Episode 6 of the Khandaan Podcast finds co-hosts Sujoy and Amrita missing Asim, who is off doing other things just as we’re handed an opportunity to discuss Talaash (2012), starring Asim’s fave (or so he says) Aamir Khan. However, to make up for the disappointment, we’re joined by our special guest star Beth from BethLovesBollywood!
Although we’d all seen this film upon its release, this was our first rewatch and there were a lot of things here to surprise us. None of us remembered Rajkumar Rao also starred in this film, Amrita was taken aback by how beautiful Rani Mukherjee looks (watch out for Sujoy listing a looong list of movies in which Rani looked amazing), and Beth agreed that Shahrukh Khan (who was also approached for the role played by Aamir) wouldn’t have worked nearly so well for very particular reasons. We disagreed a bit on Kareena Kapoor’s performance, discussed the male-female dynamics, and loved hard on the soundtrack. We also took a quick minute to appreciate director Reema Kagti’s work – of which you can see more in the Akshay Kumar starrer, Gold, to be released this year.
2012 was a really great year for Hindi cinema but rather hit-and-miss for the Khans with Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Dabangg 2, and Ek Tha Tiger joining Talaash at the cinema. Sujoy, Beth and Amrita all agree that Talaash was the clear frontrunner in that pack, and a movie for everyone, irrespective of their fan loyalties.
Note: The Khandaan podcast is an interactive experience! Please click below to vote for the next movie you think we should feature.
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.
Episode 5 of the Khandaan Podcast finds co-hosts Asim, Sujoy, and Amrita discussing the first film voted to screen by their audience – 2001’s Salman Khan-starrer, Chori Chori Chupke Chupke (CCCC).
First, however, we make a short foray into current cinema with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s extremely controversial Padmaavat, starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor, and Ranveer Singh. We discuss the fan politics surrounding the film as well as the merits of the film itself. (Please excuse the sound of the occasional firework in between – Amrita’s neighbors were very excited about India becoming a republic.)
Going back to our Khandaan business, however, 2001 was a significant year for Hindi cinema. It saw the release of Farhan Akhtar’s debut directorial Dil Chahta Hai, featuring Aamir Khan, a seminal road trip movie that is often credited with changing the very language of modern Bollywood by employing an everyday conversational style. Karan Johar, whose multi-starrer behemoth Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (K3G), featuring Shahrukh Khan, released to massive box office success later that year, has famously said that he knew his movie was outdated the moment DCH released.
This was also the year Aamir guided Lagaan to the Oscars, India’s first nomination in the Best Foreign Film category in decades, laying the foundation for his reputation as the great savior of good Hindi cinema. A nearly four-hour period drama about weather conditions, taxes, and cricket, Lagaan was a sensation when it released but isn’t much referenced today within the modern Hindi cinematic ethos unlike DCH and K3G, which each left an enduring impact on desi pop culture for very different reasons.
Shahrukh also had two other releases that year – Asoka, the directorial debut of ace cinematographer Santosh Sivan, was a gorgeous-looking period drama about the eponymous emperor that tanked at the box office before becoming appointment TV in its serialized form; and the washout One 2 ka 4, a rare movie that features SRK as a cop.
The fact that CCCC, a subpar family drama about a rich couple who hire a hooker to carry their baby, was able to win the vote against such a stellar field of choices is a testament to Salman’s star power – and we discuss the issues that arise when a celebrity wields such power. Made at the height of Salman’s personal problems, which would shortly include a murder charge, CCCC was also a troubled production, allegedly made with mafia money.
Belying the nostalgia of several friends of this podcast, CCCC is also deeply problematic, dealing with supposedly progressive ideas in the most regressive way possible. Rani Mukherjee is horrendously dressed and is the catalyst for the main plot of the film, which is bizarre and offensive. Preity Zinta is effervescent and charming – and completely wasted as a hooker with a heart of gold and a fertile uterus. The supporting cast includes an OTT Amrish Puri as a (male) baby-obsessed grandfather, Farida Jalal as a (male) baby-obsessed mother-in-law, Dalip Tahil as a dad who just wants to get his son out of the country for some reason, Johnny Lever as Random Family-Adjacent Dude who sticks his nose where it doesn’t belong, and Prem Chopra as a doctor willing to break every single professional ethic for the sake of friendship. Salman appears medicated.
We did not enjoy this movie but please do listen and laugh at our pain.
Note: The Khandaan podcast is an interactive experience! Please click below to vote for the next movie you think we should feature.
We refer to Sal Salam‘s excellent essay on BollyBrit which you can find here
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.
Asim, Sujoy, and Amrita, co-hosts of the Khandaan podcast, continue their Khan-journey with Maine Pyaar Kiya (MPK). This 1989 blockbuster romance is the movie we chose as Salman Khan’s debut feature despite his earlier ill-starred appearance as a supporting character in the Rekha-starrer Biwi Ho To Aisi (1988). (To read more about that experience as well as other fascinating bits of Salman’s history, we recommend this in-depth profile by Anna Vetticad.)
Directed by Sooraj Barjatya, one of the men who helped invent Bollywood as we know it today by inspiring seminal Bollywood filmmakers Aditya Chopra and Karan Johar, MPK is an all-out effort at portraying a young, modern love. In an ironic twist, the themes Barjatya establishes in this movie would soon be transformed into a template for conservative, even regressive, family-oriented “clean romance” in the popular imagination by the time it was remade as Hum Aapke Hain Kaun…! or the execrable Hum Saath Saath Hain.
The co-hosts agree that despite its dated appearance and quaint 1980s-ness, MPK is the best made film out of the three Khan debuts. Fueled by his determination to succeed, the Salman we meet in this film is a bundle of energy albeit with the same trademark mannerisms and sly charm we associate with him today. Bhagyashree, whose cinematic career ended with her marriage to a possessive husband, has a raw charm to her that vibes very well with Salman’s Dennis the Menace persona. Also evident in this film are the characters we know from all the subsequent Barjatya films – the understanding mother, the busy father, the father’s best friend, the servants who are as good as family members, the outsiders masquerading as friends but who only exist to destroy the family’s happiness…
MPK’s soundtrack was a sensation when it released with funky sounds, a modern feel, and soaring ballads that are still popular today. Few in the audience at the time realized just how “inspired” it was, however; in 2017, while re-watching the film, Asim’s wife wanted to know why he was listening to so much Stevie Wonder out of the blue.
Have a listen and let us know if you agree that when it comes to Bollywood, nothing matters but the Khandaan.
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.
Note: We did have some audio issues in this episode for the first ten minutes but it’s smooth sailing after that.
Asim, Sujoy, and Amrita, co-hosts of the Khandaan podcast, begin their foray into all things Khan-related with Qayamat se Qayamat Tak (QSQT). Almost a relic of another era, this 1988 romance is the movie we chose as Aamir Khan’s debut feature despite his earlier appearances as a child star as well as his lead performance in the faux-art film Holi (1984).
Very little of Aamir as we know him today is seen in the fresh-faced hero of QSQT with his impish grin and shy glances at a delightfully effervescent Juhi Chawla (also making her debut). Directed by his cousin, Mansoor Khan, QSQT shows the youth of all those involved in the making of this film – in its tenderness, earnestness, conviction, and behind-the-scenes effort they put into crafting this the biggest success they could possibly imagine.
While neither Asim, Sujoy nor Amrita were old enough to be the target audience of this film (ahem! We are mere babies), we do have some memories of what a cultural phenomenon this movie became. It’s Romeo and Juliet undertones, the weird emphasis on caste, and the fact that the adults in this movie appear to be acting in a world far removed from the one inhabited by the sweet young love of its leads should make it a difficult watch but good filmmaking survives the years even when the material appears dated. QSQT remains a testament to Mansoor Khan’s talent.
It is also buoyed by one of the best soundtracks in Hindi cinema history, with beautiful hummable tunes by ace duo Anand Milind, one of the last of its kind. Maine Pyaar Kiya would soon replace it and surpass it in audience affection, but of all three debuts, QSQT’s is the soundtrack that has survived the test of time.
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 here to vote for our first official episode.
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.
Can one really overstate the Khan effect on Bollywood these past 25 years? Asim, Sujoy, and Amrita, co-hosts of the Khandaan podcast, don’t think so. The movies of Aamir, Salman, and Shahrukh are significant threads forming the rich cinematic tapestry that adorns the background of the lives of generations of South Asians – we sang their songs, mimicked their dance moves, and copied their wardrobe; we meme their blockbusters, obsess over their private lives, and giggle helplessly just remembering bits of their dialogue. There have been other hugely influential Khans in the industry but over the past quarter century, there’s been nobody like these three.
In their own ways, each of these men have changed the course of their industry. Aamir has evolved over the years into the Bollywood patriarch who invests in wholesome movies with a message; Salman is the boisterous life of the party who promises his audience as good a time as he can manage every single time; and Shahrukh is the risk-taking middle class boy whose reach extends beyond cinema and the desi diaspora. As we launch this project in late 2017, however, it remains to be seen how far their momentum can carry them.
Born in the same year, the Khan trio are now in their 50s even if they don’t always act like it. They are the first generation of Hindi cinema stars to have achieved such longevity as leading actors. After nearly 30 years on top, with younger actors jostling for space in this new iteration of the Hindi film industry that the Khans built with their favorite collaborators, one wonders if the Age of the Bollywood Khan is slowly coming to a close.
Thus, the Khandaan podcast – a timely retrospective of Khan work through the years.
We begin with episodes focused on the debut features of the three Khans – Qayamat se Qayamat Tak (1988) for Aamir Khan; Maine Pyaar Kiya (1989) for Salman Khan; and Deewana (1992) for Shahrukh Khan. Technically, of course, Aamir can be seen as a child actor in the films of his uncle, ace director Nasir Hussain, as well as his father and made his adult debut in Holi (1984) opposite Madhuri Dixit, ironically playing the type of obsessive creep that would be made iconic by Shahrukh a few years later. Similarly, Salman’s first foray into Hindi cinema was in the Rekha-starrer Biwi Ho To Aisi (1988) where the director hated his work (and specifically him) so much he had his voice dubbed. Meanwhile, Shahrukh was an extremely popular television actor who’d made his debut in the cult made-for-TV art film In Which Annie Gives it to Those Ones (1989) and his intended Hindi cinema launch was Hema Malini’s Dil Aashna Hai (1992) where he played the solo lead. However, we chose the movies that we considered as having officially launched the three into the arms of their adoring public.
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 here to vote for our first official episode.
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.
This week we review Baahubali 2 The Conclusion also known as the most successful Indian movie every to be released. And for this mammoth task we have brought in the most knowledgeable and best online voices to dissect this breaker of records.
On ep 223 we are joined by Sujoy (aka @9e3k), Amrita Rajan (@amritaIQ) and Josh Hurtado (@HatefulJosh) and we discuss the following topics:
Confessions of a Hindi film watcher
A taste of things to come post- Baahubali
Is Baabubali a commercial blockbuster or a vindication for South Indian movie makers and audiences against the Hindi domination?
Does Baahubali sound the end of the Khan era?
Who owns the succes of a movie?
We discuss the music, performances and the most insane scenes in the movie…
Check out our interview with director SS Rajamouli by going here.
We speak to Saiyami Kher who is making her big screen debut this Friday in Rakesh Omprakash Mehra’s Mirzya, a re-imagining of Mirza Sahibaan’s legendary folk tale.
We talk about her preparation for her role, her background as a marathon runner and how the experience was for an outsider to the industry to collaborate with the Harshvardhan Kapoor, son of living legend Anil Kapoor.
Mirzya hits theatres this weekend and is having it’s European Premier at the London Film Festival.
Dressed in a golden embroidered jacket, sitting center stage on a bar stool and accompanied by a simple back up band, the heir of Pakistan’s qawwali legacy, Rahat Ali Khan performed before a sold out crowd at the London O2 arena for a special concert marking the celebration of Pakistan’s independence. The entire day was filled with cultural events, food buskers and Bollywood dance lessons just outside the concert venue where a diverse crowd of South Asian fans (and quit a few celebrities) enthusiastically took to their seats.
The concert commenced with what Rahat dubbed his “Love Songs”. But in the tradition of qawwali the “Love” can’t be distinguished between the love for a person or the love for God. There were many instances during the almost 3-hour concert, where devotion and emotion were indistinguishable for the performer as well as for the audience.From the first notes onward, the concert was an unending high consisting of goose bumps, musical elation, uncontrollable smiles and utter joy.
Between the sets, Rahat had a surprisingly jovial back and forth with his audience, his respect for them and his art shining through every eloquently worded syllable, illustrating the fact that the singer’s poetic nature is not confined to his songs but also how he treats the people around him.
Although his recent popularity is partly due to his numerous Hindi movie soundtrack collaborations, his unmistakable talent and skill honed through decades of training is always accompanied by the clarity of Rahat’s voice and the Sufi tradition that power his songs.
The crowd erupts in roars as soon as they recognize the initial notes of hits like “Aas Paas hai Khuda” (Anjaani Anjaana) or the mere mention of Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit, on who the song as “O Re Piya” (Aaja Nachle) was picturized. Both songs transcending the forgettable movies that they were in, becoming crowd favorites (as well as a personal favorites) and making us realize that whichever country we hail from, we share an on going obsession with Madhuri Dixit.
Closing the love block with the word “I have too many love songs” and the ever present smile, the musical maestro immediately kicks off his “Punjabi section” of the concert, or as Rahat told the crowd, the language in which you can call anyone, anything and they won’t mind it.
After a few more crowd pleasers like “Samjhawan” (Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhanya), Surili Ankhyon Wale (Veer), we head into the qawalli portion of the concert, which was essentially the Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan tribute section, Rahat’s mentor and legendary uncle.
During the intermission all the performers even changed in more traditional qawalli gear like purple kurta’s and elegant sherwaani’s taking their place in the classic formation behind tabla’s and harmoniums.
The Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan songs have decades old connect with the audience and it is the closest the London Arena got to the rapture and hypnotism of a true qawalli performance in the streets of Lahore or Delhi.
The lazy argument critics always make about Rahat is that he can’t be compared to Nusrat’s talent. (Try it out, go to any Indian restaurant, and start a conversation about Rahat Ali Khan when a song comes on the radio and you will hear “Nusrat wali bhaat nahi hai usme“)
To Rahat’s own admission, he understood early in his career and made the conscious decision to not only focus on classical qawalli but foray into more popular tunes, usually adapted and re-performed for the larger audience whereas his uncle had the popularity hoisted upon him, and he never really felt comfortable in this new modern medium of “music videos”. It is a decision to be applauded as it shows reverence for what has been but a determination to reach people through today’s medium.
But it is also in these songs that the comparison between the Rahat Ali Khan being in the shadow of his uncle becomes clear. If you have heard the original recordings of Nusrat you realize how incomparable his talent and command of qawalli truly was. And although Rahat comes close, like listening to a great cover band, there is a silent agreement between audience and performer that this is the closest we are able to get to the original, and for most of us, that is already better than any other musical performance we have attended in our life times.
After the qawalli high, we return to some more Bollywood songs of recent years and somewhere, suddenly they seem much simpler and almost child like to the previous compositions. The energy drops a little but the audience is very happy to see their personal favorites ticked of the list and performed live.
Rahat’s commitment and sincerity never fails though, as he croons his personal favorite “Ae Khuda” from Rocky Handsome, a song I have gone back and revisited after the concert and have truly started appreciating for how it stands out compared to more the paint by number hits like Bodyguard’s “Teri Meri” or “Tere Mast Mast do Nain” from Dabangg.
The concert closes with Jiya Dhalak, his big introduction to the Bollywood audience and Mast Qalander, his uncle’s greatest hit.
Rahat Ali Khan sang for us with only a small intermission for 3 hours straight with power, sincerity, keeping in mind what the audience asked from him but giving them much more than they needed. He gave them the memory of an unforgettable experience with a true musical master of the likes that appears only once in a lifetime.
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.
In one of the only emotional scenes of this movie, a very old Punjabi grandfather character (played wonderfully by the veteran Indian TV actor Arun Bali) speaks of the horrors of getting uprooted from what you once considered home, and being forced to leave everything behind. This scene is crucial in establishing why a certain Mr. Kohli (Kumud Mishra), a paper-pusher in the External Affairs Ministry Office, turns into one of the key figures in enabling the success of an impossible rescue mission. It is sad then, that Airlift, a movie based on true events of world’s largest civil evacuation could not evoke any further emotional hooks for me as a movie audience to remain invested or engaged. And yes, it even has a mini segment where we see the tricolour being hoisted and K.K. singing Vande Mataram. And even then, I did not participate in that moment of triumph. THAT is the biggest failure of the movie.
I am not for a single bit, attempting to undermine the real heroism of the true heroes who were involved in this rescue mission of 170,000+ Indians from war-torn Kuwait. I am in fact saying that a story as incredible as this deserves a much better movie than what it got in Airlift. It is a classic case of an ambitious director meeting an “out-of-their-league” story and getting overwhelmed by it. Writer-Director Raja Krishna Menon along with his team of writers have put up a screenplay which can be the equivalent of a college play on opening rehearsal day, with a very rough first draft of a scribble on a tissue paper acting as a script.
The narrative tries to introduce several characters into the plot – from the ever so grouchy George Kutty (Prakash Belawadi – Madras Cafe, Talvar), the unnecessary Mr. Poonawala, and the somewhat simmering and confusing love story of Ibrahim (Purab Kohli – Rock On). But none of them ever have a sub plot as such. There is no distinct payback that we as audience get from these plot threads. The trunk of the story tree is the man who is front and centre in the poster – Akshay Kumar as Ranjit Katiyal. He is the Ship Captain who is reluctantly put in charge of the fate of 170,000+ Indians. And Akshay handles it as best as he can. But the screenplay again fails him.
In one of the scenes, Akshay’s wife played by Nimrat Kaur convinces him to go to the docks – because he is a negotiator. And there is hardly anything following that scene which highlights this very characteristic of Mr. Katiyal. On the other hand, there is a scene where Akshay goes gung-ho and attacks a bunch of check-point gunned security guards, and even manages to threaten them. It seemed like Katiyal was playing Akshay for that moment, and not the other way around. We are told of Rajiv Katiyal being a businessman through and through. But in the face of such hardships, there is hardly any conversation in the movie that is scripted as one that demanded special skills. The Iraqi General played by Inaamulhaq (Filmistan), is layered in poor and generic Middle Eastern accent, and is a character written as a caricature. And hence, there is no sense of threat or perhaps, we have all seen this done way better in many other movies and TV shows.
The female lead in the movie, Nimrat Kaur seemed like one of the stereotypical naggy Indian housewife for most of the movie. She’s pretty glammed up for a woman stuck in war-torn Kuwait. But I assume, the writers felt compelled to give her something more than just that. And by virtue of that, she gets one scene which showcases glimpses of the actor we liked so much in The Lunch Box.
But my biggest complaint from this movie, is that being titled Airlift, the movie spends a total of only 2 minutes speedily narrating about the mega-operation taken up by Air India who managed to “airlift” the 170,000+ Indians from Jordan. Perhaps, that wasn’t as exciting on paper as Akshay punching dudes in sandy desert. And let’s not even get started on that cringe-worthy remix of Khaled’s Didi .
This one is not even for a lazy matinee.
Airlift is directed by Raja Krishna Menon and stars Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur (Homeland, The Lunchbox).
The film releases internationally on on the 22nd of January in the UK.
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.
Rohit Shetty’s big release, Dilwale, is just over a week away so ShahRukh Khan, Kajol, Kriti Sanon and Varun Dhawan were in town for a press conference.
Upodcast had the change to sit down with Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon and ask the questions that only a nerdy podcast like ours dares ask. (Like debating which Star Wars character Kriti Sanon is Chewbacca or R2D2)
The video of our interview is below but the podcast gives you a bit more behind the scenes gossip as well as the 5 things we learnt segment which quite a few of you like listening to.
Do give us a shout or RT or like if you’re enjoying the interview!
Dilwale is a family entertainer with a perfect blend of action, romance and comedy. The film is produced by Red Chillies Entertainments in association with Rohit Shetty Productions. The film will release on December18th 2015.
Last week Fox arranged a video conference with Salman Khan and Sonam Kapoor in London for the release of Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. Here are some excerpts of the Q&A session with the UK press.
Q/ WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT PRDP?
Salman: I like the film’s nice, sweet, cute, ticklish moments. I like the film overall and how this really nice, happy, sweet film turns into this really emotional, beautiful, romantic love story which involves the family, brothers, sisters.
I think PRDP is Sooraj’s best work to date. What I see in the character of Prem is what every guy should be like with a girl, which is very difficult as you need to have a lot of patience to be “Prem” in real life. Prem is so endearing that every girl would want to marry someone like Prem. He’s somebody like … he’s actually Sooraj Barjatya! Trust me, Prem is Sooraj. In fact Sooraj likes to see that side in me but the problem is that I only don’t see that side in me in my real life. So Sooraj puts that on film.
Q/ YOU HAVE WORKED WITH SOORAJ B. THREE TIMES BEFORE – HOW WAS THE EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH HIM THIS TIME?
Salman: Yes, it is. I just wish I could do another 4 or 5 films with Sooraj! I’m here in this industry only because of Sooraj Barjatya. A 19 year-old boy took a stand when he was directing his first movie, at a point in time when Rajshri Productions weren’t doing that well, to take on an actor who had already done a film that’s releasing before his film.
Sooraj had seen Biwi Ho To Aisi, and we all knew that I sucked in the movie, but despite that he took me on because he thought I was good in the screen test for the film. He went by his instincts and the gut feel of his sister Chanda and cousin Charu.
Sonam: you see Salman was always gorgeous looking…it’s because they had a crush on him!
Salman: well, they thought they saw something in me to suggest I would make it. I still don’t see what, how… I don’t even question it…let it go!
Q/ THE MUSIC IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE TRACKS FROM THE MOVIE?
Salman: Mine is the title track – Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, and I like Jalte Diye, Jab Tum Chaho, Prem Leela and Aaj Unse Milna Hai
Sonam: Jalte Diye and Prem Leela are my favourite songs from the movie. I also like Aaj Unse Milna Hai as well – it’s a very beautiful, romantic song.
Q/ ANY FUNNY STORIES FROM THE FILMING?
Salman: We were working! It wasn’t supposed to be fun. You cannot make such a beautiful film whilst having fun; you need to be focused.
Sonam: It was a happy time – I think that’s the best way to describe it, we were very happy and content.
Q/ WHAT WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT FILMING? WHAT’S THE BEST SCENE?
Salman: I think every single day was beautiful. Actually walking to the set was a really beautiful feeling. The set were so lovely that we didn’t mind shooting long hours. Sooraj actually is very particular about shooting long hours – he doesn’t like to shoot that many hours, even if the scene was not complete he used to say, let’s leave it now and we’ll continue tomorrow, even if we were like no let’s do it now. You see, it’s a very large-scale film; in every frame there were like hundreds of people, there was a regal theme, which also made it a very expensive film. Each day costs the production 45, 50 lakhs so when Sooraj said let’s pack up and continue the scene tomorrow, it seriously took a lot of courage.
Q/ YOU HAVE ALWAYS HAD A VISION FOR THE TYPE OF ROLES YOU WANT TO PLAY. IS PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO THE BIGGEST PAYOFF OF THAT SORT OF CONVICTION?
Sonam: Yes, I think that’s what it is. I think you are absolutely right. After I did Mausam, I gave my heart and soul to that and after it didn’t do very well, I didn’t sign a movie for a year and a half. Then I decided to sign Raanjhanaa – everyone around me said I was stupid but I decided to stick to my conviction. But I stuck to my guns. You’re absolutely right that this is the payoff for being patient and handling my life with dignity.
Q/ WHAT YOU ARE DOING ON YOUR INSTAGRAM PAGE IS A GREAT WAY OF MARKETING PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO. WAS THAT YOUR IDEA OR WAS IT SOMETHING YOU DISCUSSED WITH THE MARKETING TEAM?
Sonam: Okay, I’m going to tell you a secret, when I spoke with the marketing team at Fox, they mentioned that people were finding the title Prem Ratan Dhan Payo a bit of a mouthful. They told me we needed to come up with a really fun and genius way to talk about the film a lot. So, there was this really cute guy who did this dubsmash on Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and I thought let’s put this up on instagram and maybe people would be excited about doing dubsmash. I thought it would be cool so I put it up and people really liked it a lot. And then a friend from New York told me to call a competition and to get the 5 best dubsmashes on Instagram – I did just that. There were lots and lots of people who did the dubsmash. It was easy to do and people loved doing the dubsmash as it has a great rhythm. Salman did one too, but he didn’t do it for long.
My aunt Sridevi also did one with Shilpa Shetty. She loves me so much! I remember when I was just becoming an actress, she sat down with me and showed me how to do make-up really patiently for like hours and hours really patiently. I think she was extremely kind to have promoted me and the film. I’ve known Shilpa for a very long time and they had done the dubsmash at my home whilst I was away on promotions for the film. Once they did it they put it up on Instagram and I got a message from Shilpa saying to go on Instagram to see what we’ve done!
Q/ HOW DIFFERENT IS THIS PREM COMPARED TO ALL THE OTHER PREMs THAT YOU HAVE PLAYED?
Salman: Prem is my favorite character too. I think this Prem is lovelier; he’s a grown man but a very childlike. Sooraj has written this character. He has always been a mature man and romance has also grown in his life ten folds. He was always a mature filmmaker starting his career at the age of 19. He wrote Hum Apke Hain Kaun at the age of just 22 and made the film when he was 24, and there is no man as mature as Sooraj Bharjatya.
The way he has written this character, he basically wants men and boys to be like Prem; he wants to change the way they are and to change this for women in the world. He wants men to be funny and charming but to also be respectful to women.
Q.YOU HAVE A GREAT SENSE OF STYLE. HOW SIMILAR ARE YOU FROM YOUR CHARACTERS IN REAL LIFE.
Sonam: I don’t think I’m similar to any of the characters that I played, I mean I’m definitely not a princess.
Salman: Yes she is a princess because her father spoilt her.
Sonam: I’m not spoilt! (she laughs). No, answering your question…I don’t know, I hope I’m inspired to be someone with that much conviction and I try and do whenever I can to be like that. Perhaps there’s a little bit of me in every character.
Salman: I think she’s got it in Prem Ratan Dhan Paya … I remember when Sooraj was showing me pictures of a lot of leading actresses and each and every picture that Sooraj showed me of Sonam were absolutely stunning. He showed me all the picture when she was at her worst test, and she looked like the way she looks now, so that is one quality that he saw in her, and he said this is the lady for my film. This is something that I want.
Q/ SONAM, HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE GOING TO WORK WITH SALMAN? WHAT IS IT YOU MOST LIKE ABOUT EACH OTHER PROFESSIONALLY AND EACH OTHER’S PERSONALITY?
Sonam: I was very nervous, like really nervous. It’s not easy working with someone who you’ve been a huge fan of. Also it’s not easy because before Salman, I had never worked with a big star like him before. It’s usually been contemporaries. I was nervous but he really made me feel comfortable.
The best thing about him professionally is that he is the most hardworking actor that I worked with, he pushes himself and he is extremely talented. He’s also very modest. Also, professionally it’s easier to work with someone who doesn’t judge you in anyway. I remember when I was messing up he’d come and tell me really nicely, he has a lot of patience.
Salman: That is true, when you need to get some good work out of a bad actor you need to be patient JJ
Q/ WE HEAR THAT YOU ARE PLAYING A DOUBLE ROLE IN THE FILM?
Salman: Yes I am playing the roles of Vijay Singh and Prem – but if I open up too much about the characters I will spoil the suspense. But what I can say is that both the characters are phenomenal.
PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO releases this Diwali on 12 November 2015
We got the chance to speak with Anupama Chopra, Festival Director, 17thJioMAMI Mumbai Film Festival With Star India about why these movies and the festival is important, which movies you should watch out for and how they dealt with some of the issues that happened during last year’s festival.
Listen/download/stream the episode below
JIO MAMI VISION 2015
The Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival is an inclusive movie feast. We showcase the latest cutting-edge, independent cinema – art house fare alongside genre movies from Bollywood and Hollywood and cult international movies. We offer the best of world cinema to the people of Mumbai and we offer the best of Indian cinema to the world. The festival is run by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image popularly known as MAMI. This is a space where we revel in the sheer pleasure of cinema, the joy it gives us and how much it enhances our lives. The goal is to nurture and ignite a passion for movies. We want Jio MAMI to be shorthand for excellence in cinema.
ABOUT JIO MAMI
Mumbai – the financial capital of India is also the epicentre of the Indian film industry. The city plays such a major role in production and dissemination of Indian films and television programmes that it is widely known by its acronym ‘Bollywood’. In 1997, a group of film industry stalwarts headed by late Hrishikesh Mukherjee founded the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) as a not-for-profit Trust. Their main objective was to organise an annual International Film Festival which the film industry and the country could be proud of. MAMI has been organising the festival for the last 16 years and aims to foster a climate of good cinema. MAMI engages people from all walks of life across the city and country who enjoy and love good cinema. It is Mumbai’s only film festival that is entirely created and run by film professionals and a group of members from corporate India. Appreciation of good cinema, stripped off all the limiting labels of art and commercial, can only come about through exposure to the best of films the world has to offer. The Festival is the first step in that direction.
In their Mission Statement in 1997, the MAMI Board of Trustees said, “We feel it is the need of the hour to disseminate and inculcate good cinema among Indian audiences. The only way to achieve this is to celebrate cinema by hosting an International Film Festival in Mumbai, India ‘s film and entertainment capital. MAMI (Mumbai Academy of Moving Image) is committed to start Mumbai’s first independent international film festival organized by practicing film makers.”
For more information on MAMI and the upcoming 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival scheduled to be held from 29th October- 5th November 2015, do visit our MAMI Website, Twitter handle, Facebook Page, Instagram and YouTube as follows:
Website: www.mumbaifilmfestival.com#MAMI2015Twitter:/mumbaifilmfestFacebook: /mumbaifilmfestival Instagram: /mumbaifilmfestival YouTube: Mumbai Film Festival
Priyanka Chopra US TV debut Quantico is a big deal! So much so that we needed to dedicate an hour just to dissect the first 2 episodes.
We’re joined by Jay also known as @Bollybrit (Nominated as a finalist in the Best Blog Category at this year’s Asian Media Awards!) who is a pretty big Priyanka Chopra fan and of course Martin who saw her in our first ever Upodcast episode of Kaminey but had lost any recollection of seeing the movie.
We talk about why Quantico is important from a diversity perspective as well as stepping stone for Bollywood. We review the first 2 episode in more detail, speak about the general intrigue, the action set pieces and how it stacks up to contemporary shows like Scandal and How to Get Away from Murder.
We wrap up the podcast by talking about which level of Bingeability the show has and which other actors could possibly make the jump to Hollywood too.
Which 1981 Bollywood film did the ‘Jaanisar’ director Muzaffar Ali direct?
A. Muqaddar Ka Sikandar
B. Umrao Jaan
(Winners will be announced Tuesday 12/8)
(Only UK entries apply -but if you’re nice and I like you, I might make an exception!)
Jaanisar stars Pakistani actor Imran Abbas and one of India’s leading style icons and fashion entrepreneurs Pernia Qureshi.
Playback singers for the soundtrack of the film have some of the most celebrated singers of the music industry like Abida Parveen, Shreya Ghoshal and Sukhwinder Singh. Music is by Muzaffar Ali as well as Ustad Shafqat Ali Khan. It truly has some great music.
It’s pretty much the type of music you should be listening to instead of whatever guitly pleasure is looping on your playlist now!
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.
A very short teaser released for Sultan, Salman Khan’s 2nd collaboration with YRF after the massive success of Ek Tha Tiger. Although we’re no fans of such short teasers or motion posters but we’re always willing to make an exception for Sallu Bhai.
What is interesting is how Sultan’s been announced to release at a date that was already booked for Raees starring YRF (former) blue eyed man-boy SRK. YRF has moved away from the grand romantic movies that made SRK the star he is today so it’s quite surprising they would pull such a move. Although YRF is known for being quite aggressive with when it comes to locking in cinema screens as they did when Jab Tak Hai Jaan released and completely destroyed any chances of Ajay Devgn’s Son of Sardaar working.
Both films are still in the near future so things might change but at the moment, we seem to be heading for a clash.
Produced by Aditya Chopra and written-directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, the film will commence shooting in November and will release in Eid 2016.
I haven’t been bowled over by anything related to Gabbar yet (how terrible is that Chitriganda- Honey Singh Promotional song?) , apparently it is a remake of a South Indian movie (alarm bells ringing already) with the big difference that the movie now references the famous Sholay villain for reasons that elude me.
But it is always great to see Akshay do his thing on the big screen although I am not quite sure how the pairing with Shruti Hassan is landing on the Icky Meter. (He looks so good with Kareena, why not just cast her as the main lead?)
If you haven’t seen the trailer yet- here it is together with a Q&A they did with I assume the marketing team.
Q1 Tell us something about Gabbar is Back?
Gabbar Is Back is directed by Krish and produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Viacom18 Motion Pictures. It’s the Hindi remake of Tamil film Ramana and based on the story of corruption. I am playing the character of ACP Gabbar, who turns leader for a vigilante group and is en-route to end corruption in the city. It’s releasing on 1st May 2015 and also stars Shruti Hassan and Prakash Jha.
Q2 Is it inspired by the character of Gabbar in the famous movie Sholay?
No. Gabbar is the hero in the film and a vigilante, who takes it in his own hands to put an end to crime and injustice. Both the characters are very different.
Q3 What motivates you to do a movie like Gabbar?
I did Gabbar is Back because of corruption. I am alarmed by the crime rates in India and even calculated the amount of money gathered due to scams, to add up to 12 trillion dollars. I compared the crime rates between India and other countries and the numbers in India are astonishing. Crime rates are low in countries such as the UAE due to strict law enforcement which isn’t the case in India. So you need a name like Gabbar, who may behave like a villain but his actions are of a hero.
Q4 You are famous as the King of Action in Bollywood. Are you going to take action sequences to the next level in this movie?
Gabbar is centered more around delivering a message, rather than action sequences. Most of the instances in the movie are inspired by real life events.
Q5 Are you doing any special song for Gabbar?
Yes, I am doing one special soulful song called “Teri Meri Kahani” with Kareena Kapoor Khan, which happens to be the first song to be launched for this film. The song will take viewers through the emotional journey of the couple making itself indispensable to the overall narrative of the film.
Q6 How’s your chemistry with Kareena Kapoor Khan?
Bebo has been an integral part of my career. We’ve done many movies together and one can only hope we have many more to come. She is everything one could ever ask in a Bollywood actress. She will always know how deeply I appreciate her effort and expertise. I’m sure viewers are going to love her in this song. She has brought a kindness to our film like no other. We love working with each other.We had a great time while shooting for the song.
Q7 How is your experience in working with co-star Shruti Hassan?
I am working with her for the first time. She is playing my love interest in this movie. She is a beautiful, professional and talented actress.
Q8 Baby was the highest box office grosser of 2015. Do you think “Gabbar is Back” will surpass the record?
I always give 100 percent to any film that I do, and pray that it will do well. God has been very kind to me, and I owe him everything and my loyal fans so much for their continuous support and love.
Q9 Tell us about your new film projects?
My upcoming films include Brothers, which sees me star alongside Sidharth Malhotra and Jacqueline Fernandez. It’s the official remake of 2011 Hollywood movie Warrior and based on the story of two estranged brothers, whose entrance into the mixed martial arts tournament forces them to come to terms with their past and each other.
After this, I will have Singh is Bliing, a fantastic action comedy directed by Prabhu Deva and produced under my production company Grazing Goat Pictures. I am joined on screen by the very talented actresses Lara Dutta and Amy Jackson. We will shoot in Patiala, Punjab for this movie.
In Jan 2016 I have Airlift releasing which is is based on the invasion of Kuwait. I am playing the role of Ranjit Katiyal, anIndian-Arab billionaire who plans an ambitious evacuation mission to rescue 170,000 Indians in Kuwait during the Iraq invasion.
Q10 What kind of movies do you like to do?
I like to do films that are different and challenging, but which don’t preach any social message as such. I like exploring various film subjects, for example: OMG: Oh My God is about religion, ‘Baby’ is on terrorism, and ‘Gabbar Is Back‘ is on corruption. My films have a message, but with a commercial angle to it. With Gabbar is Back I got the opportunity to talk about corruption in a commercial manner.
Q11 Action and comedy films have been your forte so far. Do you have any unusual projects coming up?
I do films that I want to do, because they appeal to me in some way. I wouldn’t say that I only do action and/or comedy films, and if I do make these type of films, it is because I want to. I have worked in other genres, and really enjoyed it. I like to surprise my audience, so that they can never guess what to expect! Ultimately, I just love making films with people I admire and respect. A good film is about characters and feelings.
Q12 Do self-made actors like yourself have more motivation?
Yes, I think so! But this isn’t the case for everyone, each case is different. It is only natural to protect and work hard for something when you have been through hell to get it in the first place. I myself had no Godfather in the industry; I worked hard and wanted to constantly improve myself. My goal was to strive to be better, and so it was this drive that got me to where I am today. The only reason I am still here in this industry today is because of God’s grace, my parents blessings and my fans’ love.
Q13 Who do you admire in the industry? And why?
I admire everyone because it is hard to make it in the acting industry. Whether you are self-made or a star kid, the journey is still tough and not glamorous as it looks. Everyone in this industry deserves my admiration and that of the fans too. We all have the same vision and goal: to take Indian cinema to the next level. It is not a competition, it is a challenge and we’re all fighting for the same thing— our film industry, because without it, we’d all be nothing.
Q14 How do you protect your privacy when you encounter negative publicity? Does your discipline in martial arts help?
Yes, Martial Arts is a great source of strength, discipline and relaxation for me, in fact exercise is a great way for me to unwind and forget about my troubles. But the thing that really keeps me grounded is my family. I won’t be famous forever; I won’t be successful at work every day; and I won’t have fans who love me forever, but the one thing that I will have is my family, who will love me always, unconditionally.
Gabbar Is Backis scheduled for release internationally on 1st May 2015.
Vidya Balan has managed to carve quite a unique and enviable niche for herself in Hindi Films with movies like The Dirty Picture and Kahaani where she isn’t reliant on an having a male star share the screen with her and yet still be able to bring the audience in.
But screenplays like Kahaani come once in a blue moon, and personally i wasn’t as enamoured with The Dirty Picture as most people were. Although the central performance in the movie was amazing, in was another narrative made famous by the likes of Mahdur bandarkar where the female protaganist pretty much gets punished for her choices for close to 3 hours, ending with her being in a worst place than where she was at the start.
Her next movie seems a lot more fun but she seems to be veering into “jolly aunty” territory, something that also hurt the box office of Ghanchakkar.
Here are some press blurbs and images:
The gripping film sets a new benchmark for the thriller genre in Indian cinema and examines in a clever, witty and fresh way the dynamics of the gender struggle between women and men. The film celebrates the aspiration of ‘Bobby’ (Vidya Balan – The Dirty Picture, Parineeta), who wants to become the number one detective in the old city area of Hyderabad. What ensues is a classic thriller caper that serves up a tantalising mix of twists and turns, as the vivacious and engaging ‘Bobby’ solves a series of mind-boggling crime cases.
Bobby Jasoos stars the talented and multi-award winning actress Vidya Balan, who once again shines in the title role of this quirky and edgy thriller. Famed for playing strong female protagonists and for breaking the stereotype of a Hindi film heroine, Vidya portrays the lady detective ‘Bobby’ with dedication and suitable aplomb, marking a new direction in the career of this ever-versatile actress.
Bobby Jasoos is directed by Samar Shaikh, whose impressive cache of work includes being the assistant director on the worldwide hit franchise Dhoom. The film is co-produced by Bollywood actress Dia Mirza and Sahil Sangha under their production banner Born Free Entertainment and Reliance Entertainment.
Both the trailer and song promo seem a bit uneven to me, as if they don’t really understand how to market the movie.
I do worry about everyone trying their best to put on a Hyderabdi accent, even in some of the viral video’s they used it came over a bit cartoonish.
And honestly the song Jashn does nothing for me.
I wonder about Bobby Jasoos, Vidya is always a treat to watch but as with many female centric movies in Bollywood, do they have a screenplay and team that can support and harness their talent?
Only July 4th will tell when Bobby Jasoos releases in theaters.
Akshay Kumar doesn’t make it easy to root for him as a fan, not only repeating the same genre repeatedly but now he seems to be revisiting characters too. Singh Is King was a massive success although I did not care for it much ( the non stop repeats on Asian channels do not help) and now Akshay follows it up with Singh is Bling which looks equally propesterous.
Working again with hit machine Prabhu Deva after Rowdy Rathore, Sing is Bling according to the press release is: “Going to be an outright entertainer and Akshay’s character in the film will leave an everlasting impression on the viewers. There couldn’t have been a better title for the film and we are extremely excited that Prabhudheva will be directing Grazing Goat Pictures’ next Hindi feature film.”
I think personally I disagree with at least 10 statements contained in the snippet above.
But I still like Akshay a lot and end up watching and getting annoyed by him in equal measures (see also our Holiday Trailer Breakdown)
Here are the posters:
‘Singh is Bling’ directed by actor, director and dance choreographer, Prabhudheva and produced under Akshay Kumar and his partner Ashvini Yardi’s production banner, Grazing Goat Pictures. The film is set to release on 31st July 2015.
Pritam has become an unstoppable force on the Bollywood music scene in the past few years. His steady flow of chart toppers and the frequency and ease he drops them on people is something that is pretty much incomparable to any other music director.
So this sunday he’s coming to London for the very first time for an all out concert and joining him are:
Benny Dayal – Badtameez Dil from Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani and Lat Lag Gayi from Race
Harshdeep Kaur – Kabeera from Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani
Aditi Singh Sharma – Raabta Night In A Motel from Agent Vinod
Nikhil George – Aashiyan from Barfi!
Shreeram Chandra – Subhan Allah from Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani
Anupam Amod – Rab Ka Shukrana from Jannat 2
Soham Chakrabarty – In Dino from Life in a… Metro
Here is a short Q&A he did about his Wembley concert this sunday:
– How do you feel about performing in London for the first time
I have always wanted to play in London. I genuinely love the city. Given the large Bollywood music lovers there, I am eager to play in front of them and am looking forward to the show. To top that, it’s a dream venue like Wembley Arena. It’s a great feeling. Excited.
– Have you been following any artist who had performed at Wembley Arena in the past (Any International Artists)
Yes, Wembley Arena is a historical venue for music. I remember the epic Queen show at the Wembley arena and Wembley stadium. Also, I have followed bands like U2, Meatloaf, Corrs, Pink etc, performing at Wembley Arena .
– What is it like for you to be performing at the same stage?
I feel honoured obviously. It is one those arenas and venues you dream of playing in, as an aspiring young musician. The legacy and history makes it really exciting for me to perform there.
– Your music has gained a lot of prominence in the last 5-6 years; what sort of Bollywood gigs would you be performing at the Wembley arena stage
I have completed a decade in Bollywood scored for 100 films with films like Dhoom 1, 2 3, Gangster, Metro, Jab we met, love Aaj Kal, Bhoolbhulaiya, Race, billu barber Once Upon, Barfi, cocktail, Yeh jawaani etc . By God’s grace I have more than enough number of songs to keep everybody entertained (smiles). I am planning to perform songs which has been appreciated by my audience over the last few years. So ya, from the romantic ones to the peppy ones. From Sufi to Dance. From guitars to Dhol. Trying to incorporate a little bit of everything. I will be doing a combination of the chartbusters and popular songs mixed with some of my favourites. For the final list however, you will have to wait till 13th evening (smiles).
– Which other singers you are bringing with you and what key songs will they be performing, if you want to reveal the surprise
A few popular Bollywood playback singers are accompanying me . They will be featuring with me on 13th April. Benny Dayal for example, is the most sought after singer nowadays . He has rocked last year with his rendition of my song Badtameez dil and lath lag Gayi. He will sing lot more. Harshdeep Kaur needs no introduction to UK audiences, as she has performed there before. The magic of her deep voice will keep the stadium ringing. She is my favourite Sufi voice – no wonder everybody calls her Sufi ka Sultana. She will sing songs like Kabeera, Jugni etc. Aditi Singh Sharma is a rockstar. She’s a performer to look forward to . She will definitely create “Dhoom” with her performance. Then there’s my friend Nikhil Paul George joining us who sang Aashiyan main kya karoon in Barfi. He has a addictive voice. Shreeram Chandra actor singer winner of idol has a magical voice. He sang songs in Yeh jawaani for me. Soham Chakraborty has been a part of my band Metro since the Life in a metro days. And about the full performance, let that be a surprise!
– Finally, how you feel getting associated with World’ s biggest south Asian TV channel, Zee TV
I have been associated with Zee from a long time. From Sa Re Ga Ma to Zee Cine Awards. And experiences have always been overwhelming. I am happy to be associated with Zee again. Looking forward to something equally exciting.
Gulaab Gang released last friday and provides the unique pairing of Bollywood screen Godesses Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla squaring off against each other.
Released in a very crowded weekend of 2 other releases (Queen and Total Siyapaa) but pushed by a massive Marketing and PR push, Gulaab Gang has performed below most people’s expectations.
This episode we chat with Anisha Jhaveri, about why that happened? If actresses of the 90’s have the skill set required to pick the right projects? Or was it a case of director Soumik Sen taking too much on for his debut feature.
You can check out Anisha’s write up on PopXo by clicking here.
Listen/Download/ Stream our Upodcast below, Or subscribe to our stream in iTunes and never miss a beat!
Dhoom 3, the third in the bikes- babes and abs series is poised to be the biggest blockbuster ever to have been made in Hindi Film history. But clocking in near 3 hours, does it deliver on the promise of a thrill ride?
FilmiGirl joins us for an in-depth discussion where we coin new phrases, philosophize about the possible subtext and dig deeper than any other review can as the podcast is spoiler free until the half waypoint.
Check out the latest Upodcast below and if you like it, subscribe or rate us in iTunes:
The Stars of Krrish 3, Hritik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra, were in town promoting their upcoming superhero movie and Upodcast had the chance to attend the Press Conf.
There was also an Event at the Apple Store which is a first for a Bollywood Movie so it seems promotions are going full force!
During the short interaction with the UK media Hritik mostly spoke about the usual topics: his fitness, how it felt to play 3 different version and surprisingly he mentions that Vivek Oberoi wasn’t the first choice for the villain Kaal.
The conference was attended by our good friend Sujoy, who you can find on twitter as @9e3K or on his wonderful blogs BollyPop and OneKnightStands.
If you haven’t seen it yet. here is the trailer:
And you can listen/subscribe or stream the podcast in the link below:
By now most people have heard of this little underground movie called Krrish 3, although none of us have figured out how to write the title without googling it or why it isn’t just simply called Krrish 2. The marketing of the movie has been horrendous until now. The hairstyles, the music or even casting Vivek Oberoi as the main character, as such dumb moves that they must really be confident in the ability of father- son, aka director- actor, Rakesh and Hritik Roshan to sell us a desi superhero.
Krrish 2 never aged well with it’s Matrix hangover and none of the new trailers have excited anyone really. Maybe the kids that liked the first one are already old enough to call bullshit on this stake looking sequel.
In any case the cast are doing the UK media circuit round and we’re hoping to ask them some questions. Let’s see if that works out. Until then here is a generic media interview with main actor Hritik Roshan.
1. You are undoubtedly one of the biggest stars in Bollywood obviously doesn’t come easy, where does your determination and passion stem from?
My family has been my biggest inspiration – they are my true role models and they continue to be. My parents through to my grandparents have seen and experienced all shades of life, the good, the bad, and always faced any situation God presented to them fearlessly together. We share a unified bond which I also instill in my own little family with my wife children.
2. 2013 sees the third instalment of Krrish, a franchise that you are renowned for, what can the audience expect?
I think the audiences are going to be in for a treat with Krrish – if you loved the first two films, you will adore this edition. Krrish is our home production and it was like coming home. I did miss Krrish’s character.
3. What are your thoughts on Superhero movies created in Bollywood?
The Indian cinema industry is among the best in the world and has created movies of par excellence for years. Being our home production, Krrish 3 will master the superhero genre in Indian cinema and internationally. That is the vision with Krrish 3, to present a superhero entity that will appeal to all audiences globally, in the same zest and fervor that they appreciate other superhero films like Superman and Batman. I am very sure that regardless of the language Krrish 3 is shot in, the performance, narrative and overall content will help extend the film’s appreciate to audiences over and beyond the Indian market and global South Asian Diaspora. We have already seen this happening with the phenomenal appreciation we received for the film’s trailer which set a benchmark, garnering more views than that of Hollywood film trailers like Thor and Avengers. We are very excited to see the audiences’ response.
4. People like Hrithik as a dancer, the dance seems to be missing in his movies these days, is it intentional?
Not at all! However clichéd this sounds, I guess the scripts I’ve currently been working on just haven’t demanded any breakthrough dance sequences. But never say never though! Krrish 3 does feature some notable iconic moves which will become synonymous of Krrish 3.
5. Filmmakers from Bollywood have tried to make superhero movies before and they haven’t been as successful, what are you doing that is so different?
I feel the Krrish franchise has worked as we have listened to the audience, not just in India but globally. We always aim to deliver a film to them that we hope will appeal to their tastes and aspirations. I never like to operate with an insular mind-set. To produce a superhero film, one key factor to remember is that the focus should be on creating a connectivity between the narrative, the characters and the audience as the story of the superhero him the person. There is a hero in everyone. The focus should not be to make a superhero film that boasts style through special fx and never before seen technology but no substance. A balance needs to be met.
Also Krrish is really not about me. To make a film like this you need a team. An actor is nothing, he is a tool, he is the paint, but you need the painter to make it work. Our team is so strong on Krrish 3 and this is the key to our success. You cannot simply rely on the fame and popularity of an actor to make a film such as this.
6. With the huge amount of excitement generated from the trailer for Krrish 3 expectations are very high, how do you deal with that?
I am very ecstatic and truly humbled by the views the trailer has generated. For me I am glad that the expectations are high as when audience have high expectations it only pushes you to stretch yourself to do more for them. I enjoy a challenge and I think that Krrish 3 presented us with a lot of difficulties, but you only get out what you put into a film and I am very happy with the finished product.
7. Krrish 3 will be the third time that you have played the superhero, do you feel that you have many similarities to Krrish in real life?
A superhero is about values, not about the costume or the powers. A superhero is someone who never gives up and is in service to others. I think I have the right attitude to be a superhero, to try and come through for those that depend on me.
8. Some of the special effects that we saw in the trailer are truly breath-taking, how much time was devoted to making these sequences?
My father wanted to do all of the special effects in India, it is common in Indian cinema to outsource the special effects for a film to other countries, but my father and I believe that we have the talent in India and that we just need to give them the support and time they need to make a polished and believable finished product. The sequences that you have seen in the trailer are the result of this and I think they look fantastic.
9. We hear that Krrish 3 has several market firsts. Please elaborate.
Yes! We have initiated key brand extensions for Krrish 3 which is really going to help create a greater connect with audiences. From animation, merchandise, digital and comics, we have a full breadth of products to deliver to audiences. We launched Kid Krrish recently, a series of 4 animated features being aired on Cartoon Network. Kid Krrish is the story of Krrish in his childhood who sets out on an adventure with his set of friends. Kid Krrish along with adventure and action also imparts life lessons of friendship and loyalty. It is the first Indian film / character to be adapted in an animated form. It is also the largest television deal in the animation space. On the merchandise front, we have Krrish live Action which will have unique merchandise ranging from Krrish Masks, wrist bands to first of its kind Consumer Electronics like Walkie Talkies, Music accessories and RC toys (Flying Krrish). The way we have structured the deal is market first in India and will be a more sustainable merchandising programme with a more longer term mind-set. We also have an extensive digital activation plan which will help our fan base be closer to the film and Krrish himself, more than ever before. I am also extremely excited about our forthcoming comic book series, Krrish: Menace of the Monkey Men, which will be released as a comic book magazine available in stores later this year. 10. We hear that Krrish 3’s filming schedule was pretty testing. Could you elaborate please?
Krrish 3, is one the most difficult films of my career. I play various characters. If I wanted victory again, I’ll have to go through the battle again. The finest steel must go through the hottest fire was my modular during the shoot. It Was Difficult Playing Many Roles In Krrish 3. The script has been such that it challenged each and every character and department from the production to the creative.
11. What else would you do if you weren’t a Bollywood actor?
I cannot imagine doing anything else than being a profession that allows me to develop and expand my creativity. I know it sounds clichéd but I love what I do and I do what I love! It really is in my DNA and whatever my parents, grandparents, uncles achieved in this industry is an intrinsic part of my make-up. I have had the opportunity to live multiple lives in one lifetime and through the power of cinema did my small bit to touch a chord with the world and form an indescribable bond.
12. Being the superstar that you are, how difficult is it finding the right balance between your personal life and filming?
It can be extremely difficult being away from family when I’m at work, but I do try and see my family as much as I can as they mean a lot to me. I guess it’s crucial to prioritize time accordingly. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend with your family, it’s never really enough. But coming from a family where filmmaking runs through our veins, we do understand the pressures associated with work thus the understanding between us as family and for our work always helps us to strike that important balance.
13. Your body is obviously very important to you, as millions of women have probably noticed. Do you have any tips for our readers trying to fight off the Christmas weight?
I work out a lot and have a strict diet and exercise regime that I follow religiously. Being fit isn’t just about being physically strong but also mentally. My fitness workout is a major release for me, in a way it’s my way of chilling out!
14. You have millions of fans the world over, whom are you the biggest fan of and why?
It’s going to be difficult to pinpoint a particular place. All the fans around the world have been so supportive and loving; I just can’t thank all my fans for the ongoing support.
15. Being at the top of the industry, how do you keep yourself so friendly and approachable?
I have always believed in being a good human first and foremost. My parents have brought me up with great morals and values; life is too short to create negative surroundings and feelings. Like they say ‘treat others how you’d like to be treated’. Furthermore, the persona I have has only been created by my adoring fans – I am here in this industry and now presenting Krrish 3 only because of them.
16. What else can audiences look forward to seeing from you?
2013 was a busy year with Krrish 3 and the filming of Bang Bang with Katrina. 2014 is another year packed with lots of exciting projects including some other ventures outside of the film industry. ‘Krrish 3’ releases on 1st November 2013.
The team of Abhinav Kashyap’s Besharam came down to the UK to talk about their fortcoming release.
Our good friend Sujoy Singha from Bollypop, attended and managed to even liven up the proceedings at the press conference.
Here’s the audio of the event with Ranbir Kapoor, Pallavi Sharda as well as Rishi and Neetu Kapoor.
The podcast is below but here are some of the things they talked about typed out by the friendly people at Sterling Media.
From the Press Release:
The media were then treated to a special welcome from the man himself Ranbir, who said: ‘I am delighted to be here in the UK. This visit is even more special this time as I finally have my parents with me. Besharam is very much a family entertainer, so it is fitting that I should come with my father and mother.’
The floor was then opened up for a lively question and answer session. With the interest garnered by the fact that the Kapoor clan have acted together for the first time, the media asked the trio questions about how it felt to act together, to which Ranbir said: ‘It feels great. Both my parents are an inspiration to me. My father and mother are fabulous actors and my father has been passionate about his craft for over 40 years. I have learnt so much from both of them.’
Neetu Kapoor added: ‘For me, I took on this role in Besharam for two reasons. Firstly, it was a very unique script and concept, and secondly I could act with my family. It was nice, it felt secure and I was in my comfort zone.’
Attention then turned to beautiful leading lady Pallavi Sharda. The Indo-Australian actress spoke of her association with the Bollywood industry and of how Bollywood is perceived by the Indian community in Australia. ‘When I was growing up I was fascinated by Bollywood. I used to wear a Bindi on my forehead whenever I went out. I love Bollywood; it formed a big part of my identity when I was growing up in Australia. Australian Indians really identify with Bollywood as it acts as a way for them to connect with their roots. Indian Cinema is increasingly more cross-over nowadays in the type of films that are being made.’
She added: ‘I have had a great time working on this film. The Kapoors have been very welcoming to me during the making of this film. I had a great time.’
When asked about the key messaging behind Besharam, Ranbir Kapoor said: ‘Beshram is not about embarrassing anybody. Besharam is an attitude. It’s about listening and following your heart.’
Speaking about the evolving of the Indian film market, Rishi Kapoor said: ‘We are evolving by each film. We are making technically better films. Few films offer a message to society.’
In response to a question on what Mr Sanjeev Lamba, CEO of Reliance Entertainment’s expectations are from Besharam, he said: “Reliance Entertainment distributes and produces both Hollywood and Bollywood movies. With a strategic global outreach, our films are going over 65 – 70 countries. Besharam is a movie for all. Besharam being the most commercial family entertainer, we want it to be liked by all.”
Mr Mahesh Ramanathan, COO of Reliance Entertainment added: ‘There are 200 countries in the world. And Bollywood has gone only to 35 countries of the South Asian population. There are wonderful markets who are on the lookout for Bollywood. It is about taking the infrastructure, funding people with passion, to take the films to various markets. Reliance has one of the biggest distribution structures from India.’
Speaking about his involvement in the production, Himanshu Mehra, Partner at Movie Temple said: “I was part of Abhinav’s team with Dabbang. We realised that we could form a company and work together. We then approached to Ranbir Kapoor and Neetu Ji with the script and went ahead with Besharam. Our like mindedness has helped us work in unison.”
‘Besharam Press Conference footage and star cast interviews courtesy of: Sterling Media’
Like most Bollywood fans, we have spent the morning refreshing our social media feeds for the launch of the Ram Leela trailer and finally the wait is over.
Rumored to be an adaptation of Romeo And Juliet, Sanjay Leela Bhansali sets the story in contemporary Rajisthan. Some of the visuals do remind you of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam but adding fire brand actor Ranveer Singh, the movie just seems a lot more fun than anything we expected from Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
Deepika has been picking some great roles and it’s paid off at the box office this year, and she seems to have amazing chemistry with Ranveer, which make me hopeful to see more of these 2 on screen together.
The trailer is quite extensive and a welcome change to the stupid marketing ploy of 30 sec teasers. I’m looking at you Dhoom and Krissh 3, this might be that we are pretty sure we know the major story beats so we can are allowed to see more of the lush world that they have built.
Here are some images, posters, synopsis and of course the awesome trailer:
Ram : Born in the land of guns, goons and hardcore enmity, RAM – the local village romeo, is a raapchik, cheap, dramatic vagabond. The lover who fights the whole world for his Leela and yet the man who stands by his clan even at the cost of his own love
Leela : In love with her enemy, a beautiful, young, spicy, fearless gujrati belle, born to an underworld mistress and yet far removed from the violence that surrounds her. Her life is only about her faith in her lover , her tireless wait for him, her sacrifices for him and ultimately her’self’ against him
When the two see each other for the first time, worlds collide, wars are fought and destinies are written in blood, forever. The Jadejas and the Rabaris are sworn enemies since the past 500 years and their own kin falling in love with each other is worst than any storm that could have ever come by. Set in the present day, magnificent vibrant landscape of Gujarat, woven with song and dance, Ram and Leela fight the world to live their own dreams. What will happen when they declare their love to the world? Will their families relent or will Ram and Leela carve their own destiny?
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.
Dhoom 3’s trailer has arrived and finally gives us something to look forward to in 2013, even if the movie releases just before the year ends.
An established and massively succesfull franchise being spearheaded by one of the most bankable actors in India (not Uday Chopra) directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya (of the vastly underrated Tashan) and shot party in Chicago, is going to be break bank when it comes out at 20th of December.
2013 has been such a dreary year in terms of Hindi cinema. The box office earnings have been huge this summer, even setting some records but most of the movies have mostly been mid-budget and just lacking that masala fun at least viewers like me have been craving. During the half way point we had hoped things would improve especially around the end of the year with heavy hitters Krissh 3 and Dhoom 3.
But after seeing the uninspiring trailers for Krissh 3, all my hopes at least are pinned on Amir Khan.
Praise the lord that stupd bowler hat from the teaser isn’t what Amir is wearing throughout the movie, although wouldnt it be awesome if this was some sort of Rene Magritte reference and he wore an apple on his face to hide his identity?
Also, why does Yash Raj Film make Amir Khan recite cheap poetry evertime they work together?
I wonder if the bowler hat and this clown logo on Amir’s desk means there is a circus theme to Dhoom 3? Knowing Vijay Krishna Acharya’s previous work, this totally might be the case.
It’s been way too long that Abhishek Bachchan has been on screen! (I am sure Amitabh Bachchan and I agree on this)
We’ve kept you waiting but finally our Chennai Express Upodcast Episode is finally ready! Shahrukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and Siddarth Roy were in town promoting their biggest Eid release which has also become the biggest box office earner in the history of Hindi Cinema.
How long it will be able to hold that position is another story with Dhoom 3 and Krish 3 (I refuse to learn how to write the title of this movie) releasing soon.
So being in the unique position of attending the Press Conference, the journalist round table as well as doing a 1-2-1 interview, we had so much content for our listeners, it took us a while to find the right format since none of us are genius editors as the listeners of our shows know too well.
If you want the Video interview head over to HeyUGuys by clicking here.
For all the other, Listen/Download/Share our chat with SRK and Deepika as well as our “5 things we learnt” by clicking below:
Whatever we’ve seen of Madras Cafe until now has been quite intriguing, it might be because John Abraham makes a savvier producer than leading man and because casting Nargis Fakri as a foreign war correspondent might actually work.
We received some new images and plot synopsis, which explains a bit as the movie itself was shrouded in mystery.
The political action thriller is set against the backdrop of the tumultuous and controversial Sri Lankan civil war of the 1990s. The film stars John Abraham as an Indian Army Intelligence Agent sent to Sri Lanka to break a resolute rebel group. Once there, he meets a charismatic female journalist, played by Nargis Fakhri who is determined to uncover the truth about the civil war. Together the pair uncover a deeper, sinister conspiracy by a faceless enemy.
Madras Café releases nationwide on 23rd August 2013.
Monsoon Shootout was the perfect opening film to the wonderful yearly non-Bollywood Indian film Festival LIFF. Not only was Amit Kumar’s 10 years in the making debut still riding on it’s praise from Cannes, it was a movie exclusive enough that wasn’t available to UK audiences but also had the cachet of a well known name attached to most of it’s marketing in critical darling Nawazuddin Siddiqui.
We follow Adi (Vijay Varma) who starts his day with his mother’s advice that life is basically Goldilock’s porridge, to be eaten just the right way. Armed with a Ganesha round his neck and the realization that his supervising officer (Neeraj Kabi) has watched Denzel Washington’s Training Day one to many times, he is assigned to chase down the Shiva, the Ax killer (Nawazuddin), who has been extorting money from builders for an underground Slum Lord who is preparing his entry for the world wrestling federation old timers division.
Adi and Shiva come face to face under on a rainy night which sets us up for the 3-way split narrative where we see what can happen if Adi eats his porridge too hot, too cold or just right.
It is clear to see that director Amit Kumar has poured in his personal vision in every frame of the movie, the movie is gritty, dark supported by some wonderful performances both by the leads Vijay Varma and Nawazuddin as well as the supporting cast of Neeraj Kabi, Tannishtha Chatterjee and the little dude that was playing her son. Monsoon Shootout clearly wants to distance itself from any conventional Bollywood film by its subject matter, casting choices and narrative flow.
Unfortunately this is not Tomas Twyker’s Run Lola Run, which had the visuals to support its structure forcing the movie to move at a relentless pace and never get boring. Monsoon Shootout has none of those visual flourishes and keeps it dire and gritty vision until the end, whilst still managing to cut away from any impactful gore. From the 2nd narrative possibility things start to slow down and the aversion to Bollywood conventions seem a bit forced. Like most Hindi Independent films it remains in cinematic adolescents, rebelling against its Bollywood lineage but not grown up enough to play with global filmi big boys who have done this before and better.
Since Amit Kumar has been working on this story for a decade this are things he could have mended if he hadn’t been as close to the story as he was. I also think he had no idea that Nawazuddin would break out to become the start he is now. A savvier director could have padded up his scenes but this didn’t seem the case in Monsoon Shootout, so we miss out some of the fire that we know Siddiqui can bring to the screen as in Kahaani or Gangs Of Wasseypur.
But these are small issues with an overall positive cinematic experience and a great opener to one of the most unique cinematic festivals in London, which we hope to be covering in the next few days.
During Part 2 of Our Bollywood catch up Upodcast ft FilmiGirl and Getfilmy (click here if you haven’t listened to it yet), I accidentally mentioned Madras Cafe as one of the movies I was looking forward to. Luckily enough my co-host corrected me that I had in fact confused Shoojit Sircar (Vicky Donor) for Shimit Amin (director of Chak De India) and that Vicky Donor was one of my most hated movies of the year.
But looking at the trailer for Madras Cafe it looks like this definitely has the potential to be something to look forward to.
John Abraham’s production company is teaming up again with Shoojit after the massively successful Vicky Donor to bring audiences, what looks like a Military/Spy Thriller shrouded in mystery looking at the set up of the facebook page and website of the movie.
Johnny BamBam might be a producer than actor (even though this must be the best phase he has ever been). Casting Nargis Fakhri might be a risk but unlike most people I felt her appearance wasn’t grating in Rockstar. The poor girl had to bear the brunt of an overzealous producer and actor who after hyping her, dumped her pretty bad. It’s never a good idea to dub voices and Nargis’ voice and the disconnect with her mediocre acting ability was something that should have never passed the rushes by Imtiaz Ali. She was fine as the girl you fall in love with in high school but playing a globetrotting journalist might be something more up her alley, if those horrible interviews of her in glamour magazines are to be believed.
I despised Vicky Donor much more than Nargis Fakhri’s performance in Rockstar but Madras Cafe looks like it’s much more dynamic and engrossing as a movie. The genre classically doesn’t do too well in Hindi Films but maybe Abraham and Shoojit have honed into an angle we haven’t seen yet.
Here is the trailer for Madras Cafe and the poster. (the Trailer is from Yahoo! India which has a very annoying Vicky Donor Style ad inserted, I wonder it’s an annoying meta tie in)
Madras Cafe Releases in August, Let us know what you think of the trailer in the comment section below!
Since we didn’t manage to fit in all we wanted to in one episode, we are joined again by the best bollybloggers in the business Filmigirl and Getfilmy to continue our filmi chat in this second part of our Epic Bollywood Mid Year Catch Up.
We head in straight away by picking the most interesting movies we’ve seen this year of Desi Zombies, Vidyut Jamwal’s jumpkicks and if Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani will join the pantheon of all time classic Bollywood movies like DDLJ and Jab We Met or will it run out of juice before that.
Continuing by going through the entire Bollywood Release Schedule of 2013 from upcoming release like Ranjhaana and Shortcut Romeo all the way to Dhoom 3.
Along the way we speak about 3D crotches, Akshay’s 90’s Pelvic thrusts, how big Chennai Express will be? Are Ranvir Singh and Ranbir Kapoor the succesors to SRK and Amir Khan and if old school romance can make a come back with Ram Leela?
We do get a bit loopy towards the end but that’s what happens when you record for so long.
What an amazing line up that LIFF has in stall for London Audiences! Some of these movies you won’t be getting a chance to see in the UK anywhere else.
The London Indian Film Festival will be running from the 18th to the 25th of July this year.
Here is the full press release:
Amit Kumar’s trigger happy Monsoon Shootout will be the red carpet UK Premiere opening night film of the Fourth annual London INDIAN Film Festival (July 18-25), Together with O2. This film is a version of Sliding Doors meets a hyper-real cop thriller, which will have you on the edge of your seats. Closing the festival will be a special UK premiere of favourite Bombay Talkies with four magical stories by acclaimed directors Karan Johar, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee and Anurag Kashyap exploring 100 years of Indian cinema, studded with top independent and Bollywood stars. Both films had a triumphant reception at the recent Cannes Film Festival and special guests are expected to both screenings.
Now Europe’s largest platform for Indian cinema, the London Indian Film Festival returns to the Capital, celebrating the exploding movement of Indian Independent cinema and bringing to UK audiences a rare selection of cutting-edge films from some of India’s hottest independent talents. Going way beyond Bollywood, the festival presents a kaleidoscope of new films that challenge, shock, generate debate and present a more realistic view of India and the subcontinent today, in all its diversity. For the first time, the festival is going on tour to Bradford and Glasgow.
The festival will stretch citywide, opening in the West End at the historic Cineworld Haymarket, and continuing at BFI Southbank, Cineworld cinemas, Shaftesbury Avenue, Wood Green, Wandsworth, Staples Corner, and the O2 in Royal Greenwich, the Peckamplex and ICA near the Pall Mall, so there is a screening near you, traversing iconic sights and sounds of the city of London like a Monopoly game board.
The centrepiece ‘In conversation’ on Saturday 20th July at the BFI Southbank, will be with Actor Irrfan Khan, one of the very few Indians to straddle Hollywood, British and Indian cinema, talking to award winning director of Senna, Asif Kapadia. Khan’s memorable film roles include BAFTA winner, The Warrior and Oscar winners, Slumdog Millionaire and Life of Pi and Hollywood biggies like The Amazing Spider-Man, The Darjeeling Limited and The Namesake, and Bollywood hits Life In A Metro, Mumbai Meri Jaan, New York and Paan Singh Tomar.
As well as films in the Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi languages, and our first Pakistani film Josh, in Urdu, we will be having a rare ‘Life in Pictures’ Masterclass, by the great South Indian Director Adoor Gopalakrishnan, on 19th July at BFI Southbank.
London Indian Film Festival also has films and events for a wide range of audiences and includes industry events at BAFTA, exploring UK and Indian subcontinent co-productions. The winner of the annual Satyajit Ray short film competition will be announced at the end of the festival at The Nehru Centre in Mayfair.
We are delighted to announce that our Major sponsors this year will include O2 International Sim, and the festival is also grant funded for the first time, by the BFI Film Festival Fund.
Cary Rajinder Sawhney, Festival Director comments, “We are delighted that the festival is growing from strength to strength. If you want to find out more about South Asian cinema come and soak yourself in a week of magnificent films in London, or catch the festival tour in Bradford and Glasgow.”
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:
Rohit Shetty and Shahrukh Khan’s collaboration Chennai Express finally hits audiences with it’s first proper trailer and the result is an odd marriage of established tropes of both these brands.
We have SRK character named Rahul, who helps girls catch their trains, he runs a lot in slow motion and ends up with a bloodied mouth at what I’m guessing is the climactic battle of the movie.
Rohit Shetty on the other hand provides us with saccharine cinematography, car flips, a horrible soundtrack and everyone dangling from wires.
The oddest choice is to give heroine Deepika Padukone a very strong South Indian accent, I have to admit I did not see that coming.
On the one hand it’s interesting to see that it’s Deepika that’s providig the only bit of originality we can find in this trailer, she is at least trying something different and there is always a fine line between being humurous and being offensive.
The other surprise of the trailer is how much it is banking on the previous successes of Rohit Shetty rather than King Khan for this movie.
Our good friend FilmiGirl pointed out that Chennai Express is looking like the South Indian minstrel show to her on our Bollywood Mid Year Wrap Up UPodcast (going live tomorrow evening) and I’m not sure anything that the trailer shows us will prove her assumptions wrong.
But on the other hand both Rohit Shetty and Shahrukh Khan can’t be called subtle in anyway when it comes to humour.
This trailer definetly makes me want to watch the movie, which is a feat in itself when it comes to Shetty’s brand of cinema. Although it just seems odd that I won’t be getting an Eid release from that other Khan instead this year.
Here is the trailer and some posters. Let us know what you think in the comment section below:
Chennai Express is in theaters on th 8th of August
Tied in with the release of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani in theaters everywhere, we bring you a very special interview with did with the one and only Ranbir Kapoor right here in London during his press tour.
As usual we have our set of quirky questions to ask our guests and I am pretty sure you will enjoy our chat.
For the first time as an intro we are also lifting the veil on what goes on behind the scenes of these press tours and give you “5 things I learnt when meeting Ranbir Kapoor” where I drop the guise of any journalistic integrity you might have thought i had.
If you like this segment do drop us a line in the comment section or on twitter and we will definitely do more of these.
"Happiness is real, only when it's shared"-Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
For the meantime enjoy our interview by downloading, streaming or subscribing in iTunes.
Having grown up in the 90’s it’s virtually impossible to not be huge fans of Madhuri Dixit, probably the last legendary heroine Bollywood has produced that exuded old world charm together with an abundance of talent, which made her reign supreme for more than a decade.
Although her return to Bollywood with Aaja Nachle had it’s merits, it didn’t light the box office on fire and since then we havent’ seen Madhuri on the big screen. But that is about to change with her taking on roles in Gulab Gang with Juhi Chawla and Dedh Ishqiya, until then we have her doing a special appearance for Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and she clearly bring back her sparkle on screen.
Ranbir Kapoor is such a charismatic performer, it’s the first time someone has really been able to take away attention from him.
Can we all agree not to call this an Item number? Madhuri deserves more than that!
We did an Upodcast interview with Ranbir that we will be posting the week of release which is very soon so keep your eyes on that!
Until then, let us know what you think of the song in the comment section below!
Honestly there hasn’t been much to talk about going on in Bollywood worth talking about. Lately the release schedules of the bigger and more exciting movies has been consistently been pushed back in the 2nd half of the year, banking on the bigger holidays like Eid and Diwali. That doesn’t mean we don’t get some nice surprises from unexpected corners (Kai Po Che, Special 26, Jolly LLB), but 2013 has been really dire in terms of Box Office even with Chasme Baddoor and Race 2 being the only clean hits.
So the trailer of Raanjhanaa is very refreshing, not only as it seems something different but because it seems to focus on that one element that the Southie Remake/Massala/ Punchy Dialogue movie making has forgotten and that is to give the audience some sweet sweet romance.
Although the guy stalking and following a girl trope feels icky especially recent news stories in India, a guy like Dhanush really can’t be a physical threat to anyone.
Abhay Deol makes an appearance too which I wasnt aware of, didn’t he and Sonam have some sort of tiff during the shooting of Aisha?
The movie looks very colorful and sweet and the thing that has me even more excited is of course the soundtrack being composed by AR Rahman.
Releasing 21st of June.
What do you guys think of the trailer of Raanjhanaa? Will this be the movie where Sonam Kapoo blows our minds with her acting ability?
Seems like the producers of Commando are finally seeing what everyone already saw in Force. Vidyut Jamwal is awesome!
I feel we should have a weekly post just praising the guy, and with the release just a couple of weeks away, Vipul Shah and team are finally throwing their support behind the movie with some marketing material that defintely looks like it has been prepared after the first trailer went viral.
We now have a ton of new song promos, behind the scenes footage of the action, and even a new poster!
I still think it’s a shame that the stunts seem to be the same every time and rehashes of Tony Jaa with different settings, and I have no faith in the abilities of former model Pooja Chopra.
As I stood up from the chair in the cinema, as the end credits rolled, I suddenly realised how desperately I needed a wee. And then, a few members of the audience started clapping. And I yelled “Are you fucking serious”. And I was joined by a few others who agreed to my comment with laughter in unison. The movie I am talking about, is Cloud Atlas – a 3 hour long wastage of reel, acting talent, and a 100 million USD.
And when I say “well, there’s 3 hours I’ll never get back”, I mean it. Now, I am a staple consumer of Bollywood movies, and when it comes to epic 3 hours plus movies, I can handle them, and I have a long list of ones that I loved despite being lengthy movies. But if you are going to make such lengthy movies, please make sure that you convince me to be engrossed throughout the length, rather than make me feel so bored, that I’d start considering shooting myself in the face.
How can I possibly summarise the plot of this movie? But I will try my best.
1849 – A young attorney Adam Ewing, saves a slave, is poisoned by toothy Tom Hanks.
1930s – Robert Frobisher is having trouble with leading a gay life, and is trying to compose his best work, the Cloud Atlas, and sleeps around with his mentor’s wife.
1970s – An investigative journalist in San Francisco is trying to uncover corporate corruption which could shape the future of energy consumption.
2012 – A troubled London publisher finds himself trapped in a home for the elderly.
2140s – Neo Seoul at the peak of consumerism has designed to grow saleswomen. And some sort of revolution is about to begin.
After the Fall – in the middle of a fuck-all universe – there are cannibalistic tribes, and yet advanced technology, and pristine white uniforms.
You might argue that I am missing the point behind all these stories interlinked by words such as destiny, truth, love, choices, and all that. But here’s my point – It makes no fucking sense. Here are a few of the many things that I thought about this movie:
The movie simplifies the complexity of finding the common thread between the different lives by using same actors play repeated roles. This works in some cases, but fails spectacularly in most of the stories e.g.
Tom Hanks playing an Irish gangster with the worst Irish accent you’ll ever hear.
Halle Berry as the white wife of Vyvyan Ayrs.
Hugh Grant as the Korean saleswoman pimp.
Hugo Weaving in everything.
I just could not get past the horrendous make-ups of some of the characters. Between this and the Hobbit, I don’t know which one spent more on prosthetic noses, and fake tan.
The language in the “After the fall era” was just an epic fail. Why would a supposedly advanced civilization still use words such as true-true? Also, why are there cannibalistic tribes co-existing with these fusion energy users?
The movie reiterates the point about how we keep making the wrong choices over and over again. If that was the case, why does Hugo Weaving gets to be the twat in every single life of his?
The only part that is somewhat engaging and had the potential of being a movie on its own was the Neo-Seoul part, and you can see the obvious stamp of the Wachowskis in it. Right from the futuristic production design, to the laser action scenes – that was clearly my favourite story of the lot. Although, it does ring a bell – y’know, finding the “one” from a bunch of grown humans, to lead a revolution. Wasn’t that something that the Wachowskis did in the late 90’s?
In conclusion, Cloud Atlas is a bloody mess of a movie. There are too many stories being told, but none of them strong enough to strike a chord. Too many romances, and yet no heart-wrenching love story. It is eye-wateringly beautiful, but at its core remains a flawed film with a fascinating surface. Watch it if you must.
Cloud Atlas is out in theaters on February 22nd 2013.
This is a post by our good friend Sujoy’s who is also know as @9e3k on twitter and his wonderful Gif’s have been featured all over the interwebz!
We speak about the good, the bad and the ever so sad.
Agneepath, Vicky Donor, Pan Singh Tomar, Student Of The Year, Gangs Of Wasseypur, English Vinglish…Who will win it this year? Or will there be a surprise entry? Players or Jism 2 maybe?
Before we get into our top 5 movies of the year, we analyze what the worst part was of Agneepath: Sanjay Dutt’s toenails or the romantic track with Priyanka Chopra’s utterly forgettable role as Kaali? Was she able to redeem herself in Barfi! And we debate if lifting too many scenes from others can spoil a movie in its entirety?
We talk about the 6 female directors that made a mark in Hindi Film’s this year.
What did 2012 mean for the heroes, heroines, debutantes, climbers and…
And you can’t finish a year review with an update of “The Khan Ranking”, taking a moment to discuss how shit Madhur Bhandarkar’s Heroine truly is and concluding with what we are looking forward to in 2013?
Special appearances by UK media personality Ashanti Omkar, Beth from BethLovesBollywood, Amaluu from Bollystalgia, Katherine from Totally Filmi, Sujoy from Tripple Eggs Podcast, Danny Bowes from Moviesbybowes, Stacey and Prathna from Bollyspice , so big thanks to all of them for stopping by and making this awesome episode even more special!
Being a bumper episode it pretty much has the length of an entire Manmohan Desai masala film but that’s why it contains songs, laughter, and even some dishoom dishoom between us film nerds.
After the massive success of Dabangg, no one was surprised by the announcement of a sequel. What was surprising was that neither director Abhinav Kashyap nor Sonu Sood were coming back.
Instead Arbaaz Khan, previously producer of Dabangg, was going to make his debut as a director and deliver the follow up to the adventures of Chulbul Pandey within a year.
We loved the first Dabangg and we discussed it at length in a previous podcast with wonderful guest FilmiGirl and Amaluu, check out that episode by clicking here.
This week Upodcast is joined by always thought provoking writer, burlesque MC, dancer and all round amazing guy Bastard Keith, to challenge our statement that Dabangg 2 might be one of the best sequels made in Hindi Cinema.
We take you on a earth stomping ride, gyrating our belt buckles whilst we compare both Dabangg’s, talk about the phenomenon that is Salman Khan and what the future might hold for him and his now director brother Arbaaz.
Fevicol this Podcast to year ear holes and listener discretion is advised from the outset… seriously guys and gals, this is meant for immature mature audiences.
If you don’t believe me, check out some of Bastard Keith’s other work on his site.
For the promotion of Student of the year, Karan Johar accompanied by Sid Malhotra,Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt flew over to London to talk to the UK press and Upodcast was invited.
If you have ever seen a full press conference it’s pretty hard to get a non rehearsed answer out of the celebrities especially so if they have the quick wit and verbal prowess of Karan Johar, nevertheless we had a 1 one 1 interview where we could ask a few more personal questions.
Student of the Year is in theaters from today and I hope you enjoy our interview with Karan and the rest of the cast.
Although Jab Tak Hai Jaan has been creating the most waves in terms of promotions, the movie we are most looking forward to this year is Amir Khan’s Reema Kagti directed suspense drama Talaash. The buzz has been building up and it seems only now that we are getting to see a bit of the movie. Here is the jazzy first track from the soundtrack and some very interesting tid bits about the movie, Spoiler Free (I checked before posting as I didn’t want to mess up anyone’s experience, being an awesome film blog and all).
Kareena looks ravishing, Rani looks ticked off that she doesn’t get to dance and be all smooth and Amir’s moustache fills up the rest of the screen while he drives through the seedy areas of the city. Ram Sampath delivered a cracking soundtrack last time for Delhi Belly and if this is the sound he’s going for then we can add that to the list of exciting things about this movie!
Here is the press release and some news:
TALAASH – The search is on… in one single room now!
We have heard of suspense drama films revolving their entire story around bringing together all suspects in one script and confusing the audiences. But Talaash, which features the acclaimed actor Aamir Khan (who has been India’s Oscar choice frequently and whose production house, Aamir Khan productions has co produced this film, was nominated in the foreign language category at the Oscars, for Lagaan), newly married Kareena Kapoor, and Rani Mukerji, has juiced up this suspense formula a little more.
In the first song video from the film, Muskaane Jhoothi Hain, all suspects of the crime are going to be seen in the same room, under one roof. Talaash being a film of suspense drama genre, this music video is set to build up the anticipation of the audiences even more.
The movie is about a police officer played by Aamir Khan, who is trying to investigate and solve what seems like a perfect crime, and all suspects in the film are going to be seen together in that one single music video.
The video will thus have Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Rani Mukherji, Nawazzudin (from Gangs of Wasseypur) and all principal cast of the film in one single frame making it a never seen before visual.
In such an interesting and nail biting way, Talaash is thus reviving a popular long forgotten genre of Bollywood film-making i.e. suspense drama. The film also marks the amalgamated re-union of Aamir Khan, Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani who last came together in the cult classic film, Dil Chahta Hai.
One more reason for having a special promotional video was to bring Aamir, Rani and Kareena together in one frame and give that sensational visual to the audiences, as in the entire film, all three are never seen together. The film has been scripted in such a way that three lead characters of the film don’t come face to face..
Reema Kagti has directed a music video for the first time, and as the director of the film. She says: “Muskanein jhoothi hain is the title song of the film. The idea was thrown by the producers that perhaps we should also shoot a promotional video with it. Farhan, Zoya and I sat and brainstormed, and we came up with this idea, to introduce all the players in the suspense plot that will unfold in the film”.
Akshay Kumar has officially jumped ships from Slap Stick Akshay to Action Akshay and donned his Khiladi tag again after 12 years (the horrible Khiladi 420).
Partnering up with Himesh Reshammiya we get the first teaser trailer for Khiladi 786 and it proves that Rohit Shetty must be an auteur as director Ashish R. Mohan (who was 2nd unit director for Rohit on many of his big hits) seems to have straight up lifted his visual esthetic of bright colors and wire fu.
This trailer does nothing for me and leaves me completely cold as the Son of Sardar trailer did previously even though it hits all the neo masala sweet spots of thundering hero entry, non-sensical one liners, punchy dialogues followed by a pause so the junta wolf whistles and packs tons of inconsequential action.
Quite a few people feel that the danger to currently reigning box office king Salman Khan is that he starts repeating himself, I feel this much more true for Akshay who even in this trailer seems like he’s having no fun at all and is just going through the motions. He just doesn’t look as fresh and good anymore even if we do see his trademark grin. Akshay has always been a tool more than a driver of his movies and he seems to just do what’s necessary but the passion seems gone.
The trailer is solely built on revisiting Rowdy Rathode’s success and doesn’t add much more (With RR which wasn’t that great of a movie in the first place). We don’t get to see Himesh Reshammiya or Asin yet, but obviously with this being just a teaser we will at certain point as well as the soundtrack which I am not really looking forward to, even if Himesh has done some good work in the past, it’s never been great has it?
The biggest problem with wire based action is if not used sparingly, is it looses all impact in a fight sequence, this was one of my major issues with Singham and I feel it’s an art that Bollywood hasn’t mastered as well as their Southern Indian brethren.The only segment of the action that does truly work is the spinning punch Akshay delivers that finishes in a martial arts stance. (As any kid coming back from Friday prayers know, a Shalwar Kameez is totally bad ass to train kung fu in)
We recorded this podcast just a day after Don 2 came out in a casual late night chat with our good friend Danny Bowes, from MoviesByBowes and also IndieWire (he’s been firing from both barrels so definitely check out his work).
Unfortunately I’m only now getting to posting it since there were some audio issues that i could only solve now as I didn’t want to give you guys a bad experience listening to Upodcast, but with Priyanka Chopra coming at us with a critically acclaimed performance in Barfi and her career as a popstar starting, as well as just not being to wait long enough to talk Shahrukh until Jab Tak Hai Jaan comes out in November, it was the right time to dig up and dust of our great chat about Don 2 again.
The discussion is still very geeky and very indepth as usually is the case with Upodcast. Bringing you a twist on Bollywood reviews that no one else does.
We talk the Superstar that ShahRukh is, what kind of movies he wants to make and how he wants to project himself, and we even go into the age old Salman vs Shahrukh debate ( in a respectful manner)
We covered Don’s release quite intensly and even did an interview with director Farhan Akhtar in our inimitable style that you can check out here! ( funny story, Shahrukh actually stepped into the room when we were talking to Farhan on the phone so we were only 1 degree away SRK, WOOHOO)
Directed by enfant terrible of Hindi Film cinema Shirish Kunder, starring Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Shreyas Talpade and Alex O’Nell, follows up his 2006 gem Jaan E Mann with a Sci-fi village hoax movie Joker.
Unfortunately already one of the lowest openers of the Indian Box Office of 2012 and pretty much a disappointment all round for those looking forward to what this witty director with a keen visual sense would come up with after a gap of 6 years.
Our guest GetFilmy joins us to discuss the debacle leading up to the release, what went wrong and we speculate on what the next steps could be for Shirish Kunder as a film maker.
We try to talk as positively about the movie as we usually do on the show and theorize what went on behind the scenes.
Was it bad marketing?
The effects of slapgate?
Why did Akshay not promote the movie?
Is it a completely bad movie?
We finish up the show with the forthcoming releases of the year and what else we can look forward to.
Apologies for our listeners that joined us on Ustream ,that was an experiment that didn’t go well…Maybe next time.
The US has Honey Boo Boo and before that Jersey Shore, India has Rakhi Sawant and Pakistan has Veena Malik. Some enjoy her antics ironically, but we can’t disregard the fact that she must have some genuine fans out there? Right?…
In any case, not content with everything else she is doing. Veena is now launching her music career too.
Here is an excerpt from the Press Release and teaser from her forthcoming video.
Here is the press release:
Known for her controversies, bold personality and daring stunts Bollywood actress Veena Malik is all set to launch her singing career with her debut single ‘Drama Queen’. As fitting as the title may seem this is just the beginning of her string of hits before she releases her album beginning of 2013. The album will host different producers from across the world giving each song a different vibe, including a collaboration with British Asian music producer Bups Saggu. The album is an exciting new venture for Veena aside from her film and TV career ” I’m so excited to release Drama Queen to the world, everyone is always tagging me like this so I thought why not let’s make a song on it, the song is fun and cheeky at the same time I hope everyone love’s all the work we’ve put in to it” Said Veena Malik
Her music career will be launching in India and she will then head to the UK and USA for shows and appearances at the end of the year. Veena Malik is getting geared up to show the whole world the ‘Drama Queen’ experience . Nisha Sahdev from Sahdev Media, Veena Malik’s International Manager is looking forward to the launch ” Drama Queen is a very catchy song, it’s surely going to be loved across the spectrum, the whole project is bold, fun and stylish which reflect Veena’s personality. We are putting together an album which will range different music composers to give a global feel and appeal to all her fans. Post the album we will be taking Veena on tour across UK, USA, UAE and Canada on the Drama Queen tour which will be announced January 2013″
Drama Queen as the title prompts is a fun, catchy song produced by ShreeD and Canadian producer IshQ. Written by Siddharth Bannerjree the song brings in all the perspectives of Veena Malik in one song.
Look out for the video to hit the screens near you! For now.. check out the Video Teaser.
The Awesome Roop Kumar Rathod (I still regularly rock “Tujme Rab Dikta Hai” From Rab Ne Banadi Jodi) and his wife Sonali Rathod will be touring the UK and picking up some selected songs throughout the 100 years of Bollywood Music. Together with a live band they will be giving their own renditions of classics by Mohammad Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Talat Mahmood and Noor Jehan as well as some of his own repertoire of Bollywood songs.
Dates are announced for Leicester, Birmingham and London and find info on how to book tickets and some excerpts from the press release below:
According to Roop and Sunali, “We are thrilled that Saregama Events are doing this. We are completing 100 years of Indian cinema next year, but if we try to count the names and pay homage to all those responsible it will take another 100 years. So in our own innovative style, we will sing not only our own popular numbers but also gems from the Golden era of cinema.”
With a fan following of millions around the globe, the likes of Rafi, Lata, Talat and Noor need little introduction. Nevertheless, Saregama recognizes the importance of showcasing India’s classic singers and songs.
Modern Bollywood music fans will recognise Roop Kumar Rathod as the voice of superstar Shah Rukh Khan in ‘Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai’ from Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, ‘Tere Liye’ from Veer Zara, ‘Maula Mere Maula’ from Anwar, the award winning ‘Sandesein Aate Hai’ and ‘To Chaloon’ from Border, ‘Barson Yaaron’ from London Dreams, ‘Vatna Ve’ from Pinjar, ‘Dil Ko Tumse Payar Hua’ from Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein, ‘Zindagi Maut Na Ban Jaye’ from Sarfarosh, ‘Salaam Aya’ from Veer and most recently ‘O Saiyaan’ from Agneepath 2012. Also a veteran of ghazal, bhajans, Sufi and light classical genres, together with his wife Sunali, Roop has performed numerous stage concerts around the world and been given the accolade of one of the finest voices in the industry.
Equally talented and a charming soul mate to Roop is Sunali Rathod. Sunali began to sing at a young age of seven and received formal training in Indian Classical music at the age of twelve from Pandit Ridnath Mangeshkar (brother of Lata Mangeshkar). Well known in the classical and ghazal genres, Sunali’s perfectionist nature and vast knowledge of Indian cinema and music has made her the ideal companion to Roop. Her solo ghazal album, Aghaaz, may have catapulted her to fame, but it is Sunali’s love for all kinds of contemporary music that contributes to her versatility.
Roop and Sunali have of course synchronised their artistry by releasing several acclaimed albums including Ishaara, Sun Zara, Velvet Voices and Mann Pasand.
Leicester: Fri 07 Sept, 2012, De Montfort Hall, Click here for tickets
Birmingham: Wed 05 Sept, 2012, Symphony Hall, Click here for tickets
London: Sat 08 Sept, 2012, HMV Hammersmith Apollo, Click here for tickets
The promo’s for Jism 2 have pretty much taken the internet by storm and mostly because of the presence of the beautiful Sunny Leone making her feature film debut in Bollywood.
The acceptance that was shown to her Big Brother India appearance and subsequent popularity was quite surprising but now that the movie is close to coming out, director Pooja Bhatt seems to be battling with the conservative censor boards and focusing most of her marketing towards the internet.
Two of the song promos released are pretty amazing, visually lush and accompanied by some great tracks, especially “Yeh Jism” sung by Pakistani vocalist (and media personality) Ali Azmat. The soundtrack is composed by Arko Pravo Mukherjee, first time music director who used to be a surgeon before this according to Pooja Bhatt’s tweets! And knowing the Bhatt’s excellent taste in music this will be definitely one to look out for!
The plot summary is:
A porn star is hired by a dashing intelligence officer to become a ‘Honey-trap’ for a dreaded assassin. In doing so, she not only has to confront her bitter-sweet past, but is also forced to make an impossible choice – one that will put her own life in double jeopardy.
Here are the promos and some more production stills from the movie. And I must say, they are bound to get you hot under the collar.
This was the first Upodcast to be streamed live on Ustream (bookmark this link to catch the next show!), follow our twitter feed or facebook page so you can join the next time we go live with our insanity!
As we mention in the intro, we have quite an amazing competition running for the month of June sponsored by Hi-Fi Tower so click here to check out the rules and how you can win Home Projector to transform your living rooms into a theater experience!
Let us know what you though of the show in the comment section below!
Very short post with some images we received from Bol Bachchan which releases on 6th of July and might be the first Rohit Shetty comedy we are actually looking forward to. And the main reason is the addition of Abhishek Bachchan in what looks likely to be a hilarious role! Bright colors, inane puns and wire fu Ahoy!
After the mega international success of blockbuster films Singham, Golmaal 3 and Golmaal 2, comedy maestro Rohit Shetty and Bollywood superstar Ajay Devgn, team up once again to create some spicy movie masala in the hilarious Bollywood comedy Bol Bachchan, and this time hearthrob Abhishek Bachchan comes along for the ride. The filmreleases on 6th July 2012 by Fox Star Studio. After the mega international success of blockbuster films Singham, Golmaal 3 and Golmaal 2, comedy maestro Rohit Shetty and Bollywood superstar Ajay Devgn, team up once again to create some spicy movie masala in the hilarious Bollywood comedy Bol Bachchan, and this time hearthrob Abhishek Bachchan comes along for the ride. The filmreleases on 6th July 2012 by Fox Star Studio.
One movie that we have totally been looking forward to is Rowdy Rathore and since the release is just around the corner, there is quite a bit of promotion going on especially in India where the stars and director Prabu Deva are on a city wide tour. Together with the full Chinta Ta Ta Chita Chita – Rowdy Rathore Official Full Song Video, we received a spoilerific plot summary, read if you can’t wait to know the what the movie will be about!
Bollywood’s original hero Akshay Kumar makes his long-awaited return after seven years to the action movie arena with this summer’s big release Rowdy Rathore releasing on the 1st of June 2012.
Rowdy Rathore is a modern re-working of the Telugu film Vikramarkudu, and features an all-star Bollywood cast comprising of Akshay Kumar and Bollywood starlett Sonakshi Sinha who returns to screens after Dabangg. The film is directed by renowned Tamil choreographer and actor Prabhu Deva (Wanted, Shakti – The Power) and also features the considerable talents of producer Sanjay Leela Bhansali, famed for his directing credits on cutting-edge films Black, Devdas and Saawariya. The film marks Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s first foray into the action genre.
Akshay Kumar returns to dazzling form in this all-action blockbuster, as he expertly plays two very different and intriguing characters. The film is enhanced by lighthearted moments of comedy, thrilling action sequences and a little sprinkling of romance to set things off. Rowdy Rathore showcases Akshay Kumar’s acting talents and versatility as an actor, and guarantees an exciting summer film for the whole family.
In a gripping tale of mystery, deception and revenge, the thrilling story is told through the eyes of lead character Shiva (Akshay Kumar), who is a small-time thief addicted to acts of daredevilry. Shiva’s life is turned upside down when one day a young girl turns up and claims to be his daughter. Stunned by the revelation, he soon uncovers a dark and disturbing story behind her claim. It turns out that the girl is the daughter of IPS Police Officer Vikram Singh Rathore, who happens to be Shiva’s twin brother. When the two meet, and Vikram is murdered in front of Shiva, the latter must assume his identity and work undercover to bring his killers to justice.
Here is another look at the trailer that we can’t get enough of!
The movie we are licking our lips to watch like a cat looking at a goldfish in a bowl, with the bowl being the Cannes film festival is Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs Of Wasseypur. On a charming offensive since Girl With The Yellow Boots Anurag’s profile has steadily been increasing as a filmmaker to watch out for more so for the western audiences that weren’t aware of his excellent previous work.
Here are some shots from Cannes that we hadn’t posted yet and as well some of the press clippings:
“Today, Tuesday 23rd May saw eager crowds line the streets outside the world renowned JW Marriot for the exclusive world premiere of Gangs Of Wasseypur, the first mainstream Bollywood film to be selected for the Director’s Fortnight. Onlookers screamed as the Belles of Bollywood sashayed down the red carpet and dazzled the fans with their jaw-dropping floor length gowns. Once again the supporters of the most highly anticipated Indian film of the 65th Cannes Film Festival proudly donned their statement red gamchchas as they took their seats in a fully packed 800 strong capacity screening.
Actresses Huma Quereshi, Richa Chadda and Reema Sen, and Bollywood’s only female music director, the 28 year old stunner Sneha Khanwalkar, were joined by the film’s acclaimed director Anurag Kashyapand themaleleads in the film Manoj Bajpayee and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, known as two of India’s most critically acclaimed actors.
Gangs Of Wasseypur, a mainstream Indian film, combines clever filmmaking with a powerful, high-concept and entertaining plot, with revenge at its core. Accentuated by strong performances by a talented and eclectic cast comprising of Hindi cinemas finest, Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Richa Chadda, the film is cleverly told in two parts. Gangs Of Wasseypur represents the brave new Indian cinema breaking the cliches and conventions, something which Anurag Kashyap has come to be known for. The film is presented by one of India’s leading integrated film companies, Viacom18 Motion Pictures and produced by AKFPL.”
If you haven’t checked out the awsome trailer for Gangs of WasserPur, then here it is again!
Today we have a Podcast interview with the lovely Amy Jackson, award winning (runner-up miss Britain and miss Liverpool 2010) British model now making her Bollywood debut in Ekk Tha Deewana with Prateik, releasing the 17th of February.
We speak about how welcoming Bollywood has been to her especially being a non indian and by some of the other actresses and the differences between working in the South Indian and Hindi Film industry. Amy was very gracious with her time, lovely to speak with and has the cutest pronunciation of the word “Chennai”
We will be posting a chat we did with her co-star and close personal friend Prateik very soon, so keep your eyes out or subscribe in iTunes (click here) so you don’t miss any of our exclusive podcast interviews! ( and while you are there, leave us a review please!)
Here’s the trailer:
I hope you enjoy and don’t forget to catch her in theaters on 17th of February!
This week we bring together the biggest and snarkiest voices on the Bollywood Blogosphere to review the year past. We are joined by FilmiGirl, Rum from RotiKapadaAurRum and the infamous CurryBear!
We start of with our thoughts about the year that was and which trends stood out. Does Akshay Kumar need to re-invent himself for a comeback? Was this the year of Salman Khan? And can we count out ShahRukh Khan?
We then go in to our top 5 movies of the year, how we made our lists and why we chose a top 5 instead of a top 10 (coz we’re rebels of the underground!) And there are quite a few surprising choices!
We finish up with some of our biggest disappointments and films we hated and what we’re looking forward to in 2012.
This is a no holds barred episode so only suitable for mature audiences J
You can find CurryBear, FilmiGirl and Rum’s blogs in the links below!
Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma and director Maneesh Sharma come together once again under the YRF banner after their sleeper hit of last year Band Baaja Baarat, Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl is called a Rom-Con puntastically and banks heavily and is pretty much built around the popularity of the leading man, after Ranveer’s debut which almost ecplipsed his co-star unfairly.
Here we follow grifter Ricky Bahl (Ranveer Singh) under his different guises as he cons Daddy’s Girl Dimple in Delhi (Parineeti Chopra) as a gym trainer, no non-sense business lady Raina in Mumbai as an art critic (played by former model Dippanita Sharma) and before that as shy garment manufacturer from a small village so where he duped the innocent Saira played by Aditi Sharma in Lucknow (Probably the most “evil” of cons).
The swindled ladies want to get back their money, respect or “boyfriend” back and hire salesgirl Ishika (Anushka Sharma) to con the “conner”.
Up to this point in the story (which is pretty much the interval) the movie is a joyous ride of the different cities, accents, get-ups, cultures and each of the different scams of which especially the one in Delhi is fun to watch. We see firecracker Ranveer proving his debut was not a fluke and he truly is a guy to watch out. Anushka makes an energetic introduction in Jazba, shaking her behind in front of dubbawhala’s in a station and Parineeti has us pretty much cracking up in every scene she is in almost playing a spoilt version of Shruti Kakkar, or is just that no nonsense Delhi accent she puts on? It makes certainly makes us look forward to her forthcoming movie Ishqzaade with Arjun Kapoor.
But then things start to go downhill as soon as the focus shifts to the duped trying to get back at Ricky.
As we discussed during our Matchstick Men Upodcast about con movies, a con movie is only as good as the con, and here there is not a moment that you truly believe that these girls will be able to have the upper hand on Ricky. What remains is the love story, which is underdeveloped, and when it does pop up, it comes out of nowhere.
If the pacing of a movie engrossing you don’t realize some loopholes but this is not the case in Ladies vs Ricky Bahl and the pace actually drops in the scenes were Ranveer isn’t present.
Although the supporting actresses are talented, and Saira was channeling a bit of Yasmeen from Dhobi Ghaat)
Both Anushka and Ranveer look great but as an audience member you almost feel cheated as I didn’t feel there was enough of them in the 2nd half of the movie. We never really get to understand Ricky and in a very “500 Days of Summer”- way we only see the version of Bloody Kamina that the victims of his cons show us. Making it that even the climactic scenes of character growth feel like they materialized out of thin air. I do think Ranveer was trying to channel a bit of Tanni from Rab Ne Banadi Jodi (before the reveal) looking at everything with mysterious glances, is he aware that he is being conned? Or is he just playing along? But this is probably just the performance trying to add more to an underdeveloped script.
Anushka is radiant, and there was lots of talk of her weight loss, some going as far as to shout anorexia but she manages to fill the screen with a positive energy that no other contemporary actress has. Some actresses ooze class, some sensuality, Anushka manages to do both and adds a girl next-door charm.
And god that smile… too bad Ishika, the character, doesn’t live up to the talent of this amazing performer.
The visuals are glossy as Christmas ornaments; every scene has the popping energy that we are used to YRF studios (I do wonder if this is a look that will translate to the US movies they are now producing)
The songs are mediocre although choreographed marvelously. I did feel that the undershirt dance in title track was reminiscent of the studios massive hit Dhoom 2′ s “Dhoom Machale”. The song placement is balanced and the performances by the leads against are so energetic they are enjoyable even though you wont be buying the soundtrack anytime soon (something I haven’t done either, although that jazz sample in the title track is pretty awesome)
Every close up is shot with lots of fans so hair is always flopping around, something I might have found more annoying as I was sitting super close to the screen. (I could actually see a couple of nose hairs poking out of Ricky’s pulling me totally out of the moment, I hope I didn’t spoil any moments)
All in all Ladies vs Ricky Bahl is quite fun and enjoyable even though I don’t imagine it ending up on any best of 2011 lists. Something I am preparing for a future Bollywood Upodcast so keep checking us out. Maneesh Sharma needs a better screenplay next time but it’s quite tough to capture lightning in a bottle. If you don’t go with the expectations of another Band Baaja Baraat, you will have a great time.
I would love to see what Ranveer can do coming out of the YRF banner. The guy has such a screen presence and could totally take on more challenging and edgier roles if given the chance.
I would like to see Anushka Sharma in pretty much everything, she s such a delight to watch.
Ladies vs Ricky Bahl is another in a long line of Yash Raj con after Bunty Aur Babli, Badmaash Company, the Dhoom series and in some ways even Rab Ne Banadi Jodi. Maybe Band Baaja Baraat connected more with audiences, as it was a movie about hard work and graft? Something we don’t seem to get as much in contemporary Hindi cinema.
It seems that Yash Raj studios have no idea how to portray the business world actually works. Salesmen are equated with con men (something that was also raised in last years Rocket Singh-Salesmen of the Year) and seem to be proud of duping their customers, something I inherently disagree with. Even Raina’s who’s supposed to be a hardnosed corporate manager also has to deal with interior decoration and also being a part time art critic
When we posted the generic media interview a couple of days ago we put ourselves the challenge that if we get to interview Farhan Akhtar for his forthcoming movie Don 2, we would as much better questions. Lo and behold Asim got a chance to squeeze in an exclusive chat with Farhan whilst he was visiting Dubai for the international Premiere.
Although allegedly Shahruh was in the same room as this interview happened, we had to wrestle down our nerves to ask one of our favorite filmmakers some questions about revisiting a character much loved and how things have changed for Don, we ask about the post conversion to 3D and why certain action scenes remind us of other movies.
Have a listen to our podcast below and let us know what you thought of our chat in the comment section below.
Coming to the close of a huge year in Box Office but maybe not in complete tune with my personal sensibilities I was pretty much sold on Rockstar from the outset just because of 2 names: Imtiaz Ali and AR Rahman. Imtiaz Ali has been quietly making romantic movies in a very fresh manner. When the trailer and especially Kun Faya Kun video was released I knew this would be hitting all my sweet spots.
A bittersweet love story (which I am going to talk about below in the spoiler section) set against the backdrop of the birth of a fictional Rockstar, from gangly Steve Urkel look-a-like Janardhan Jakhar to trendy bohemian bourgeois shalwar/pant-wearing stadium rocker. Although Rock On was a success and a movie I totally loved, London Dreams left such a skid mark in my cinematic briefs even if it starred one of my favorite actors that I was weary of Hindi Films taking on Rock again. (Ranbir prancing around with a guitar during the press tour really didn’t help either)
I was happy to see that there was less rock than the title suggests but the amount there is, is unfortunately not well handled. For anyone that has had the soundtrack on repeat (like me) would know that there really is only one song that could maybe be qualified as rock (although people that like to wear black T-shirts probably don’t agree with either) but it does bring us to the second element of the movie that had me sold and that is of musical wunderkind AR Rahman. Every soundtrack that the guy has ever produced is like crack to me. If I don’t get some new music at regular intervals I started hanging out with Bubbles in Hamsterdam or trying to steal some copper wire.
The movie is told in a nonlinear timeline starting with the final concert in Rome, flashing back to a young Jordan. This is quite refreshing although not unique for a Hindi film, it did however create quite a bit of confusion for the samosa auntie collective around me in the theater. Some of the emotional beats suffer a bit due the timeline but the movie weaves such a magic that it sticks so close to your heart that you yearn to revisit it as soon as you step out of the darkness of the cinema.
Rockstar is many things, but first and foremost it’s a musical epic composed around the soundtrack of Rahman. Rockstar would not be possible without the sounds that have been on repeat on my iPod since the soundtrack was released a couple of months ago. From the chant-along stadium anthem Saada Haq, the hypnotism of the sufi inspired Kun Faaya Kun to the fun loving Katiya Karoon, there hasn’t been an album like this all year and truly only someone like AR Rahman’s midas touch could craft something that accompanied with the beautiful cinematography of Anil Mehta takes us to the soaring highs that we see Jordan gaze upon many times throughout the movie. A very smart move was to have one playback singer take on all of the songs that Jordan sings; it just creates more cohesion between Ranbir and Jordan which makes the character just that tad bit believable. And another thing I loved about the songs… there were no damn techno remixes of them on the album, thank Rahman.
Rockstar is a powerhouse performance by Ranbir Kapoor, although the young actor has been known to have the luxury to experiment unlike his contemporaries, he has an innate and effortless talent that can’t be denied. We have seen him as a slacker in Wake Up Sid, a college graduate transformed into a political strategist in Raajneeti but the performance here is just something different. Although Jordan is pretty much a petulant man child (isn’t that what Rockstar are supposed to be?) Ranbir makes you feel his anger, his frustration, his ambition and his love for Heer.
Played by newcomer and former Whose Americas Top Model ( I dont know the exact name of that show) contestant Nargis Fakhri, the character of Heer teeters on the manic pixie dream girl, a character template coined by film Critic Nathan Rabin. Man-children protagonists usually fall in love with MPDG but Heer is more of a driver of the relationship than the label usually offers us. The decision to dub Nargis’ voice creates a disconnect doesn’t help making the performance more stilted, a decision I never understand but then again I am a sucker for all types of accents. And who knows if it’s something that even Rani Mukherjee and Katrina Kaif struggled with at the start of their careers maybe we can see more of Nargis soon, I definitely wouldn’t mind seeing more of her. (I totally also dig that little scar she has under her nose)
And maybe Heer is a MPDG in the way Paro was in Devdas or Kiran was in Darr but Nargis’ fresh appearance is so charming that you just want to chill out with her and have fun like Janardhan does before he becomes Jordan.
Her backstory is treated with nuance and hints (her marriage and her decisions in Prague) which are very subtle but make us understand why we as audience members fall in love with her. She is clearly playing that girl in high school that every guy has met, the one every guy and approximately 10-15% of girls are crazy about in college, that teenagers dream about after class and since she is engaged to be married that just adds to her allure.
Rockstar is a passionate love story of the kind we haven’t seen in a while and earlier this year Mausam probably tried to deliver. Director Imtiaz Ali has steadily worked throughout his previous movies trying to understand the foibles of young love within the conventions of Bollywood. Some might say he is getting stuck in the same mold but he manages to do so by giving us a new perspective on stories we know and some of us love. This is the case with Rockstar too, we know where the story will take us and where it will end but the ride is just so fresh that you forgive most of the faults.
There are some issues with the movie though, the second half of the movie starts dragging and the writing of the characters becomes a bit unbelievable especially in the female characters, like Heer’s sister, her sister in law and mother. ? Maybe the writer in Imtiaz Ali is only able to handle one female character to halfbakedly flesh out?
I also would have liked to see more of the journey of Jordan, suddenly he seems to be rocking stadiums and kicking journalists and we never have a sense on how that is justified. It would have been great to see him struggle more with the music industry (which we hear clearly in Sheher Mein on the soundtrack than in the movie itself). It reminded me of those scenes in 8 Mile where we see Eminem writing lyrics on the palm of his hand as he’s just working on this music all the time. This sense of creativity was lacking in Jordan. But this is probably due to the decision to focus on the love story.
Most of all Rockstar is a movie of achieving all your dreams but the price it comes at can be very high.
Spoiler Section: (if you want a non spoiler- non desi review, you should check out the review I did for HeyUGuys posting very soon)
What a wonderful strategy to release the music much earlier. We all know AR Rahman’s soundtracks are slow poison so it was great let us get used to the songs so we are singing along oh yay a with Jordan during Jo Bhi Main.
Mohit Chauhan, the main playback singer and Irshad Kamil, the lyricist are together with Rahman an amazing combination. Sheer poetry together with an amazing voice, it leaves me speechless at every listen. I love this soundtrack especially in a horrible year for music in Hindi films.
I have been trying to avoid as much as possible but Rockstar is a TRAGIC love story, meaning someone dies but love never does. I think the way Hindi Films just go all out and wallow in the tragedy and melodrama of love is the reason I adore our good ole Bollywood. We’ve had our masala and will probably have more looking at the roster of releases for the next year but Rockstar reminded me in parts of some of my favorite movies like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.
Where can we order those pants Ranbir is wearing? They seems very conforable to lounge in but debonair enough to go out and get some milk on a sunday from he corner shop.
Also is Shehnaz Patel getting typecast taking care of bed ridden characters after Guzaarish?
RaOne is more of an event than just a Hindi Film so Upodcast got together with some of the most interesting voices on the internet to talk about ShahRukh Khan’s latest sci-fi epic. Already having set records in terms of box office and revenue as well as production budgets combined with a never before seen marketing campaign and corporate tie ups. But is it enough? Find out in this week’s Upodcast by clicking/downloading/subscribing to us in iTunes!
Part 2 of our massive Episode 39 and of course we can’t have Filmigirl as a guest and not dedicate a whole episode on Bollywood!
Put your Snark Helmet as Filmigirl and Asim take a swing and dissect the late summer and early fall releases of this year.
Starting with one of the biggest hits of the year Bodyguard, we ask the question did it deserve it’s success? We quickly takie a detour to find Mere Brother Ki Dulhan– the movie where the hero is actually the heroine and will there ever be an serum invented to protect audiences from Ali Zafar‘s infectious charm?
Father and Song duo put everything they had into Mausam but what the hell went wrong with that movie (or did it even?) and is John Abraham after his recent success a Force to be reckoned with or did Vidyut Jamwal run away with the accolades?
We finish off with what else is there to look forward to? Rockstar? Desi Boys? Or will it only be about Ra.One vs Don2? We finally come clean about our issues with ShahRukh Khan, so if you ever wanted to hear what we really feel, listen to the episode below!
Of course we would love to hear form you so please do leave a comment!
For more of FilmiGirl, you can check out her blog or catch her on twitter!
I’ ve been quite intrigued with Azaan since I first came across the trailer but been so busy lately that didn’t have the chance to post it, we havent been able to review the latest Bollywood releases either but will be releasing a podcast where we catch up and talk about Bodyguard, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, Force and all the forthcoming releases with Bollywood diva and great buddy of ours FilmiGirl. Keep your eyes out for that episode or subscribe to iTunes so you dont miss any episodes of Upodcast which are frankly pretty amazing.
So tomorrow sees the release of Azaan, the Indian International espionage thriller by new comer Sachin Joshi and ad filmmaker Prashant Chadha ;who previously directed Aap Ka Suroor with Himesh Reshamiyaavec casquette , but we shouldnt hold that against him (or should we?). I was quite reluctant as commercial directors making a movie just make everything kinda look the same, very slick and clean where as a spy thriller needs a bit of dirt and grime in my mind.
Although surrounded by controvery in India at the moment, but then again isnt every other movie release surrounded by some sort of controvery? It’s seems to be part of the marketing mix now. Maybe mixing religious iconography, lyrics and playboy bikini models might not have been the best way to do things? But when you are a business tycoon financing your own debut, who is anyone to say what you should or shouldn’t do?
I do appreciate the fact that Sachin Joshi is going for a non conventional movie debut and the spy thriller hasnt been seen too much in Bollywood except those few horrible movies Mani Shankar made a few years ago and I imagine Saif Ali Khan‘s next release Agent Vinod is going to be in the same mould.
Azaan’s also been shot in a gajillion countries which might be a double edges sword as almost no indian director has ever been able to succesfully direct a non indian cast, you can quote me on that.
The soundtrack of the movie is pretty amazing too with Rahat Ali Khan and quite a few other big names, I’ve added some tracks I liked and some stills from the movie after the trailer.
The subject does make me nervous and I hope they handle it with some sensitivity but can it really be any worse than Ajay Devgan’s- The Rock remake- Zameen City Under Threat. And I do hope that although inspired by the Bourne Series, that the director is able to hold the camera still so we can see the action.
Here is the synopsis from the press release:
Synopsis:‘Aazaan Khan’ (Sachiin J Joshi) – a young, upright army officer working for RAW (India’s Research and Analysis Wing) with a mixed lineage of Afghan and Indian parents, as part of his duties, gets drawn in to the murky world of espionage only to find his younger brother a suspected terrorist. Torn between his love for his country and his brother, Aazaan embarks on his mission of unravelling a conspiracy of science and technology, which turns uglier when he realises that it stands to threaten the 1.2 billion population of one of the largest developing nations in the world – India. What unfolds is a fast paced story of one man’s determination to save his country against all odds of human defiance. Strengthening him in achieving his mission is his relationship with Afreen – a beautiful Moroccan girl who grounds him with human love and emotion to help him reach his goal.
A harsh and hard-hitting portrayal of an issue that continues to plague the modern world, ‘Aazaan’ is a captivating story that delves into the global issue of terror, presented on screen by one of the key influencers among the new generation of pioneering Indian filmmakers, Prashant Chadha. Touted to be Bollywood’s biggest espionage thriller ever, ‘Aazaan’ is set in one of the world’s now top five economies, India, but travels to international territories as far afield as Germany, Morocco, France, Poland, Thailand, China and South Africa, highlighting how a single seed of hatred can spread so rapidly across the world.
Now Upodcast is not well versed in music ( unlike or friends The CurrySmugglers who are back with an amazing season!) but we had a chance to ask some interesting questions about the state of bhangra, the new found international audience and some behind the scenes gossip on how the industry works.
Above all Kuly was a very nice guy to speak with and although he was in the backseat of a car, he really took the time to answer all of our questions.
It’s a fun listen, check it out below and don’t forget to leave us a comment!
Here are some of the tracks RDB is famous for
You can find more info on their website and also their forthcoming album WorldWide.
Usually Martin handles the COW bringing you some great music but since I have been obsessed with the following track I wanted to have a home for it. From the soon to be releasing Rockstar starring Ranbhir Kapoor and Nargis Farkhri, directed by Imtiaz Ali who after his succes with Love Aaj Kal and Jab We Met is probably a rock star in his own way.
The story seems to be of Ranbhir throwing his life into music after a break up with newcomer and former model (aren’t they all in Bollywood) Nargis Fakhri. Maybe nothing special but knowing the director, he will definetely add a fresh treatment.
But the part that has excited me is the return to Hindi Film composition of my favorite composer A.R. Rahman ( AKA The mozart of Madras). After his numerous international collaborations with Danny Boyle and the Pussycat Dolls, he is back with a full fledged soundtrack for a movie. And after listening to this track I realized how much i misssed his music. I actually start getting withdrawal symptoms if I havent listened to some Rahman music for a while.
Rahman is a very spiritual guy and being a convert to Islam, he infuses a lof of sufism to his music as he did previously with Khwaaja mere Khwaaja for the Akbhar Yoda OST or even back in the day when he sang Mustufa Mustafa in Duniya Dilwalon ki.
For those wondering what the chant Kun FaayaKun means, it originates from a prayer loosely translated as “Be and it Is” (don’tshoot me, if im not 100% accurate)
I cant wait for the movie to release on 11.11.11 but the soundtrack releases 25th of September!!
It’s Eid, a day of rejoicing after a pious month of fasting and introspection. And how do us Hindi Film fans celebrate? We go out to the movies of course! Since the past few years Eid has become synonymous with a Salman Khan release. He’s set records with Dabanng and Wanted at Eid and Ready earlier this year. Will he be able to do so again with Bodyguard? Will he be A-One number one and beat that other King? Has Upodcast ever been interested in the box office fate of a movie and will we start to do so now? If you want to know if Bodyguard will be a hit, I am sure there will be numerous reviews posted around the interwebz in the next few days. But if you want to get into the nitty gritty of Bodyguard, read our review!
Bodyguard is the story of Lovely Singh (Salman Khan)a trusted and loyal bodyguard that gets hired by Sartaj Rana (Raj babbar) – one of those dhoti wearing rich dudes with a moustache- to protect his college going daughter Divya (Kareena Kapoor). Divya feels her style gets cramped by having a bodyguard shadowing her in college, so she decides to prank call Lovely Singh pretending to be a girl named Chayya to distract him by making him believe she is in love with him…Do I need to spell out what happens next?
It’s never great to start a review by talking about another movie but I have to admit as a Salman Khan fan, watching Ready ( our full review) was a torture that still gives me pant shitting nightmares every time I hear the annoying whistle from Dhinka Chikka. But it was a huge hit so I guess it only shows how much out of touch I can be with the taste of mainstream audiences. (I didn’t like Transformers 3 either). So to put it mildly I was reticent of watching Bodyguard after seeing the first trailer. I felt it was an easy cash earner riding on the popularity of Salman after his previous hits, the soundtrack wasn’t really exciting me either (does any Himesh soundtrack do that anymore?). Another thing Ready proved was that Salman’s movies were becoming critic proof, and no matter the shoddy direction or egregious plot, the shirt removal scenes would have the audiences in raptures. It’s back in vogue to be a Salman Khan fan and more power to him. He’s had a couple of rough years pre-Wanted.
(Where were you people when he was making Jaan E Mann, Garv and Veergati? I ask you this faux Salman fans, where were you when he needed you???)
Bodyguard is tailor made to be a massive hit. The timing is perfect, the marketing has been ramping up (of which you have seen a lot on Upodcast, truth be told) and they have created a lot of buzz in a short span of time (Bodyguard started shooting in January if I’m not mistaken). It mixes everything we want as a time pass movie in measured doses. First half is comedy and a hint of a love story. The 2nd half ramps up the action and emotions. The songs are placed with precision engineering and more than anything this movie is produced by an ace team.
Performances are what are to be expected from stars of this caliber. Glad to see that this will finally be a hit for this pair after the underappreciated Kyon Ki and the unmitigated disaster that was Main Aur Mrs Khanna. Salman is playing Salman as he usually does. He’s a lot more subdued playing a dutiful Bodyguard but the moments he needs to switch up with some classic Michael Jackson moves and charm the audience, he does so faultlessly. He’s become a master at giving the audience what they need, I just hope the audience needs this Salman for a whole while longer. Also can we have every movie of his start with a warehouse fight? (This one was particularly brilliant)
The money and effort spent Kareena’s look and wardrobe is staggering and she looks luminescent on screen in every frame. (We might still be a bit besotted by meeting her last week and her podcast with us). Compared to Kaajal Agarwal in Singham (The previous South Indian remake) who was also dressed in the ethnic look, you can understand what sets Kareena apart from anyone else and why she is in the position she is. Above all that she has really developed into a fine actress, even in a movie like this which is pretty light, the moments she needs to emote with her tear filled eyes, she does so with aplomb. She gets an introductory montage in the movie which makes you forget for a moment that you are watching a movie and if she would turn around and sell us a brand of shampoo or face cream, I am sure the audience would have run out and bought that product straight away. (She doesn’t do so although there is quite a bit of overt product placement throughout the movie). I’m not entirely sure she can still pull off the role of a college girl but I am sure people show me the “Amir Khan in 3 Idiots” card as soon as they have finished reading this sentence, so it becomes a moot point.
The action scenes designed by Vijayan (who worked with Salman in Wanted and Dabanng) are amazing, probably the best we will see all year (until Agneepath comes out). They take the no-holds barred mix martial arts approach from the climax of Dabanng and add more wire work to it. Whereas the wire work in Singham (apologies for harping on about Singham, maybe check out our full review for our thoughts) made the action seem weightless and cartoonish at times. The fights in Bodyguard feel more grounded as they are aided by well used freeze frames and bullet time. The final fight scene with Aditya Pancholi ( why don’t we see more of him) if breathtaking, and even if the villains are only punching bags for Salman in this movie, they do a pretty good job.
But all this is a success of the production team but a movie needs a few more elements like a tight or at least logical screenplay, clap worthy dialogues and competent directing and that is where bodyguard starts to falter.
Director Siddique has written and directed this movie 3 times (In Tamil as Kaavalan, in Malayalam as Bodyguard and now again in Hindi) now but he is still not skilled at telling the story and he seems to have no idea what the job description of bodyguard actually is. In Siddique’s warped mind a bodyguard is an amalgam of a special ops commando, a personal trainer and a nanny. Apparently a bodyguard needs to attract as much attention as possible and can also not sit next to his master.
He fills in the first half of the movie with an comedy track with overweight side kick (something that seems to happen quite a bit when importing movies from the south- see Wanted and Singham). The overweight girl from “I H8 Luv Stories” is somewhere on the background and only around so the midget (dwarf, little person, I don’t want to piss any karate proficient little people) can make some fat jokes. Apparently these jokes benefit from the rapid fire repartee of South Indian cadence, I don’t think I would find them funny in anyway shape or form.
The love story until the interval is pretty juvenile and if it wasn’t for the charming performance of the stars, it would be ridiculous. Why do remakes of South Indian movies make their female characters act only a couple of levels above the retardation line is a mystery to me? (I’m sure their moms had to get involved to get them just above that line a la Mama Gump)
I want to talk about the ending of the movie in the spoiler section but only read it if you have seen the movie already in one of its previous avatars or don’t care enough about it not to have it spoilt. But Siddique reminded me of Puri Jagganath director of Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap. Another director who overstretches his skills and his movie was only successful through the weight that the actors brought in. At least Puri made an orginal movie. Siddique has done this 3 times now and if it wasn’t for a strong action director, camera man and production team, he would not have been able to deliver.
Clearly not every South Indian director is Prabhu Deva.
Before I go into the spoiler section I want to go into a bit of tangent.
I do wonder how far we can stretch the southification of Hindi Film Cinema. Audiences will get tired of the inane comedy that just doesn’t make that much sense and every South Indian I have spoken with prefers the original version and feels the adaptation wasn’t done right. It would be an idea to take the time and effort to really adapt and distill the screenplays to local audiences and just change the timing of the comedy and emotional beats. Even the dialogues lack the punch when translated from a language they weren’t originally written in. Until now, the power of the stars has been able to drag these movies to box office success. Stars like Aamir, Salman and even Ajay have enough of a following to do so but what will happen when these movies have minor stars attached to it?
I am dreading seeing the promo’s for Force and I do not believe that people who loved seeing Surya in Kaakha Kaakha( which we reviewed) will enjoy pretty boy John Abraham in it.
I also understand the anger that some South Indian fans feel towards these movies which can only be described as a Mcdonaldisation of their cinema transforming it into a bland mongrel form of sustenance which only nourishes but does not fill the appetite.
When speaking with my twiter buddy Reena Mumbai from TwoMangoes (check out her blog by clicking here) about our obsession with pre- 50 Cent hip hop. It made me think of a song by Mos Def called Rock N Roll on his epic Black on Both sides Album, about how white America has appropriated much of black culture thanklessly.
“I said, Elvis Presley ain’t got no soul
Chuck Berry is rock and roll
You may dig on the Rolling Stones
But they ain’t come up with that style on they own”
I wouldn’t say we are there yet but I do hope more effort is put into adapting these movies in the future.
But can we at least get rid of the overweight sidekicks and inane slapstick comedy?
Spoiler Section: ( Really do not read before watching the movie)
There is unnecessarily convoluted twist at the end of the movie which is an example of the ineptitude of the writing. Not only does it just seem to give us the same result we were going to get 15 min earlier but it does so using one of the most thankless characters in the entire movie. This could very well be a prequel to Kuch Kuch Hota hai. It really sucks and annoyed me to no end. (oh I was really evil, and I now have this ailment that the writer doesn’t even take the time to name and could you please not tell your daddy I was evil oh bespectacled son)
I also wonder why did no one get any older? We don’t need them to pull a Veer Zaara but you could add some wrinkles or at least dress people differently, it seemed the scenes were just shot 2 days later but a 7 year old kid had suddenly appeared out of the blue.
The entire phone plot made me miss Karisma Kapoor so much. I hope she comes back soon and if we pray really hard maybe she will do a movie with Salman Khan again. I don’t think there was ever an actress he seemed more comfortable with or just had fun with and it showed on screen. It’s a shame because to think that way though as Bebo looks so pretty but did anyone else feel she was channeling a bit of Lolo on those phone scenes?
Let us know what you thought of Bodyguard and how they did adapting it from the previous versions in the comments section below
If you want to see a special preview before anyone else of Bodyguard and you can attend the screening in London, you have a chance to win a pair of tickets! Check out how you can win a pair of tickets just after the jump! Read More
We showed you some exclusive shots a couple of days ago( you can find the post by clicking here) and now the song itself has been released!
Check out a snippet from the much hyped Item song from BodyGuard starring of course Salman Khan flexing his muscles while wearing a fisherman’s cap and cut off denim shirt while 30 wet men are proclaiming him to be “sabse hot”! ( Not that there’s anything wrong with that). And we get a to see a bit of the beautiful Katrina Kaif bedazzling us with her smile in a recycled Sheila ki Jawaani Set. Check out the clip after the jump and enjoy!
The Soundtrack hasn’t really set the world on fire and this track is no different.
As the trailer for the movie showed, Bodyguard wants to fill in as many meta references to Salman Khan as possible as ride the gravy train to box office gold ( ie calling him “Bhaijaan”)
Is it me or is the choreography and the wardrobe very lazy? Did they run out of funding?
Fingers crossed that Bodyguars is more Wanted than Ready? (But I have to admit I’m worried that this might ne another Salman-Kareena misfire)
Let us know what you think of this new Item song in the comment section below!
The buzz for Salman Khan–Kareena Kapoor starrer Bodyguard is on full swing! The trailers and song promo’s are out on all music channels. Now Upodcast has access to exclusive pictures of the Item Number with the wonderful Katrina Kaif stepping into her Sheila boots again. But there is another surprise appearance and that is Shera, Salman Khan’s Bodyguard for over a decade will also be getting his thumka on with Salman and Katrina. Check out these behind the scene images of the song being shot after the jump! Read More
With the release of Murder 2 and Singham, message boards and twitter timelines are rife with calling out movie makers as lazy thiefs and intellectual hacks. Bollywood has always had a rich tradition of playing fast in loose with it’s ‘inpirations’ so Upodcast decided to take on this subject head on with our unique view of the world of Hindi Film and music industry and accompanied by an esteemed panel of sharpshooter bloggers, we give you the discussion to end all discussions. Check out our take on Remakes, Adaptations and Straight Lifts in Bollywood! Read More
Bajirao Singham is an honest cop and darling of a small town, Shivgad, where his daddy is a rich merchant and crime seems to be very low as he keeps paying off every crime anyone does, maybe not the best of crime fighting techniques. Singham also helps out villagers with road side assistance when their carts get stuck in the mud and helps crippled kids win school races (what type of school would put a crippled kid in a race, is a question best not asked), while all the time wearing Aviators and having the cleanest police uniform in the history of Ariel. Before spending the first half of the movie romancing Kaavya (Kaajal Aggarwal known from the bonkers Magadheera making her Hindi Film Debut), he comes face to face with Jaikant Shikre(Prakash Raj), the usual thug/politician villain and part time comedian in a pretty awesomely shot pre-intermission scene in his local village. Not able to take the insult to his ego, Shikre pulls some strings to get Singham transferred to Goa, a city under his thumb. He “tortures” Singham by prank calls and having his henchmen play “doorbell ditch” which forces our eponymous hero to take his shirt off and unleash the lion within him. The Indian Police uniform has lions on it, so there are metaphors on kung fu wires in this movie as much as there are cars and goons flying around.
Although I have laid down the plot in quite a few details, it’s a story we know and can’t be spoilt. This movie in my mind is truly critic proof. You can point out problems with it but at the end of the day it does win you over. You rejoice when the hero thrashes the bad guy and clap when he roars his punchy dialogues against the villain. Taking box office out of the equation, a movie is effective when it succeeds in its intention and Singham truly does that. The best comparison I can make is actually the Transformers ( of which we reviewed part 3 on episode 30 of our podcast) series. Like Michael Bay, Rohit Shetty has an unbelievable eye for action and quite the visual flair but his comedic sensibilities and handling of the romantic track is low brow and juvenile. (And sometimes you do wonder if it’s written by this guy)
Director and longtime collaborator, Rohit Shetty (who also designed most of the action) uses a hell of a lot of wire work in his set pieces and most of it is truly heart pounding but he tends to go overboard quite a few times where cars and people are just flying around with no weight or consequence. There are moments where you just stop caring the third time Bajirao takes off his belt to whip villains. I admit, the first 2 times were awesome, the third even the villain seems bored and just talks through it.
I have never found wire work to be effectively done in Hindi Films ( I hold my heart for RA.One), it works when used as a punch line to action but not when the entirety of the action is built upon it. Unfortnately Rohit Shetty has a propensity for overusing it as demonstrated in pretty much every movie he has ever done as a director (Sunday, All The Best, Golmaal series) there are moments that it feels like a 5 year old bashing action figures against each other. Some scenes are bizarre choices that take you out of the movie especially the night sequences which are shot with green screen and a filter, and everything just seems brightly pastel colored which give the movie a fresh look but for tires my eyes after a while. I do see Rohit turning to 3D, I think he would be very effective. There are some underlying religious and nationalistic themes to the movie too which felt a bit heavy handed. (There’s that Michael Bay comparison again was…). I did really enjoy how hands on Rohit is in designing the action sequences as we see in the post credit sequence and he genuinely seems like a cool guy to hang out with unlike Bay who just seems like an twat.
Performance wise Ajay “Jazz hands” Devgan(I haven’t kept up with the latest version of the spelling of his name using numerology) in the titular role is amazing! One of the most consistent actors in the Hindi film industry (even more so than the Khans) he is back in an action packed role sans 90’s hair but mixed in with the comedic flair he has developed lately mostly by working with Rohit Shetty. The first half of the movie is full of comedy which is completely subjective if it works for you or not. Comedic sidekicks or villagers running away scared by a plastic mask are just not my thing but Ajay even performs well in those scenes. But he really comes into his own facing off with Prakash Raj or bashing goons and even in our screening the audience was close to clapping and whistling.
Kaajal Agarwal has a very perky appearance but unfortunately her character of Kaavya is the most vanilla of Hindi film love interests. She’s the annoying prankster in the first half and the motivator in the second. Even though Kaajal does well, I was groaning every time she would appear in the second half as I just did not want to get back to the corniness of the first. Someone does need to fire the wardrobe department as she’s wearing the same suit in a multitude of colors throughout the movie.
Prakash Raj has been playing the same bad guy in Wanted and Bbhuddah Hoga Tera Baap ( check out our special podcast) but he’s just so good at it, that I just love seeing him on screen. This time he gets a lot more screen time and amazing lines. And the balance he strikes between comedy and straight up menace even overshadows Ajay in some scenes. The Shikre vs Singham dialogue showdowns are truly the best part of the picture and are so well paced from the pre-intermission on wards that you are fully on board with the pace of the movie. Both actors get the chance to get the upper hand in sequences and especially Ajay Devgan is really great in underplaying when he needs to let Prakash’s charisma as a villain shine on screen.
The songs in Singham on the other hand are unforgiveably bad and even are shot uninspiringly.
Although I find the drums in the title song very rhythmic, the song works better as a background score then a fully-fledged play back song . However cool the Jazz hands are, the belt buckle shake from Dabanng trumps it. The other songs are completely forgettable and honestly I have forgotten them already… I just know they had Kaajal Agarwal and Ajay Devgan in them and they were dancing or riding a bike or something else romantic…
All in all Singham is straight up masala flick, nothing meta about it, no subversion of the genre like Dabanng was to certain extent. You need to watch this movie with your heart and whenever your brain starts thinking again, just wrestle it back to the ground or look at the pretty colors and carflipping or munch on some popcorn. Singham succeeds in what it sets out to do and if you want to have a good family friendly time (the action is completely bloodless) and some old school hero-giri, then it’s a total recommend.
Some Further thoughts:
I know Ganesh Acharya is not the most svelte of choreographers, but does he ever invent any dance steps that move more than 1 body part simultaneously?
The whole officer Kadam suicide track which serves as a catalyst just pops up and out when needed and his kid that’s supposed to play “the conscience” of the police force has the most morose face ever. Who in the production team is he related to?
Sonali Kulkarni is a joy to watch on screen and I’m glad to see her again, I can’t believe she is already relegated to aunty roles.
I had some real issues with the climax of the movie. I just don’t agree with police brutality and I feel it felt out of character for a straight laced, honest cop to out and out assassinate the villains. And you could totally flip around the roles and make the cop the villain and the hero the goon taking on a corrupt police force.
This movie is the bizarro version of Ajay Devgan’s “Gangaajal” directed by Prakash Jha, there is even a villain whipping scene which I felt was much more effective than the ones in Singham.
Trailer Analysis: Our good friend Honey who always has all the latest Bollywood the scoops just posted the trailer and posters for Salman Khan‘s next outing The Bodyguard (check out her site for more pictures and goodies!). Written and directed by the director of the original South Indian movie, Siddique, it co-stars Kareena Kapoor and is produced by Atul and Alvira Agnihotri (brother in law and sister of the star actor). So check out the trailer below and some of our thoughts after the jump!
I’ll lay my cards out on the table; I am a sucker for Excel Entertainments cinematic sensibilities (production team of Farhan Akthar and longtime collaborator Ritesh Sidwani). Pretty much every movie they have had their hand in has worked for me (except Karthik calling Karthik) and although I don’t run always run out to the theater to catch them at the day of release, whenever I do discover them, they truly are small gems to me. Zoya Akhtar‘s previous directorial venture “Luck By Chance” was a behind the scene glimpse in the world of the Hindi Film Industry, that sensitively portrayed the challenges of struggling to make your mark in life as in Bollywood and had tons of heart.
Although it didn’t light the box office on fire, it was one of my favorite movies of 2009. A much retweeted pun by comedian Mihir Fadnavis calling Zindagi Na Milegi Dobar, Chutiya nahi banega dobara (in the grand tradition of spoofing Bollywood names. There are quite a few good ones out there especially one for K3KG which I won’t be repeating here, google it) illustrates how the cinematic landscape in the Hindi Film cinema has changed since Excel’s maiden venture “Dil Chahta Hai“, a movie that has been named in the same breath as ZNMD (as well as Hangover and Bucket List) both comparisons that don’t really hold up in anyway. The hindi film geek/cinephile is alive and very vocal, he has seen movies of the past 2 decades and can use copy/paste functions to post the wittiest comments from the message boards of Reddif or the now defunct bastion of hindi film snarkiness Passion For Cinema.
On the one hand Hindi film cinema needs and wants to evolve, but on the other hands gets beaten down at every effort it tries to do so. Recent release Delhi Belly’s was a good example of this even though the movie was hugely successful, it was derided by traditionalists for its obscene use of language and potty humor and simultaneously mocked by film geeks for its inspiration and influence from British gangster flicks.
Like Dil Chahta hai, ZNMD does live within the yuppie world with slim ties and designer thick rimmed glasses (I am wearing mine whilst typing up this review). A perfect example of the new golden, shining India. A world I imagine the Akhtars feel at home. A world where everyone is an architects, poet, artist or financial brokers and lives in sleek monochrome apartments carrying rustic notepads if ever the moleskine stock has run out. Throughout the movie there are poems serving as serving as a leitmotif written by Farhan Akthar himself, if you feel you cannot connect with his poetry, I would suggest you walk out of the theater immediately as you will not connect with the message the filmmakers are trying to convey and you will leave theaters sorely disappointed.
ZNMD is a beautifully composed film that starts off in a fairy tale setting where we see slim tie, thick rimmed glasses wearing architect Kabir (Abhay Deol) proposing to his interior designer girlfriend of 6 months Natasha (Kalki). But before his wedding, he and his bwaoys – Imran (copywriter/poet played by producer, dialogue writer and brother of the director Farhan Akthar) and Arjun (broker, workaholic played by Hrithik Roshan stepping out of a GQ shoot) have to take a Mcguffin of a sport adventure road trip through Spain that will give them life lessons as well as some unbelievably scenic backdrop.
The movie focuses as much as possible on the growth and relationship of these boys becoming men. I have to admit I felt the cast was a bit old too still be unable to figure out simple life lessons which is surprising as the cast of Dil Chahta hai was probably older but I didn’t feel that way. From the offset we see the seeds being sown of the underlying tension between the wise cracking Imran who has some daddy issues and Arjun who only seems to be interested in making a future and not living in the now. Every character is finely sketched and given enough emotional background with the aid of some well-placed flashback sequences. (Hritiks flashback even gets a colored filter)
Surprisingly knowing that the movie is written by women (Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti) the female characters get the short shrift, not that women writers should be forced to write only fully developed female characters just because they are women. And even though the ladies in ZNMD are less well sketched out they still have their moments to shine. A good example of this is Kalki’s charater that was it not for the charming sing along in the car ride to the airport would pretty much be a one note jealous “chuddail”(witch) but the actress is so charming in her role that she brings more depth to the performance than is actually written in the screenplay. Katrina Kaif‘s Laila is basically playing the desi version of the manic pixie dream girl who serves to give guidance, life lessons and serve as the romantic counterpoint Arjun but you never quite understand where her cavalier attitude to life comes from or what her background actually is.
Except for the male bonding the true heart of ZNMD for me is the resuscitation of Arjun life and his return to humanity by deep sea diving instructor Laila.
I want to take some time to rave about Katrina Kaif, so you may skip this paragraph if this will annoy you or if you feel that the actress is just a pretty face that still needs to prove her acting prowess although she has done this many time already in my book. Dear God the lady just sparkles on screen. Our friend Filmigirl always speaks about the physicality that Katrina brings to her every role and I strongly believe that no one else could have pulled off the role of a diving instructor as Katrina has. She seems completely at ease underwater and there is no moment you don’t believe she hasn’t been diving, speaking Spanish or riding on Royal Enfields (my all time favorite bike) for years. Her cute accent works perfectly imparting wisdom and some clichéd Carpe Diem moments as well as just riffing and being one of the boys. Every shot she is in, she brings more light to the screen that then Spanish son and the moment she leaves, you can’t wait for her to come back. (Which she does eventually but in a weirdly edited finale)
Beside that together with Hrithik Roshan they probably are the best looking people in India at the moment.
Don't you just hate them for being so pretty?
Both actors have a very similar meticulousness to their performance which works really well and I hope we get to see these two teamed up together soon. He definitely seems to share more chemistry than with Priyanka in Krrissh but knowing Bollywood producers he probably will be teamed up with Priyanka or Deepika sooner that Katrina which is a shame. The whole deep sea dive sequence and quiet walk through the street of Spain sequence are perfectly played and quite touching.
Abhay deol playing the straight man is probably the opposite of these 2 performers and together with Farhan they have a cool, laid back demeanor and approach to acting. Each plays their part excellently although one wonder how much “acting” there is involved for them. And I understand Abhay hesitance to step into mainstream hindi films as he would need to work quite a bit on his singing and dancing, but I guess standing next to Hritik doesn’t do you any favors, but then I think of that scene in Wanted where Salman Khan danced next to Govinda and Prabu Deva… some people are actors and some are stars, but I don’t think Abhay wants to be a star in the conventional sense of the word so I guess it doesn’t matter.
Farhan is pretty much hilarious and had me laughing out loud throughout. But the moment he does need to deliver emotionally he does so with aplomb, like the touching scene with his Spanish Flame where they both communicate without speaking a common language is beautifully touching. He gets to play the clown with the sad eyes and he does so faultlessly.
The soundtrack of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is amazing and seeing it in the grandeur of the cinematography of in theaters just makes it perfect, actually I would say that this is a movie that will have a bigger impact on you if you watch it in theaters not only the visuals but also your emotional connection with the movie as you can’t get engaged if you are tweeting at the same time or getting drinks out of the fridge. Both “Senorita” and “Paint It Red” are so much fun to watch and especially as the entire cast seem to be having a blast. Many times you forget if they are actually being choreographed and filmed or just having fun.
All oft eh adventures sports are so exhilarating to watch. The deep sea dive is actually much better than anything shot in Anthony D’Souza’s “Blue” especially as there is emotional pay off that follows. The same goes for the sky jump and the run with the bulls of San Fermin.
All in all there wasn’t a scene in “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” that didn’t work for me, and I genuinely cracked up where needed and even got a lump in my throat a few times. I truly loved this movie and cant wait for what Zoya Akhtar will cook up next.
I have some more thoughts for the spoiler section but I am glad there is a place created for movies like ZNMD and it might not be “paisa vasool”/popcorn entertainment but we have enough of those coming soon. It definitely is a high quality cinema and that’s something we should all applaud.
I loved how Farhan underplayed the scene confronting his long lost dad, Naseeruddin Shah (who else could it have been?). It’s not easy playing off such a talented artist but I felt that the moment felt real.
The final shot of the Running with Bulls is perfect end to the movie especially the slow motion finals shots, I was hoping the movie would end even if I knew there were a few unresolved threads. Although some people in the theater seemed quite disappointed. (Don’t you just hate those people that shoot off a condescending comment just at the final shot and take away your chance to feel what you want to feel- unless it’s you that s making the comment, and then it’s hilarious and quite witty). But if you haven’t bought into the movie until then, I can understand you haven’t just be quiet and let others enjoy what they say. I think my tip works, if you haven’t connected with Imran poetic interludes, walk away immediately.
The reappearance of Katrina Kaif seemed a bit random and also anachronistic with the editing but her every scene is so sparkling and it leads to an extra shirtless shot of Hritik so I guess neither man or women should complaining.
The Wedding post credit sequence clearly inspired from a very well known Youtube video was although fun to watch was a bit unnecessary. It doesn’t make sense that all these people are still friends and especially it’s supposed to explain what happened to Kalki and Abhay’s track which is left open but you need you need to watch the end credits with a magnifying glass to figure out what happened. ( Is Natasha going out with one of the dudes from the start of the movie? I didn’t catch that part). I understand director decision to end the movie where she did by focusing on the boys and not the individual relationship, a choice not everyone might agree with. And we got to see Katrina Kaif dance in a white dress which was great. Have you figured out we like her quite a bit?
Here’s the trailer and my favorite track from the OST.
let us know what you thought of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara on the comment section below!
Delhi Belly is already a huge box office and critical success, but Martin had the chance to attend the world premiere at the London Indian Film Festival and chat with director, Abhinay Deo‘s. In true Upodcast style we manage to ask the film maker about his cinematic influences (some surprising, some less so), the advantages of approaching Hindi movies from an advertising background and all this will the place was buzzing with the appearance of the London glitterati.
We have the inside track and as we were granted special access to the director for a quick interview. Listen below to our exclusive!
The Trailer for John Abraham cop drama Force has just been
released. Like Wanted last year and Singham releasing very soon, this is a remake
of a South Indian movie (Kaakha Kaakha). A couple of years before either of
these movies, Ghajini was remade by Amir Khan starting the trend of remaking
South Indian movies to a Hindi Film audiences and to mythical box office success.
Both Ghajini and Khakha Khakha originally starred south superstar Surya, a very
accomplished performer from everything I have seen of his, which admittedly isn’t
much due to the unavailability of South Indian DVD’s with decent English
subtitles (sort it out Tollywood if you want to compete with your Northern
brethren!) Now the question is why just importing Surya to Bollywood? He
managed a pretty menacing performance in Ram Gopal Varma‘s Rakht Charitra – 2 even
overshadowing Vivek Oberoi in some sequences.
If there is a language barrier (although I find the accent
charming) it’s nothing that a language coach can’t solve and it’s certainly
better than spending months with personal trainers and nutritionist to reach
the impressive physiques that seem to be a requirement to take on these role in
Here’s the trailer: *Update this is a new trailer*
John Abraham’s dedication can’t be put into question
(especially as he had gained weight for his previous role making the Photoshop
laden poster above even more impressive) he doesn’t have a huge fan following to speak of (none that I
can imagine lining up for an action movie) and I would argue Surya would be
able to bring in more people just from the South. I also wonder about John’s ability
to pull off a macho role like this…he just misses that masculine growl in the
few dialogues in the trailer.
Also I’m pretty sure he lotions up with Aloe Vera as soon as
he steps out of that pensive shower and books in a nail appointment.
Force releases in rumored for a releasing on September 16,
Do you think this will be John Abraham’s breakout role? Let us
know in the comment Section below
Delhi Belly is the long in the making black comedy produced
by the illustrious Amir Khan Productions, a banner that is constantly on the
threshold of that very coveted first potential Indian cross-over that gives Hindi
cinema the acceptance and credibility by International audiences that it almost
tasted with the 2001 Oscar nomination of Amir Khan’s very own period cricket
saga Lagaan (and then Danny Boyle took away it’s thunder with Slumdog
Millionaire). Former Ad maker Abhinay Deo‘s shows a hell of a lot of visual
flair, as he did in his previous release Game (a slick who-dunnit that Upodcast
enjoyed but was universally panned by critics and rejected by the box office),
taking us on a wild and thoroughly unhygienic ride through the mean street of
Delhi via diamond scams, dubious broast chicken, orange juice lota’s and halfhearted
cunnilingus interrupted by a Paris Hilton style inability to switch off the
The story of Delhi Belly is off three ironic T-shirt wearing
slacker types (Imran Khan- Tashi the jounalist, Vir Das– Arup the cartoonist
and Kunal Roy Kapoor- Nitin the perverted photographer) who live together in a
dirty ass apartment with bad plumbing, noisy classical-dancing (I won’t try to
guess if it’s Khatak or something else, just take it from me it’s classical as
the teacher is kinda effeminate) upstairs neighbors and a meek prostitute
visiting landlord. Tashi’s airhostess girlfriend played by Shehnaz Treasurywala
(a pleasant appearance after a very long hiatus- I didn’t bother with Himesh
Reshammiya ‘s Radio) asks him to deliver a package, containing a Russian doll
with diamonds, for some shady Russian types. Through a series of confusions, as
is the case with such crime capers, the packet gets exchanged with Kunal Roy
Kapur’s stool sample that’s off to the doctors lab as after he’s eating some
very dubious looking chicken and is suffering from the titular “Delhi Belly”. The
delivery was expected by wise cracking foulmouthed and pretty menacing Vijay
Raaz playing the crime boss. After a firecracker sodomy torture scene (reminiscent
of Dum Maaro Dum’s chili pepper pistol scene) the pressure is on our reluctant
heroes to retrieve the diamonds. There is a lot of running around, quippy
dialogue, snappy editing, a blaring background score, taking you on a wild journey
that all ties up at the end.
The problem is that the ride takes a pretty long time to get
going and before it does Delhi Belly tries so hard distancing itself from the
usual Bollywood tropes and clichés that it starts to revel in its own ugliness,
demanding a lot of audience. We see butt cracks, diarrhea spread out over
velvet and a cacophony of poop noises that after a while just ends up being
stomach churning. The comedic beats in the first half are very erratic relying
heavily in the ability of the scriptwriters to pack as many swear words as
possible. And boy there are a lot of swear words and although the movie is
mostly English spoken, it’s the Hindi dialogues that really work especially
when delivered by Vir Das or Vijay Raaz. The English ones just don’t seem to
sound right. Maybe not all the cast is used to delivering English dialogues and
sometimes the cadence is just a bit off making it lack verbal panache. But
Delhi Belly kicks and screams like a petulant child trying to break free by the
shackles of its expectations and even though it stumbles along the way to before
finding its footing in the second half, the overall the product is very
Arup’s romantic and professional woes really slow down the
first half of the movie and serve no real purpose to the overall story line.
They also seem to pop and drop randomly. The banana joke, Ja Chudail and Disco
Fighter are funny as hell though helped by Vir’s comedic timing( probably honed
by his years of Stand up Comedy), the girlfriend break up scenes were unnecessary
except to make him get rid of that terrible haircut which we can all applaud. It
also further feeds into Bollywood’s newfound Elvis Jumpsuit obsession.
Kunal Roy is hilarious as the perverted and easy going
photographer playing the equivalent of the Zach Galafanakis role from the
Hangover, Melissa McCarthy in the recent Bridemaids or even taking us all the
way back to Jim Belushi in Animal Farm. In other words he’s playing the
overweight comedic catalyst to the plot. He does have a moment of emotional
redemption at the end which is sweetly played. In my mind he’s a performer than
his younger brother Aditya Roy Kapoor and has much better hair.
Imran’s Tashi as the lead is a tough call, clearly still
very fresh as a performer when this was shot (and you can see it in quite a few
sequences although Imran disagrees when we spoke during our Podcast). Dellhi Belly
is supposed to be Tashi’s hero’s journey but you don’t really understand the romantic
malaise he feels with his fiancée Shehnaz Treasurywala nor do you really root
for his no-nonsense chemistry with Poorna Jagannathan (making her debut in
Bollywood). Somewhere you want him to stand up and just become a man but at the
point it happens you’ve stopped caring for any of his three story treads. Maybe
it’s just the remnant of Wake Up Sid/Break
ke Baad slacker types from a couple of
years ago that just don’t want to take a stand in life until the climax of the
movie and audiences (and me!) have gotten annoyed with and latched on to more
testosterone driven masala hero roles like Wanted, Dabanng, Dum Maaro Dum and
soon Singham; But the guy definetly deserves respect for taking such bold choices at the start of his career. Clearly although he has found box office acceptance in romantic roles but the actor in him does want to experiment and do something different which is something that needs to be applauded and in my book puts him above the cookie cutter roles that his competitors take on.
As soon as the gangsters come into the fold, and this
happens quite quickly, the movie finally really picks up the pace and Delhi Belly
starts delivering consistent laughs. The visual style and the awesome
soundtrack that has been rocking my iPod since the first teaser trailer starts
kicking in and as an audience member (and I feel the movie makers) have a
better sense of where we’re going. A lot of Hindi movie fans have an
uncomfortable position towards the Danny Boyle Feel Good Oscar monger of 2008 Slumdog
Millionaire, feeling a lack of ownership towards but it being billboard or
entry point for “outsiders”. (If I only had a nickel for everyone that’s told
me they loved Slumdog Millionaire when conversations veer towards Bollywood). Delhi
Belly tries to cater to the same Metroplex/ International film smug geek audience
but instead of subverting Bollywood tropes as Slumdog Millionaire did it does
so with Danny Boyle’s own Trainspotting mixed with a heavy dose of Tarantino
and Guy Ritchie. A tactic that might backfire as this is exactly the audience
that is very familiar of this type of storytelling and doesn’t mind spouting
their half assed “IT’S A COPY, YAAR”-comments on every possible social media. A
point very eloquently written up on Rajasen Blog which you should definitely read
if you are one of those guys.
Releasing on the same day in India as Amitabh Bachchan’s
return to his angry young man template created in the 70’s gotten in Buddha
Tera Baap, a movie probably ingrained in Bollywood conventions and meta-references.
And although these movies have nothing to do with each other (except releasing on
the same day) and cater to completely different audiences, people will be
caught up in pitching box office returns against each other. Delhi Belly carves
its own path making no qualms of its influences i.e. Snatch and Lock, Stock and
Two Smoking barrels but to me it’s closer to 2002 Brazilian “Cidade de Deus” (City
of Gods) where director Fernando Mireilles managed to transport the Brit
Gangster/Tarantino tropes to the Favelas of Brazil. Delhi Belly does the same
and it does it quite successfully rising above its influences and adding that
desi tharka (seasoning) that adds all the flavor to Indian homegrown dishes but
comes with the risk of giving us the runs.
Sometimes Bollywwod needs a kick in the nuts or in this case a firecrackers up it’s ass! Delhi belly is just that wake up call!
Other Things I really liked
Shehnaz Treasury (wala) looked great shitting, bleeding
out of her nose, almost sexually climaxing and slapping Tashi (not all in the same scene)
Amir Khan’s, Austin Powers-hair wig wearing
Disco Fighter promo that’s on the air now really worked for me. What can I say;
the man can do no wrong in my book!
The soundtrack composed by Ram Sampath is
amazing. Definitely a music director to look out for after Amit Trivedi (Dev D,
The Cinematography is lucious even surrounded by all the murkiness
Vijay Raaz is a great desi Bricktop!
Some side thoughts:
Check out our interview with Delhi belly’s star
Imran Khan by clicking here!
The Adult certificate and the production teams
numerous warning should really be taken to heart. Don’t take your mommy and
daddy to this unless you guys are cool.
What’s up with all the curly hairdos? (Poorna
Is it wrong to think that chicken that causes
all the problems did look delicious? I grabbed a KFC after the screening and
felt something was definitely missing.
Here’s the trailer:
Let us know what you thought of Delhi
Belly and our review in the comment section below!
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
This is a real treat and Imran had the chance to speak about the marketing approach, controversies surrounding the release of the movies, on Delhi Belly not being a typical Bollywood movie, the role of censorship in Indian Cinema and what his favorite swearword is! Riveting stuff!
Check out the trailer of the movie!
Delhi Belly will be premiering at the London Indian Film festival on the 30th of June and you can find more information on the screenings and programme on their site by clicking here!
A big thanks to Ashanti for setting this up for Upodcast. You can follow her on twitter and her blog and many of her writings pretty much everywhere from Cineworld Unlimited Magazine (UK), Anokhi Magazine (Canada/US/UK), Galatta Magazine (India), Desi Hits (Worldwide)!
During the promotional run of the blockbuster Ready, there were rumours circulating about introductory song Character Dheela being reshot as Salman Khan and the production company Tips weren’t really happy with the grandeur of the original version. The rumours took the usual route of first being multiplied and enlarged (allegedly director Anees Bazmee was annoyed of being side tracked and then close to walking off, then Farah Khan was being approached) , then denied and as soon as the movie became a hit, completely swept under the rug.
Now there is a remix version out of the song on the Ready Facebook page that suspiciously looks like the the original version that was shot? If you want to have a look at what Character Dheela might have looked like. have a sneak peak here
The picturization looks awful and looks more like No Entry which came out years ago. Above all Zarine Khan must be thanking her stars that the reshoot decision was made because after the movie’s producers, she is probably the one that benefitted the most in terms of buzz, as her appearance was really appreciated (as it was by us in our original review which you can read here)
Let us know what you think of Character Dheela in our comment section below!
The promos have been playing night and day. The pocket pointy dance has become a fad. The public has been waiting for a time pass masala entertainer since January. Salman Khan is riding high after Dabanng and Wanted. Aneez Bazmee is at an all-time low after Thank You and No Problem. No one can even remember the last time Tips, the production company, behind Ready had a bona fide hit. So how does Ready stack up with all these expectations? Check out our review after the jump!
Before I start talking about the movie I have to mention that there are a ton of sponsorship deals, thank you’s and corporate tie-ins that appear before the movie starts.
A special mention to Rahul Rawail Grandson’s logo which is a straight lift from Disney’s The Lion King. It’s probably the first time I actually wanted Disney to sue someone.
But I was hungry to be entertained and more than anything I wanted this movie to work.
Having seen Dum Maaro Dum and Game, both movies I really enjoyed but didn’t tickle my masala craving, I walked in with my pot of strawberry flavored yoghurt into the theatre. I have always made my fondness for Salman Khan clear in even his most dreary outings. Everyone can love the man in Dabanng but loving him in God Tussi Great Ho demands a certain kind of insanity and adulation.
Asin is always a pleasant appearance on the big screen in the few movies I have seen her in and I felt the chemistry she had with Salman in London Dreams was probably the best part of that horror fest.
But I had no faith in director Anees Bazmee whatsoever as I have never enjoyed any of his movies. I don’t like his brand of humor and above all I question his mindset.
To me he seems like lecherous old man cracking inappropriate jokes that gets invited to your house party. You can humor him for a couple of minutes but after that you can or drop kick him out your house or walk away. It’s always a surprise seeing his interviews as the man seems quite sensitive and well spoken. It’s a shame none of his eloquence translates through to his cinema.
Bazmee land is a cacophony of inane puns fired blindly at the audience. Calling them double entendres would be too smart a word. It’s just words that sound like other words (Tu teacher nahi, cheater hai)
The whole scenario is doused with Anees’ usual tropes i.e. mild rape references or hurting women physically (I counted 5), husband cheating on their wives treated as a mild faux-pas (a thread that annoyed me to no end in his previous disaster Thank You, a film where the hero slaps one of the backup dancer in a song for no apparent reason) and just a general patronization of womankind even when trying to endear them. At the climactic fight sequence where we should be cheering on the hero, a throw away joke is made that just leaves a bad taste.
The mind of Anees Bazmee is a dirty horrible conservative place which I do not wish to visit but this is supposed to be a family entertainer which makes it even more worrisome. His brand of humor seems to work though as most of the auntijee’s who had snuck in bottle of hot sauce to pour over their chips were laughing harder than anyone in the audience. And this will make a ton of money which in turn will allow Anees Bazmee to make more of these movies.
Besides all that, he is just an incompetent director. The comedic beats are off, the editing is shoddy and the times Ready beats you in submission and you do start laughing you feel you need to take a long shower like Elizabeth Shue in Leaving Las Vegas.
I want to try and explain the plot of Ready but instead I have the perfect visual presentation:
But if that doesn’t work for you. Here is a summary:
Prem Kapoor (Salman Khan) is a good hearted rascal/kameena/kutta/dog that lives with his joint family of uncles and aunties. All the uncles have a quirky trait so it makes it easier to keep them apart, the aunties are not so lucky. Sanjana walks into their family posing as Pooja (some really old lady waiting at an airport that we’re supposed to believe is a bride to be for Salman Khan) trying to escape her evil uncles who want to forcefully marry her off to their brother-in laws to usurp her riches.
Prem and Sanjana end up falling in love just before the interval. After the interval Prem poses as an an accountant for Sanjana’s mafia uncles and tries to go all DDLJ on ’em in Salman Style via way of a speeded up chase climax a la Priyadarshan.
Don’t you wish you had just looked at the picture instead of reading that paragraph?
The first half is just a slog to sit through. The family dynamic is annoying and the pace is just dead slow. Post interval things pick up and this is solely because the appearance of one man that should be wearing a big ‘S’ on his chest and that man is Paresh Rawal. Everything the man says or does is just freaking hilarious and every scene he has is probably the best the movie ever gets. Too bad he didn’t have a bigger role and didn’t have more scenes with Salman.
The movie just feels very heavily edited and tinkered with. Whole joke sequences and reaction shots are done behind a blue screen. There is even a voice over at the start of the movie establishing characters which substantiates the rumors that the director took a back seat. Instead Salman Khan and the producers tried to readjust as much as was salvageable of the movie. They did try really hard but the whole base is off and there is only so much polish a turd can take.
Character Dheela (Zarine Khan looking very pretty), Dhinka Chika and Meri Ada (Rahat Fateh Ali Khan FTW!!!) are awesome to look at and you do get forget how badly they are placed within the narrative.
The song sequences, the production design, the action which were rumored to be tinkered with are shot lavishly and pretty much the best part of the movie. Especially as this is the moments that Asin can shine as she doesn’t have much to do in the second part of the movie which is really surprising as her character is a real kameeni and churratth (not my words) in the first half.
Salman khan has free reign like a lion that can not and will not be tamed by anyone. He stands, dresses and jokes as he pleases and no man will come between him and his understanding of his audiences.
But our hero can sure pack a punch when needed even if he seems a bit puffier then he usually is. His obligatory shirt taking off scene is even heavily CGI’ed and played as a joke that really isn’t a joke. I won’t say more as I don’t want to spoil the few jokes that did work for me at least.
Your enjoyment of Ready is really dependent on how much you enjoy watching Salman on screen and how much you want to be entertained as you walk into the theatre.
A good comparison is last week’s Hangover part 2, a movie based on a finely calculated scientific formula of laughs per minute and dependent on the appeal and familiarity of the audience for its stars. Like a blind man with an UZI in a dance hall, some jokes are bound to find a target. More than anything this movie is a success in terms of production, marketing and above all timing.
Go in with your expectations set to low, wanting to laugh and if you can go in a group do so as even then you will only have a moderately good time. Damn you Bazmee, Damn you!!!!
The Trailer for Shahrukh Khan‘s Sci Fi extragavabonanza Ra.One directed by Anubah Sinha has just been released. He jumps, he flies, runs in leather bootsies, flips cars on Battersea Park Power Station, raises his arms slowly and romantically (i’m guessing here) and all this with funky spikey hair whilst Kareena Kapoor stares at him mouth agape as I’m sure the rest of SRK fan club will be. We have to admit this trailer leaves us severely underwhelmed. Check out our thoughts and the full trailer below.
Thanks to Honey for the exclusive of course. There really is no other blog for Bollywood gossip and exclusives. You Go GIRL!
So the extremely calculated marketing machinery Random Access One has been a rollercoaster ride of which we are only seeing the first bump.
It started with the Ra.One poster, then the 30 second teaser a couple of months ago (which was pretty exciting we have to admit) and then yesterday the first track from the soundtrack “Chammak Challho” got ‘leaked’ featuring Akon. which you can listen to on The Daily Honey too by clicking here (legitemately popilicous crack for your ears)
We will still have to live through for another half a year of Arjun Rampal‘s reveal, SRK getting back on twitter and every tweet being regurgitated on blogs and gossip sites, the song promo’s being on 24/7 rotation. Add to that some political hoopla of offending one people or the other (I am guessing the electricians this time) and SRK apologizing in a passive agressive manner.
Just show us the damn movie already , as we won’t be able to take months of Shahrukh’s marketing ‘wizardry’. In this case wizardry and deluge being a very fine line indeed.
We don’t know much about the story, we haven’t seen much of the the titular character, Shahrukh Khan’s character is named G.One (so we got a bit of Ghajini going on here) and he flies around a lot with his mouth tightly shut, probably worried he might swallow a bunch of insects. And is it me or does he just look extremely skinny and tired.
Most of the shots we see have a huge Endhiran hangover (a movie offered to SRK initially), Matrix’ s sound design), Spiderman’s urban setting and the final shot is pretty much T2 Judgement Day’s liquid T -1000 rehash but a quarter of a decade later. And I still think a lot of it is inspired by Infamous the Playstation game. Not to forget that Anubhav Sinha has not really ever made a decent movie ( Dus was half average and hasnt aged well). Also SRK doenst make good movies with people he doesn’t know well.
There is the heavy reliance of slow mo wire-fu, a completely played out technique and something Bollywood has never really mastered. The pairing of SRK and Kareena just doesn’t seem to gel with me. (Was Marjaani from Billu really that good ? And I see a little girl touching G.One’s face whilst they are spinning around in a car, an image that fills me with sappy dread)
The whole thing just smells of desperation and seems a bit “deja-has been” but you can never count out SRK expecially when his competitive edge has smelt blood like a starving shark.
The Bollywood media will of course be demanding Ra.One to be as big a hit as his other 2 Khan rivals ie Amir’s Ghajini and 3 Idiots and Salman’s Dabanng and the upcoming Ready.
So here is a list of what we don’t to see in the next trailers but I am guessing we will be seeing:
Some corny ass lines that are meant to be bad ass dialogues
This week we are joined by BollywoodGora (AKA Steven Baker), writer for BollySpice and DigitalSpy and Upodcast regular FilmiGirl. We discuss some of the lessons we as Bollywood geeks have learnt and what we hope to avoid in 2011. We breakdown the upcoming releases in 2011, the ones we are looking forward to and the actors and actresses we want to see more of! Of course we can’t avoid adding our own little snarky twist to everything! Check out the episode after the jump! Read More
NEW SEASON! And we are back from our short break, with an amazing Bollywoodepisode. This week Beth, FilmiGirl and I discuss the critics/fan reactions to the release of Farah Khan‘s Tees Maar Khan. We delve into many controversial topics and many feathers will get ruffled, so listen to the complete episode after the jump! Read More
It’s that time of year again where we revisit the year that has passed and recap the best and worst moments. There will be quite a lot of “Best of”- lists appearing on the interwebz but Upodcast’s listsÂ are obvisouly the best .Â So here is a rundown of the best Bollywood Albums of 2010! See the entire list after the jump!
Our friend FilmiGirl is running her “best of 2010″ lists on her blog and although usually we see eye-to-eye, for once I didn’t agree at all with the picks she made.
Â So we decided to put our own of list of best Bollywood SongsÂ together but realized that it is actually pretty hard to create list only ranked by songs. And especially coming to our top 3 we just couldnt pick single tracks that stood out. (unless you have the science of iTunes backing you up).Â So instead of ranking our favorite songs, we went with our favorite Albums of 2010. Here goes nothing!
Pritam might not be my favorite composer but he is extremely effective in the style of music he delivers for commercial Hindi cinema and although accusations of plagiarism are rampant, I do find myself putting his songs and albums on repeat even when the film has come and gone. He has a knack for collaborating with singers with quite unique timbres and finds songs that really suit their style ie Atif Aslam, Mohit Chauhan or Tulsi Kumar.
â€œPee Loonâ€ which had a bit of â€œPehli Nazar Meinâ€ from Race hangover but still was sweet and this could have been an Atif song so I was glad to hear Mohit chauhan grab the mic instead as a change. Although the picturization might not have been that great (The scene where Emraan dresses up his girlfriend like Dimple Kapadia in “Bobby” and then jumps her bones Â just made me a throw up a little in my mouth!). â€œTum Jo Aaye Zindagi meinâ€ sung by Rahat Ali Khan and Tulsi Kumar was a nice soft ballad and barring the black face â€œPardaâ€ was passable lacing the album with 3 pretty decent tracks!
I have to be honest here, I haven’t checked out the full album and the chipmunk voices on the title track do not work for me at all. ButÂ I do have a lot of faith in director Farah Khan to add oodlesÂ of entertainment and mastiÂ and actually improving on the musicality of the album by making the songsÂ look awesome.
A Perfect example of this is â€œWallah re Wallahâ€ which would be a pretty average qawalli track if it wasnâ€™t for a certain special appearance. And of course Tees Maar Khan does have the 2nd most awesome item number of the year in â€œSheila Ki Jawaniâ€!
8.Band Bajaa Barraat-
Music Director: Salim Sulaiman
Another soundtrack that you want to revisit after watching the movie! The Punjabi feel is heartpouding and most of the songs are high in energy especially “Ainvayi Ainvayi” .The item song “Dum Mast Mast” is a bit of a misfire but we get to see a glammed up Anushka Sharma which doesnâ€™t happen enough.Â I also have a real soft spot for her, like my friend Suraj mentioned: She is the new Zinta!
The song â€œTarkeebeinâ€ which was used in most of the promos wasn’t bad although theÂ constant repeating of “Turkey mein” started to get gratingâ€¦( and why was break out star Ranveer singing about Turkey anyway? Wasnâ€™t this movie supposed to be set in Delhi?)
Both Hritik Roshan and Sanjay Leela Bhansali have been having rough time lately and although they pour their heart and souls in every endeavor, they do not manage to strike gold at the Box Office every time. Both the music and the movie seemed to beg the audience to love them just because Â it was sincere and heartfelt but to me it seemed like that needy kid in High school that writes love poems for girls that are way to hot for him. It’s just not gonna happen, Â kid! As both high school and the box office are cruel mistresses.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali first fully composed album and although â€œSau Gramâ€,â€ Guzaarishâ€ and â€œUdiâ€ are poetic songs completely part of the mood and story of the movie and look beautiful, how could they not with SLB framing Aishwarya Rai-Bachan.
Â I can’t help but wonder if the movie itself would have been better if he had just focused on directing and put his trust in a team of talented people around him.
Probably the most refreshing OST of the year composed by newcomer Sneha Khanwalkar who had previously composed for Dibakar Bannerjee’s â€œOye Lucky Luckyâ€a film I wasn’t a huge fan of.
Â I donâ€™t think the movie created many ripples but was showing in quite a few film festivals (even in London) it was one of my favorites of the first half of 2010 and the soundtrack has been on repeat on my playslist all year.
When I first heard the woman’s scream followed by a gun shot at the start of LSD’s title track I had a similar feeling to hearing the Dev D album aÂ year ago, the same kind of excitement of listening to a fresh music composer trying to do something different whilst still being embedded in the narrative of the movie. Although the lyrics might not make it as the best sing along album for your family picnicÂ (I am looking at you â€œTu Ghandi/ Nangi Achi lagti haiâ€ surprisingly sung by Kailash Kher). I would recommend seeking the movie and the soundtrack out if you still havenâ€™t; it’s an underrated gem and an album you can play back to back!
Before I go into my top 5: I wanted to give some honorable mentions, these were Albums that had some great tracks on them but not enough to make them part of my top 10:
Lamhaa:â€ Madnooâ€ and â€œSajnaaâ€ probably my 2 favorite easy listening songs of the year, rest of the album didnâ€™t connect with me though.
Robot: I shall only sayÂ â€œO O O O ROOBOOOâ€ maybe this was a better album in Tamil but I had the Hindi version and didnâ€™t care too much about electrons and Newton.
Lafangey Parindey: Our Review is on the site so you can find more of our thoughts on the movie itself. Even then I mentioned that Mohit Chauhan’s â€œMan Lafangaâ€ was the only good thing about this Yash Raj films debacle. I wished this song hadn’t been wasted on this filled diaper of a movie.
Raavan:Â Again a misfire from my favorite composer of all time AR Rahman. I know most of our Bollybloggers agree that Raavanan was better than Raavan but I have not heard as much about the soundtrack. Beera is still awesome though and truly the Rahman sound we know and love with a rustic drum patternÂ and amazing chorus line.
Back to our list!
5. Prince: It’sÂ Showtime-
Music Director:Â Pritam
WARNING: Â if you are not a fan of Atif’ Alamâ€™ss crooning do not even consider giving this a listen as you might want to poke hot steel rods in your ears afterwards.
I think the more time has passed, the more I hate this movie. But I can’t lie that I listened a lot to the album. Being a full on Atif Aslam fanboy needs to be a requirement though as I mentioned as he’s sung the lion’s share. Tips produced the movie and being predominantly a record company every song was poppy and catchy from the Britney Spears inspired â€œIshq Meinâ€ to the bittersweet acousticÂ remix of â€œTere Liyeâ€. I never bother listening to the remix version of any songs but I made an exception with this album. And I still sing â€œTere Liyeâ€ when riding my bike through London!
4. I Hate Luv Storys-
Music Director:Â Vishal Shekhar
Probably my favorite music composer duo at this time, even if Vishal gives me shit on twitter sometimes. Â I do feel that they try to do something innovative even within the constraints of the commercial powerhouses they compose for now.
Although they only had 2 major albums released in 2010 and â€œAnjaana Anjaaniâ€ didnâ€™t work for me at any level, I kinda loved the OST for I Hate Luv Storys especially the â€œBin Tereâ€ in all its variations, the title track sung by Vishal himself (he does rock the mic every time he grabs it) and the dreamy â€œBaharaâ€ which had an awesome Rahat Ali Khan version that was unfortunately not featured in the movie (or might have when I dozed off for a second).The album rounds off with â€œSadkaâ€ and â€œJab Mila Tuâ€ which werenâ€™t too innovative but successfully served their purpose. I hope to hear more from them in 2011 again!
Music Director:Â Vishal Bhardwaj
Â This album contains me overall favorite track of the year sung by the already legendary Rahat Ali Khan, you know I’m talking about “Dil to Bacha Hai Ji”. Although the title has been lifted for a Madhur Bhandarker ( a practice I truly despise) I have had the song on repeat the entire year, from the soulful first notes to when the harmonium starts backing up the melody, I was in love the first time I heard it.
Rahat once said that he decided to branch out to popular music as he could never surpass the milestones set in Classical music by his unforgettable uncle Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and after hearing his songs I’m glad he decided to do so.Â
Afterâ€ Dil Toâ€¦â€ you still have soon to be classic tracks like â€œIbn-E Batutaâ€ and â€œAb Mujhe Koiâ€Â (sung by Rekha Bhardwaj) and a few remixes but the album is pretty short and sweet as usually the case when Vishal Bhardwaj composes. I hope with these best of lists we can shine the light again on this may be forgotten gem. I’m going to stop raving about it and give â€œDil to Bacha hai jiâ€ another listen…
Music Director: Amit Trivedi
Amit Trivedi might not be the most prolific of music directors but whenever he is involved I storm out to get the album without even taking a second to read up about the movie itself.
Â In this case the OST was vastly superior the movie which being a adaptation of a Jane Austin novel ( or more likely an adaptation of Amy Heckerlingâ€™s Clueless) was the brain child of Sonam Kapoor and her producer sister Rhea Kapoor. Everything I have just written was the main reason I still have the movie gathering dust on my DVD shelf and have never watched it.
But the album on the other hand was ludicrously good!
From â€œSuno Aishaâ€ to â€œGal Mithi Mithiâ€ there wasnâ€™t a single track that wasnâ€™t innovative, fresh and thought through. Even the songs that any other composer would consider filler ie â€œBehke Behkeâ€ and â€œLehreinâ€ were treated with the care and attention by Trivedi and did really not deserve to be part of such a vapid and superficial movie.
Music Director: Sajid Wajid
Ok, I know a lot of reader must be balking at my choice to put the Dabanggâ€™s OST as number one. It especially pains me to see names like Vishal Bhardwaj and Amit Trivedi come after Sajid Wajid but here are some of the reasons Dabangg is my favoriteÂ soundtrack of the year:
Numbers: The movie and the soundtrack are the most loved by most people and however cool it is to find some underrated composers and album, this album just worked in terms of sales figures and will continue to do so probably with the next reason being an important one
Munni Badnaam Hui: Clearly badnaami was the way to go this year. Honestly I think the kind of frenzy this song created can only be compared to Madhuri’s â€œCholi ke Peeche Kyaâ€ hai from Khanayak. The ultimate of Item song made me wish we had recorded our Upodcast Item Song special after his came out as itÂ would have topped all our lists.Â The songÂ was composed by Lalit Pandit as a guest for Sajid-Wajid who took care of the rest of the albumÂ and has been on repeat in every household since the first teaser trailer for the movie released. And of course Upodcast has a special bond with this track through Project Munni from our friends The Curry Smugglers!
Complete Package: Unlike Aisha and Ishqiya, Dabangg soundtrack works for every mood and every listener. Except Munni there is still the romantic track â€œChori Kya Reâ€, the drinking song â€œHumka Peeni hainâ€ and the Rahat â€“ Do I still need to Rave about him- Ali Khan’s â€œTere Mast Mast Do Nainâ€, and every song was picturized pretty perfectly too without spending all their money on funding the Swiss economy.
This is Bollywood Yaar! We think we need creativity, sensitivity but what we truly crave is a good dose of masala and this exactly what makes Dabangg delivers. To me itâ€™s the perfect and best soundtrack of Bollywood in 2010!
Â I am sure not everyone will agree with my picks but that’s what the comment section is for!
Do you want to see your eminent Upodcast hostÂ Asim dance on the Internet and make a fool of himself!Â Of couse you do!Â Watch Project Munni, our tribute to one of our favorite movies of 2010 Dabangg and our friends from CurrySmugglers.Â Watch the video after the jump!Â
Like Salman Khan, UpodCast walks it’s own beat. This week we dissect the phenomenon of Dabanng joined by friends of the show Filmigirl and Anandini. We extensively review the movie, ask ourselves if you need to be a Salman Khan fan to enjoy Dabanng to the fullest, debate the return to massala entertainment, rave about Sonakshi Sinha and also discusss what a potential sequel could look like. Oh, if that wasn’t enough to salivate your earbuds, we also discuss the forthcoming releases for the rest of the year! For all this and much much more, Listen to the episode after the jump!
This week we crack a main ingredient of Bollywood movies. The Item number! Asim is joined by our very own Bollywood Diva Kara also known as FilmiGirl and Paresh, one half of the music mix masters duo, The CurrySmugglers. Together we dissect what makes Bollywood Item Numbers such a unique phenomenon and what makes them really tasty, we pick our favorite tracks that made us throw our hard earned cash on screen and making it rain. We finish off with the Paresh’s “Memorial Picks of Filthiest Item Numbers”. Our mommy’s will be proud. Check out the full episode after the jump!
DABANGGÂ has been my most anticipated Bollywood movie for 2010 and I am elated to see that the trailer is catering to all our masala sensibilities and delivers an all fronts. It’sÂ like an explosion of all things yummy and dipped in awesome juice!
Starring Salman Khan and introducing Shotgun Sinha’s daughter, Sonaksi. Dabanng is a movie about a “bad ass Robin hood corrupt cop” set in rural India. Arbaaz Khan is producing (and acting) with Abhinav Kashyap in charge of direction and the trailer looks uh-ma-zing!. Check it out our thoughts and the full trailer after the jump! Read More
It’s directed by acclaimed south Indian directorMani Ratnam after their awesome collaboration in Guru.Â It also stars the wonderfully effervescent Aishwarya Rai of which we only see a passing shot. Watch it here now before it get’s pulled by the man!
It’s time for a run-down of some of the hottest trailers coming from the outsourcing capital of the world! We all need a bit of spice in our lives (unlessÂ you suffer from IBS then you should clearly avoid anything relating to Bollywood or Mexican). And I look forward to the new batch of emotional overdoses coming our way.
Keep reading for some of the most exciting Bollywood trailers and our thoughts on them! Read More
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!
A line spoken many times in this movie by Indian Superstar Shahrukh Khan, playing a good hearted Muslim man suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome, resonated with me in a very strong way. It’s a feeling that I have tried to utter many times but this movie manages to do so very simply.
I have been racking my brains on how to approach this review.
I could talk about it from a Muslim point of view, living in a country that is not my own and the struggles many of my similarly skin-toned brothers and sisters have to battle. Unfortunately Iâ€™m not that good of a Muslim so my arguments could be completely invalid and I donâ€™t want to proclaim to be a victim when my own parents went through a lot worse in their days. I’m sureÂ Chris Rock has enough clips on Youtube to illustrate my point.
I could approach it from the angle of a Bollywood aficionada that can finally recommend a movie that is in general release thanks to Fox (apparently even the evil empire can do good sometimesâ€¦) and that the general audience can watch as maybe their first Masala experience (which Slum dog Millionaire wasnâ€™t although it had brown hewed people in it dancing)
I could write as a critic of Hindi Cinema tearing down any inconsistency I was able to pick up on, be it the slowing of pace post-intermission, the horrible broad strokes that every non-Indian character is painted with or the lack of a riveting climax.
But whenever in doubt, I take a scattershot approach, try everything at once and fail horribly in the public eye. Yes, that is how I (Jelly-)rollz.
The route I choose to take is the one this movie tries to takeâ€¦ the human route, taking away all other details to bring things back to a core message, one that our protagonist is taught by his mother played wonderfully by yesteryear ( I do hate that word) actress Zareena Wahab.
There are good people in the world that do good deeds, and evil people that do evil ones. There is no further difference, be it religion, race, creed or culture.
I loved My Name is Khan for its message and intentions. Itâ€™s so good hearted it can be forgiven for its overt sentimentality, dramatic music and dialogue cueâ€™s. This story of Rizwan Khan who has trouble connecting with the subtleties of day to day life (some may argue that this movie has trouble with cinematic subtleties but you did sign up to watch an Indian movie). Although he suffers from Aspergers he is a very bright and ingenious thinker, comparisons with Rain Man donâ€™t hold up as he isnâ€™t playing an idiot savant (plus his brother never kissed Mia Farrow). Forrest Gump would be a more apt comparison but only for the second half of the movie.
He takes his simple message to San Francisco moving in with his brother and Sister in Law. Where he meets and falls in love with Hairstylist/Single mother Mandira (played by the always delightful Kajol). The repercussions of 9/11 create a rift in their love story causing him to undertake the mission of going on a road trip to meet the president of the United States to tell him that one simple messageâ€¦ My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist. On his road his good heartedness affects a wave of people along the way leaving the audience a blubbering mess.
Shahrukh Khan is always entertaining; his charm (as recently seen on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross) carries this picture to an emotional but underwhelming conclusion. It’s the little moment of charm that make you fall in love with Rizwan Khan and you end up completely buying into his quest. You feel for his character, the frustration he feels of not being to express his emotions and the love he feels for Mandira.
Overall the performances are great by most Indian actors. I could watch Kajol read the news and I would be glued to my screen, both Jimmy Shergill (playing the role of Rizwanâ€™s frustrated younger brother, this would be a character you would have in any other movie but Jimmy carries it off because he is that damn good) and Sonia Jehan (almost makes me want to see Taj Mahal, her first big screen appearanceâ€¦ almost) are great in their small roles and I would have loved to see more of their struggles. Mostly the focus lies on Shahrukh character and his wonderfully understated approach on a subject matter that might not be appealing from the get go.
Cinematography by Ravi Chandran is beautiful, costumes, art direction and music are of vey high quality but I wonâ€™t be putting this album on repeat, itâ€™s just not that kind of album.(special mention to Sajda by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, hear me rave about him in episode 5 of UPODCAST)
The few points that work less for me are:
All performances by non Indian actors, or they ran out of budget and got actors that arenâ€™t of a much higher caliber than an average porn actor or Karan Johar was unable to direct them in the proper manner.
Listening to Kjoâ€™s interviews it does seem he is hands on with most actors except Shahrukh Khan( as Khan doesnâ€™t want to listen to Karan) so I think the failure does lie with his character design. Another example of this is Kajolâ€™s motivation in the second half of sending Rizwan off on his quest, which seems too abrupt and contradictory to me even if the tragedy she goes through is very real.
The stand out scenes for me where the entire romantic track between Rizwan and Mandira from their meeting until the interval point. There chemistry is still the strongest romantic pairing in current Indian cinema.Â The segments of Rizwan growing up in India and the confrontation he has with some of the more violent Muslims in the US mosque are riveting.
Itâ€™s great to see a moderate voice take on some of the people that are usually the more vocal (and maybe â€œinsaneâ€) part of the Muslim community. And the words he says are onspoken by many of us have had but have not been shown this way on screen.
What works less is the CGI both in the Georgia flood scenes as in the key moment Mandira and Rizwan fall in love. It made me think of a discussion going on about Titanic and how after AVATAR James Cameron claimed he would do the entire movie in CGI.Even the sunset on that famous kiss scene between Leo and Kate would be CGI. I think if he was able to do so we would have lost out a lot of the power and exactly this power is what’s missing in the scene where Mandira decides to marry Rizwan and bring him into her and her teenage son’s life.
The ending doesn’t work for me because of the casting. The portrait of the president is very jarring. And altough the president of the US is never named specifically, the movie just looses steam.
But I would urge you to seek out this movie as since it’s been distibuted by Fox it does have a wide release and it’ s an unbelievably fresh approach to issues that really do affect all of is.
The message of hope it carries, needs to be heard, needs to be listened to…
My Name is Burney, and I freakin’ loved this movie!
Iâ€™ve been meaning to write a little bit about Bollywood (I know some people hate the word as they feel itâ€™s derivative of the term Hollywood and the colonial name of the City of Mumbai– I like using it as it just sounds better then the Mumbai Film Industry) Â movies in more details then our occasional review of the genre but I worry about the cultural gap.
Like Westerns or Kung Fu movies, Bollywood speaks a different language and dances to a very different beat and it’s hard to criticize them with the same standards as we do maintream movies. Bollywood movies are supposed to entertain one of the largest audiences and make lots of money!
Itâ€™s a prestigious and long standing independent industry, which unfortunately doesnâ€™t receive the respect it deserves. I have been force fed these mass-appealing entertainment juggernauts since birth but they have now become a part of my being. I can watch all the Korean, French or American movies I want. But nothing feeds the craving for all out paisa vasool (AKA your moneyâ€™s worth) entertainment as Bollywood does! Itâ€™s like coming home to your parents and having your favorite dish prepared for you, served up with some mango pickles and lassi.
2009 wasnâ€™t a great year for Indian Cinema although SlumDog Millionaire win at the Oscars did put the spotlight on the potential. But instead of being able to cash out on the limelight the country went into a producerâ€™s strike that lasted and as with the Writersâ€™ Guild Strike in 2008 in the US, it had long lasting impact on release schedules, marketing budgets, star salaries but most importantly the weekly hit of singing, dancing and dishum dishum that â€œJo(-winder) Publicâ€ craved for.
Another trend that affected the industry, as it effected everything else in the world, was the Global Economic meltdown. Since the past few years corporate houses (e.g. Reliance group, BIG, UTV) saw investment possibilities in funding movies for a quick buck, the gamble paid off and actors and producers started charging enormous amounts.
Salaries were going through the roof, quality was nowhere to be found but when the US market crashed it, it deflated a lot of egos.
2010 already is proving a good year with some very exciting releases lining up, special mentions to Kites (redited by Brett Ratner), My Name is Khan (Distributed by Fox) and Veer(awesome Troy like epic).
So theseÂ are my favorite Bollywood flicks of 2009, some of these I have reviewed in more detail on my badly maintained personal blog but I would suggest, stop reading, go to Amazon and order these flicks!
Riding on the wave of 80â€™s nostalgia this movie revisits the classic Masala genre meaning you get everything in small doses, action, romance, singing and dancing.
All of this goodness is covered with balls out action and harebrained scenario. If you can identify with the character you are in for a thrill ride where you are the one shooting people in the face (in slow motion with Pecs gleaming in sweat). Girls are pretty, villain is evil and the Hero is awesome!
What more can a man ask for? Click here for the trailer.
Ps this is not the Angelina Jolie movie based on the comic from Mark Millar
Ajab Ghazab ki Prem Kahani
I got to admit I had very low expectation of this movie and it completely took me by surprise.
Itâ€™s a very funny (I hate to use the term whacky adventure as it makes me think of Scooby doo) romantic, itâ€™s harmless and very well shot and it just flies by. The main cast is hilarious and both actors pitch in a performance that you really donâ€™t expect seeing their past efforts. Ranbir Kapoor is destined to be the next big thing in Bollywood and this was the first proof how his appeal is able to draw crowds.
And I even liked Katrina Kaif for her performance for once. Oh and the songs were pretty catchy too!
The Biggest Box Office in all foreign markets. 3 Idiots talks about so many different things which I am trying not to spoil as I want to have an in depth review with the guys. This was my favorite movie of the year, it had me laughing and it even made me shed a tear or 2.
But most of all it changed the way I think and how I will raise my children ( if one day I have them or Â whenever they are able to track me down but bounty hunting ainâ€™t what it used to be).
All iz well people… all iz well…
Weâ€™ve had a whole episode on this movie so you can always go back and revisit episode 1!
Together with Ajab Prem Prem ki Ghazab this were my 2 romantic movie pics of the year.
Love Aaj Kal is the story of how love has evolved from our parents generation to us.
I have to admit I havenâ€™t revisited the movie since but if you want a great date movie for Valentineâ€™s day, this is it!
Dev D/ Luck By Chance
The 2 movies that illustrate the changing face idea of Indian cinema.
Dev D is a modern take on the classic novel which was given the grand treatment a couple of years ago starring superstar SRK. Anurag Kashyap (the director of Black Friday,which was amazing but ran into problem with censors) had a very different take, he took Dev from the beautifully lit gondolas of Bengal to the gutters of LSD laced nightmares. A Bit over trainspotting, a lot of Leaving Las Vegas but all accompanied by an AWESOME soundtrack. My second favorite movie of the year and the one I have probably revisited the most. This is not a family movie!
Luck By Chance I reviewed extensively on my Things on my bheja. Although at the time I was not aware this would still be my favorite movie at the end of the year but it still stand outs for me.
All of this to say, if you haven’t ever watched a Bollywood movie, you can pick out one of these pics and be ahead of the curve or you can share Martin’s opinion on bollywood movies also in our episode1 and agree that most Bollywood is shit! But that’s probably coz y’all can’t dance 🙂