After many troubles Ae Dil Hai Mushkil finally released this weekend and we’re joined by Anisha Jhaveri (@Jhavanis) writer for Indiewire, to talk about Karan Johar’s new movie starring the all star cast of Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Fawad Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
We talk about:
Our expectations walking into a Karan Johar movie
Some alternative theories on how to view the ADHM
Deal with some of the major criticism the movies has faced
Is Ranbir Kapoor’s shtick getting old?
Is Anushka Sharma a new version of Geet from Jab We Met?
The wardrobe of ADHM: sneakers and red pocket liners on a pea coat
Was Aishwarya’s role over sold in the promos?
Aishwarya and Anushka straight out a magazine cover
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’
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.
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.
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!
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?
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