productions and we had been hearing about the remake this time starring Hritik Roshan, Sanjay Dutt and Priyanka Chopra for a while now and today the first trailer has been released and it looks amazeballs! Being huge fans of the original, we wanted to see what this new take was going to be like and we must admit that most of our concerns have evaporated.
Sure audiences growing up with Amitabh’s legendary perfomance as Vijay Deenanath Chauhan will always be reticient of anyone taking on the role. Amitabh’s all white suit,the kohl in his eyes and the gravel in his voice when spitting out dialogues that have been quotable from the nineties. Shahrukh tried to give it his own twist in Ram Jaane, without Mukul Anand a director known for his large scale cinematic movies, you could only have a movie which was memorable for it’s leads performance but not much more.
Shahrukh also was the first out of the gate to remake an Amitabh movie, Don, of which the sequel is just around the corner. Although a massive success, critics were not favorable to the Khan filling in Amitabh’s shoes. ( I have high hopes for the sequel as they are stepping out of that large shadow)
So will this remake of Agneepath, share the same faith as Farhan Akhtar’s Don?
We don’t think so.
The original Agneepath is the story of Vijay Deenanath Chauhan, a village boy exiled from his native village where he was raised by the principles of his father, the much respected village school teacher. When some gangsters wants to take over the village as it’s ideally located as a port to Mumbai, Vijay’s father opposes them and he meets a cruel and very dishonorable end. Cast out and exiled with a mother and sister to take care of, Vijay is hardened by the streets of Mumbai until he becomes a gangster himself and vows to take back the village that was stolen from him, but to do so he must take on the debonair and cool drug lord Kancha Cheena.
From the trailer we can see that there are already quite a few elements from the orginal. We see the death of Vijay’s father but mostly the trailer focusses on Kancha Cheena this time played by a bulked up Sanjay Dutt.
The 90’s version of Agneepath, the whole middle portion of the movie was heavily inspired by Scarface and Danny Denzongpa was playing a desi version of suave Alejandro Sosa. Here Sanjay is taking a very different take although he does seem to have the same ruthlessness that Danny showed in the original. Sanjay had a massive comeback where he played a villain in Subhash Ghai‘s Khalnayak years ago (Was he really a villain looking back though?) Could this do the same trick from him? He certainly looks quite menacing and could be the shot in the arm that Sanjay needs as his career has been dying a slow death lately.
We see a bit of Pryanka Chopra here too but it’s hard to understand what her role will be, the previous female protagonist was Madhavi who was a typical non essential female role as was the case in many 80- early 90’s movies. I am sure being a Dharma favorite they will have a substantial role for her, but it’s not something we are seeing in this short clip.
What is there left to say about Hritik Roshan? The actor is so thorough and earnest in every role he takes on, there is no doubt for a second that he will dissapoint. He seems to have an army of Eunuchs accompanying him in some of the fights scenes. Maybe Vijay has been watching a lot of Sholay and has raised a hijron ki fauj?
Rishi Kapoor is in here too for a few frames and we think he’s playing a negative role, something else to applaud as his rolly polly uncle act was getting a bit old
Hritik and Sanjay have acted together in Mission Kashmir earlier and although the movie had a wide release ( there was even a copy in the video store in my college town in Belgium), it’s jingoistic themes didnt translate too well to any audience.
Apparently the movie is a reimagining of the original and you know Upodcast always celebrates remakes ( you can listen to our podcast about it, by clicking here). There is still that little Dharma polish to it that can get a bit irksome ( the color combinations) but since the movie is director by newcomer Karan Malhotra, we’re keeping our fingers crossed.
In any case this is only the first step in Dharma’s marketing machine but if they can deliver on the promise of this trailer, we are heading for a thoroughly great time in theaters.
AgneePath “ka audience ke saath appentment hai” 13 January 2012.
After the unexpected box office success of last year’s Raajneeti, a political drama with a huge star cast taking influences from Indian Mythology and the Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather, director and auteur Prakash Jha is back with his intense brand of cinema with Aarakshan (Reservation) starring Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Manoj Bajpai and Deepika Padukone. This time he tackles the issue of reservation, the practice of setting jobs and positions aside for certain social classes who were left behind as a remnant of the old Indian Caste based society, a bit like affirmative action but not entirely. So is Prakash Jha able to entertain and educate us? Does the chemistry of Deepika and Saif Ali Khan work wonders again after Love Aaj Kal? Check out our review after the jump! Read More
We kneel before the Emperor of Bollywood this week. In this “Bbuddah
Hoga Terra Baap” Podcast episode, we are joined by Burlesque and Movie Club
Host Bastard Keith and friend of Upodcast and regular guest Danny Bowes writer
for Tor and MoviesByBowes, we dissect the awesomeness that is Amitabh Bachchan
with the release of his latest masala reboot. Listen or download to the podcast
below! Read More
With the release and subsequent overall dismissal of Always Kabhi Kabhi at the Box
Office, a movie produced by ShahRukh Khan‘ s banner Red Chilies, a thought occurred
to me as soon as I saw the tired looking superstar jiggying on the promotional Item song “Antenna”, has a special appearance by ShahRukh Khan ever
helped a movies chances to success? Have a look at the list below and let us
know what you think?
These are the earlier appearances or cameo’s that Shahrukh used to do before he
became the star we all know and love. Some were favors to by-gone friends, some
were about experimenting with new genres or just about visibility during a lull
in release schedules. None of these movies were really successful with the
exception of Saathiya. Although Hey Ram was a critical success and King Uncle
is a guilty pressure of ours especially of Jackie Shroff’s moustache and
Shahrukh still had that jumping jack charm and the uncoiffed mullet from the
early days. Shahrukh started his inability to make a movie successful when
sporting a hairy upper lip with the Sri Devi vendetta movie Army and it also
proved that overselling Shahrukh’s special appearance as a major part of the
movie was always going to disappoint his now steadily growing legion of
The smaller the role, the bigger the face on the poster
We did a whole podcast about Item songs with our good friends Paresh from the
Currysmugglers and FilmiGirl (which you can find by clicking here, it was a hilarious
episode) but the only song from the list below that got a mention was Ishq
Kamina from the Nana Patekar, Karisma Kapoor “women empowerment themed
Bollywood ishtyle” – Shakti the Power, and since it was Paresh’s pick we
were more enamored with Aishwarya’s ghatti charm then Shahrukh’s mesh vest. Heyy Baby was probably the only movie that did manage to keep SK’s appearance
under wraps and was probably the most successful. We saw the movie in theatres
and do clearly remember when that purple sherwani came on screen and how hearts
were sent aflutter. This is probably the type of appearance audiences enjoy the
most but if the movie doesn’t hold up then a promotional numbers can only do so
much. ( Oh Kaal, was pretty good wasn’t it? but boy was Krazzy 4 terrrrrible)
A trend started by the emperor of Bollywood (Amitabh Bachchan) but tried by The
King after that with pretty horrible results. Usually a favor to movie
producers who are or were friends of SRK one time but as we know from his
appearance on Koffee with Karan, friendships wih Shahrukh never seem to last
too long. Probably only Kismat Konnection as a moderate hit at the time,
probably due to smart budgets and Shahid Kapoor’s new found pectorial glory,
and I have to be honest I did not remember SRK’s involvement until I looked it
up on IMDB as is the case with the rest of the list!
Madhuri..so pretty... oh right, we were talking about SK weren't we?
We have entered the age of the meta narrative where movies realize they live in a
world where people watch movies and where stars exist in real life. Usually
targeted at smaller niche audiences or the so called- metro’s (although I have
no clue who Gaja Gamini was aimed at but I won’t make fun of it as the director
has just passed away and the timing isn’t right).
Billu might jump out on the list as he was playing Sahir Khan and not Shahrukh
The superhero bug has bitten the entire world and the Indian film industry is no different.
Except for the ridiculous Govinda- Kimi KatkarÂ Indian Superman scene on YouTube, the first real superhero that I can remember was Amitabh Bachan in the awesome Shahenshah. I remember there was a 3 week waiting period in our Karachivideo rental store.
But I’ll let that memory back in the campy 80’s where it belongs.
We had the Hritik Roshan starrer Krrish which really wetted our appetite for a proper Bollywood superhero.(Good effort but doesn’t have originality or repeat value unless you actually think you can be Krrish when you grew up)
Shahrukh Khan, the supreme superstar of Bollywood (aka King Khan) is taking a swing on the genre with Ra.one a cutting edge mix up hi-tech and skin tight Lycra insanity. My worry is that Bollywood is making the first type of superhero moviesÂ as we saw back in the 70’s -80’s with a supreme good guy as a heroe with no human flaws whilst the audience has now grown up, moved on and prefers a moreÂ darker approach( more real?) eg The Dark Knight, The Watchmen and the forthcoming Kick Ass.
But in the meantime Disney have released the first images and trailer to Zokkomon, their foray into live action Bollywood production.
Their previous animated release was Roadside Romeo which to me it felt like an incoherent mish mash of deja-vu sequences with strained voice work of super couple said ali khan and Kareena kapoor. It was clear that the actors were not yet comfortable with the animated medium.
But now we have Zokkomon starring the revelation of Taare Zameen Par(masterpiece by Amir Khan about a child coming to terms with dyslexia- a strong recommendation from my end).
The costume design kinda reminds me of Red Mist in the kickass posters but to me that’s a minor detail and still I’m excited!
Red Mist-Kick Ass (I’m not crazy that i see a similarity right?)
let us know what you thought of the trailer in our comments section!