You can hear Asim on BBC Asian Network’s Big Debate talking with friends of the show Haroon Rashid and Qasa Alom about Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’s 25th anniversary by going here. (only available for UK listeners)
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.
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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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Dressed in a golden embroidered jacket, sitting center stage on a bar stool and accompanied by a simple back up band, the heir of Pakistan’s qawwali legacy, Rahat Ali Khan performed before a sold out crowd at the London O2 arena for a special concert marking the celebration of Pakistan’s independence. The entire day was filled with cultural events, food buskers and Bollywood dance lessons just outside the concert venue where a diverse crowd of South Asian fans (and quit a few celebrities) enthusiastically took to their seats.
The concert commenced with what Rahat dubbed his “Love Songs”. But in the tradition of qawwali the “Love” can’t be distinguished between the love for a person or the love for God. There were many instances during the almost 3-hour concert, where devotion and emotion were indistinguishable for the performer as well as for the audience.From the first notes onward, the concert was an unending high consisting of goose bumps, musical elation, uncontrollable smiles and utter joy.
Between the sets, Rahat had a surprisingly jovial back and forth with his audience, his respect for them and his art shining through every eloquently worded syllable, illustrating the fact that the singer’s poetic nature is not confined to his songs but also how he treats the people around him.
Although his recent popularity is partly due to his numerous Hindi movie soundtrack collaborations, his unmistakable talent and skill honed through decades of training is always accompanied by the clarity of Rahat’s voice and the Sufi tradition that power his songs.
The crowd erupts in roars as soon as they recognize the initial notes of hits like “Aas Paas hai Khuda” (Anjaani Anjaana) or the mere mention of Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit, on who the song as “O Re Piya” (Aaja Nachle) was picturized. Both songs transcending the forgettable movies that they were in, becoming crowd favorites (as well as a personal favorites) and making us realize that whichever country we hail from, we share an on going obsession with Madhuri Dixit.
Closing the love block with the word “I have too many love songs” and the ever present smile, the musical maestro immediately kicks off his “Punjabi section” of the concert, or as Rahat told the crowd, the language in which you can call anyone, anything and they won’t mind it.
After a few more crowd pleasers like “Samjhawan” (Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhanya), Surili Ankhyon Wale (Veer), we head into the qawalli portion of the concert, which was essentially the Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan tribute section, Rahat’s mentor and legendary uncle.
During the intermission all the performers even changed in more traditional qawalli gear like purple kurta’s and elegant sherwaani’s taking their place in the classic formation behind tabla’s and harmoniums.
The Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan songs have decades old connect with the audience and it is the closest the London Arena got to the rapture and hypnotism of a true qawalli performance in the streets of Lahore or Delhi.
The lazy argument critics always make about Rahat is that he can’t be compared to Nusrat’s talent. (Try it out, go to any Indian restaurant, and start a conversation about Rahat Ali Khan when a song comes on the radio and you will hear “Nusrat wali bhaat nahi hai usme“)
To Rahat’s own admission, he understood early in his career and made the conscious decision to not only focus on classical qawalli but foray into more popular tunes, usually adapted and re-performed for the larger audience whereas his uncle had the popularity hoisted upon him, and he never really felt comfortable in this new modern medium of “music videos”. It is a decision to be applauded as it shows reverence for what has been but a determination to reach people through today’s medium.
But it is also in these songs that the comparison between the Rahat Ali Khan being in the shadow of his uncle becomes clear. If you have heard the original recordings of Nusrat you realize how incomparable his talent and command of qawalli truly was. And although Rahat comes close, like listening to a great cover band, there is a silent agreement between audience and performer that this is the closest we are able to get to the original, and for most of us, that is already better than any other musical performance we have attended in our life times.
After the qawalli high, we return to some more Bollywood songs of recent years and somewhere, suddenly they seem much simpler and almost child like to the previous compositions. The energy drops a little but the audience is very happy to see their personal favorites ticked of the list and performed live.
Rahat’s commitment and sincerity never fails though, as he croons his personal favorite “Ae Khuda” from Rocky Handsome, a song I have gone back and revisited after the concert and have truly started appreciating for how it stands out compared to more the paint by number hits like Bodyguard’s “Teri Meri” or “Tere Mast Mast do Nain” from Dabangg.
The concert closes with Jiya Dhalak, his big introduction to the Bollywood audience and Mast Qalander, his uncle’s greatest hit.
Rahat Ali Khan sang for us with only a small intermission for 3 hours straight with power, sincerity, keeping in mind what the audience asked from him but giving them much more than they needed. He gave them the memory of an unforgettable experience with a true musical master of the likes that appears only once in a lifetime.
The 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!
Rohit Shetty’s big release, Dilwale, is just over a week away so ShahRukh Khan, Kajol, Kriti Sanon and Varun Dhawan were in town for a press conference.
Upodcast had the change to sit down with Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon and ask the questions that only a nerdy podcast like ours dares ask. (Like debating which Star Wars character Kriti Sanon is Chewbacca or R2D2)
The video of our interview is below but the podcast gives you a bit more behind the scenes gossip as well as the 5 things we learnt segment which quite a few of you like listening to.
Do give us a shout or RT or like if you’re enjoying the interview!
Dilwale is a family entertainer with a perfect blend of action, romance and comedy. The film is produced by Red Chillies Entertainments in association with Rohit Shetty Productions. The film will release on December18th 2015.
You can find our Student of the Year interview by clicking here!
After the press conference the stars headed over to Feltham for a meet and greet and here is some of the craziness that ensued:
BIG BIG BIG thanks to our awesome Twitter Friend @JessicaSisk for all the help on the video editing, we were lost without her! Give her a shout on twitter if you liked the video
You can Download/Stream/Listen to the Podcast episode below.
After the Fan Teaser which was released last week, we now have the first look and teaser trailer of Raees. Shahrukh Khan’s collaboration with Rahul Dholakia whose not worked with any big canvas movies until now.Although the next movie SRK will be releasing is Rohit Shetty’s Dilwale, but like any Rohit Shetty starrer, it’s pretty much money in the bank, both Fan and Raees seem to be riskier propositions. (even if you wonder if having a movie star SRK is ever a risky proposition box office wise anymore)
I do wonder how great of an idea it is to release a trailer of an blackmarket alchohol selling muslim gangster on the most holiest days for Muslims especially when the portrayal of that community is so very skewed already.
But at least SRK makes a Shalwar Kameez and uncle glasses look good!
Raees Teaser | Shah Rukh Khan I Nawazuddin Siddiqui I Mahira Khan
Release: EID 2016
Directed by: Rahul Dholakia
Produced by: Ritesh Sidhwani, Gauri Khan and Farhan Akhtar
Written by: Rahul Dholakia, Harit Mehta, Ashish Vashi and Niraj Shukla
Director Of Photography: K.U. Mohanan
Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
Music: Ram Sampath
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.
The trailers of Akshay Kumar movies have started to follow a distinct pattern since he made Rowdy Rathore and it seems not much has changed for the trailer of Holiday- A Soldier is Never Of Duty.
First the trailer will sneak up on me like Beverly Hills Ninja, as none of his movies are something I particularly look forward to or have any expectation of leaving an indelible impression as soon as the movie has ended and my behind leaves the chair it was sat in, so I usually don’t follow the production news.
Then there is a sudden burst of excitement as I truly enjoy watching Akshay on screen, even though he rarely makes movies I fully enjoy. But I like the guy, his work ethic and earnestness making the kind of cinema he does, as he truly does believe in it and gives his 120% (which is the equivalent of 260% when calculated on the Salman Khan motivational scale of movie making)
Within the first seconds of the trailer I start thinking “Hey, this actually looks fun”, to “Look at Akshay singing and dancing and kicking ass” to very quickly turning into “Oh god this is going to suck as much as most of his movies” (usually the point Sonakshi Sinha walks on screen)
Holiday – A Soldier is Never off Duty is the Hindi remake of AR Murgadoss’s Thuppakki, which from what I read on FilmiGirl’s blog is a troublesome (although quite succesful) jarring mix of part love story and part Muslim bashing terrorism espionage thriller.
As I have said many times, I don’t know much about South Indian cinema, I do know that A.R. Murugadoss is one of the filmmakers that is able to draw massive crowds and makes visually interesting films, with high production values. A lot of his movies have been remade for Hindi audience (Jai Ho, most recently) and he has done so himself, teaming up with Amir Khan on the massively successful Ghajini.
Ghajini is one of those movies that is safely, better in most areas compared to the original and the key reason for that is Amir Khan and the attention to detail he brought ironing out the issues of the original, adapting the screenplay to his own personality as well as Hindi Film audience.
Unfortunately, I have no faith in Akshay Kumar doing any of the things mentioned above and indeed after seeing the Holiday’s trailer, I went back to watch the original Thuppakki trailer and most of it looks like a shot for shot remake with added gloss and the name of producer Vipul Shah as if that is some kind of brand endorsement (Dude, we haven’t forgotten London Dreams and Action Replay)
The other problem I have is the lack of Vidyut Jammwal in the Hindi version. Surprising when Vipul Shah already has an equation with Jammwal after producing Commando. A movie that was quite a success compared to the amount of money and faith they put into that movie.
Now they have some generic bad guy who we are supposed to believe is a foil for Akshay’s awesomeness, I think not!
Another thing about original Thupakki is that the female lead is completely unessential to the plot, so in a way they couldn’t have asked for a better actress than Sonakshi Sinha, a lady is who is continously squandering her photogenic looks, on-screen presence and cinematic charisma on disposable roles. I don’t understand why she keeps choosing to play second fiddle to older heroes in these 100 cr starrers, she doesn’t need the money, and how fun can making these movies really be?
I know a lot of people will already have made up their mind about Holiday, it being a South Indian remake, or starring the Akshay – Sonakshi combo. But all my problems aside (and I do have tons of problems as you can plainly see) I am looking forward to Akshay working with some new people and I think the A.R. Murugadoss style of cinema might actually suit him more than what Prabhu Deva brings.
Some More Randon Ranty thoughts:
As a personal pet peeve, I have a huge respect for the sport of Boxing and it grates me when the likes of Bobby Deol (Apne) or Sonakshi Sinha think that just by donning on a pair of gloves you can look like a boxer.
Come on people, do a few push ups at least!
Unless you are Juhi Chawla punching out Shahrukh Khan, as Hai Alla Juhi Jee, you can do no wrong.
On another note, aren’t movie trailer supposed to bring to forefront the best sides of the actor?
Why they would add lines where Akshay is speaking in English is beyond me (“Sooside Attack” “Aim Vaiting”)?
What’s up with the ridiculous tagline ” A Soldier is never off duty” of course he is off duty..when he is off duty!
Also what’s up with the questionable hairstyles Akshay? He’s been sporting wavey coiffes for a couple of movies and it’s starting to look a bit ridiculous!
Holiday- A Soldier is never off duty has a June 6 2014 release
We’ve kept you waiting but finally our Chennai Express Upodcast Episode is finally ready! Shahrukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and Siddarth Roy were in town promoting their biggest Eid release which has also become the biggest box office earner in the history of Hindi Cinema.
How long it will be able to hold that position is another story with Dhoom 3 and Krish 3 (I refuse to learn how to write the title of this movie) releasing soon.
So being in the unique position of attending the Press Conference, the journalist round table as well as doing a 1-2-1 interview, we had so much content for our listeners, it took us a while to find the right format since none of us are genius editors as the listeners of our shows know too well.
If you want the Video interview head over to HeyUGuys by clicking here.
For all the other, Listen/Download/Share our chat with SRK and Deepika as well as our “5 things we learnt” by clicking below:
Rohit Shetty and Shahrukh Khan’s collaboration Chennai Express finally hits audiences with it’s first proper trailer and the result is an odd marriage of established tropes of both these brands.
We have SRK character named Rahul, who helps girls catch their trains, he runs a lot in slow motion and ends up with a bloodied mouth at what I’m guessing is the climactic battle of the movie.
Rohit Shetty on the other hand provides us with saccharine cinematography, car flips, a horrible soundtrack and everyone dangling from wires.
The oddest choice is to give heroine Deepika Padukone a very strong South Indian accent, I have to admit I did not see that coming.
On the one hand it’s interesting to see that it’s Deepika that’s providig the only bit of originality we can find in this trailer, she is at least trying something different and there is always a fine line between being humurous and being offensive.
The other surprise of the trailer is how much it is banking on the previous successes of Rohit Shetty rather than King Khan for this movie.
Our good friend FilmiGirl pointed out that Chennai Express is looking like the South Indian minstrel show to her on our Bollywood Mid Year Wrap Up UPodcast (going live tomorrow evening) and I’m not sure anything that the trailer shows us will prove her assumptions wrong.
But on the other hand both Rohit Shetty and Shahrukh Khan can’t be called subtle in anyway when it comes to humour.
This trailer definetly makes me want to watch the movie, which is a feat in itself when it comes to Shetty’s brand of cinema. Although it just seems odd that I won’t be getting an Eid release from that other Khan instead this year.
Here is the trailer and some posters. Let us know what you think in the comment section below:
Chennai Express is in theaters on th 8th of August
Unfortunately this became legendary film director Yash Chopra’s final movie.
- So does Jab Tak Hai Jaan still weave that classic Yash Chopra magic?
- Does his cocktail of pathos laden, eternal love still work in todays Instant Noodle Age?
- Can ShahRukh still romance a tree?
- And can Katrina Kaif carry the mantle of legendary YRF heroines before her?
To talk about JTHJ some amazingly talented and well-spoken guest joins us, Daniel Pillai from Omni’s Bollywood Boulevard and WSJ India Real Time, Priya Joshi from Digital Spy who make their debut on Upodcast.
Let us know what you think of the show in the comment section below or drop us an email to Upodcasting@gmail.com
You can download/listen/ share below:
The trailer for the most looked forward to movie for the rest of the year is finally out after so much teasing and marketing strategizing. And when you finally watch it, you wonder, why didn’t they just show us the trailer straight away without all the ridiculous “We don’t have a title yet” strategy as the trailer really does stand on it’s own.
Lush visuals of Ladhak, the famous SRK arm stretch in London, a bubbly Anushka Sharma in booty shorts, Katrina Kaif playing the lover lost who you danced with in the rain in a bikini top laced over Shahrukh’s voice over of the poem written by producer Aditya Chopra that was released a couple of weeks ago with the poster, accompanied by the guitar of an AR Rahman soundtrack.
First some quick thoughts before I get into a bigger talking point:
- I think my eyeballs might pop out from all the beautiful images on screen and I don’t just mean the lovely ladies but the locations (London hasn’t shot so beautifully in ages and hey I live here), the Royal Enfield and Harley Davidson bikes, even SRK scruffy beard. (Not such a fan of the cut off gloves)
- Doesn’t that Free coffee sign behind Katrina Kaif ruin a bit of the visual? Even more so as the wafting of her hair feels like someone just opened the door to the local Starbucks.
- The trailer is pretty spoilerific: You can figure out much of the storyline with this trailer alone and especially the yearning way the Katrina shots are taken.
- I don’t want to see SRK wear a fedora. Fedora’s are for douches, period.
- I’m calling it now; this will be my favorite soundtrack of the year. No one does what AR Rahman can do musically, I will fight people if they claim differently
- Still not too sure about the poem itself, but this might be because of the horrible translations SRK was tweeting which made me unfollow him.
- Cool Guys don’t look at explosions indeed
I think I’ve cracked the ShahRukh Khan mystery to a certain degree after watching this trailer.
Like most of us he has 2 distinct sides to his personality. The first is the ambitious orphan underdog/outsider that came to Mumbai to chase the love of his live (Lets’ call him Scrapper ShahRukh) and the other is the guy that became the biggest superstar in the Indian Film Industry after a certain Big B (AKA Superstar SRK).
Scrapper ShahRukh takes chances, give us an abundance of emotions, can romance a tree and make us believe that his mom did actually say that there are 2 paths in life, one good and one bad, the bad one is easy, the good one is hard but the only right one. (Darr, Baazigar, Swades, Chak De India)
Superstar SRK on the other hand has grand ambitions as a producer is cockier, loves his action mixed with his own brand of smarmy charm and wants to create the biggest film and effects studio in India. (He also wears Fedora’s and makes gay security guards think he’s wearing a Prince Albert)
In the past few years Scrapper SRK didn’t want to get bogged down in Raj/Rahul roles and after loosing some of his long-term collaborators, his inherent competitive streak mutated to Hulk like proportions making him implode into Superstar SRK what seemed like a permanent transformations.
Even working with Karan Johar and to a certain degree Aditya Chopra, we end up getting disjointed movies that never find a compromise with that internal tug of war. (Rab Ne Banadi Jodi almost being a play by play of this theory)
When Superstar SRK takes over a project (as the superstars doesn’t star in movies but projects), he will include in the package a blitzkrieg media campaign; an oversaturation of “I am the best and the rest is shit” quotes, and promote the movie in every village, country, city and social media platform until he wears himself out physically and emotionally.
I strongly believe most people don’t like this Shahrukh. (not including fanboys and girls as they are crazy loons)
Only the relationship people that knew him from way back when (Farah Khan, Ashutosh Gowariker, Aziz Mirza, Juhi Chawla and Yash Chopra) can tap into Scrapper Shahrukh again and when he let’s go of the reins, cinematic magic happens.
All that to say, I’m really happy we seem to be getting scrapper Shahrukh as I’ve really missed him.
Movie is in UK theaters 13th of November.
Color us EXCITED.
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!
Let us know what you thought of our episode or some of your favorite movies that we might have missed in the comment section.
Our favorite suave and chique crime lord Don is back after escaping from Interpol agents Roma (Priyanka Chopra) and Malik (Om Puri) in the first part of this franchise. We pick up the story after a 5-year gap (most of which Don has spent growing his hair and getting a butt ugly tattoo probably as the trend of wearing a tie under your shirt wasn’t taking off)
After becoming the ruler of Asia’s drug empire, he has now set his eyes on conquering Europe too. The top gaudy shirted crime bosses of Europe get together to get rid of Don but by doing so they set into motion the return of the king. This time his plan is to steal the currency plates for Euro Notes, I think he probably watched Lethal Weapon 4 a few times when he was kicking back and having his hair braided by Apache Indian’s stylist, but to do this he needs to get a key to a safe containing a video tape from Vardhan (Boman Irani), his nemesis from the earlier adventure who’s locked up in a Kuala Lumpur jail. Will Don be able to bust out Vardhan, steal the Euro plates, wipe out his enemies and finally become the king of crime in both Europe and Asia?
Where as the 2006 Don was a remake/re-imagining, the twist it added set the movie up as a slick action thriller franchise. The sequel takes us into the heist genre following the usual tropes i.e. setting up the heist with blue prints and lasers, getting a crew together each with a specialized skill set, things go wrong during the heist and then the big reveal. The movie is quite action heavy and the set pieces are very glossy and precision engineered. The team will be glad to hear that they are on par with stunt sequences reminiscent of the James Bond or Mission Impossible franchises, and that is clearly what the film makers were intending. I particularly enjoyed the initial Muay Thai double cross in Asia and the main car chase in the middle of the movie.
Unfortunately the action scenes are very heavily inspired by some of the above mentioned movies, also they are trying to match that level but never surpassing or adding anything original to the mix. Barring arguments about budgets, this is something that Korean, Thai or even French cinema is able to do much better and hence has a more unique voice in the global cinematic landscape, maybe this is one of the struggles Hindi Film cinema will continue to have until they develop a confident identity and vision.
This brings us to the fundamental flaws in the screenplay. As an audience we are trained to inherently root for the good guy. The hero dishooms his way through a pack of villains and vindicates the social injustices we identify with. The original Don’s main intrigue was about a simple guy, Vijay, infiltrating a crime organization for the future of his adopted street children and a sense of civic duty.
You want him to succeed in his mission whenever he is danger of his secret identity being disclosed by police or gangsters. You cared for Vijay’s well being.
When you take that away that suspense from the audience, as was the case in the 2006 version, understandably you feel cheated. You loose track of why you are rooting for the protagonist and only your affinity for the actors on screen makes ithe movie a satisfying experience. The cache of the actors involved for both Priyanka and ShahRukh was on a much higher level in 2006 then it is now.
Although Don is now the king of Asian drug trafficking, in the screenplay as a character his crimes are white washed. We don’t see him doing any “evil deeds” or get any retribution for his actions whatsoever, Don is and remains a bad guy form start to finish without any character development.
Shahrukh has played anti heroes before in Baazigar and Darr that have been dubbed grey or negative characters but of each characters as an audience member you understood the motivation and story arc, be it obsession for revenge or love. I do think his role in Anjaam was overwhelmingly negative and to my recollection Anjaam flopped because of that. Don is a different beast.
He isn’t a “steal from the rich, give to the poor” kind of criminal. He is a vicious drug lord wanted in pretty much every country (which would make his mom proud as he proudly proclaims).
We are expected to root for this character and many times I was left wondering why we should do that? Just because Shahrukh looks cool? (again his coolness has lost a lot of its sheen since ’06) Or because he says please and thank you? Also where is his gang? Where are his minions? He seems to be very hands-on when it comes to pulling capers?
Director Farhan Akhtar mentioned when we spoke to him on our podcast that he also struggles with why audiences’ root for Don as a character and I don’t think he ever really figures it out during the entire movie and the only thing we are left with is… “Isn’t’ Shahrukh awesome?” (as a disclaimer, yes he is awesome)
The whole set up of Don 2 is that he wants to be a billionaire and wipe out all his enemies, of which all the information is contained on a again a mythical disk that acts as a mcguffin through the rest of the flick. You reach the intermission and ask yourself what are the stakes in this movie?
Are we just here to see a bad guy do more bad stuff (ie kill hostages and security guards by his henchmen) and if he has planned everything in detail as we are intended to believe then the innocents killed are on his conscience making the character very hard to like.
As a side note, I was watching a very interesting Star Wars documentary called “The People vs. George Lucas”, it spoke partly about how George Lucas made the first Star Wars when he started wanted to have control of his own movies and image and wanted to rail against the established studios by being a rebel outside of the system. But now after living years off of his franchise and desperately trying to protect his “vision” ended up becoming the system himself. Watching Don 2 made me draw a parallel between George Lucas and Shahrukh’s career.
Shahrukh in the same way started out breaking all the classical hero molds. He took on supporting roles, off beat characters and small scales movies when Hindi film leads were not willing to experiment. This became the reason we love our Shahrukh, the reason we want to see him on screen, the nostalgia we feel when we call him King Khan.
And now quite ironically, he has become the one hero who has become most rigidly stuck in the image he has created.
But it’s been a rough year for SRK and I don’t think the detractors will change their tune after seeing Don, which is unfortunate but also understandable after the oversaturation people fell after marketing mayhem of Ra.One and now Don 2.
Following the rules of sequelitis, this one is bigger, better, flashier but the ’78 Saleem Javed version delivered something that was still memorable after 20 years. So much so that it has been remade in different eras as well as languages and regions. No one will be remaking Don 2 in 20 years and people that aren’t on board of the SRK or Piggy Chops train, won’t come out of theatres won over by the movie.
Although the loopholes in the screenplay, the dialogues penned by Farhan Akhtar himself are fun zingy one liners that had me half smirking in the quintessential SRK way quite a few times. I did purposefully stay away from the “Don Says’ virals on the net as I didn’t want the impact of the dialogues spoilt outside of context and this was a major win for me. Also since I am not a fan of those desperate marketing experiments, which are the equivalent of entertainment fast food that neither the performers nor the audience truly enjoy, and if they do, shame on them!
The soundtrack has been a pretty big disappointment and lacks anything catchy or mythical for us to buy or even revisit the album. Unlike Don ’06 we missed Kareena’s sizzling item number and there isn’t a “Khaike paan banaras wala” to lift the spirits either. The background score is slightly better and makes the heist and the action scenes more impactful.
In a way this makes the movie less Bollywood and maybe missing what the French call ” I don’t know what?”
The stunts are shot exquisitely shot (actually most of the cinematography is great by Jason West. Who is also playing one of the baddies, if I haven’t misread the cast list) they are very much competing with the MI franchise but unfortunately never taking it ever further. The execution is top notch but it looses out in creativity.
I chose to see Don 2 in 3D even if I am not a big fan of post converted movies (I haven’t seen any that I have liked or felt that the 3D added anything more). The 3D adds a sense of depth to the action scenes and but also points out the low budget design of the movies CGI. What 3D can provide something more is to the dance sequences in Zara Dil Ko Thamlo, But again since there was only one song and not much choreography required, there wasn’t much left. (My hopes are still high for Shrish Kunder’s Joker, next year, which IS shot in 3d and not post converted)
I wouldn’t shell out for the premium ticket for 3D if you are on a budget or anything and don’t enjoy wearing the glasses.
Unless like me you are not biased against 3D or just want to see a hindi 3D movie.
The 2 other niggles I had with the movie were Priyanka Chopra as performer and the character of Roma and her team at Interpol.
Interpol never provides a foil for Don or any threat, weakening the dramatic tension. Roma was an innocent victim of Don and collaborated with Interpol as an undercover mole, now she seems to be a Special Agent and the bright shining future of the team and there isn’t a moment her ability to do anything except pout and point out whatever is obvious on screen. Here is an example of her investigative method: “We see 2 people in the car, BUT now there is only 1 person so someone must have stepped out of the car” – No shit, Sherlock!
Not even the local German police takes this version of Interpol seriously, neither do the banking officials (who seem to have the power to offer immunity to felons)
On top of that Roma struts around every time Don surrends as if she actually did anything to catch him, which she clearly didn’t. Her introduction to the movie is where she has forgotten her colleagues’ birthday… and this is the agency that is chasing Don, the most notorious criminal, no wonder they haven’t gotten anywhere.
Priyanka does look ravishing and is quite impressive in the final action scene where she kicks some ass with really skinny arms.
Too bad for her she again gets outshone by the supporting actress who is wearing a gold dress, last time Kareena, this time Lara Dutta.
Overall I would say, I had been really excited for Don 2 and I liked it but it’s not going be on anyone’s top 10 of the year list. It’s a very slick, enjoyable and above all well made movie reminding me of Excel’s Game, released earlier this year. The star power and the brand recognition of Don 2 will carry this movie further in terms of Box office then it did for Game.
And I do have to admit that I walked out of the theater humming the title track, popping my collar and sneer- smirking like only a wanted man does….
- Having been cheated once before in the earlier Don, you start to expect a twist at the end of this one. I wouldn’t want the Don franchise become a N Shymalan style movie where most of the impact is lost just because you as an audience member don’t want to me cheated and just sit there waiting for a twist.
- Hritik Roshan’s cameo: Don goes undercover as Hritik followed by a Mission Impossible 2 style mask taking off, which was illustrated in one of the posters that came out earlier. Although a preposterous set up ( MI did put in the effort to explain how the managed to copy the voice and mannerisms, here it’s not the case) it was quite fun to see Hritik even if it was for a short while. It made me wonder when will we get to see Hritik play a bad ass? But then I thought of the Agneepath traier and it was like my wish will be granted very soon
- More effort should have been put into establishing Interpol’s credibility, instead of introducing us to them by talking about missed birthdays, maybe talk about a case Roma just cracked? would have given her a bit more development as a character.
- Some of the influencesI picked up watching the movie:
- Die Hard and the Nakatomi heist, up to the final climax where Don arches his arms back when he is close to surrendering. I was hoping they would just go completely meta and make SRK say something like: “Yippikay kutte!”).
- Mission Impossible 1: face masks, heist, poison pen, fire brigade escape, upside down safe crack
- MI 2: Don’s get up in the finale
- Shah Rukh’s hair foibles: Seriously what look were they trying to go for?
Let us know what you thought of Don 2? We have a podcast discussion with our good friend Danny Bowes about Don 2 going up in a couple of days so keep your iTunes feeds updated!
- Movie Review | ‘Don 2’: ‘Don 2,’ With Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra – Review (movies.nytimes.com)
- Don 2 Interview with Director Farhan Akhtar (upodcasting.com)
Farhan Akhtar one of my favorite directors/producers has been doing some interviews during some media round table. Upodcast were unfortunately not invited, if we were the questions would have been a hell of a lot geekier 😉 but we are lucky enough to post some of his thoughts about his forthcoming sequel Don 2 starring Shahrukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra amongst many others.
We posted some exclusive pictures earlier but now let’s hear from the filmaker himself.
Tell us something about Don 2.
I really don’t know what to say about the film as that way I will be giving out the whole story. It has been fun, challenging yet a satisfying journey so far to make this movie. I was guilty of saying that I won’t probably make a sequel of Don, but my obsession with the character got the better of me. With amazing help and support and almost a sharing of vision with Ritesh (Sidhwani, producer) and Shah Rukh and rest of the team, I could not help but make Don 2.
Who is the ‘King’ of Don 2: The King is Back?
The King of Don 2 is undoubtedly Shah Rukh Khan.
Did you consult your father and writer Javed Akhtar on the script of Don 2?
Whatever film I write, I give it to him (Javed Akhtar) to read. I want him to give his feedback on screenplay, dialogues. He is somebody who is extremely experienced, somebody who is very good with the art and craft of writing; and fortunately I have this kind of access to him. It makes sense for me to use him and I use him to get feedback on not only this, but every script.
When you were making Don: The Chase Begins Again, you consulted Salim Khan (Salim-Javed being the screenplay writer of Amitabh Bachchan‘s Don in 1978). Did you do the same this time too?
I had gone to him to request him to give permission to make the film. I thought it was important that people who worked on the earlier film be happy with the remake we had made. So I met him regarding that, not the screenplay or such things. He was very, very kind and completely wished us all the best for the remake. Hopefully that applies to the sequel as well.
In the 2006 film, you retained some of the dialogues from the 1978 film like Don Ko Pakadna Mushkil Hi Nahi Namumkin Hai. Are you trying some new lines in the sequel or want to carry forward the legacy?
There are other dialogues in the film of course. For us, the line you just spoke about, strike a chord. But who knows, may be some other dialogue Don says in Don 2, might match out to the audience. While writing dialogues and thinking about the style of the dialogues, I knew that the approach has to be to write it in a way that films of that time (1970s) were written, where people spoke with a bit of theatrical sense. There was a lot more drama in the lines. So I maintained the approach as it gives you good feeling and also makes the film sound different. It takes you back to the times when you got to see films like this where you know every dialogue was a DIALOGUE. So it is written with that in mind. But again, whatever people take from that, is upto them. There are fun lines in the film, hopefully they will enjoy.
Did you ever think of another actor for Don, had Shah Rukh said ‘no’ to you?
I don’t even want to think about that. When I started out to make the film, I wanted Shah Rukh to play the character and he loved the part. Beyond that, I stopped thinking about any other actor as I got the person I wanted for my film.
Social networking sites are flooding comments since Don 2 trailer was put on Youtube. What is the best compliment you have got so far?
The best compliment I have got about the film so far is ‘Thank You for making Don 2’…that’s the sweetest thing one can say with minimum words.
Why did Don 2 take so long in the making (five years)?
Well, it was a challenging but extremely satisfying journey. I was guilty of declaring that I won’t make a sequel for Don 2, but once I spoke to Ritesh Sidhwani and Shah Rukh Khan, I could conceive it.
Why have you decided to make the film in 3D?
The film is not shot with the 3D camera. But when we saw that there is a possibility to make it in 3D, we gave it a shot. The people at Reliance made a demo and it looked very good. Technology has advanced a great deal; it is great to watch the film in 3D as well.
So who is Farhan the actor’s favourite actor?
I like many actors. All actors have their own strengths. But I do enjoy watching Hrithik Roshan, Aamir Khan and Ajay Devgn purely for the fact that when you see their body of work and the body of work of most other actors, you notice that these guys bring something new to the table by way of a story or character. I love the way Ajay keeps reinventing himself as an actor. I would hate to watch the same kind of performance over and over again. An actor must keep challenging himself if he wishes to have a really long innings. Even as a filmmaker, I believe in mixing genres. A film must be entertaining. When I say entertaining, I don’t mean that you should only make people laugh. You can enthrall them with drama or comedy. There should be a sense of variety in storytelling and performance.
I have to say that the approach to 3D is worrisome, post converted 3D usually sucks and some of the questions are really derivative but I am sure a lot of people out there will love reading up on this.
We’re still super Psyched for the movie which will be out Wednesday 21st December 2011 in theaters worldwide
Here is quite the exclusive. We got our hands on a bunch of unseen HD images from the forthcoming Don 2, The King is back.
I have to admit being quite excited about this one even though a lot of people were underwhelmed by Ra.One, in our opinion the movie was tons of fun and you can’t knock the ambition.
This time reprising his lovable bad guy role, Don takes us on a rollercoaster ride across the globe. I do like that the marketing is a bit downplayed after the over saturation of ShahRukh’s previous release.
(the images are quite big so the flash gallery might take a minute to load depending on your connection speed!)
[fgallery id=2 w=500 h=450 t=0 title=”Don 2 Exclusive Images”]
Let us know what you thought of the images above and if you are excited for Don 2?
Also if you want us to send you a digital copy, like us on facebook and drop us a line on our email ( there is a link if you scroll down)
RaOne is more of an event than just a Hindi Film so Upodcast got together with some of the most interesting voices on the internet to talk about ShahRukh Khan’s latest sci-fi epic. Already having set records in terms of box office and revenue as well as production budgets combined with a never before seen marketing campaign and corporate tie ups. But is it enough? Find out in this week’s Upodcast by clicking/downloading/subscribing to us in iTunes!
This week Asim is joined by some awesome guests: First of all Beth who’s been blogging for almost half a decade on BethLovesBollywood and recently started writing for the a welcome return to Upodcast after her visit on ‘s Real Time,Best of 2010 wrap up episode). Our second guest is the that unique balance of insight and hilarity Danny Bowes from Tor (check out his RaOne ) and MoviesByBowes who is quickly becoming part of the Upodcast family.
And finally we have Dheeraj, Film Journalist and man about town for DesiBox joining us for the first time! Check out Desibox’s coverage of RaOne Premier in London‘s O2 and his review on the DesiBox website.
Is there any place on the internet for Hindi film geeks to have in depth discussion about cinema except Upodcast? Me thinks nahiiiin!
Let us know what you thought of our over an hour long discussion about RaOne in the comment section below!
- Bollywood Journal: Did Ra.One Thrill U.S. Audience? (blogs.wsj.com)
- Fans go crazy for Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan (ctv.ca)
- Premiere Night (bollywoodfashionpolice.wordpress.com)
Ep 39 Part 2 Recent- Bodyguard, MBKD, Force, Mausam- and Upcoming Releases in Bollywood (Ra.One vs Don2) with FilmiGirl
Part 2 of our massive Episode 39 and of course we can’t have Filmigirl as a guest and not dedicate a whole episode on Bollywood!
Put your Snark Helmet as Filmigirl and Asim take a swing and dissect the late summer and early fall releases of this year.
Starting with one of the biggest hits of the year Bodyguard, we ask the question did it deserve it’s success? We quickly takie a detour to find Mere Brother Ki Dulhan– the movie where the hero is actually the heroine and will there ever be an serum invented to protect audiences from Ali Zafar‘s infectious charm?
Father and Song duo put everything they had into Mausam but what the hell went wrong with that movie (or did it even?) and is John Abraham after his recent success a Force to be reckoned with or did Vidyut Jamwal run away with the accolades?
We finish off with what else is there to look forward to? Rockstar? Desi Boys? Or will it only be about Ra.One vs Don2? We finally come clean about our issues with ShahRukh Khan, so if you ever wanted to hear what we really feel, listen to the episode below!
Of course we would love to hear form you so please do leave a comment!
Office, a movie produced by ShahRukh Khan‘ s banner Red Chilies, a thought occurred
to me as soon as I saw the tired looking superstar jiggying on the promotional
Item song “Antenna”, has a special appearance by ShahRukh Khan ever
helped a movies chances to success? Have a look at the list below and let us
know what you think?
became the star we all know and love. Some were favors to by-gone friends, some
were about experimenting with new genres or just about visibility during a lull
in release schedules. None of these movies were really successful with the
exception of Saathiya. Although Hey Ram was a critical success and King Uncle
is a guilty pressure of ours especially of Jackie Shroff’s moustache and
Shahrukh still had that jumping jack charm and the uncoiffed mullet from the
early days. Shahrukh started his inability to make a movie successful when
sporting a hairy upper lip with the Sri Devi vendetta movie Army and it also
proved that overselling Shahrukh’s special appearance as a major part of the
movie was always going to disappoint his now steadily growing legion of
Currysmugglers and FilmiGirl (which you can find by clicking here, it was a hilarious
episode) but the only song from the list below that got a mention was Ishq
Kamina from the Nana Patekar, Karisma Kapoor “women empowerment themed
Bollywood ishtyle” – Shakti the Power, and since it was Paresh’s pick we
were more enamored with Aishwarya’s ghatti charm then Shahrukh’s mesh vest.
Heyy Baby was probably the only movie that did manage to keep SK’s appearance
under wraps and was probably the most successful. We saw the movie in theatres
and do clearly remember when that purple sherwani came on screen and how hearts
were sent aflutter. This is probably the type of appearance audiences enjoy the
most but if the movie doesn’t hold up then a promotional numbers can only do so
much. ( Oh Kaal, was pretty good wasn’t it? but boy was Krazzy 4 terrrrrible)
King after that with pretty horrible results. Usually a favor to movie
producers who are or were friends of SRK one time but as we know from his
appearance on Koffee with Karan, friendships wih Shahrukh never seem to last
too long. Probably only Kismat Konnection as a moderate hit at the time,
probably due to smart budgets and Shahid Kapoor’s new found pectorial glory,
and I have to be honest I did not remember SRK’s involvement until I looked it
up on IMDB as is the case with the rest of the list!
world where people watch movies and where stars exist in real life. Usually
targeted at smaller niche audiences or the so called- metro’s (although I have
no clue who Gaja Gamini was aimed at but I won’t make fun of it as the director
has just passed away and the timing isn’t right).
Billu might jump out on the list as he was playing Sahir Khan and not Shahrukh
piece of advice for the King of Bollywood from that “M*thaF*cka to the Max”
Carlito Brigante: A Favor will kill you faster than a Bullet!
Let us know in the comment section if you agree or disagree with our analysis in the comment section below!
The promos have been playing night and day. The pocket pointy dance has become a fad. The public has been waiting for a time pass masala entertainer since January. Salman Khan is riding high after Dabanng and Wanted. Aneez Bazmee is at an all-time low after Thank You and No Problem. No one can even remember the last time Tips, the production company, behind Ready had a bona fide hit. So how does Ready stack up with all these expectations? Check out our review after the jump!
Before I start talking about the movie I have to mention that there are a ton of sponsorship deals, thank you’s and corporate tie-ins that appear before the movie starts.
A special mention to Rahul Rawail Grandson’s logo which is a straight lift from Disney’s The Lion King. It’s probably the first time I actually wanted Disney to sue someone.
But I was hungry to be entertained and more than anything I wanted this movie to work.
Having seen Dum Maaro Dum and Game, both movies I really enjoyed but didn’t tickle my masala craving, I walked in with my pot of strawberry flavored yoghurt into the theatre. I have always made my fondness for Salman Khan clear in even his most dreary outings. Everyone can love the man in Dabanng but loving him in God Tussi Great Ho demands a certain kind of insanity and adulation.
Asin is always a pleasant appearance on the big screen in the few movies I have seen her in and I felt the chemistry she had with Salman in London Dreams was probably the best part of that horror fest.
But I had no faith in director Anees Bazmee whatsoever as I have never enjoyed any of his movies. I don’t like his brand of humor and above all I question his mindset.
To me he seems like lecherous old man cracking inappropriate jokes that gets invited to your house party. You can humor him for a couple of minutes but after that you can or drop kick him out your house or walk away. It’s always a surprise seeing his interviews as the man seems quite sensitive and well spoken. It’s a shame none of his eloquence translates through to his cinema.
Bazmee land is a cacophony of inane puns fired blindly at the audience. Calling them double entendres would be too smart a word. It’s just words that sound like other words (Tu teacher nahi, cheater hai)
The whole scenario is doused with Anees’ usual tropes i.e. mild rape references or hurting women physically (I counted 5), husband cheating on their wives treated as a mild faux-pas (a thread that annoyed me to no end in his previous disaster Thank You, a film where the hero slaps one of the backup dancer in a song for no apparent reason) and just a general patronization of womankind even when trying to endear them. At the climactic fight sequence where we should be cheering on the hero, a throw away joke is made that just leaves a bad taste.
The mind of Anees Bazmee is a dirty horrible conservative place which I do not wish to visit but this is supposed to be a family entertainer which makes it even more worrisome. His brand of humor seems to work though as most of the auntijee’s who had snuck in bottle of hot sauce to pour over their chips were laughing harder than anyone in the audience. And this will make a ton of money which in turn will allow Anees Bazmee to make more of these movies.
Besides all that, he is just an incompetent director. The comedic beats are off, the editing is shoddy and the times Ready beats you in submission and you do start laughing you feel you need to take a long shower like Elizabeth Shue in Leaving Las Vegas.
I want to try and explain the plot of Ready but instead I have the perfect visual presentation:
But if that doesn’t work for you. Here is a summary:
Prem Kapoor (Salman Khan) is a good hearted rascal/kameena/kutta/dog that lives with his joint family of uncles and aunties. All the uncles have a quirky trait so it makes it easier to keep them apart, the aunties are not so lucky. Sanjana walks into their family posing as Pooja (some really old lady waiting at an airport that we’re supposed to believe is a bride to be for Salman Khan) trying to escape her evil uncles who want to forcefully marry her off to their brother-in laws to usurp her riches.
Prem and Sanjana end up falling in love just before the interval. After the interval Prem poses as an an accountant for Sanjana’s mafia uncles and tries to go all DDLJ on ’em in Salman Style via way of a speeded up chase climax a la Priyadarshan.
Don’t you wish you had just looked at the picture instead of reading that paragraph?
The first half is just a slog to sit through. The family dynamic is annoying and the pace is just dead slow. Post interval things pick up and this is solely because the appearance of one man that should be wearing a big ‘S’ on his chest and that man is Paresh Rawal. Everything the man says or does is just freaking hilarious and every scene he has is probably the best the movie ever gets. Too bad he didn’t have a bigger role and didn’t have more scenes with Salman.
The movie just feels very heavily edited and tinkered with. Whole joke sequences and reaction shots are done behind a blue screen. There is even a voice over at the start of the movie establishing characters which substantiates the rumors that the director took a back seat. Instead Salman Khan and the producers tried to readjust as much as was salvageable of the movie. They did try really hard but the whole base is off and there is only so much polish a turd can take.
Character Dheela (Zarine Khan looking very pretty), Dhinka Chika and Meri Ada (Rahat Fateh Ali Khan FTW!!!) are awesome to look at and you do get forget how badly they are placed within the narrative.
The song sequences, the production design, the action which were rumored to be tinkered with are shot lavishly and pretty much the best part of the movie. Especially as this is the moments that Asin can shine as she doesn’t have much to do in the second part of the movie which is really surprising as her character is a real kameeni and churratth (not my words) in the first half.
Salman khan has free reign like a lion that can not and will not be tamed by anyone. He stands, dresses and jokes as he pleases and no man will come between him and his understanding of his audiences.
But our hero can sure pack a punch when needed even if he seems a bit puffier then he usually is. His obligatory shirt taking off scene is even heavily CGI’ed and played as a joke that really isn’t a joke. I won’t say more as I don’t want to spoil the few jokes that did work for me at least.
Your enjoyment of Ready is really dependent on how much you enjoy watching Salman on screen and how much you want to be entertained as you walk into the theatre.
A good comparison is last week’s Hangover part 2, a movie based on a finely calculated scientific formula of laughs per minute and dependent on the appeal and familiarity of the audience for its stars. Like a blind man with an UZI in a dance hall, some jokes are bound to find a target. More than anything this movie is a success in terms of production, marketing and above all timing.
Go in with your expectations set to low, wanting to laugh and if you can go in a group do so as even then you will only have a moderately good time. Damn you Bazmee, Damn you!!!!
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 doesnâ€™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 â€œvillainsâ€. 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 â€œsaaandâ€ 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 â€œMr. and Mrs. Khiladiâ€ ,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 donâ€™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 â€œInception- likeâ€ 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 donâ€™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 repartÃ©s 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 dÃ©cors 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!
- “Making Of Sheila Ki Jawaani ,Tees Maar Khan” and related posts (thecurrentaffairs.com)
- “Sheela Ki Jawani an aesthetic item no: Farah Tees Maar Khan” and related posts (naachgaana.com)
- “Farah Khan: “SRK is just a call away”” and related posts (naachgaana.com)
- ‘Sheila ki Jawaani’ one of my raunchiest songs: Katrina (current.com)
- Katrina Kaif: How Bollywood fell in love with a British unknown (guardian.co.uk)
Farah Khan’s Akshay Kumar– Katrina 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
Lafangey Parindey (directed by Pradeep Sarkar ) is the product of a confused studio,Yash Raj films. Once the most illustrious productionÂ company in India now a factory of cookie cutter, bland and utterly forgettable products. A studio that just doesnâ€™t understand anymore how to recapture their old glory and Lafangey Parindey is the another final grasp of desperation from Â a man trying to hold on to anything he can whilst plummeting to the debts of mediocrity, this movie is basically Hans Gruber falling off the Nakatomi building!
You can find her review here which is a great piece of writing although I do not agree with much of it. Ness found a lot of enjoyment out of Lafangey, I unfortunately found almost none.
To summarize the plot, Nandu is a sweaty, grease-laden underground fighter with heightened extra sensory perception or an acute sense of smell (must be one of the two as he can knock out his opponent blind folded with one single punch). Â Before the movie starts( in the part we don’t get to see), he hires a team of communication consultants to come up with the perfect catchy nickname which would look good on Â billboards and publicity hoardings as well give him exactly the right street amount of cred for his homies and peeps who he enjoys taking motorcycle rides with.
Â After holding focus groups, in depth motivational analysis and finally a Don Draper-type eureka moment they came up with the name â€œOne shot Nanduâ€ and there was much rejoicing. Armed with a snappy nickname, his band of motorcycling cronies and his desi-street lingo dictionary (although nothing of Govinda level: â€œHaata sawan ki ghata kha khuja ke batti buzhake soja nintukale pintukale..Raste pe khadeli Anty bajarahi hain baar baar ghanti..atale watae shaane..Kulla ghuma ke pashchim ko palat..phutale watale shaane..â€-Deewana Mastana) Nandu is ready to take on the world if he can find time between some horribly choreographed dancing and inspiring a few precocious SlumDog Millionaire-rejects.
One Shot is student of the Bobby Deolâ€™s school of boxing, he decides that you donâ€™t need to tone or train any part of your body to be a professional fighter. Just a few pushups here and there suffice!
He feels a promotion is well deserved wants to take the next step career wise to major league Goondabaazi so he asks Anna (the criminally underused Kay Kay) Â to take him on his next Goonda related assignment.
Pinky is from the same neighborhood Â as Nandu and wants to use her skating ability to skate her way to a better life by taking part in India Got talent. Pinky is very tall and her arms and legs are all over the place. She is clearly not a quitter and can be as foul mouthed as the rest of the Basti- gang, these facets of her personality will be highlighted incessantly throughout the movie. Â She gets run over by a car in a scene very reminiscent of Brad Pittâ€™s death scene in Meet Joe Black and loses her ability to see! (Can someone edit both these scenes together?- it might be bigger than the keyboard cat!)
So what happens next?
Will Pinky manage to find a dance partner?
Will Nandu be able to come to grips with his guilt?
Will they fall in luuurv sweet luurv?
Let me save you the trouble of actually watching this arduous journey of a movie by saying: of course they will. To quote The Zohan:â€ I have seen this. I have done this. You don’t want thisâ€
This movie is filled with Tarantino-esque movie references or Â Anu Malik type â€œinpirationsâ€ but since the performances by the leadcast are pretty monochromous It is never clear which is which.
Here are some of the blatant dÃ©jÃ vu feelings I had explained through the magic of math!
Lafangey Parinday= (Rab ne banadi Jodi) x Ghulam /(The Killer+ Naseeb) x âˆ’Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman
The point being we have seen this movie already a million times and Pradeep Sarkarâ€™s treatments adds nothing to the journey we take with these characters. Every beat is predictable and every dialogue uttered by the lead pair sounds false.
I donâ€™t know about these new actors lately, they are not able to convey true passion in their performance anymore, I just donâ€™t believe these people have any true feelings for each other.
ShahRukh Khan always claimed he can romance a tree if needed, I just donâ€™t see the same ability in the new Brat Pack of boys and girls and I do miss that essential Bollywood component to give me a full massala flavor. That chemistry between the lead pair is completely lacking between Deepika and Neil.
I worry for Neilâ€™s career, although likeable, I donâ€™t know what he can add to the Bollywood hero roster especially as the buzz around Jonny Gadaar has now completely died down and Â being a Hrithik RoshanÂ look-alike Â isnâ€™t the best way forward. We know how well the Hrithik references worked for Harman Bawejaâ€™s career-ZING! (They do reference his resemblance again in this movie which I donâ€™t see but I never really do, maybe coz I knew a lot of twins growing upâ€¦)
Deepika, I worry less about since sheâ€™s quite easy on the eye which seems to be the most important factor of succes in bollywood movies, and if Priyanka Chopra can win a “best actress” award there is hope for Deepika. Plus she plays a blind girl which means she can mostly look away and stare blankly which she does pretty well.
So the story is old, treatment is bland, the setting and look is corny, performances are unconvincing, there is no chemistry between the performers,Â the CGI in the skate performances have the most jarring visual effects I have seen in ages almost close to Game of Death-level Â work. (A movie completed with left over material after Bruce Leeâ€™s passing away, google it! It was painful)
What I did like about the Lafangey Parindey was Kay Kayâ€™s performances,Â which was blink-and miss ni length but itÂ made me at least take note of what was going on and beggars can’t be choosers.Â the otherÂ was the song “Man Lafangey” by the always excellent Mohit Chauhan. The production values are high but itâ€™s covered with the same YRF gloss that makes all their movies look exactly the same. Yash Raj films needs to fire their entire art department forÂ being lazy for the past 12 yearsÂ and then read this article by Cracked: 5 Annoying Trends That Make Every Movie Look the Same.
I’ really have been racking my brain but that truly is it!
Also if you want to see convincing fight scenes filmed in grizzly grey tones since thatâ€™s what the movie poster promises us, watch this underwear ad starring Salman Khan.
Lafangey Parindey? More like disease infected pigeons!
If you agree or disagree, leave us know in the comment section below!
- Masand: ‘Lafangey Parindey’ is pointless, boring (ibnlive.in.com)
- “Deepika Padukone On A Lafangey Parindey Promotion Spree” and related posts (highheelconfidential.com)
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 toÂ the rest of the year. Listen to this EPIC episode after the Jump! Read More
The superhero bug has bitten the entire world and the Indian film industry is no different.
Except for the ridiculous Govinda- Kimi KatkarÂ Indian Superman scene on YouTube, the first real superhero that I can remember was Amitabh Bachan in the awesome Shahenshah. I remember there was a 3 week waiting period in our Karachi video rental store.
But I’ll let that memory back in the campy 80’s where it belongs.
We had the Hritik Roshan starrer Krrish which really wetted our appetite for a proper Bollywood superhero.(Good effort but doesn’t have originality or repeat value unless you actually think you can be Krrish when you grew up)
Shahrukh Khan, the supreme superstar of Bollywood (aka King Khan) is taking a swing on the genre with Ra.one a cutting edge mix up hi-tech and skin tight Lycra insanity. My worry is that Bollywood is making the first type of superhero moviesÂ as we saw back in the 70’s -80’s with a supreme good guy as a heroe with no human flaws whilst the audience has now grown up, moved on and prefers a moreÂ darker approach( more real?) eg The Dark Knight, The Watchmen and the forthcoming Kick Ass.
But in the meantime Disney have released the first images and trailer to Zokkomon, their foray into live action Bollywood production.
Their previous animated release was Roadside Romeo which to me it felt like an incoherent mish mash of deja-vu sequences with strained voice work of super couple said ali khan and Kareena kapoor. It was clear that the actors were not yet comfortable with the animated medium.
But now we have Zokkomon starring the revelation of Taare Zameen Par(masterpiece by Amir Khan about a child coming to terms with dyslexia- a strong recommendation from my end).
The costume design kinda reminds me of Red Mist in the kickass posters but to me that’s a minor detail and still I’m excited!
Red Mist-Kick Ass (I’m not crazy that i see a similarity right?)
let us know what you thought of the trailer in our comments section!
My Name is Khan… and I’m not a terrorist.
A line spoken many times in this movie by Indian Superstar Shahrukh Khan, playing a good hearted Muslim man suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome, resonated with me in a very strong way. It’s a feeling that I have tried to utter many times but this movie manages to do so very simply.
I have been racking my brains on how to approach this review.
I could talk about it from a Muslim point of view, living in a country that is not my own and the struggles many of my similarly skin-toned brothers and sisters have to battle. Unfortunately Iâ€™m not that good of a Muslim so my arguments could be completely invalid and I donâ€™t want to proclaim to be a victim when my own parents went through a lot worse in their days. I’m sureÂ Chris Rock has enough clips on Youtube to illustrate my point.
I could approach it from the angle of a Bollywood aficionada that can finally recommend a movie that is in general release thanks to Fox (apparently even the evil empire can do good sometimesâ€¦) and that the general audience can watch as maybe their first Masala experience (which Slum dog Millionaire wasnâ€™t although it had brown hewed people in it dancing)
I could write as a critic of Hindi Cinema tearing down any inconsistency I was able to pick up on, be it the slowing of pace post-intermission, the horrible broad strokes that every non-Indian character is painted with or the lack of a riveting climax.
But whenever in doubt, I take a scattershot approach, try everything at once and fail horribly in the public eye. Yes, that is how I (Jelly-)rollz.
The route I choose to take is the one this movie tries to takeâ€¦ the human route, taking away all other details to bring things back to a core message, one that our protagonist is taught by his mother played wonderfully by yesteryear ( I do hate that word) actress Zareena Wahab.
There are good people in the world that do good deeds, and evil people that do evil ones. There is no further difference, be it religion, race, creed or culture.
I loved My Name is Khan for its message and intentions. Itâ€™s so good hearted it can be forgiven for its overt sentimentality, dramatic music and dialogue cueâ€™s. This story of Rizwan Khan who has trouble connecting with the subtleties of day to day life (some may argue that this movie has trouble with cinematic subtleties but you did sign up to watch an Indian movie). Although he suffers from Aspergers he is a very bright and ingenious thinker, comparisons with Rain Man donâ€™t hold up as he isnâ€™t playing an idiot savant (plus his brother never kissed Mia Farrow). Forrest Gump would be a more apt comparison but only for the second half of the movie.
He takes his simple message to San Francisco moving in with his brother and Sister in Law. Where he meets and falls in love with Hairstylist/Single mother Mandira (played by the always delightful Kajol). The repercussions of 9/11 create a rift in their love story causing him to undertake the mission of going on a road trip to meet the president of the United States to tell him that one simple messageâ€¦ My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist. On his road his good heartedness affects a wave of people along the way leaving the audience a blubbering mess.
Shahrukh Khan is always entertaining; his charm (as recently seen on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross) carries this picture to an emotional but underwhelming conclusion. It’s the little moment of charm that make you fall in love with Rizwan Khan and you end up completely buying into his quest. You feel for his character, the frustration he feels of not being to express his emotions and the love he feels for Mandira.
Overall the performances are great by most Indian actors. I could watch Kajol read the news and I would be glued to my screen, both Jimmy Shergill (playing the role of Rizwanâ€™s frustrated younger brother, this would be a character you would have in any other movie but Jimmy carries it off because he is that damn good) and Sonia Jehan (almost makes me want to see Taj Mahal, her first big screen appearanceâ€¦ almost) are great in their small roles and I would have loved to see more of their struggles. Mostly the focus lies on Shahrukh character and his wonderfully understated approach on a subject matter that might not be appealing from the get go.
Cinematography by Ravi Chandran is beautiful, costumes, art direction and music are of vey high quality but I wonâ€™t be putting this album on repeat, itâ€™s just not that kind of album.(special mention to Sajda by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, hear me rave about him in episode 5 of UPODCAST)
The few points that work less for me are:
All performances by non Indian actors, or they ran out of budget and got actors that arenâ€™t of a much higher caliber than an average porn actor or Karan Johar was unable to direct them in the proper manner.
Listening to Kjoâ€™s interviews it does seem he is hands on with most actors except Shahrukh Khan( as Khan doesnâ€™t want to listen to Karan) so I think the failure does lie with his character design. Another example of this is Kajolâ€™s motivation in the second half of sending Rizwan off on his quest, which seems too abrupt and contradictory to me even if the tragedy she goes through is very real.
The stand out scenes for me where the entire romantic track between Rizwan and Mandira from their meeting until the interval point. There chemistry is still the strongest romantic pairing in current Indian cinema.Â The segments of Rizwan growing up in India and the confrontation he has with some of the more violent Muslims in the US mosque are riveting.
Itâ€™s great to see a moderate voice take on some of the people that are usually the more vocal (and maybe â€œinsaneâ€) part of the Muslim community. And the words he says are onspoken by many of us have had but have not been shown this way on screen.
What works less is the CGI both in the Georgia flood scenes as in the key moment Mandira and Rizwan fall in love. It made me think of a discussion going on about Titanic and how after AVATAR James Cameron claimed he would do the entire movie in CGI.Even the sunset on that famous kiss scene between Leo and Kate would be CGI. I think if he was able to do so we would have lost out a lot of the power and exactly this power is what’s missing in the scene where Mandira decides to marry Rizwan and bring him into her and her teenage son’s life.
The ending doesn’t work for me because of the casting. The portrait of the president is very jarring. And altough the president of the US is never named specifically, the movie just looses steam.
But I would urge you to seek out this movie as since it’s been distibuted by Fox it does have a wide release and it’ s an unbelievably fresh approach to issues that really do affect all of is.
The message of hope it carries, needs to be heard, needs to be listened to…
My Name is Burney, and I freakin’ loved this movie!
If you manage to catch My Name is Khan, let us know what you thought of it on firstname.lastname@example.org