Danny Boyle

Win 2 VIP tickets for AR Rahman’s London O2 Show!

The double Grammy and double Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe winner, AR Rahman returns to The O2 after five years, with a one off greatest hits show on Saturday 15 August 2015. AR Rahman will be joined by very special guests including; Haricharan, Neeti Mohan, Javed Ali, Jonita Gandhi, and many more.

You have the chance to win 2 exclusive VIP tickets* including:

•    Access to The prestigious O2 VIP lounge
•    Access to the After Party at Brooklyn Bowl

For a chance to win, follow us on our FB page or Twitter and us a mail on Upodcasting@gmail.com  with the answer to:

What was the name of the first soundtrack composed in Hindi  by AR Rahman for a Bollywood movie?

Final Entry dates are 10th of August.

*(food, drink, parking & travel are not covered)

Tickets and limited VIP Packages go on general sale at 9am on Friday 12 June and are available at AXS.com or by calling 08448 24 48 24. Tickets are also available via www.chillitickets.comwww.seetickets.com and www.biggreencoach.co.uk

Discussing his forthcoming UK show of the year AR Rahman said; “The UK always brings back fond memories of working on landmark projects in my career and it’s good to be back again after five years.”

The announcement follows a hugely successful intimate American tour and saw AR Rahman, performs in multiple concert halls. Throughout the US, the tour received standing ovations and critical acclaim.

Working in India’s various film industries, international cinema and theatre with the hit show Bombay Dreams, produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Rahman, has sold more than 100 million records of his film scores and soundtracks worldwide, and sold over 200 million albums. He is one of the world’s all-time top selling recording artists, with consistent chart-toppers across multiple continents.

In 2009 TIME magazine listed him as one of the world’s most influential people and cited his first album, Roja among the ”10 Best Soundtracks” of all time. Best known for his score and songs in Slumdog Millionaire, Rahman has worked on more than 100 films, among them the Oscar nominated Lagaan, Bombay, Dil Se, Rang De Basanti, Rockstar, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Raanjhanaa, O Kadhal Kanmani, Enthiran (Robot), Fox’s 127 Hours by Danny Boyle, Disney’s Million Dollar Arm and The Hundred-Foot Journey.

He is working on a composition for the film Pelé, a biopic on the Brazilian football legend, as well as the score for Disney’s Mohenjo Daro. His album Vande Mataram, released for India’s 50th anniversary of its independence in 1997 remains a firm favourite with patriotic Indians both at home and abroad.

Show: http://www.axs.com/uk/events/279464/a-r-rahman-the-greatest-hits-live-tickets?skin=arrahman

 

World War Z Review

World War Z produced by Brad Pitt’s company Plan B had an uphill PR battle to face up to it’s release.

The movie was a very heavy departure from the original source material by Max Brook’s zombie novel, which was a series of interviews of zombie apocalypse survivors where as the movie is more of the established action genre.

Director Marc Foster who has quite a few good movies on his resume is mostly remembered for unfortunate Quantum Of Solace, which audiences were disappointed with after Casino Royale. (I would opine they are wrong and QoS is quite a fun movie with some minor issues)

And on top of that, ongoing rumors were seeping through all through out the production.  Stories of delays, rewrites and reshoot, inflating budgets just up until the release of the movie, you can check out this piece from THR for more info (click here)

 

But I am glad to say that WWZ rises above all of those issues by climbing over a massive zombie wall and being a fun although gore-less globetrotting zombie adventure movie.

Not only is the movie beautiful to look at it but also adds something to the zombie genre of which we have seen so many different iterations from comedy, to rom- com to the classic horror genre.Just like Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, we are dealing with speeded up zombies that run, jump and move at breakneck speed with the difference that they are sensitive to sound instead of smell, creating a very tense climactic set piece set in Wales.

But where WWZ differs more importantly from 28 days is that it has a sense of optimism towards humanity that I found quite refreshing.

People generally help each other out even when facing the worst possible situations, the armed forces and even politicians seems to be inherently good people and this lack of cynism was just a welcome change for once.

Brad Pitt plays the most important man in the world with an ugly haircut, who quit his job as a UN investigator to be with his wife played by The Killing’s Mireille Enos and two daughters.

On their daily commute a zombie outbreak starts that forces him to take charge and join his former boss’s (Fana Mokoena) mission to find a cure for the outbreak by travelling to South Korea, Israel and Wales whilst the whole world is being devoured by zombies and most of the political leaders are dead.

The movie has some amazing action set pieces and moves at a breakneck speed, it is shot beautifully by DOP Ben Seresin and uses that speed and beauty to camouflage the plot holes and editing problems (of which there are quite a few- like the ending).

Some actors appear and disappear (Matthew Fox from Lost was apparently in this but I don’t even recall a scene with him) and if every location wasn’t bookended with a zombie attack you might start to wonder what the point of that visit actually was to the overall solution to the zombie plague.

WWZ also has a PG-13 certificate, which might bring in a bigger audience but for a zombie film it works to its detriment. Some scenes were missing their full impact because of the way the camera cut off.

The CG in the zombie crowd scenes looks iffy but it would have been unfeasible to shoot it in any other way, but the digital effect team could have definitely used a bit more time and budget to chisel out the kinks. Sometimes the zombies look like the vampires in I Am Legend and this isn’t a good thing.

The 3D in the movie is pointless and must be avoided at all costs. It only managed to give me a headache.

Brad Pitt plays Brad Pitt very competently; he manages to capture the frustrations and love for his family as well as being extremely competent in tough situations. He is supported by a wonderful cast of which you wish you saw more of as sometimes it feels Pitt is just in every scene. (You have Peter Capaldi in this and he doesn’t even get to swear that much)

I went in with very low expectation and came out having had a great time.

I would definitely recommend World War Z, just don’t see it in 3D.

 World War Z attacks theaters on June 21st!

@asimburney


 

Danny Boyle revisits Trainspotting

After 17 years, the cast and crew of the brilliant British film ‘Trainspotting’ (1996) came together for a very special reunion screening in London.

The first in a series of Classic Cinema Reunions, the Trainspotting event was curated by the London Film School in support of their exciting and ambitious capital campaign. On stage at the Ciné Lumière in South Kensington after the film were director Danny Boyle, actor Robert Carlyle, producer Andrew Macdonald and David Aukin, the Channel 4 executive who commissioned this lively, inventive adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel in the first place. Also in the room on this special night were the film’s editor, costume designer, director of photography and production designer. The audience was also treated to an appearance by phone from Ewan McGregor, who played the lead character Renton in the 1996 film.

Following the event, Danny Boyle spoke exclusively to HiBROW about his experience in making the film, and how it would be different were it made in 2013.

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COW: RockStar- Kun FaayaKun

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!!

@asimburney

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Delhi Belly: The Anti-Slum Dog Millionaire

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
phone.

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
enjoyable.

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,
    Aisha)
  • 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
    and Vir)
  • 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!

Image Source:

Bollykings

Totally Filmi

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