Sanjay Leela Bhansali

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Shahrukh Khan, released to massive box office success later that year, has famously said that he knew his movie was outdated the moment DCH released.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.

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Gabbar Is Back Press Interview

I haven’t been bowled over by anything related to Gabbar yet (how terrible is that Chitriganda- Honey Singh Promotional song?) , apparently it is a remake of a South Indian movie (alarm bells ringing already) with the big difference that the movie now references the famous Sholay villain for reasons that elude me.

But it is always great to see Akshay do his thing on the big screen although I am not quite sure how the pairing with Shruti Hassan is landing on the Icky Meter. (He looks so good with Kareena, why not just cast her as the main lead?)


If you haven’t seen the trailer yet- here it is together with a Q&A they did with I assume the marketing team.


Q1  Tell us something about Gabbar is Back?

Gabbar Is Back is directed by Krish and produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Viacom18 Motion Pictures. It’s the Hindi remake of Tamil film Ramana and based on the story of corruption. I am playing the character of ACP Gabbar, who turns leader for a vigilante group and is en-route to end corruption in the city. It’s releasing on 1st May 2015 and also stars Shruti Hassan and Prakash Jha.

Q2  Is it inspired by the character of Gabbar in the famous movie Sholay?

No. Gabbar is the hero in the film and a vigilante, who takes it in his own hands to put an end to crime and injustice. Both the characters are very different.

Q3  What motivates you to do a movie like Gabbar?

I did Gabbar is Back because of corruption. I am alarmed by the crime rates in India and even calculated the amount of money gathered due to scams, to add up to 12 trillion dollars. I compared the crime rates between India and other countries and the numbers in India are astonishing. Crime rates are low in countries such as the UAE due to strict law enforcement which isn’t the case in India. So you need a name like Gabbar, who may behave like a villain but his actions are of a hero.

Q4 You are famous as the King of Action in Bollywood. Are you going to take action sequences to the next level in this movie?

Gabbar is centered more around delivering a message, rather than action sequences. Most of the instances in the movie are inspired by real life events.

Q5   Are you doing any special song for Gabbar?

Yes, I am doing one special soulful song called “Teri Meri Kahani” with Kareena Kapoor Khan, which happens to be the first song to be launched for this film. The song will take viewers through the emotional journey of the couple making itself indispensable to the overall narrative of the film.

Q6  How’s your chemistry with Kareena Kapoor Khan?

Bebo has been an integral part of my career. We’ve done many movies together and one can only hope we have many more to come. She is everything one could ever ask in a Bollywood actress. She will always know how deeply I appreciate her effort and expertise. I’m sure viewers are going to love her in this song. She has brought a kindness to our film like no other. We love working with each other.We had a great time while shooting for the song.

Q7 How is your experience in working with co-star Shruti Hassan?

I am working with her for the first time. She is playing my love interest in this movie. She is a beautiful, professional and talented actress.

Q8 Baby was the highest box office grosser of 2015. Do you think “Gabbar is Back” will surpass the record?

I always give 100 percent to any film that I do, and pray that it will do well. God has been very kind to me, and I owe him everything and my loyal fans so much for their continuous support and love.

Q9 Tell us about your new film projects?

My upcoming films include Brothers, which sees me star alongside Sidharth Malhotra and Jacqueline Fernandez. It’s the official remake of 2011 Hollywood movie Warrior and based on the story of two estranged brothers, whose entrance into the mixed martial arts tournament forces them to come to terms with their past and each other.

After this, I will have Singh is Bliing, a fantastic action comedy directed by Prabhu Deva and produced under my production company Grazing Goat Pictures. I am joined on screen by the very talented actresses Lara Dutta and Amy Jackson. We will shoot in Patiala, Punjab for this movie.


In Jan 2016 I have Airlift releasing which is is based on the invasion of Kuwait. I am playing the role of Ranjit Katiyal, anIndian-Arab billionaire who plans an ambitious evacuation mission to rescue 170,000 Indians in Kuwait during the Iraq invasion.

Q10  What kind of movies do you like to do?

I like to do films that are different and challenging, but which don’t preach any social message as such. I like exploring various film subjects, for example: OMG: Oh My God is about religion, ‘Baby’ is on terrorism, and ‘Gabbar Is Back‘ is on corruption. My films have a message, but with a commercial angle to it. With Gabbar is Back I got the opportunity to talk about corruption in a commercial manner.

Q11 Action and comedy films have been your forte so far. Do you have any unusual projects coming up?

I do films that I want to do, because they appeal to me in some way. I wouldn’t say that I only do action and/or comedy films, and if I do make these type of films, it is because I want to. I have worked in other genres, and really enjoyed it. I like to surprise my audience, so that they can never guess what to expect! Ultimately, I just love making films with people I admire and respect. A good film is about characters and feelings.

Q12 Do self-made actors like yourself have more motivation?

Yes, I think so! But this isn’t the case for everyone, each case is different. It is only natural to protect and work hard for something when you have been through hell to get it in the first place. I myself had no Godfather in the industry; I worked hard and wanted to constantly improve myself. My goal was to strive to be better, and so it was this drive that got me to where I am today. The only reason I am still here in this industry today is because of God’s grace, my parents blessings and my fans’ love.

Q13  Who do you admire in the industry? And why?

I admire everyone because it is hard to make it in the acting industry. Whether you are self-made or a star kid, the journey is still tough and not glamorous as it looks. Everyone in this industry deserves my admiration and that of the fans too. We all have the same vision and goal: to take Indian cinema to the next level. It is not a competition, it is a challenge and we’re all fighting for the same thing— our film industry, because without it, we’d all be nothing.

Q14 How do you protect your privacy when you encounter negative publicity? Does your discipline in martial arts help?

Yes, Martial Arts is a great source of strength, discipline and relaxation for me, in fact exercise is a great way for me to unwind and forget about my troubles. But the thing that really keeps me grounded is my family. I won’t be famous forever; I won’t be successful at work every day; and I won’t have fans who love me forever, but the one thing that I will have is my family, who will love me always, unconditionally.


Gabbar Is Back is scheduled for release internationally on 1st May 2015.

Ram Leela Trailer: Romeo And Juliet through Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Lens

Like most Bollywood fans, we have spent the morning refreshing our social media feeds for the launch of the Ram Leela trailer and finally the wait is over.

Rumored to be an adaptation of Romeo And Juliet, Sanjay Leela Bhansali sets the story in contemporary Rajisthan. Some of the visuals do remind you of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam but adding fire brand actor Ranveer Singh, the movie just seems a lot more fun than anything we expected from Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Deepika has been picking some great roles and it’s paid off at the box office this year, and she seems to have amazing chemistry with Ranveer, which make me hopeful to see more of these 2 on screen together.

The trailer is quite extensive and a welcome change to the stupid marketing ploy of 30 sec teasers. I’m looking at you Dhoom and Krissh 3, this might be that we are pretty sure we know the major story beats so we can are allowed to see more of the lush world that they have built.

Here are some images, posters, synopsis and of course the awesome trailer:

Ram : Born in the land of guns, goons and hardcore enmity, RAM – the local village romeo, is a raapchik, cheap, dramatic vagabond. The lover who fights the whole world for his Leela and yet the man who stands by his clan even at the cost of his own love

Leela : In love with her enemy, a beautiful, young, spicy, fearless gujrati belle, born to an underworld mistress and yet far removed from the violence that surrounds her. Her life is only about her faith in her lover , her tireless wait for him, her sacrifices for him and ultimately her’self’ against him

When the two see each other for the first time, worlds collide, wars are fought and destinies are written in blood, forever. The Jadejas and the Rabaris are sworn enemies since the past 500 years and their own kin falling in love with each other is worst than any storm that could have ever come by. Set in the present day, magnificent vibrant landscape of Gujarat, woven with song and dance, Ram and Leela fight the world to live their own dreams. What will happen when they declare their love to the world? Will their families relent or will Ram and Leela carve their own destiny?


Ram Leela is in theaters on 15th November.



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Plot Spoilers for Rowdy Rathore: Bollywood’s Original Action Hero Akshay Kumar Gets ‘Rowdy’ In Bollywood’s Latest Action Drama

One movie that we have totally been looking forward to is Rowdy Rathore and since the release is just around the corner, there is quite a bit of promotion going on especially in India where the stars and director Prabu Deva are on a city wide tour. Together with the full Chinta Ta Ta Chita Chita – Rowdy Rathore Official Full Song Video, we received a spoilerific plot summary, read if you can’t wait to know the what the movie will be about!


Bollywood’s original hero Akshay Kumar makes his long-awaited return after seven years to the action movie arena with this summer’s big release Rowdy Rathore releasing on the 1st of June 2012.

Rowdy Rathore is a modern re-working of the Telugu film Vikramarkudu, and features an all-star Bollywood cast comprising of Akshay Kumar and Bollywood starlett Sonakshi Sinha who returns to screens after Dabangg. The film is directed by renowned Tamil choreographer and actor Prabhu Deva (Wanted, Shakti – The Power) and also features the considerable talents of producer Sanjay Leela Bhansali, famed for his directing credits on cutting-edge films Black, Devdas and Saawariya. The film marks Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s first foray into the action genre.

Akshay Kumar returns to dazzling form in this all-action blockbuster, as he expertly plays two very different and intriguing characters. The film is enhanced by lighthearted moments of comedy, thrilling action sequences and a little sprinkling of romance to set things off. Rowdy Rathore showcases Akshay Kumar’s acting talents and versatility as an actor, and guarantees an exciting summer film for the whole family.

In a gripping tale of mystery, deception and revenge, the thrilling story is told through the eyes of lead character Shiva (Akshay Kumar), who is a small-time thief addicted to acts of daredevilry. Shiva’s life is turned upside down when one day a young girl turns up and claims to be his daughter. Stunned by the revelation, he soon uncovers a dark and disturbing story behind her claim. It turns out that the girl is the daughter of IPS Police Officer Vikram Singh Rathore, who happens to be Shiva’s twin brother. When the two meet, and Vikram is murdered in front of Shiva, the latter must assume his identity and work undercover to bring his killers to justice.

Here is another look at the trailer that we can’t get enough of!

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Best Bollywood Soundtracks 2010

It’s that time of year again where we revisit the year that has passed and recap the best and worst moments. There will be quite a lot of “Best of”- lists appearing on the interwebz but Upodcast’s lists are obvisouly the best .  So here is a rundown of the best Bollywood Albums of 2010! See the entire list after the jump!

Our friend FilmiGirl is running her “best of 2010″ lists on her blog and although usually we see eye-to-eye, for once I didn’t agree at all with the picks she made.

 So we decided to put our own of list of best Bollywood Songs together but realized that it is actually pretty hard to create list only ranked by songs. And especially coming to our top 3 we just couldnt pick single tracks that stood out. (unless you have the science of iTunes backing you up).  So instead of ranking our favorite songs, we went with our favorite Albums of 2010. Here goes nothing!

10. Once Upon a time in Mumbai-

Music Director: Pritam

Pritam might not be my favorite composer but he is extremely effective in the style of music he delivers for commercial Hindi cinema and although accusations of plagiarism are rampant, I do find myself putting his songs and albums on repeat even when the film has come and gone. He has a knack for collaborating with singers with quite unique timbres and finds songs that really suit their style ie Atif Aslam, Mohit Chauhan or Tulsi Kumar.

“Pee Loon” which had a bit of “Pehli Nazar Mein” from Race hangover but still was sweet and this could have been an Atif song so I was glad to hear Mohit chauhan grab the mic instead as a change. Although the picturization might not have been that great (The scene where Emraan dresses up his girlfriend like Dimple Kapadia in “Bobby” and then jumps her bones  just made me a throw up a little in my mouth!). “Tum Jo Aaye Zindagi mein” sung by Rahat Ali Khan and Tulsi Kumar was a nice soft ballad and barring the black face “Parda” was passable lacing the album with 3 pretty decent tracks!

9. Tees Maar Khan

Music Director:  Shrish Kunder

I have to be honest here, I haven’t checked out the full album and the chipmunk voices on the title track do not work for me at all. But I do have a lot of faith in director Farah Khan to add oodles of entertainment and masti and actually improving on the musicality of the album by making the songs look awesome.

A Perfect example of this is “Wallah re Wallah” which would be a pretty average qawalli track if it wasn’t for a certain special appearance. And of course Tees Maar Khan does have the 2nd most awesome item number of the year in “Sheila Ki Jawani”!

8.Band Bajaa Barraat-

Music Director: Salim Sulaiman

Another soundtrack that you want to revisit after watching the movie! The Punjabi feel is heartpouding and most of the songs are high in energy especially “Ainvayi Ainvayi” .The item song “Dum Mast Mast” is a bit of a misfire but we get to see a glammed up Anushka Sharma which doesn’t happen enough. I also have a real soft spot for her, like my friend Suraj mentioned: She is the new Zinta!

The song “Tarkeebein” which was used in most of the promos wasn’t bad although the constant repeating of “Turkey mein” started to get grating…( and why was break out star Ranveer singing about Turkey anyway? Wasn’t this movie supposed to be set in Delhi?)


Music Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Both Hritik Roshan and Sanjay Leela Bhansali have been having rough time lately and although they pour their heart and souls in every endeavor, they do not manage to strike gold at the Box Office every time. Both the music and the movie seemed to beg the audience to love them just because  it was sincere and heartfelt but to me it seemed like that needy kid in High school that writes love poems for girls that are way to hot for him. It’s just not gonna happen,  kid! As both high school and the box office are cruel mistresses.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali first fully composed album and although “Sau Gram”,” Guzaarish” and “Udi” are poetic songs completely part of the mood and story of the movie and look beautiful, how could they not with SLB framing Aishwarya Rai-Bachan.

 I can’t help but wonder if the movie itself would have been better if he had just focused on directing and put his trust in a team of talented people around him.

6. Love Sex Aur Dhoka (LSD)-

Music Director:  Sneha Khanwalkar

Probably the most refreshing OST of the year composed by newcomer Sneha Khanwalkar who had previously composed for Dibakar Bannerjee’s “Oye Lucky Lucky”a film I wasn’t a huge fan of.

 I don’t think the movie created many ripples but was showing in quite a few film festivals (even in London) it was one of my favorites of the first half of 2010 and the soundtrack has been on repeat on my playslist all year.

When I first heard the woman’s scream followed by a gun shot at the start of LSD’s title track I had a similar feeling to hearing the Dev D album a  year ago, the same kind of excitement of listening to a fresh music composer trying to do something different whilst still being embedded in the narrative of the movie. Although the lyrics might not make it as the best sing along album for your family picnic (I am looking at you “Tu Ghandi/ Nangi Achi lagti hai” surprisingly sung by Kailash Kher). I would recommend seeking the movie and the soundtrack out if you still haven’t; it’s an underrated gem and an album you can play back to back!

Before I go into my top 5: I wanted to give some honorable mentions, these were Albums that had some great tracks on them but not enough to make them part of my top 10:

  • Lamhaa:” Madnoo” and “Sajnaa” probably my 2 favorite easy listening songs of the year, rest of the album didn’t connect with me though.
  • Robot: I shall only say  “O O O O ROOBOOO” maybe this was a better album in Tamil but I had the Hindi version and didn’t care too much about electrons and Newton.
  • Lafangey Parindey: Our Review is on the site so you can find more of our thoughts on the movie itself. Even then I mentioned that Mohit Chauhan’s “Man Lafanga” was the only good thing about this Yash Raj films debacle. I wished this song hadn’t been wasted on this filled diaper of a movie.
  • Raavan:  Again a misfire from my favorite composer of all time AR Rahman. I know most of our Bollybloggers agree that Raavanan was better than Raavan but I have not heard as much about the soundtrack. Beera is still awesome though and truly the Rahman sound we know and love with a rustic drum pattern and amazing chorus line.

Back to our list!

5. Prince: It’s Showtime-

Music Director:  Pritam

WARNING:  if you are not a fan of Atif’ Alam’ss crooning do not even consider giving this a listen as you might want to poke hot steel rods in your ears afterwards.

I think the more time has passed, the more I hate this movie. But I can’t lie that I listened a lot to the album. Being a full on Atif Aslam fanboy needs to be a requirement though as I mentioned as he’s sung the lion’s share. Tips produced the movie and being predominantly a record company every song was poppy and catchy from the Britney Spears inspired “Ishq Mein” to the bittersweet acoustic remix of “Tere Liye”. I never bother listening to the remix version of any songs but I made an exception with this album. And I still sing “Tere Liye” when riding my bike through London!

4. I Hate Luv Storys-

Music Director:  Vishal Shekhar

Probably my favorite music composer duo at this time, even if Vishal gives me shit on twitter sometimes.  I do feel that they try to do something innovative even within the constraints of the commercial powerhouses they compose for now.

Although they only had 2 major albums released in 2010 and “Anjaana Anjaani” didn’t work for me at any level, I kinda loved the OST for I Hate Luv Storys especially the “Bin Tere” in all its variations, the title track sung by Vishal himself (he does rock the mic every time he grabs it) and the dreamy “Bahara” which had an awesome Rahat Ali Khan version that was unfortunately not featured in the movie (or might have when I dozed off for a second).The album rounds off with “Sadka” and “Jab Mila Tu” which weren’t too innovative but successfully served their purpose. I hope to hear more from them in 2011 again!

3. Ishqiya-

Music Director:  Vishal Bhardwaj

 This album contains me overall favorite track of the year sung by the already legendary Rahat Ali Khan, you know I’m talking about “Dil to Bacha Hai Ji”. Although the title has been lifted for a Madhur Bhandarker ( a practice I truly despise) I have had the song on repeat the entire year, from the soulful first notes to when the harmonium starts backing up the melody, I was in love the first time I heard it.

Rahat once said that he decided to branch out to popular music as he could never surpass the milestones set in Classical music by his unforgettable uncle Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and after hearing his songs I’m glad he decided to do so.Â

After” Dil To…” you still have soon to be classic tracks like “Ibn-E Batuta” and “Ab Mujhe Koi” (sung by Rekha Bhardwaj) and a few remixes but the album is pretty short and sweet as usually the case when Vishal Bhardwaj composes. I hope with these best of lists we can shine the light again on this may be forgotten gem. I’m going to stop raving about it and give “Dil to Bacha hai ji” another listen…

2. Aisha-

Music Director: Amit Trivedi

Amit Trivedi might not be the most prolific of music directors but whenever he is involved I storm out to get the album without even taking a second to read up about the movie itself.

 In this case the OST was vastly superior the movie which being a adaptation of a Jane Austin novel ( or more likely an adaptation of Amy Heckerling’s Clueless) was the brain child of Sonam Kapoor and her producer sister Rhea Kapoor. Everything I have just written was the main reason I still have the movie gathering dust on my DVD shelf and have never watched it.

But the album on the other hand was ludicrously good!

From “Suno Aisha” to “Gal Mithi Mithi” there wasn’t a single track that wasn’t innovative, fresh and thought through. Even the songs that any other composer would consider filler ie “Behke Behke” and “Lehrein” were treated with the care and attention by Trivedi and did really not deserve to be part of such a vapid and superficial movie.

1. Dabangg-

Music Director: Sajid Wajid

Ok, I know a lot of reader must be balking at my choice to put the Dabangg’s OST as number one. It especially pains me to see names like Vishal Bhardwaj and Amit Trivedi come after Sajid Wajid but here are some of the reasons Dabangg is my favorite soundtrack of the year:

  • Numbers: The movie and the soundtrack are the most loved by most people and however cool it is to find some underrated composers and album, this album just worked in terms of sales figures and will continue to do so probably with the next reason being an important one
  • Munni Badnaam Hui: Clearly badnaami was the way to go this year. Honestly I think the kind of frenzy this song created can only be compared to Madhuri’s “Choli ke Peeche Kya” hai from Khanayak. The ultimate of Item song made me wish we had recorded our Upodcast Item Song special after his came out as it would have topped all our lists. The song was composed by Lalit Pandit as a guest for Sajid-Wajid who took care of the rest of the album and has been on repeat in every household since the first teaser trailer for the movie released. And of course Upodcast has a special bond with this track through Project Munni from our friends The Curry Smugglers!
  • Complete Package: Unlike Aisha and Ishqiya, Dabangg soundtrack works for every mood and every listener. Except Munni there is still the romantic track “Chori Kya Re”, the drinking song “Humka Peeni hain” and the Rahat – Do I still need to Rave about him- Ali Khan’s “Tere Mast Mast Do Nain”, and every song was picturized pretty perfectly too without spending all their money on funding the Swiss economy.
  • This is Bollywood Yaar! We think we need creativity, sensitivity but what we truly crave is a good dose of masala and this exactly what makes Dabangg delivers. To me it’s the perfect and best soundtrack of Bollywood in 2010!

 I am sure not everyone will agree with my picks but that’s what the comment section is for!

Let us know which albums or tracks we forgot!

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