Salman Khan

Ep 10- Andaz Apna Apna – Khandaan Podcast

Welcome to Episode 10 of the Khandaan Podcast, where we come at last to the one movie we’ve constantly been quoting – 1994’s Andaz Apna Apna. Starring the rare movie combination of Aamir Khan and Salman Khan, this Khantastic film was a big flop when it came out but has attained cult status since then as seen in our poll where it beat out the most commercially successful film of 1994, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun…?

Costarring Karishma Kapoor, Raveena Tandon, and Paresh Rawal in key roles, this Rajkumar Santoshi film offers a veritable who’s who of character actors who elevate the sketches that make this movie a classic. If you can make it past Asim, Sujoy and Amrita crying with laughter as they struggle to describe what they liked about this film, you might find old memories awakened.

However, is this a movie we can recommend to newbies and non-native speakers? Join us as we discuss weighty issues such as effectively translating comedy, self-referential comedy in Bollywood, Aamir Khan’s undercooked comedic chops, and whether we had the same tastes as children as we do now.

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.

 

Ep 5- Chori Chori Chupke Chupke Review and Padmaavat Discussion

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.

Podcast notes:

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.

You can listen/stream/download the episode below.

Or you can subscribe to our iTunes page and never miss a show

We would love it if you can rate or write us a small review on iTunes! Just click here.

 

Ep 3- Maine Pyaar Kiya – Khandaan Podcast

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.

You can listen/stream/download the episode below.

Or you can subscribe to our iTunes page and never miss a show

We would love it if you can rate or write us a small review on iTunes! Just click here.

 

Ep 1- What is the Khandaan Podcast?

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.

You can listen/stream/download the episode below.

Or you can subscribe to our iTunes page and never miss a show

We would love it if you can rate or write us a small review on iTunes! Just click here.

Win 2 tickets to the Ustad Rahat Ali Khan Concert at the O2, London

Pakistan’s most famous Qawwali singer Ustad Rahat Fateh Khan, the nephew of the late, world-renowned singer Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, will perform his greatest hits live for the first time at The O2 on Sunday 14 August 2016.

Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday 22 April and are available at AXS.com or by calling 0844 856 0202 or from www.theo2.co.uk.www.theo2.co.uk.

But we have a pair of tickets to give away for Free! and it couldn’t be easier.

Just click on the banner below and sign up with your email adress, and the lucky winner will be randomly drawn. Deadline for the the competition is 8th of August! So sign up ASAP!

Click on the image to enter the competition!

The performance will coincide with Pakistan and India’s independence weekend celebrations and will be Ustad Rahat Fateh Khan’s only London show this year. Discussing his forthcoming show Ustad Rahat Fateh Khan said; ”I’m very excited to be performing at The O2, London, for the second time, following my sold out tour in 2013.

“Coming to the UK is always a thrill for me and my performance is timed to fit the Independence Day celebrations for both Pakistan and India. I have a fantastic team of musicians joining me and will be performing my greatest film hits and new material, as well as my esteemed Uncle, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s popular Qawwali numbers, to rock the arena.”

Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was chosen at birth by his uncle Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan for tutoring in the traditions of qawwali music, a form of Sufi devotional popular in South Asia. Six weeks after his uncle’s death in 1997, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan took his position as leader of the group and has since become one of the most talked about Pakistani artists in the world.

Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has performed on a variety of recordings, and his songs and vocals have featured in numerous hit Hollywood and Bollywood films including Bodyguard, My Name is Khan, Dabangg, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Drishyam, the Hollywood film Apocalypto and many more.

The maestro has released over 50 albums with over 100 hits in Bollywood and has been presented with numerous awards including Star Screen Awards for Best Male Playback 2010 and the IIFA award for best male vocalist 2011. He has also been a judge on top TV shows in India such a Chhote Ustad and Junoon, Kuch Kar Dikhaane Ka. He was the headline performer at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in 2014 and recently performed at the United Nations General Assembly Hall in March 2016.

In 2014, Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan released his latest album ‘Back 2 Love’ which sold millions of copies worldwide.

The ticket will also include access to a variety of free live events and activities including Bollywood dance workshops, DJs, specially selected street food stalls and more.

Sultan Review: Bhaicot, Feminism and Muslim Superheroes Upodcast

For this week’s major Bollywood release Sultan, directed by Ali Abbas Zafar and starring Salman Khan and Anushka Sharma, we are joined by Sujoy (@9e3k)  and Anisha (@jhavanis) to  break down a myriad of topics:

We gingerly discuss the topic of “Bhaicot”
The stand out supporting characters
Diversity and inclusion in Bollywood
We discuss Pradeep Menon’s article about Anushka’s feminism which you can find here
Ali Abbas Zafar and the stable of YRF directors
Sultan’s soundtrack
Spoiler section
What are hopes are for Dangal

You can listen/stream/download the episode below.

Or subscribe to our feed in iTunes and never miss a show.

 

Kapoor & Sons Trailer Thoughts: Dysfunction is the new black!

The trailer for Kapoor & Sons just dropped and here are some free flowing thoughts whilst watching it:

  • Hey, at least Bollywood now accredits the internet when they steal a joke (looking at you Shahrukh)
  • Is this a Badshaah song? I don’t think i like Badshaah too much..
  • Glad someone switched Siddhart Malhotra’s setting from “brooding” to “happy”
  • Fawad Khan should grow his beard back…this chikna look isn’t working
  • The joys of watching fighting parents, Dil Dhadakne Do really started something in Bollywood…so deep….
  • Did Rathna Pathak just come back from a clown rave?
  • I know the make up in Kapoor & Sons is going to get lauded, but Rishi Kapoor looks like a burn victim
  • Are those the same eyes as the White Walker’s in Game of thrones?
  • ALIA BHATT in a DHARMA PRODUCTION??? WHHHHAAAT?
  • So is this Saajan mixed with Dil Dhadakne Do then?
  • Masturbation dance moves are always a laugh!
  • Do you even lift bro?
  • Spin the bottle always leads to tension and brooding…well it did back in the 70’s…
  • Isn’t there a Spin the Bottle app now? If not then must invent…
  • Sid is still not a good screamer unfortunately
  • Alia got some good cry face!
  • “Since 1921” makes it sounds like the movie has a weird tie up with Heinz’ Ketchup

Kapoor & Sons is in Theatres 18th March, 2016!

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Wazir Review Upodcast

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.

You can listen/stream/download the episode below.

Or subscribe to us in iTunes and never miss an episode.

 

 

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo London Press Conference

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.

Sonam

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!

Sonam & Salman 4

 

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!Sonam & Salman 3

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

Brothers Review Upodcast

This week’s episode FilmiGirl and Asim square off in the octagon to break down Karan Malhotra’s Akshay Kumar- Siddarth Malhotra starrer Brothers.

Although a massive success at the Box Office, Akshay Kumar movies tend to be critically derided, together we try to analyse why that is?

We compare how this Bollywood remake of Gavin ‘O Connor’s Warrior stacks up, if the trend of remaking Hollywood properties to Indian sensibilities is a reliable formula?

We also delve into if the movie is a successful follow up to Karan’s previous release, Agneepath that was one of our personal favourite movies of 2012.

Taking many tangents we wrap up the show by talking about the movies that Filmigirl missed this year and should catch up on as well as what else is coming out in Bolly-theaters this year.

You can listen/stream/ download the episode below. Or subscribe to our iTunes feed and never miss an episode!

Win Jaanisaar’s soundtrack on CD!

People have been raving about the music of Muzaffar Ali’s Jaanisaar for a while now and here is your chance to win 1 of 3 CD’s of the soundtrack with Upodcast.

 

To win a copy:

1. Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter:

2. Send us an email on upodcasting@gmail.com with the answer to the following (dead easy!) question:

Which 1981 Bollywood film did the ‘Jaanisar’ director Muzaffar Ali direct?

A. Muqaddar Ka Sikandar

B. Umrao Jaan

C. Silsila

(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!

Jaanisaar is in theaters this Friday!

Sultan’s teaser doesn’t reveal much….

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.

 

Jai Ho Teaser: Joy to the world Salman is back!

Finally the trailer for Salman Khan’s next release is upon us. Now that we finally know Jai Ho is finally coming out, flowers seems to smell better, food tasts better, we can hear the singing of birds again.

Seemingly melding the plot of Pay It Forward and adding some Sallu style ass kickery and lion noises.

Jai Ho is directed by Sohail Khan, stepping behind the camera after more than a decade. Most of his movies have actually been quite good (Hello Brother is still a household favorite- PUNGI!) although only Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya was the biggest hit. But Sohail has always had a great grasp of action scenes, he just needs some more focussed screenplays. Maybe remaking a Telegu hit, Stalin: Man For the Society (how absurd is that title?) origingally directed by AR Murgadoss and starring Chiranjeevi.

An official synopsis hasn’t been released yet but according to IMDB the plot for the orginal one was: “The story is about how an ex-army officer brings change in society by making people to help each other.”

Obviously the movie will be adapted to Salman Khan and it’s great to see Tabu back on screen after such a while. The movie seems to contain a heavy social message with some ass kickery added.

Jai Ho releases the 24th of January 2014

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Dabangg 2 Review Upodcast

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.

 

Listen/download/subscribe below!

 

@asimburney

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Dabangg 2 Exclusive Stills and Synopsis

Needless to say our readers know our allegiances and we are firmly planted in camp Dabangg, we loved the first part (here is our Upodcast) and have very high hopes for the 2nd one.

We wrote a trailer breakdown about Dabangg 2 on HeyUGuys, you can read it by going here.

In the meantime we have some very juicy looking stills and the plot synopsis of the movie.

It’s not really spoilery and most people would want to watch the movie for Salman awesomeness anyway.

We might not be huge fans of Fevicol but that still looks amazing!

Dabangg 2 is a continuation of the amazing exploits of Chulbul ‘Robin Hood’ Pandey played by Salman Khan. The notable facets of the character include his nonchalance, his wry sense of humor and his tongue-in-cheek dialogues.
This film begins with Chulbul (Now married to Rajjo- Sonkashi Sinha) moving on from being a local inspector in a small town Laalganj to becoming an Inspector-in-charge of Bajariya Thana, a police station in Kanpur, the largest and most populous city in Uttar Pradesh. After arriving in Kanpur, Chulbul immediately gets into action thus bringing him in conflict with Baccha Bhaiyya (Prakash Raj).
If Dabangg marked the return of action films, Dabangg 2 takes it to a higher level with some of the coolest action sequences ever conceived. All in all, Dabangg 2 promises to be a full on entertainer, with Chulbul Pandey and his sunglasses et al.

@asimburney

Khiladi 786 Teaser Trailer

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.

Some thoughts:

 

  • 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)

 

  • Is Khiladi really a franchise???

@asimburney

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Ek Tha Tiger Review

Yash Raj Films (YRF) and Salman Khan finally come together for the first time under the direction of Kabir Khan to bring us the story of what happens when a RAW Agent called Tiger starts using his “heart” when he has been trained to use his “head”. As usual with our reviews we have a separate spoiler section below so does this Tiger miaow or roaarrr, find out below!

 

Bollywood has been going spy crazy lately, starting with Don 2 (although that wasn’t really a spy movie but it ripped off many ideas from it) followed by Agent Vinod and a medium budget heroine driven movie (that I won’t be mentioning by name as it would spoil a big reveal), now comes Ek Tha Tiger (ETT), which from the first teaser trailer got catapulted to our “most looked forward”-movies of 2012.

ETT succeeds where the likes of Agent Vinod failed, is it delivers a movie that works within Bollywood conventions (sometimes to it’s detriment) and by not having it’s head up it’s own ass. This is big budget, big screen movie making, people. Where every shot looks pristine like it’s been scrubbed with Dettol, all the way from the locations to the actor’s faces. The dancers dance in sync, the fights are epic and in YRF tradition, we travel around the world without giving ourselves a Turkish makeover.

 

There are moments that feel like a compromise made by either the director Kabir Khan (who has a background in documentary film making and almost makes us sense his distain for selling out), star Salman Khan (who does not want to unleash the success he has tasted in recent years from his jaws like he lost a bet to one of the other Khan’s (and production house Yash Raj Films (who just can’t seem to find a consistency in it’s success ratio) so is trying out everything they can, even working with a star that they had until now not considered YRF material and one that they clearly can not control in any way possible.

 

The movie is segmented in very clearly delineated chapters in the screenplay, each with a different mood, location and wardrobes that sometimes gel together and sometimes don’t.

We start of, in the greatest of James Bond tradition, with action packed prologue set in Northern Iraq, where Tiger needs to deal with a double agent who has been selling RAW secrets to the ISI but essentially this is just a teaser to the bad ass-dom of the central character and has no further baring to the rest of the plot, but it is some serious butt-kickery on a level we haven’t seen in Bollywood.

 

The movie really gets going when Tiger is then sent to Dublin (after cooking some daal for his boss and having a few drinks with him) and needs to shadow a nuclear scientist by posing as a writer where he meets and eventually falling in love with charming Zoya, part time dancer and part time caretaker of the professor.

 

The Dublin storyline is just the mcguffin to set up the romance in Ek Tha Tiger, playing off their real life chemistry between with Salman and Katrina which up until now hadn’t been harnessed on the big screen yet (neither in Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya which was almost Katrina’s debut and neither Yuvraaj as Subhash Ghai lost his ability to make coherent movies back in the 80’s).

 

The back and forth dialogue feels so natural between both that you start wondering wonder how much was ad-libbed, references to Katrina’s pronunciation of the letter “dh” and her rabbit teeth seem to be very “Salman”.

 

What I really appreciated is that we go to see the sweet and charming Salman Khan again as we have to be honest that in Dabanng, Wanted and Ready he was playing kind of an a*hole. Salman seems to be having fun interacting with the local extras in every city he is in, from the hotel reception clerks in Dublin to the kids and old folks in Cuba. He is also genuinely funny again without having to play off his own persona or referencing Salman Khan the star.  The humor is dryer without obvious punchlines followed by a deliberate pause. There are some wonderful visual gags that works really well especially the intercut scenes of previous adventures and mishaps of Tiger and some of the winking at the camera without having to break the 4th wall. And clearly Salman loved spending time with Katrina and how could you not?

 

Katrina Kaif has been so consistent in delivering roles that seem to fit her like a glove. Like Mere Brother Ki Dulhan or even Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, I can’t see any other actress enacting the role of Zoya. The lady just has tons of screen presence and besides her bedazzling styling she brings such physicality to the role that other actresses like Priyanka (Don 2) and Deepika (Chandni Chowk To China) can only dream of.

I wouldn’t have minded seeing some more of that physicality in some key scenes (especially just before the interval). The problem she has is the characterization of Zoya is sometimes flaky, the screenplay never decides if she is a bad ass on the level of Tiger or a damsel in distress and that really does a disservice to Katrina.

 

The production values are top notch and ETT is beautifully framed, and truly feels global without feeling disjointed (unlike Don 2 and Agent Vinod which felt the need to globe hop for no reason) or giving a sense of déjà vu even though locations like Istanbul have recently been rediscovered and used in quite a few other movies (Game amongst other but maybe I’m the only one how saw that). YRF did a slightly better at the hiring non-Indian extras and background dancers job than that other foreign local gloss machine Dharma Films (who really scrape the bottom of the barrel, may I remind you of the drunk chapel scene in Ek Main Aur Ek Tu?).

 

The action set pieces are probably the highlight of the movie and they really pack multiple scissor kicks, the only problem I had was with the facial imaging effects they used on the Salman Khan Body Double were slightly jarring in the Dublin sequence, they weren’t as bad as some scenes in Krissh but when it comes to daylight shots, there is still some work to be done.

Another problem is the lack of central villain so we don’t get a final brawl although the climax does deliver in many other ways.

A bigger issue is that we never get a true motivation for why our romantic duo is being chased with such vigor, this could have easily been tweaked on a screenplay level but if you haven’t bought into the Tiger by then, you probably won’t.

 

Final Verdict: The Movie is GREEEEEAAAT (Could I leave you guys without a lame Tony The Tiger reference? – no, as that’s the kind of reviewer I am).

But lame jokes aside Ek Tha Tiger is a great summer blockbuster that is slightly loose around the edges but the performances of the main leads, the romance, production values, cinematography and action set pieces truly deliver and isn’t that really what we look for during the summer?

 

Spoiler Section:

Although the trailer was great and built up the required buzz, it did spoil quite a few jokes and action set pieces, which is a shame as they lessen the impact within the movie, but maybe that’s my mistake for rewatching them a billion time in anticipation for the release.

 

Ranvir Shorey styles some amazing facial hair.

 

Was there a need for the other ISI agent beside Katrina? It would have easily sufficed having her go all Angelina Jolie on the audience although Salman fans would probably not appreciate her clobbering him like a ninja and stealing his phone.

 

This movie is riddled with gaping lot of plot holes (Salman even jumps over a few in Iraq) consider yourself warned.

 

The biggest compromises in ETT were made by director Kabir Khan. To the point that if you listen very carefully you can hear him gnashing his teeth in the back ground at very forced Salman Khan trademark shirt removal scene. The placing of the song “Mashallah” also feels like an after thought, although beautifully picturised, these all out populist conventions clearly make the director feel ill at ease and it shows.

 

For a moment during the tram sequence I thought Salman would go all Spiderman on us and stop the train with his bare hands.

 

The epilogue and voice over were completely redundant as was the reveal of Tiger’s real name, had even less impact than the whole Professor Kidwai scene.

 

@asimburney

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Best of Bollywood 2011

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!

 

www.filmigirl.blogspot.com

http://rotikapadarum.blogspot.com/

www.currybear.com

 

Let us know what you thought of our episode or some of your favorite movies that we might have missed in the comment section.

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Review Bodyguard

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.

For whoever is keeping final score for Bodyguard:

Dabanng ≥ Wanted > Bodyguard > Ready > Suryavanshi

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

 

 

 

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Salman Khan’s BodyGuard Interview for Upodcast!

Indian stars command a different level obsession than their western counterparts. The love and adulation we feel for “our favorites” combines the passion for a sportsteam with the myth of a rock star. We tailor our personal style, conversational idioms and day to day jokes towards them and every generation (even if they won’t admit it) has that one star that just sends them into a frenzy. My parents had Dilip Kumar, growing up we had Amitabh Bachchan but from adolescence there was only one name for me and that was Salman Khan.

The release of his Bodyguard is just around the corner (31st of August) and we had a podcast planned with him but then got diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, a very painful nerve disorder for which he had to fly out for treatment for the US. But Salman Khan “ne ek bar jo commitment kardi, toh phir woh apni bhi nahi sunta” (once he makes a commitment, then he doesnt even listen to himself) and  he took to answer some of our questions via email  just before he flew out. And truth be told, I don’t know if I could have contained my excitement if I had gotten a chance to speak with him. (Clearly Upodcast is a place for fans more than journalistic professionalism)

Sabka hai Ek Bhaijaan, here is the one and only Salman Khan in his inimitable style answering questions from yours truly.

Photo Credit: www.SalmanOnline.net

Sorry to hear about your ailment through the news. I hope you are well
and that it doesn’t hurt too much? How were you able to cope with it
through shooting?

Ya, did get unbearable at times… I had planned to get myself treated
after the shoot, post productions and promotions for Bodyguard are
completed. But now pain has become unbearable.

You have had a time honored equation with music over the years? Is
that just luck or do you have a musical ear? Did you sit down with the
music directors of Bodyguard and discuss what was needed?

Na I have been lucky… my music directors do a good job.

I have been lucky enough to have all the talented music directors
composing music for the songs that I dance to on screen. I had given
certain inputs in the song ‘Teri Meri’ but it was entirely Himesh’s
creative efforts that the song a creating a buzz among people.

Desi beat has a slight tinge (maybe a sample) of “Kabooter Ja Ja” from
Maine Pyar Kiya. Do you reminisce about some of your earlier roles? Do
you rewatch any of your older movies?

All I can say Desi Beats is a big success in India and overseas. I do
recall my roles at times as I did them because I liked the role but
now I am always looking forward to do something new and exciting.

Did you bring any of those sensibilities from older movies to
Bodyguard? Is there a Jaagruti -style jungle
training scene?

Bodyguard is a very different film. I think it is an innocent love
story. It is a good balance of emotions, romance action and drama. As
far as action in the film is concerned the entire credit goes to
Vijayan Master. He directed my wanted and dabbang and wanted to push
limits with this one too.

What were the roles you think you nailed but maybe didn’t work with
audiences as well? How do you deal with a movie when it doesn’t work?

Yes, film is to be approached with new enthusiasm and more motivation.
If the film turns a blockbuster it’s great and if it doesn’t you have
to move on. The number of people watching your film is directly
proportional to how good the film is. The intension is always to make
a good movie and positive responses definitely make me feel good.

Are there times whilst shooting that you know it’s not going well? And
if so is there sometimes you pull back?

There are hardships everywhere. Facing the obstacles is the only way
to overcome them. If things don’t go well at times you just have to
work your way around it rather than pulling back.

You have been doing action movies since the start of your career but
now since Wanted it had taken another level. What has changed in your
mind?

Wanted has certainly added a lot to my performance and enhanced my connect with the viewers. But every role brings something new to me intensifies my ability to act.

Is it the effect of your TV presence that you have created a closer
bond with your audience?

Television is definitely a vibrant medium and reaches to masses far
and wide. It has been a platform to reach the audience who probably
miss out on catching me on the larger screen.

From Baaghi to Veer and of course your much respected
father (Salim Khan), writing has been a part of your life. You have taken on
painting since a few years too. Do you feel that these are ways you
communicate with your fans and audience or is it more of an internal
process where you deal with your own thoughts?

Just as everyone develops certain interests at different points in
their lives I am drawn towards painting. I am interested in painting
as it is an art form that helps me to express myself.

What type of creative input did you have in Bodyguard as the
production team is family?

My first responsibility is with my audience then it is to producer.
Who is the producer is not important. Atul (Agnihotri, producer and Salman’s brother in law-ed) came with this script
before the Malayalam bodyguard was made. And we had decided to make it
in Hindi whatever may be the faith of Malayalam.

You started the trend of South indian remakes with Tere Naam. What do
you think needs to be adjusted or tweaked when remaking a South Indian
movie to North Indian audiences?

I have loved the subjects of all the remakes I have done so far. Tere
Naam and Wanted fetched quite good results this only indicates
audiences liked the concept and the films at large. I believe it is
entirely the film maker’s call. Bodyguard which is a remake of the
Malayalam version had drastic changes in the characterization and
these were Siddique’s efforts to bring the film in a fresh form to
Bollywood’s audiences.

Are there any South Indian stars or movies you are particularly fond of?

Rajnikanth with out doubt…

Would you ever consider making a work-out dvd for all your fans that
want to be buff like you?

Have not thought about it…

So I hope you enjoyed reading some of his answers. For more BodyGuard goodness you can check out our Podcast interview with Kareena Kapoor, his co-star.

Or of course catch Bodyguard in theatres in a couple of days in a theater near you!

 

Let us know what  you thought of Bodyguard after the jump!

Enhanced by ZemantaAnd thanks to our good friend Amaluu from Bollystalgia, a fellow Sallu fan who helped us out with some of the questions!
You can follow us on twitter or Facebook by clicking links on the left!
EID MUBARAK!

Win Tickets to BodyGuard Preview in London!

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

Ep 34 Kareena Kapoor Bodyguard Interview

The one and only princess of Bollywood Kareena Kapoor graced us with her presence when she was in London promoting Bodyguard, her forthcoming movie with Salman Khan. And we got a chance to interview her for an exclusive Upodcast episode. Check out our chat with the ever radiant Bebo after the jump! Read More

Ayaa Re Ayaa BodyGuard’s Item Song ft Katrina Kaif

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!

 

Some thoughts:

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!

You can follow more Bodyguars’ promo’s by subscribing to  T-series Youtube Channel!

 

 

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Exclusive: Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif’s Item Song In BodyGuard

The buzz for Salman KhanKareena 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

BodyGuard Trailer gives us measured doses of previous Salman Khan hits!

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!

Read More

Review: Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

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.

 

Spoiler Section:
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!

 

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Ep 29 Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap (Or why Amitabh Bachchan is Awesome)

We kneel before the Emperor of Bollywood this week. In this “Bbuddah
Hoga Terra Baap” Podcast episode, we are joined by Burlesque and Movie Club
Host Bastard Keith and friend of Upodcast and regular guest Danny Bowes writer
for Tor and MoviesByBowes, we dissect the awesomeness that is Amitabh Bachchan
with the release of his latest masala reboot. Listen or download to the podcast
below! Read More

Is this the original version of Character Dheela?

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!

 

 

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Jacqueline Fernandez in Murder 2 ‘Aa zara karib’

Normally we don’t write posts just to oggle the hotness of women but the new promo for Murder 2 ‘Aa zara karib’ is just something that needs to be discussed and dissected (Purely for scientific reasons,we swear!).

Now we don’t know what’s really going on in this clip but  there is a quite a bit of bondage in a very greasy warehouse with a dance floor attached to it. I’m guessing they shot this before the health and safety inspectors closed the place down. But probably the most ludicrous element of the clip is making the public believe that Emraan Hashmi can actually play chess. They seem to be stuck here for a while as his facial hair and horrible mullet is taking all different shapes and sizes (or just maybe becoming sentient).

but “OM to the sweet Jeebu”s is Jacqueline Fernandez a sight for sore eyes. For a girl that’s not wearing a bikini or surrounded by drooling men (I’m guessing the drooling is going on behind the screen and not on)  a la Sheila, Munni or Jalebi she sure can send the temperature soaring. And who knew she could dance so well? In my mind any casting director that is considering casting Deepika or Piggy Chops can just replace her with la Fernandez.

The lip synching maybe be off but the dance skills and especially those well timed leg lifts (Is she smelling if she can wear those pants one more day?) surely distracts anyone trying to find nitpicks. Emraan has the same expression he usually carries but that’s ok, he basically play Sultan Rahi in every movie.

And those chains seriously? It’s not the hulk or Salman Khan you’re tying down, it’s that Pepe le Pew with the 80’s hair that pushes women against walls.

It seems that the Embed option isn’t working. Click here to watch the video!

Let us know what you though of the clip and apologies for the horrible pop up ads that keep appearing. T Series still dont seem to get the hang of this whole social media malarkey.

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Ready Review

 

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!!!!

 

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Upodcast:The Perils of Bollywood fandom and reactions to Tees Maar Khan

NEW SEASON! And we are back from our short break, with an amazing Bollywood episode. 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

Review Tees Maar Khan

Farah Khan’s comic caper has a lot riding on it. It’s Farah breaking out on her own, free from collaborations that were safe bets from within a comfort zone. In some way it’s a comeback for Akshay Kumar whose had a horrible year of releases. And it’s also Katrina Kaif strongest claim for the top Bollywood heroine slot. (if she doesn’t already own it?)

A lot of question surround this movie but you forget about all of that within minutes when Tees Maar Khan theme song kicks in.

I’ll try my best not to spoil too much of the movie as I was fortunate enough to catch an early preview in London; but honestly speaking I could only spoil some of the comedic beats,not much of the plot.

It’s a pretty straight forward masala caper and most of the set up is in the trailers.

Tees Maar Khan urf Tabrez Mirza Khan ,the biggest con artist in the world, is hired to rob a train carrying an immense treasure for a set of conjoint twin “villains”. He also is a shameless plugger of his own name. There was maybe one too many reference to the title of the movie to my taste but all that is not important for what we get is easily one of the funniest and most entertaining entertainers of the year.

It’s what Housefulll wishes it was, what Action Replayy could never accomplish and what Golmaal lies in bed at night crying it could be one day.

First, I would suggest that if you have a chance, go and watch this movie on the big screen. Partly because it’s the kind of movie that is elevated with a participating audience and partly because it needs the big canvas so you can soak up all the gorgeousness in every shot.

I have a pretty good media set up at home but in no way could I understand the awesomeness of Sheila Ki Jawaani until I saw it today.

There were many discussions the previous weeks about which was the best item number of the year: Munni Badnaam Hui from Dabangg or Sheila Ki Jawaani.I am still not sure I have an answer for that question but what I can tell you is that there were moments in Sheila ki Jawaani that Katrina Kaif took the entire audience’s breath away.

It is EPIC and if I could, I would rewind it and watch it again. You might not be able to do that in a cinema (unless you’re Raja Babu) but what you do get in the theatre experience is the full force of Vishal- Shekar‘s “saaand” blaring through the speakers and every minute detail of Katrina’ s performance elevating the song to a whole new level.

In my opinion Katrina delivers the strongest female comedic performance since Kareena Kapoor in Jab We Met. She is hilarious in every scene as Anya Khan the wannabe Starlet/Item girl and I really hope people stop asking her to prove herself over and over again. I think she has been doing that in her recent roles and this is probably one of her bests.

When reviewing our best Bollywood soundtracks of 2010 (click here) we thought that the Tees Maar Khan OST was maybe not the greatest (I am still not convinced of the Sonu Nigam’s Chipmunk voices) but it could only be fully judged when seeing it picturized. And lo and behold I was humming the songs exiting the theatre and want to get my hands on the soundtrack as soon as I can.

Although Salman Khan’s cameo in Wallah Re Wallah is featured in the promos, it still manages to send a bolt of excitement through your spine.

The first half of the movie just breezes by and the second half has a bit of a slower start but manages to put in a lot more heart in the movie.

So now on to the Khiladi. See I’ve always been fond of Akshay Kumar (especially his work ethic and just plain sincerity) but somewhere his lovable loud mouthed buffoon shtick and those indistinguishable Priyadarshan comedies just turned me away from him.

A movie that I unashamedly loved back in the day was “Mr. and Mrs. Khiladi” ,probably not the most discerning of choices, I admit but Akshay was amazing in it. That’s the kind of Akshay we get here. he is again ahead of the world, a real hero character kids would want to emulate (those fluorescent Jersey Shore Shirts can be omitted) . Someone who is witty, funny and confident. I don’t know if he ad-libs some of his lines in that throw away manner but it makes me crack up everytime and actually believe in Akshay as a leading man again.

Unfortunately for my non-hindi speakers the subtitles were not able to catch every joke thrown in but there are so many if you miss one you’ll surely catch the next one.

There are even “Inception- like” levels of joke-within-a-joke which film geeks can play filmi-bingo with. I would suggest inventing a drinking game around it, someone catches a reference and everyone drinks. Even I jumped with joy seeing Anil Kapoor’s most iconic dance and the whole Master India sequence. (Boney for reals, can we get that Mr.India sequel already??)

But you can also just enjoy the movie just as a fun masala caper with great dances and and performances from the lead as well as the supporting cast (woohoo Avtaar Gill!!) and we even get the final sequence where the whole team apears.

Akshay Khanna is hilarious as the oscar obsessed Bollywood superstar, some will claim it’s inspired by Amir or Shahrukh but I don’t see it really or at least nothing to create news stories about but I’m sure that won’ stop people.

There are certain moment that I did feel the ghost of Shahrukh Khan, who was rumoured as the main lead, loom over Tees Maar Khan. In some of Akshay’s hero poses, comedic repartés and even some of the choreography, you can can almost imagine what Shahrukh would have done with it. Even a few of the sets and décors were eerily similar to Om Shanti Om. But although fun to speculate that’s just context with no real importance to the film.

All in all I think this movie is a great move for Farah, Shrish Kunder and her production company in developing her Manmohan desai style even further. I am truly looking forward to her next paisa vasool flick but until then: go watch Tees Maar Khan on the big screen NOW!

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Wallah Re Wallah Sheila ki Controversy: Thoughts on Tees Maar Khan

Farah Khan’s Akshay KumarKatrina Kaif starrer, Tees Maar Khan is closing in for a Christmas release and has quickly become the talk of the town altough maybe not for all the right reasons. To counter or fuel the PR machine the third promo featuring Salman Khan, basking in his post Dabanng glory,  has just released. Check it out this mast qawalli number and our thoughts on some of the controversies surrounding Tees Maar Khan’s release after the jump! Read More

CurrySmugglers: Project Munni

Do you want to see your eminent Upodcast host Asim dance on the Internet and make a fool of himself! Of couse you do! Watch Project Munni, our tribute to one of our favorite movies of 2010 Dabangg and our friends from CurrySmugglers. Watch the video after the jump!Â

The CurrySmugglers is one of the best musical podcast around if you want to know what’s going on in the Desi, Urban and Arab music scene, you need to be plugging in every week! The awesome hosts PareshG and SachinB are good friends of Upodcast and Paresh was even part of our Bonus Episode on Bollywood Item Numbers.

The video gives a good explanation on what we were trying to do, so I’ll let it speak for itself! (you will be left speechless after watching it though!)

That move has been called “the Chakki Peesing”! You need Desi credentials to perfect it!

Maybe you can recognize some of our friends from our Dabanng podcast Review special on Upodcast Anandini and Filmigirl!

Here’s is the original Munni clip as you can see Asim was trying to go for a pretty Salman Khan specific look! ( and failing miserably)

Be Sure to Check out CurrySmugglers podcast and The Diwali Special Dropping Today! Click Here! Or Follow them on Twitter!

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UpodCast Dabanng Special

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!

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DABANGG: The most BANGGin’ Bollywood trailer of 2010!

DABANGG 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’s 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

Bonus Episode Bollywood Mid Year Wrap Up 2010- Upodcast

Here is the Voltron of all Bollywood Podcasts. Combining the powers of Beth from Bethlovesbollywood, Katherine from TotallyFilmi, Kara from Filmigirl and Bollyspice and a lone Asim sans his usual co-hosts, this bumper episode of  Upodcast  goes through the best and worst  of 2010. No punches are held back and no performance is safe. we review the prominent releases of Bollywood give our take on Twitter Celebs, The Bikini issue and a look forward to  the rest of the year. Listen to this EPIC episode after the Jump! Read More

Episode 13: Battle of the Remakes Hitch vs Partner

Season  PREMIERE!

The Upodcast team is back after a long hiatus! For our season premiere we have a jam packed show for all you guys! And for this weeks Battle of the Remakes we are taking part in Govinda Week!

Check out the brand new episode after the jump!

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