Faridoon Shahryar's Blog

Monday, December 26, 2011

Video views for Shahrukh's BH exclusive: 502710

In the new site, we have been breaking longer interviews int various parts. The results are tremendous in terms of video views. For example the latest Shahrukh Khan interview was broken in four parts. Here's the break up of video views for each parts

Part 1: 168780
Part 2: 86556
Part 3: 152322
Part 4: 95052

Total video views for Shahrukh's BH interview: 502710 video views

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

'Shab-e-Gham Kya Karein'...A Ghazal By My Dad

Hi Guys

Here's a Ghazal written by my father Professor Shahryar. I have composed and sung it. My friend Navneet Kedar has done the music arrangements and also played the music instruments. Hope you like it


Shab-e-gham kya karen kaise guzaren
Kise awaaz den kisko pukaren

Vahi mubham si sargoshi hava ki
Vahi afsurda shamon ki khataren
Vahi dhundhle se nanhe nanhe saaye
Vahi sooni sisakti rahguzaren

Magar is ke siva chaara hi kya hai
Khala mein ek naya chahra ubharen
Uttho neendon se ankhon ko jalayen
Chalo khwabon ki pariyon ko pukaren

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"I Like Playing Bad Guy": Shahrukh Khan

I waited for 10 and a half hours. Kept on pumping in the patience gas. There were moments when I felt it won't happen (two interviews were cancelled for Don 2 a few days earlier). Even contemplated going back home. Something kept me going. Our turn came at 10 pm in the night. I was dead tired, quietly went in the bathroom, washed the face and pumped in the fist a few times. I recalled what Naseeruddin Shah recently said in our interview, "when you come before camera you have to give it all. You can't tell people later that you were not good that day because you had a backache." I smiled BIG... and with full vigour and energy, I was ready to interview Shahrukh Khan. Twenty two minutes later, things were fine. A satisfying day at work. Here is that interview in four parts. Hope you like it.

"I Am Not Good at Being Mean"

"I Like Playing Bad Guy"

"Don's Real Name Is Mark"

"I Like Going Back To Germany"

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Live Video Chat On Facebook With Daler Mehndi

After the huge success of Priyanka Chopra's Facebook Live Video Chat, we shall be doing a Live Video Chat on facebook with superstar Punjabi singer Daler Mehndi tomorrow December 19 from 4-5 PM (IST). I shall be hosting the chat on behalf of Bollywood Hungama.

Here's the link where you can watch this chat


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Don 2 Dubai Premiere Cancelled

Dubai Premiere of Don 2 on December 21 has been cancelled

Interviewed Abhishek Bachchan today. He says Dostana 2 is very much on. The news report that has appeared today stating that Tarun Mansukhani has asked for a share in the profits of the film, according to Abhishek, is incorrect.

Ferari Ki Savari first look promo (60 sec) will be coming along with Don 2. In an informal chat with Sharman today (not an interview on camera or otherwise), we discussed more about the film. Its going to release on April 27 and the dialogues of the film have been written by Raju Hirani. Sharman denied news reports that he may be doing Hirani's directorial venture starring Aamir. We spoke about the continued success of 3 Idiots. Incidentally, 3 Idiots recently released in China with a whopping 900 prints and is doing extremely well. It also did exceptional business during its release in Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan recently. 3 idiots is also being remade in Chinese.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why Ram Gopal Varma Interviews Are the Best

It is always special to do an interview with big stars. But to be honest, the most satisfying interviews are the ones where you are not told by a publicist, 'Don't ask any personal questions', or to' wrap it up pronto' or 'ask only about the film'. That's one reason it is always great fun to interview Ram Gopal Varma. You can ask about anything under the sun, and you are assured a ready answer laced with deep thought, wry humour, self admitted conceitedness or deep wisdom.

Some of my best interviews this year will include all the interviews that I've done with Mr Varma. I met him today to discuss his latest passion, the film that he is making on 26/11 Bombay attacks (tentative title: The Attacks Of 26/11). Mr Varma spoke in detail why he is making the film on 26/11. He said that he is not justifying anyone's actions or passing judgement or indulging in Pakistan bashing. 'I am just trying to understand what happened that night and how it took Bombay police, the whole administration by complete surprise. I am trying to understand why Kasab killed a 10 year old kid at CST station. I am focussing on the Human story. I won't go into the NSG operation at all.'

What about media's role in intimating the terrorists about Police plans with their relentless reporting of every available detail? 'No, I am not focusing on media either.'

A famous visual immediately after 26/11 was that of Ram Gopal Varma going to see what happened at Taj Hotel Colaba along with Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Ritesh Deshmukh. Media labelled it 'terror tourism'. Many say, it precipitated Deshmukh's resignation as the Chief Minister.

RGV has his own take on what really happened and why media blew it out of proportion. He emphatically says that he is not casting Ritesh Deshmukh in the film.

RGV also spoke on his next film Department. The first look promo is most probably coming with Players and the film will be releasing in late February or early March, 2012. He is also starting a sequel to Ab Tak Chappan in a month's time where Nana Patekar will once again play the main lead. Shimit Amin is not part of the team. There's a new director.

After the interview, RGV showed me the theatrical trailer of Department. Its a hard hitting first look with some smashing moments from Mr Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Abhimanyu, Vijay Raaz etc. Violence is in abundance and it doesn't seem to be everyone's cup of tea. Sanjay Dutt, specially, is looking very impressive After Rascals, Desi Boyz and below par hosting capabilities displayed in Bigg Boss, Dutt seems to be making a solid comeback (I am not a fan of his Agneepath persona). The catchline for Department is: Legally Illegal.

I will try and post the transcript of Ram Gopal Varma's interview here on my blog. He calls 26/11 film as a 'dream' for him. He seems absolutely charged up. As I was coming out, Rommell Rodrigues, (the guy who wrote Kasab...the face of 26/11) came in RGV's room. Rodriguez is contributing a lot of inputs for the film.
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Don 2 City Tour

Dec 14: Nagpur and Hyderabad
Dec 15: Ahmedabad and Jaipur
Dec 16: Kanpur and Indore
Dec 18: Don Comic Book will be launched in Delhi along with visit to some multiplexes
Dec 21: Premiere in Dubai (There will be a press conference before the premiere)

Monday, December 12, 2011

"Don's Real Name Is Mark": Shahrukh Khan

Well, we waited for over 10 hours. The corridors of Mahboob studio embraced us, endless cups of tea and fresh sandwiches kept us going. And then finally we got a call to set up for the interview. Shahrukh was there and welcomed us warmly. As our cameramen Tahir and Krishna did the set up, I chatted up with Shahrukh and congratulated him for the growing popularity of Don 2 dialogues. I suggested that maybe they should be having the dialogues in a CD and release in the markets, the way it used to happen in 70s with movies like Sholay.

I was damn tired but pumped myself up from within to look as fresh-n-agile as possible. Somewhere the '70 minute' speech from Chak De came to my mind. Well, 22 minutes of interview and we as a team were a satisfied lot. And happy. Lemme whet your appetite by shelling out some details.

1) Shahrukh says the real name of Don is Mark as told by Farhan to him.
2) He loved shooting in Berlin. And because of the love he gets in Germany, he loves going back there each time he is invited.
3) SRK burst a rumour that he is NOT doing any TV show by the name of 'Superstar Santa' (as per a news report today, its a show that were to be screened on UTV Stars with Sonam Kapoor as the first guest). "These days I end up reading stuff about me in news papers that I am not even aware of," he said.
4) He is starting Yash Chopra"s film with Katrina and Anushka on January 10, 2012. He is in talks with Rohit Shetty for Chennai Express. Casting and other details yet to be finalised. He also met Anurag Basu and Anurag Kashyap a couple of days back and is conisidering their films. He has also liked the script of one of his friends from Delhi. I am unable to promounce that guys name, hence not mentioning here. You'll have to check out the video for that.

A) What does SRK has to say on the longevity of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge?
B) According to SRK, what must be the thought process of Don's mom?
C) what does he have to say about the success of films like Darr, Bazigar, Anjaam or Ram Jaane and Don...all films where he played a negative role?
D) What's his favourite dialogue from Don 2?
E) What does he think of Farhan Akhtar as a writer?
F) Will there be a Don 3?

If you want to know the answers to the above questions and much more, you'll have to watch Shahrukh's interview on Bollywood Hungama :)

I am damn tired. Air is deliciously chilly as I head back home. I am smiling as I listen to some cool music on my IPOD. Life is good!

Will share the complete City Tour for Don 2 tomorrow morning. City Tour starts from tomorrow. So long. Good night!
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Saturday, December 10, 2011

King Khan-The Official Opus Of Shahrukh Khan

A formal announcement of Shahrukh Khan's autobiography King Khan The Official Opus Of Shahrukh Khan will take place tomorrow December 11 at a hotel in Bombay. Karl Flower, CEO of Opus Media Group will make the formal announcement while Shahrukh will be signing the Copy Number 1 signature page. The autobiography will be out in 2012. The fans may be interested in logging on to srkopus.com and register themselves. Also log on to thisisopus.com that tells you how exclusive this publishing house is and has been associated with select achievers.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Kiran On Media Created 'Competition' Between Aamir-SRK

Check out the first part of 'Bollywood Hungama 2011 One OnOne' that has highlights from some interesting interviews on Bollywood Hungama from January to March 2011. Hope you like it.

"Shahrukh Is Extremely Popular": Farhan Akhtar

Live Webcast Of Players' Audio Launch/ Don 2 Premiere In Dubai

The Audio Launch of Players will be happening in Bombay tomorrow December 9 at 7: 30 PM (IST). It is going to be an open air event with the entire starcast performing some stunts. We at Bollywood Hungama will be doing a live webcast of this event.

The Premiere of Don 2 will be happening in Dubai on Wednesday, December 21, 2011.

Sonu Nigam's four year old son Nevaan Nigam has recorded his kiddie version of 'Why This Kolaveri Di' with some modifications in the lyrics (Scotch being replaced by milk :)). The song has already generated 1,485,050 video views so far and will be totaling many more. For Sure.

Insha With Shahrukh Khan/ Me With Tom Cruise

Monday, December 5, 2011

Top Gun's 'Mission' Accomplished

Tom Cruise came to India amidst huge fanfare and won everyone's hearts with his dazzling smile and humble persona. In this special video, we bring you highlights from Tom's visit to Mumbai. We bring you shots from the Mumbai Airport, the party hosted by Anil Kapoor at Taj Hotel in Colaba and finally the special screening of 'Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol' held at IMAX, Wadala where the screaming fans wanted to hug-n-click-pictures with the Top Gun superstar. Paula Patton and Anil Kapoor spread their charm. How is 'Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol'? Find out for yourself

Sunday, December 4, 2011

"Hollywood And Bollywood Should Come Together": Tom Cruise

Anil Kapoor taught Tom Cruise how to say 'Jhakaas' in front of the media today after the special screening of 'Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol'. I saw the film at the media screening. The film boasts of some incredible edge of the seat thrills. The Burj Khalifa harakiri, the bombing of Kremlin or the chase through the sandstorm in Dubai, it was a fascinating journey all the way.

After the screening, Tom Cruise showed up along with stunning Paula Patten and gracious host Anil Kapoor. I asked Tom about the incorporation of humour in the Burj Khalifa stunt. Cruise said that they deliberately wanted humour in this version of Mission Impossible. He clarified that this is not the last in the series of Mission Impossible movies. He said that he was loving Indian hospitality and repeatedly said that Bollywood and Hollywood should come together and do something. He met up with many Bollywood stars like Aamir, Farhan Akhtar, Sonam etc at the party hosted by Anil Kapoor at Taj Colaba.

Many fans clicked pictures and hugged Tom. Media people turned fans too and the requests for autographs and pictures were abundant from the press people today. Seeing the mayhem, I joined the fray and got a picture clicked with Tom. Paula said that she loves Aishwarya Rai and would love to work in a movie with her. I asked her how was the experience of kicking her female adversary out of the window at Burj Khalifa. "My character in the film enjoyed it," she said laughing.

Anil Kapoor was overwhelmed with joy. He said that it is great that new avenues are opening up for India. He said that it is a matter of time in which Indian actors will be doing much more work in Hollywood. I asked him what sort of release will the film be having in India. Kapoor said that it will be the biggest release of a Hollywood film in India ever. "Something like over 1000 prints," he said.

It was a lovely experience being up close and personal with an international superstar like Tom Cruise. It was a working sunday but truly worth it. For sure.
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"Who Doesn't Like Women, Don't You Like Women": Dev Anand

"Agle saal (for his birthday) wahi karenge," Dev Anand sahab told me in an interview on his birthday this year (September 26, 2011). Dev Sahab was referring to my statement where I reminded him how the media had celebrated his birthday three years back at his studio (Anand Studio, Bandra) with a lot of fanfare, senior journalists touching his feet. The moment I came to know of his sad demise today morning, I was invariably surrounded by memories of my interactions with Dev Sahab. I have had the privilege of interviewing Dev Sahab thrice. He had shared his memories, his failed love affair with Suraiya, how he felt let down by his muse Zeenat Aman, his views on almost all his classic films, was he banned from wearing black clothes as the girls used to go crazy, his association with Guru Dutt, competition with Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor and much more.

I spoke to Dev Sahab on phone several times. He always said, there's something interesting coming up and we will talk at an opportune time. At no point of time did I see an iota of cynicism or regret. He was always positive and smiling. The characteristic musical movement of the neck and he said at the beginning of one interview, "kya poochna chahte ho, poocho...."

"I Am One Of The Most Destined, Lucky Guys In The Country"

"Main Aaj Bhi Hoon, Kal Bhi Tha Aur Kal Bhi Hoonga Shayad"

"I Want To Excite The World Through My Excitement"

"I Think I Was A Hell Of A Guy"

"If An Idea Strikes You, Grab It, Don't Let It Go"

"Who Doesn't Like Women, Don't You Like Women"

I reviewed Dev Sahab's Autobiography 'Romancing With Life' four years back. Here's the link of that review


Rest in peace Dev Sahab. You will always be around.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Abba's Poetry And The Fear Of Losing Him....

Its late in the night. I am reading Abba's poetry and getting amazed by the sheer class and the unique ability to resist attention grabbing tactics. His poetry just flows without clamouring for attention. The impact is solid and the experience of imagery is unique. Sample this:

Ek Aur Maut

Kat gaya din, dhali shaam, shab aa gayi
Phir zameen apne mahvar se hatne lagi
Chaandni karvate phir badalne lagi
Aahaton ke sisakte hue shor se
Phir makaan bhar gaya
Zaher sapno ka pee kar
Koi aaj ki raat phir mar gaya

Translating the last two lines in English will read like this:

Having drunk his dreams
Someone died this night, once again

Abba's condition has worsened. His left side has been paralysed. His left leg and hand are not functioning any more. He has had rigorous Radio Therapy post the assigned Chemo Therapy sessions. There are multiple tumours in the brain. Time is ticking like an unpredictable bomb. We as a family are trying our level best to make things as comfortable as possible for him. He never complains and always tries to project as if everything is fine. One can source 'Strength' from him. Whatever will be, will be...but he genuinely doesn't wish to cause anxiety to anyone because of his condition. The fact that everyone has a definite end, leaves you with such a sinking feeling. No matter how much one may deny or philosophise, no one wants to die. At any stage. At any age.

Past few months have been extremely tough for me. I am constantly in a thoughtful mood. I've also worked like never before in the last few months. I am far more sharp, focussed, determined and eager to excell in every sphere as far as my work is concerned. I've done some very fine interviews and people find it surprising that how do I manage to do so many interviews and yet retain interest levels in most of the interviews. As I've said earlier, I am laughing and enjoying myself in most of the interviews, but the imminent fear of losing a loved one hurts me from within. All the time.

I really don't know how I'll take it when the 'Bad News' will finally open its jaws. I hope I'm prepared. I've cried a lot in the past few months after the disease was disclosed to us. Something from within tells me, it'll be my work, that is, and will be, the perfect refuge to escape from pain and sadness. Let's wait and watch. Lemme read some more poetry before I call it a day. Good night folks!
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Hrithik Tops 'Sexiest Asian Poll'; Tom Cruise' Schedule In India

According to a survey conducted by Eastern Eye Weekly, Hrithik Roshan has emerged as the sexiest Asian man in the world for the year 2011.

Here are a few of the winners

1) Hrithik Roshan
2) Shahid Kapoor
3) Shahrukh Khan
4) Salman Khan
5) Ali Zafar
6) Ranbir Kapoor
7) John Abraham
9) Akshay Kumar
11) Arjun Rampal
12) Imran Khan
13) Saif Ali Khan
16) Atif Aslam
34) Farhan Akhtar
35) Aamir Khan

Well, publicists gleefully send such details but one would want to know how the poll was conducted, how many people gave their opinions, what are the areas, cities, countries in which this poll was conducted, if it was conducted online then was there an option for one person casting vote multiple number of times.

Tom Cruise will be reaching India (New Delhi) tomorrow morning Dec 3, 2011 at 6 am. He, along with Anil Kapoor, will be going to Taj Mahal, Agra. There will be a photo opportunity at around 1 pm (IST) tomorrow. Tom Cruise will be participating in a party at a plush Mumbai hotel tomorrow evening where media has not been invited (but media will be present nevertheless). There is a screening of Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol for select fans and media at a Mumbai multiplex on Sunday Dec 4, 2011 afternoon. After the screening, Tom will be interacting with the fans for a couple of hours. He'll leave for Dubai on Monday (Dec 5) morning.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hosting Live Video Chat With Priyanka Chopra For Facebook

Just wrapped up a Live Video Chat with Priyanka Chopra for Facebook. It was a first of its kind. I hosted the chat and man it was exhausting. The questions flew like lightening in fast forward and I was like gasping. Still. I guess we managed very well. I kept on asking my own questions to break the monotony. Stuff on Don 2, can we see her breaking the Rs 100 crore club with Don 2, has she contemplated taking legal action against speculative stories regularly doing the rounds in tabloids. Her fans poured in from New York, Chicago, Toronto, Pakistan, Dubai, Doha, Sweden, Germany, Jordan, Peru etc. Many wanted to be waved at, ached for flying kisses, proposed marriage, asked about her fitness regimen, what her dream man could be like etc.

Here's the page where you can watch the recorded version of this chat


It was fun. Did any of you watch it?
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Live Webcast Of The First Look Launch Of Ekk Main Aur Ek Tu

We are doing a Live Webcast of the First Look Launch of 'Ekk Main Aur Ekk Tu' at Bollywood Hungama tomorrow Wednesday Nov 30 at 1500 Hrs. Imran Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Karan Johar and Director Shakun Batra will be present. See you there.


Farhan Akhtar To Direct Don 3?

I asked Farhan Akhtar in an interview yesterday if he has any plans of making Don 3. He seemed a bit surprised and said that as of now there were no plans. It is always interesting to chat up with Farhan. Even though I admire his work as a director, producer, actor and writer but when I told him that Game (he was the dialogue writer and producer) was an aberration (since the dialogues were not that cool as one expects from Akhtar), he didn't turn sullen. In other words, he seems to be open to free debate-n-opinions and that's always encouraging for a journalist like me who'll never have any agenda while chatting up with celebrities.

Farhan spoke about the Don Comic Book. It'll be available in book stores and even at railway stations. And yes it will also be available in Hindi. I asked if there could be an online version considering Shahrukh has a huge fan base overseas and so does Farhan, Akhtar said that there may be a possibility of it. Farhan spoke on 'Junglee Billi' Priyanka. So, does Roma get to love Don? Finally. Ra.one has done exceptionally well overseas (estimated at Rs 60-70 crores), are they planning to have a wider release abroad especially in areas where Shahrukh's popularity is very high? Akhtar also spoke on his acting assignment 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag'.

On sunday Nov 27, I was in Gurgaon for covering 'The Dirty Picture' promotions at Kingdom of Dreams. It was a thanda show. It is very obvious that after relentlessly promoting the film all over the country, the starcast is tired. I got to do one on ones with Vidya, Emraan and Tushar. All the one on ones were satisfying. Even Tushar. I couldn't resist asking him that having delivered a commendable and respectable performance like Shor In The City, shouldn't he desist from doing silly films like Hum Tum Aur Shabana. He agreed.

Here's the link to Vidya's interview

I met up with old friend Asif and his family who live in DLF, Gurgaon. It has been a while since I caught up with them. I have always been fond of Asif's mom. And Aunty as always treated me to aroma chai and nashta. Asif's 15 month old daughter Aania is a sweetheart. Kids always ooze such positive energy. I also got a taste of Dilli Ki Sardi. Divine :)

I also interviewed Anushka Sharma and Ranveer Singh yesterday. Ranveer is very warm and genuine. I've done some fun interviews with Anushka but this time I was meeting her with a preconceived notion as I've been reading all sorts of stories about her high handedness with journos. I posed my fear to Anushka during the course of the interview. She opened up and said that she is fine if her work is criticised but baseless speculative stories based on 'sources' is something that she doesn't like at all. I asked them about one of their co stars in the film, Parineeti Chopra, a PR executive who had been part of their marketing team during the promotions of 'Band Baaja Baraat'. Parineeti, incidentally is Priyanka Chopra's cousin. When she met me for the first time, she told me about her Priyanka connection but requested not to divulge. I kept my word till it was announced that she has taken the plunge as an actress and the world came to know about the Chopras. I always found Parineeti very pretty and sprightly during several interactions at YRF (though she needed to lose some weight, which I guess she must have once she turned an actress). And the people who've seen 'Ladies Vs Rickey Bahl' say that she has delivered a fine performance.

A friend from Sweden sent me a link of 'Oi Amma Oi Amma' a song from Jeetendra-Jaya Prada 1980s film 'Mawali'. He says the song sounds somewhat like 'Ooo Lala Ooo Lala' from 'The Dirty Picture'. I guess the 'inspiration' is true to some extent as well. What do you say?

We are coming up with Year End Special Feature Videos. Here are teasers of what we shall be offering to you guys:

Bollywood Hungama 2011 One On One

Bollywood Hungama 2011 It's A Wrap!

Bollywood Hungama 2011 The Year That Was

Saturday, November 26, 2011

"Salman, Shahrukh, Aamir...All So Fabulous": Jeetendra

Now, this is an interview I am very proud of. Jeetendra ji is one of the biggest stars of Indian cinema and these days, he gives very few interviews. In the first part of this interview Jeetu ji (thats how most of the industry refers to him as) talks about his start in the industry with films like Navrang and Geet Gaya Paththaron Ne, how he made it big with a film like Farz, why he owes his career-n-success to V Shantaram ji, the phase in 1980s when he worked in South remakes like Tohfa, Mawali, Himmatwala that boasted of colourful garish costumes, dhinchak music, lots of pots n pans and fruits as props. Jeetu ji also talked about the alleged rivalry with Mr Bachchan and how he stayed away from being a part of the number's game. He also talks about the experience of working with item girls of 1980s like Disco Shanti and Silk Smitha. Hope you guys like it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

"...To Be Compared To Salman": Chetan Bhagat

Noted author Chetan Bhagat talks about his latest novel 'Revolution 2020' being acquired by UTV for being made into a movie. Chetan talks on various aspects of the novel and how it can possibly be adapted in the form of a movie.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pics Of Shahrukh Khan At The Inauguration Ceremony Of IFFI, Goa

"Shahid Priyanka...Amazing Chemistry": Kunal Kohli

Kunal Kohli talks about his directorial next starring Priyanka Chopra and Shahid Kapoor. There's a lot of information on the film.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Jeetendra Exclusive, Chetan's Revolution, SRK At IFFI

It was a huge pleasure and honour to interview Jeetendra sahab today. The moment he entered the room, I was awestruck. Extremely simple, humble and relaxed person. Films like Justice Chaudhry, Tohfa, Himmatwala and Mawali are some of the most succesful films of 1980s. Jeetu sahab said that he had produced a film 'Deedar-e-Yaar' in 1982. It was a big budget film that bombed badly. To get his finances back on track, he went to Madras and did one film after another (all four were part of that phase). He said that things were more organised down South then as compared to the Bombay film industry. What about the criticism that was meted out to these films for pots and pans and hundreds of dancers etc? "I was constantly shooting in Madras. I didn't even go for the release of my films to Bombay so I didn't know what is happening, what people are saying," Jeetu ji said.

I also asked Jeetu ji about his first film Navrang in 1959 where he had a very small role. His first film as a hero was Geet Gaya Paththaron that released in 1962. He seemed specialy proud of this film and owed his success to his director V Shantaram. Farz was a turning point in his career. Jeetu ji was obviously proud of his films with Gulzar sahab (Parichay, Khushboo and Kinara) specially because of the sensible themes and poetic songs. He cutely said that he told his then girl friend Shobha that if his film 'Bidai' does well, he'll marry her immediately. The film did well and within a few days of its release the two were married.

Before Jeetendra sahab, I interviewed Chetan Bhagat. It was a long interview. Somehow, I always enjoy chatting up with Chetan. He spoke on the film deal that he has signed with UTV for his latest novel 'Revolution 2020'. He also spoke about Ranbir Kapoor admitting that he has been approached for 'Two States'. I also told Bhagat what his critics had to say about his works. He patiently answered all the questions.

In other news Shahrukh Khan inaugurated IFFI in Goa today. The teams of Desi Boyz and The Dirty Picture are heavily into promoting their respective films. Puneet Issar's I Am Singh is also releasing on Dec 2. It is releasing with a lot of prints in North India especially Punjab. It wouldn't be surprising if it opens well at the Boz Office specially coz of the emotional issue it is dealing with.

So much for now. Spoke to my Dad a short while back. He is better. Please pray for his health and comfort.
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kunal's Film Starring Shahid-Priyanka To Release On June 22, 2012

In a Bollywood Hungama exclusive interview today, Kunal Kohli confirmed that his directorial next starring Priyanka Chopra and Shahid Kapoor will be releasing on June 22, 2012. Kohli also confirmed that the film is not titled 'Teri Meri Kahani' or 'Janam Janam Ka Saath Hamara Tumhara'. He said that they had to keep a working title of Teri Meri Kahani as its mandatory to have a title for a film if one has to shoot in UK. He said that they are still searching for a name and will announce as soon as they have a name. Kunal also confirmed the rumours and said that 'Crook' actress Neha Sharma is indeed a part of the film.

Later I interviewed Neil Nitin Mukesh, a delightful guy, absolutely chilled out and very talented. Neil's character is called Spider in 'Players' and he is a computer hacker. We had a discussion on how promotions have become extrememy crucial for any film these days. He animatedly spoke about some of his films like Jail, Johny Gaddar and New York which are fine performances. He said that it bothers him that some very good films go unnoticed while some of the bad films tend to work at the Box Office. He is having 6 films lined up and will announce all of them before the end of the year.

As I came out of Marriot Hotel (where we did Neil's interview), I walked past Prateeksha and suddenly saw a cameraman hanging out of a car waving at another cameraman who was in front of the gate. As I reached Jalsa, I saw a crowd there and apparently a group of cameramen were following Abhi-Ash's car that had just gone out. The mad papparazi scramble for Bachchan baby has just begun it seems.

My team has informed that Abhishek and Mr Bachchan will be addressing a press conference at their office today evening. I wanted to go for it since I'd want to wish Abhishek. But I decided against going as, in all probability, it will be a mad circus of cameras, wires and overzealous upstart reporters. I fervently hope that Bachchan Baby should be spared of all the undue speculation and jokes.
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"Ranbir Ek Bada Jaanvar Hai...": Imtiaz Ali

Check out the first part of Imntiaz Ali's interview. A very satisfying one indeed. He takes the criticism on Rockstar sportingly. Its always a pleasure to chat up with film personalities when they are open to discussing their films. The second part is interesting as well. Hopefully it will be up soon.

Transcript of the interview

Each time I interview Kareena Kapoor or Shahid Kapoor main kehta hu kab kaam karoge aap Imtiaz saath. You have this Albatross (hanging around your neck) called Jab We met. Har film aap ki compare ki jaayegi usse...

Acchi baat hai, in fact every film will always be compared to every other film that any film maker does and its fine, its great.

The television viewing (Of JWM) is getting to the zone of a movie like Andaaz Apna Apna and like a Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. I know a fan of jab we met, there is a girl in Kolkata and she watches the film every day. I have told Shahid about it, I have told Kareena about it. Shahid, apparantly has met her in Kolkata during the promotions of Mausam. She celebrates the anniversary (Of JWM) on 26th oct, 4th anniversary celebrate kiya hai abhi kuch time pehle...

God its crazy yaar this girl is watching it so many time. It’s a very strange feeling. I want her to stop watching it now and at the same time its thrilling that somebody loves the film so much. I always feel that after the film is made it belongs to everybody who likes it more then necessarily to the people who made it because I am not a fan of Jab We Met. I don’t watch it so many times. In fact there are a lot of things I feel that I could have done better, corrected or done differently.

You shouldn’t be stopping that fan of yours from watching that film because I think she will continue to do that.

What’s her name

Gili Sen from Kolkata

Talking about Rockstar, that is your current flavor. It has done well at the box office, you have a splendid performance out of Ranbir Kapoor. In fact after watching the film when I smsed my colleagues in my office, my reaction was that he is one of the best actors across all generations that we have today and he exceeded all expectations. Jo usme Shammi Kapoor ka ek dialogue hai ki bada jaanvar hai ye aapke chote pinjre me khaid nahi ho paayega, vo sach saabit kiya apne performance se...

Ha Mujhe aisa lagta hai maine kuch nahin sach saabit kiya, jab actor acting karta hai to wo khudi karta hai director ki rooh uske andar nahi aajati. Logon ko ye baat jarur pata hai hamesha se ki Ranbir Kapoor ek bada jaanvar hai, in the way that he is a very good actor.

Hungry basically

I was telling him that I feel that people were already kind of subconsciously waiting for something to happen, something to come right and Rockstar kind of just became that.

Dialogues may be not that attention grabbing but they are working. I'll give u some examples, when Ranbir is saying that is wakht wo baat nahi karna cha raha tha and the elder brother says, "ab appointment le dantne ke liye" ya fir "ye chatniyo ki ladaiya lad rahe ho" you know those are quirky moments one waits for in an Imtiyaz Ali movie.

Hamare gharo me log aise hi baat karte hain

North me isi tarike se baat hoti hai. How do you feel when you get the desired reaction from people because these are not attention grabbing lines, these are very subtle lines, which are very matter of fact.

Its always so much fun watching your own film in theaters. You learn a lot. People in every theater will behave differently so when you are sitting over there and people react, you feel warm, you feel nice, they always behave different to exactly how you might have thought. Its nice when you see that certain things connect. What I have realizes now is that the obvious things they don’t connect and there is nothing in the movies that the audience doesn’t get. Aap had se had tak matlab jitna bhi subntle ho jayen aap ye soch le ki ye nahi pata chalega aur ye jo hai koi cheez hai jo chup jaayegi, film mein kuch nahi chupta hai, they get every thing.

You are saying that kuch nahi chupta hai aap ye baat keh rahe hain, and I think you are one of the very few film makers who are open to criticism, who is open to talking about your film, discussing about your film, which is I think a bit of a rarity in bollywood, sab achi achi batein sunna chahte hain. When you came to the press show after the first half ended, every one was excited, every one was happy that this is a very different sort of cinema; second half people had a few reservations. I am sure that you are already aware of it you have read the review as well. How do you react to statements ki yaar second half me picture kuch gadbadati hai ?

A lot of people are saying that the first half is nice and the second is … I don’t know slow, basically there is some discomfort. A huge number of people are also saying that the first half I was coming and going but the second half really did it for me. A lot of people from film industry are saying that. Of course there is a huge set of people who are watching this film every day, the point being that the film is reaching out and engaging people. Some people have come out very strongly. I got a very funny message and he says that, pata nahi kisne likha hai, 'bahot ghatia film hai aur aapko film industry chod deni chahiye aura apse ye umeed nahi thi tumne ranbeer ko watchmen ke kapde pehna diye woh watchmen hi lag raha hai woh koi Rockstar nahin lag raha hai' (Laughs) but logon ke apne observation hote hain.

In recent times in the social media if the movie is not working the kind of reaction which are negative can be huge but if the movie is somewhat working in a certain manner then positive reactions bhi definitely saamne aate hai aur Rockstar ke liye positive reaction bahot hai is me koi doubt nahi hai

We were talking about Jab We Met, you had a strong character for Kareena Kapoor and she delivered it like anything, in fact she just may have exceeded in many ways. People have said that may be Nargis Fakhri was not be the right choice. She looks very very pretty, there are portions when she is genuinely funny and all chemistry is showing as well but still people have reservations that may be she is not the best choice for the actress and apart from that there is one more criticism the rockstar part is fantastic, he has the madness ek artist ke andar ek junoon jo hona chahiye wo uske andar hai, lekin somewhere may be the love story mein ek shiddat shayad mehsoos nahi hoti.

Equal number of people are saying that why are you concentrating so much on the music and why is there so much stress on the development of music wherein the main thing for them was the love story what they enjoyed and what they were looking for was the love story.

There are certain things which may not be in your hand like a free Tibbat has been blurred, there are certain lines in the film when Ranbir says ki maine kiss kiya hai and sex bhi kiya hai sex has been muted. In a film in which we are talking about freedom of expression, don’t you think it’s a bit...

It's a bit ironical but let me also say that jo censor board hota hai that is the representative of government of India. They are not a group of free thinkers jo baithkar ke faisla karege ki kya aesthetic hai kya nahi hai unke bicharo ke pass guideline hoti hai, woh chah ke bhi woh bolege agar aapko A certificate me bhi aapko sex nahin bolne dete hain. Maine saare arguements diye, maine bola ki bachchon ko to batana chiye ki sex kya hota hai taaki phir woh safe ho jaayen, lekin the government of India says from age 14 or 12 or something will sex education start in India uske pehle sex ka zikr bachchon ko nahi hoga, ye government ki policy hai aur main bolunga ki main government aur Hindustan se zyaada bada turram khan hu to main aapko bataunga, is also not right. They are saying sir ye guide lines hai hamari hum yah aap matlab Ambedkar sahaab nahin hain ki usko change karte phire. They were very sympathetic, let me tell you because they didn’t say cut the flag they didn’t say cut the sequences they didn’t say ye kuch dikha nahi sakte unhone kaha ki India does not supports freedom of Tibbet, it supports the autonomy of Tibbat, I said sir ye to banner ho nahi sakta tha that we support autonomous Tibbet. This is the common man's voice. There was a whole political scenario, coming down to the point, I said to them if I blur it, more people will notice it. Hamein lakeer ke fakeer hona padta hai so I said mera to kaam ho jaayega to unhone kaha thik hai ho jaaye problem nahi hai magar ye cheez nahi kar sakte, so I said theek hai.

Rahman, how was the experience working with him and Mohit Chouhan. In Mohit Chouhan you have a voice which defies tradition, agar convention ki baaat kari jaye to, he does not follow the norms and I think that is the beauty of it because that’s what your character tries to say that he is breaking conventions, shehar me jo ek gana record ho raha hai

Wo nahi ga pata hai

Because woh tradition ko follow nahi karna chahta and that voice justifies it completely

Rahman sir ne hi kaha ke what about mohit, we were all very happy but as far as Rahman sir himself is concerned, maine zindagi mein itna open minded insaan nahi dekha, itna suljha hua aur normal middle class insaan, mager itna open minded insaan nahi dekha jo aapko ijazat bhi lene ki jarurat nahi hai aap kuch bhi kar sakte hain kahin bhi ja sakte hain, unka daayera itna bada hai aap kahi bhi ghoom sakte hai and woh aapko kabhi ehsaas nahi hone denge ki woh koi badi cheez hai. A R Rahman ke saamne kiski zabaan khul sakti hai.

I was reading one of your interviews, you were saying that during the song recordings, you used to get so excited, you used to tell Mohit ke yaar aap aise karo aap aise karo

Sur aur taal mai samjhata tha aur Rahman sir chup chap rehte the aur mujhe do minute baad samajh mein aata tha ki maine kitni badi gustakhi ki hai but wo insaan wo itna bada hai ki usko koi cheez choti lagti hi nahi hai.

You have a timeless moment in the film whenever Shammi Kapoor sahib and Ranbir interact, almost everyone unanimously really appreciated the jugal bandi that both of them they do in the film which I think was fantastic.

Hum bhi jab gaye the unke pass to he is saying, are you mad kya ho gaya hai pagal to nahi hogaye ho tum log ki mujhe keh rahe ho ki main acting karu, main to wheel chair pe hu, meri to ye problem hai, wo problem hai but phir unhone andar se actor hi hain aur wo karna chahte the, unhone kiya aur I think he has blessed us by being there and I am very happy as his friend. Matlab I am nothing compared to him or anything but I feel that as somebody who loves him I am very happy with the fact that before he went he did a film and he finished it completely.

And its looking very fresh I think

Vo aksar pain mein hote the matlab ek dafa to ye kehna pada mujhe ki Shammi ji bahot achcha kiya aapne to unhone kya kaha ki phirse retake kyu kar rahe ho, maine kaha Shammi ji aapka jo real ka jo pain hai na wo nazar aa raha hai shakal pe, to hum baad mein kare. He said, nahin nahin abhi karte hain, abhi karenge and just give me 30sec and ready and that pain was not there on his face.

What are your directorial plans. You are supposed to do a film for Sajid Nadiadwala?

Ya we have spoken, we have a commitment.

Hrithik roshan is there?

No no nothing mujhe lagta hai ki pehle sab se kahani aati hai kyu ki film ka tasavoor aata hai whatever suits that you should do that. Sometimes a producer doesn’t suit a story, ok Rockstar would have been a different film if lets say Illuminati films had produced it, it would have been a different film, better or worse I don’t know. In that way the story should always come first and then everything else should be, like casting process and Hrthik, no not at all. I mean I have met him once or twice.

You are writing a film for Saif's Illuminati Films...

There is a story, its called Cocktail. Homi is directing that and Dinu is producing and Sajid is writing a dialogue. Its my story so that’s my connection with it.

To be continued...

Monday, November 21, 2011

"Salman Is A Darling...": Puneet Issar

Check out an insightful interview with veteran actor Puneet Issar. He talks about the infamous accident that Mr Bachchan met with on the sets of Coolie in a fight gone wrong. He talks about being a part of Mahabharat and why he thinks Salman is a darling. Issar also talks about his forthcoming film 'I Am Singh' and why he feels the Sikh community ought to be presented in a better manner.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Imtiaz Ali On Rockstar Criticism And Why Jab We Met Is Gaining A Cult Status

Just wrapped up a long free wheeling interview with one of my favourite filmmakers Imtiaz Ali. We started off the discussion with Jab We Met and how this film is increasingly gaining a cult status something on the lines of Andaz Apna Apna. I told Imtiaz about a fan Gili Sen in Kolkata who watches JWM everyday since its release and celebrates 26th Oct as its anniversary. I also told him how in each of my interviews with Kareena and Shahid, I end up asking them when are they gonna work with Imtiaz again. He said, "to woh aap hain jo unhe bhadka rahe hain," laughingly.

Imtiaz sportingly answered to all my questions on the criticism that has come 'Rockstar's' way. We spoke on the criticism of why the word 'Tibet' was blurred in Sadda Haq. He says, according to the Govt of India position, we can talk about Autonomy for Tibet but not its freedom hence it was blurred. Imtiaz told the authorities that by blurring they'll attract more attention than by letting it remain the way it is. I asked him why a word like 'Sex' said by Ranbir was muted. Ali said that according to the Censor Board guidelines, they can't use certain words if they have to get a particular kinda rating.

Imtiaz talked about the criticism for opting for Nargis as the lead actress. He spoke about the criticism about the love story not being that gripping. I asked him about the relevance of Sadda Haq in the context of the film considering Jordan doesn't talk about environment issues or rights of people anywhere else in the film. Ali justified by saying, Jordan is breaking off from his own inner turmoil, he is rebelling against all the restrictions imposed on him. His personal angst finds a larger meaning in various issues that are shown in the song.

We spoke about the extraordinary performance of Ranbir Kapoor and how he justified Shammi sahab's line in the film, "ye bada jaanwar hai, ye aapke chote pinjre mein qaid nahin rahega" by putting up an outstanding performance. I told Imtiaz how I feel that Ranbir is one of the finest actors across all generations who are currently working. We talked about the jugalbandi of Shammi Sahab on Shehnai and Ranbir on Guitar. We discussed the casting of Kumud Mishra as Khatana bhai and Piyush Mishra as the outragious Dhingra from Platinum Music. There's a scene in the film where a bare bodied Piyush is getting maalish done in his lawn. Imtiaz told me that it was a hot day and there was oil on Piyush's body. The scene took a long time for shooting and Piyush must have felt very uncomfortable because of the combo of oil and harsh sunlight but he pulled off the scene very well. We spoke about the experience of working with Rahman and how Mohit Chauhan was the right voice for Jordan because of his disregard for the conventional.

Talking about his forthcoming films, Imtiaz will be the creative producer on the official remake of Korean film 'My Girlfriend Is An Agent' which will be directed by Bosco and UTV are the ones who are backing the project. Ali has also written the story of Homi Adjania's film 'Cocktail' starring Saif and Deepika but he is not writing the dialogues for this film. Ali says he is commited to do a film for Sajid Nadiadwala. He deinied about Hrithik being a part of it. Ali says that there has to be a story first and then the story decides the casting.

Its a long interview, around 40 mins. I'll try and transcribe it in text. I hope you guys will relish it as much as I enjoyed doing this interview.
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Friday, November 18, 2011

"Dedicate My Life Entertaining People": Shahrukh Khan

It finally happened after a long wait but it was worth it nevertheless. Did a short one on one interview with Shahrukh Khan at the Go Jiyo event today in Bombay. He is happy with the response to Ra.one so far. There are chances of a sequel which may be called G.one but no confirmation yet. Khan says that his team has explored the technology abd they'll see how it can be developed further.

"Dedicate My Life Entertaining People": Shahrukh Khan

At the Dubai premiere of Ra.one we saw a girl desperately trying to get close to Shahrukh to click a picture, she finally managed it, screamed and hugged him. I asked SRK how does it feel to get such love from fans all across the world. He said that he hopes to entertain people for a long time to come and values their love tremendously. Shahrukh's Bollywood Hungama exclusive interview will be live tonight. I really wished for a longer interview but maybe sometime soon for Don 2. SRK was very nice and the best part is that he is an attentive listener and doesn't take anything lightly.

At the press conference that followed Shahrukh disclosed that he'll be soon going to Poland and that he will be going for Marakesh Festival as well where a retrospective of a few of his films will be showcased. SRK confirmed that he will be at the inauguration ceremony of IFFI in Goa on November 23. Khan will also be shooting for a song for Don 2 for a couple of days shortly. There will be some activity of Don 2 in Dubai in December (he didn't spell out the exact details) in later part of December.

Post the SRK Go Jiyo press conference, I interviewed Puneet Issar who is writing directing and acting in 'I Am Singh'. I started off the interview by asking him about the infamous accident on the sets of Coolie where he accidentally hit Mr Bachchan. Issar recounted how Big B assured him that it was not his fault. Puneet spoke on being the Duryodhan of Mahabharat. He remembered directing Salman in Garv. He said that on the first day of its shoot, he was very nervous. The shoot had to start at 7 and he received a call from Salman at 4:30 am to cancel the shoot as the accident had taken place in American Bakery in Bandra. Talking about 'I Am Singh', Issar got emotional and said that the Sikh community has not been showed in a proper light in the film industry. He also doesn't approve of the Sikh portrayal (appearance wise) in Akshay Kumar's 'Singh Is King'. It is an interesting interview for sure.

Satisfying day. Hope you guys are doing well.
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Haan Naaz Hai....A Song On My Wife Aarefa's Birthday

Hi There

Check out a new song 'Haan Naaz Hai' that has been written,composed
and sung by me. The music arrangements have been done by my good friend
Navneet Kedar. Hope you like it


Chai ke do cup
Subah ho gayi,
whats up
Smile mein koi raaz hai
Wah kya unique andaaz hai
Naaz Hai....Haan Naaz Hai
Naashte ka time hai
Mausam sublime hai
What to eat, what not to eat
That is the question
Or maybe
Not eat at all...
SMS ki khushboo se mobile mein hulchul hai
Sannaton ke shor mein
Saath tumhara har pal hai
Shaam ki kashti, raat kinara,
Sukoon patvaar hai
Mehnat tumhaari, khismat hamaari,
khushiyon ki bharmaar hai

Naaz Hai...Haan Naaz Hai

Chaand Zameen
Gehna hai aasma
There's an angel
Haseen usse samaa
This is not an illusion
This is my reality
I Am So Lucky

Naaz hai....Haan Naaz Hai....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

First Promo Of Aamir's 'Talaash' To Be Showcased With SRK's 'Don 2'

As confirmed by Farhan Akhtar on Twitter, the first trailer of Aamir, Kareena and Rani's 'Talaash' will be launched along with Don 2.

@sushantld the first trailer of Talaash will be released with Don 2.

This is in consonance with the promo strategy followed by Excel since their first film 'Dil Chahta Hai'. The first promo of DCH was launched six months in advance. 'Talaash' is slated to release on June 1, but the promo will be breaking much before the release.

Shahrukh Khan will be interacting with the Go-Jiyo contest winners on Friday November 18 at a hotel in Bombay. It has been promised to be a fun event.

Finally saw 'Tintin' today. Loved the technology and the eternal charm of the boy with the puffed hair refuses to die down.

Anurag Kashyap and Madhu Mantena launched the first film under Phantom films' named 'Lootere' at an event today. The film is starring Ranveer Singh and Sonakshi Sinha. It is directed by Vikramaditya Motwane and Balaji Telefilms are the co producers. The film is based in the 1950s. At the event, Ranveer came on a Bullet while Sonakshi came in a red car. Motwane earned a lot of critical acclaim for his debut film 'Udaan' which didn't star any known names. It will be interesting how he fares in his second film starring commercial actors who can boast of good potential as actors too.

Son Of Sardar, The Dirty Picture On The Move, Phantom, Baby Girl For Ash

Ajay Devgn's 'Son Of Sardar' is going to release on November 30, 2012.

'The Dirty Picture' team will be going on a long city tour within India to places like Kolkata, Bangalore, Nagpur, Patna, Pune, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Indore and Lucknow.

There's a press meet today Nove 16 to launch Vikramaditya Motwane's 'Phantom'. Anurag Kashyap along with stars Ranveer Singh and Sonakshi Sinha will be present at the event.

Aiswarya has been blessed with a baby girl today. A big congratulations to the Bachchans!!!

Shahrukh At IFFI Inauguration Ceremony on Nov 23?

According to a reliable source, Shahrukh Khan will be a part of the inauguration ceremony at the IFFI, Goa on November 23.

Rockstar has put in impressive numbers at the Box Office. The urban youth are patronising the film. It will do wonders for Ranbir's career. But not the best film of Imtiyaz Ali at all.

I am at the Delhi Airport on my way back to Bombay after a short trip to Aligarh. Abba is not well. It's tough to see your loved ones in discomfort and helplessness. But still, Abba's spirit is fantastic. Doesn't complain about anything and always tries and put up a brave front. Weather in Delhi-Aligarh carries a tinge of delightful chill.

I recorded the song 'Haan Naaz Hai' on Aarefa's birthday during my trip to Aligarh. I've written, composed and sung the song while my good friend Navneet Kedar has done the music arrangements. It has come out very well. Shall share with you guys soon.

So much for now. Catch you guys later.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Impressive 'Rockstar' But A Flawed Love Story

Nargis Fakhri has a Katrina Kaif (of Mere Brother Ki Dulhan) hangover as she zooms off on Rockstar Ranbir's bike to 'machaofy some gandh' before she settles down in matrimony with someone else (the 'gandh machaofy' fetish continues post her marriage too). The bonding between the lead pair is fun but the heights of passion that director Imtiaz Ali must have aspired to project to his audience is missing. Moreover, at 2 hrs 45 minutes, Rockstar is a tedious watch specially when the proceedings become too dark.

Imtiaz Ali is one of the finest writer-directors in the Hindi film industry in the present era. There were a lot of expectations from Rockstar. He sketches some wonderful characters but the love story lacks the depth, intensity and reasoning. Also, the narrative goes for a toss in the second half. Janardhan Jakhad aka Jordan(Ranbir) is a simpleton who loves music. His family doesn't support this passion and throws him out of the house. The remnants of love that he felt for Heer (Nargis) and the hardships of life while living on his own in the Nizamuddin Auliya Dargah brings out the spiritual side to his personality. Khatana Bhai (Kumud Mishra, restrained and believable) makes him understand the importance of heartbreak to make lasting music and how to keep the sanity under check at various points of the rockstar's life. Ustaad Jameel Khan (Shammi Kapoor, incredible charmer), a renowned Shahnai player (based on Ustaad Bismillah Khan sahab's persona), is an Indian classical musician who recognises the immense potential in Jordan. Dhingra (Piyush Mishra, superb) owns a successful music company that values profit and subservience.

While Imtiaz constructs impressive characters of Jordan, Khatana bhai, Dhingra and Ustaad Jameel Khan, he fails to underline the reasons for the lack-of-depth in Heer's (Nargis, looks great, is fun but falters as an actress several times) character. At one moment, she can't stand Janardhan Jakhad and after a convenient change-of-heart, goes to watch a sleazy film with him, washed up by desi daroo and long bike rides in hills on the eve of her marriage to someone else. When they meet up again in Prague post her marriage, they go to strip clubs, red light district, dance on roads, long bike rides and then they kiss. After, all the salacious stuff that they had been sharing, she suddenly turns moralistic and tells Jordan to stay within limits. At the dinner, Heer's husband suggests that she should join Jordan's troupe in Prague as a volunteer as he seems to be having a good impact on her (Husband ho toh aisa). During a performance, Jordan goes backstage and plants a kiss on Heer's lips. Since she is suffering from a serious ailment, Heer's parents allow Jordan (known for mood swings, having spent time in jail) to spend time with her. Jordan gets Heer pregnant leading to hazardous complications. Kya mohabbat hai!

Ranbir's journey as a rockstar is not filmi at all. He is shown to be portraying a free spirited musician who is summed up by Ustaad Jameel Khan when he tells Dhingra that Jordan is a free bird who won't remain confined to his cage since he is meant to fly high. Ranbir is one big reason to watch a film that has several flaws. Just watch him transform from a geek to a Greek God. Effortlessly. There are several scenes where he stuns you with the growth in him as an actor. Here are a few such examples:

* When he tears the music contract and throws at Dhingra
* Unabashedly laughs when Dhingra is being fixed by his maalishwala
* Tells Nargis, "tu marni waali hai..." and suddenly changes the context of what he wanted to say
* Interactions with Khatana bhai as he was the only one whom Jordan really trusted or respected.
* Sexual dalliance with journo Sheena (Aditi Rao) and the way he withdraws from performing the act.
* Very convincing as a singer-musician. You could feel that he is actually singing from his gut and when he played the upper strings of the guitar, you know that a lot of research has gone in observing what a rocker does on stage.

Jordan's constant altercations with media is blown out of proportion. The repeated parts where journo-cameramen pounce and jump on Jordan is far from the reality (a nice way to hit back at the media eh!). The first half of the film is fun but the second half gets convoluted, dark and stretches needlessly. How many permutation combinations of Jordan's artistic madness can you suffer? It becomes too much after a point of time. Why was a word like 'Chutiya' beeped while 'Haraami' goes scot free. Jordan tells Heer that he has kissed and has had sex before too, but the word 'sex' is beeped out. Why? What's the big deal? The 'Free Tibet' banner finds 'Tibet' being blurred. It's a shame both for the Censor Board as well as the makers.

'Sadda Haq' is brilliantly picturised. But during the film, one doesn't get to see Jordan expressing his thoughts on environment or other social issues. Hence, in the context of the film, 'Sadda Haq' is out of place. Rahman's music is fantastic but there are way too many songs in the film that derails the narrative further. Mohit Chauhan as Jordan's voice is very effective. A voice that defies anything that is obvious. Anil Mehta's camerawork is exceptional. The scenic Kashmir, Himachal in India and Prague in Europe have been captured beautifully. Imtiaz' dialogues, as expected, are good. Jordan's brother tells him, "ab kya daantne ke liye bhi appointment len..." (should we take appointment for scolding you?). Quirky and different. Aarti Bajaj's editing has two sides to it. The back-n-forth flow of narrative is charming but the slow pace and a sudden, thanda finale spoils the story flow.

In the final analysis, Rockstar is a film that has a lot of heart but the soul is missing. It will test your patience, but it's watchable.

Star Rating: *** stars

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hrithik's Madame Tussauds Statue, Most Kissed?


Hrithik Roshan Most Kiseed!!!
The actor's statue at Madame Tussauds is one of the most kissed statue!!!

Actor Hrithik Roshans waxed statue at Madame Tusads has sneaked its way past its hollywood counterparts to emrge among the top 10 most kissed statues in the museum. Though the official press statement of the museum is yet to come a source confirms that he has indeed made it to the top 10. Incidently last year actor Shah Rukh Khan had made it to the list of Top 10. Madame Tusads releases a list every year about the top 10 most kissed statues in their museum. Last year SRK's statue was among the top 10. This year though the official press release is yet to come their survey shows that Hrithik is among the Top 10 kissed statues says a source.

Incidently even though the museum officials keep a total count, sources say that atleast 20% of total kissers are guys and the rest are women, mostly under the age of 30. The girls and kids just love him and his popularity has been growing globally thanks to his reality show and also the fact that kids love him as Krrish and girls for his sex appeal. I think it is for the first time that a statue in its first year has been among the top 10 most kissed waxed works" the source adds.

Hrithik's the youngest !!!

Hrithik's waxed staue was thrown open to the public on 20th January 2011. His dhoom look was selected as the look of the statue. He is the youngest male actor from India to be honoured by Madame Tusad's. Roshan was completely involved in the creation of the figure attending two sittings in Mumbai and London where sculptors captured a catalogue of referance photographs and hundreds precise measurements. Hrithik also donated the red shirt and dark blue jeans, his figure is wearing. The figure took 4 months to make at a cost of around 150 000 Pounds.

Players First Look Promo On November 3

The first look promo of Players will start playing on TV channels from November 3, 2011.

In an article in HT Cafe today, Oct 30, 2011, Shahrukh Khan said, "I was reading some reviews (of Ra.one) and they were silly. They are looking into some other aspect of filmmaking." What about the sequel to Ra.one? "Let's see how it fares. It's lot of hard work. I'm happy how people have responded despite mixed reports. Once it has come to the fore, I'll give it a thought," SRK said in the HT Cafe story today.
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Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Namaste India": Lady Gaga Wows India


29th October 2011, New Delhi: India got its first ever opportunity to witness LADY GAGA - the global superstar known for her showmanship, individuality and startling creativity. Lady Gaga spoke about her inspiration for her latest album ‘Born This Way’ and expressed her desire to visit India again in the future to perform for her fans here.

Dressed in a beautiful full length gown designed by New York based Indian designer Naeem Khan, the elegant and regal Lady Gaga comfortably shared stories of reincarnation, education, family values and pleasing parents, everything that resonates with Indian people of today and yesterday. Flawless in her presentation Lady Gaga demonstrated a deep respect for India’s people and culture.

Gaga said in her first press conference in the country - “Namaste India! I have always wanted to come to this beautiful country for a very long time and finally it’s been possible. More than the place, the thing that makes this country so beautiful is its people – I want to thank you all for your love and support!”

Lady Gaga was presented a plaque for the success of her albums `The Fame’ and `The Fame Monster’, which have collectively been certified as Double Platinum and her latest album, `Born This Way’, is already certified Gold in India.

Passionate about her Desi Monsters, Lady Gaga met up with hoards of her screaming fans and obliged each one of them with autographs and photographs. Some of her fans were even dressed up like the Lady herself.

Sunil D’Sa, Vice President, UMI said, “With the massive success of Gaga’s albums in India ever since she broke onto the scene in 2008, we at Universal Music India always wanted to bring her down to give her fans a chance to experience the Gaga phenomenon in `person’. Thus, we are ecstatic that she’s made this possible and are indeed privileged to host a `superstar’ as Lady Gaga here in Delhi, India. She is a superstar in the truest sense of the word as she is just not a great musician, but a fashion icon, a fabulous live performer and a philanthropist as well. Her latest album, `Born This Way’, has been one of the fastest selling international albums in India this year and the good news is that her fans can now look forward to the new Gaga releases that are lined for November 2011.”

It must be noted that the Indian version of the album ‘Born This Wa

y’ includes the “Born This Way – Desi Hits! Bollywood Remix” which is remixed by noted film music directors Salim- Sulaiman.

Following the colossal success of her latest album `Born This Way’, Lady Gaga has planned new releases that will hit stores on 23rd November`11 which include Born This Way The Remix, Born This Way - The Collection [Born This Way album + DVD + The Remix] as well as the critically acclaimed, Emmy Award winning HBO special Lady Gaga Presents The Monster Ball Tour at Madison Square Garden on DVD and Blu-ray that includes exclusive, never before seen footage.

`Born This Way’ is the follow-up to her 15 million selling debut - `The Fame’ and `The Fame Monster’ albums! It broke the iTunes record for the fastest rise to the # 1 on release day. The first single from the album, the title track “Born This Way,” set a music industry record by becoming the fastest single in history to reach sales of 1,000,000 copies (five days after its February 11th release). Only the 19th single to ever debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (issue date February 26, 2011), the recording was Lady Gaga’s third #1 on the chart. On iTunes, the song debuted at the top spot in 14 countries, including the U.S., and hit #1 in all 23 iTunes stores worldwide its first week out.

In less than three years, Lady Gaga has earned numerous achievements including five Grammy Awards amongst twelve nominations, two Guinness World Records and the estimated sale of 23 million albums and 64 million singles worldwide. Billboard named her both the “2010 Artist of the Year” and the top selling artist of 2010 ranking her as the 73rd Artist of the 2000’s decade. Gaga has been included in Time’s annual “The 2010 Time 100” list of the most influential people in the world as well as Forbes’ list of the “The World’s Most Powerful Celebrities” in the world. Forbes also placed her at number seven on their annual list of the world’s “100 Most Powerful Women.” With over 1.9 billion combined views of all her videos online, Lady Gaga is one of the biggest living people on Facebook with over 44 million ‘likes’ and is #1 on Twitter with over 15 million followers. Lady Gaga is the only artist in the digital era to top the 5 million sales mark with her first two hits.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rahman, Ranbir To Perform Live In Bombay On Nov 1

Press Release

Rockstar goes LIVE!!

A. R Rahman to perform live in concert first time for a film!

This is perhaps the most awaited moment for Ranbir Kapoor’s fans. The star, after much speculation about his stage performances, will finally perform live in front of audiences in a special ‘Rockstar’ concert in Mumbai!!!

This is Ranbir’s first ever stage performance and the producers Shree Ashtavinayak Cinevision Ltd & Eros International are leaving no stone unturned to make it the biggest event of the year. The ‘Rockstar Concert’ is scheduled in Mumbai on 1st November 2011. Joining Ranbir in this exciting concert will be Director Imtiaz Ali, co-star Nargis Fakhri, singer Mohit Chauhan, who is the voice of Jordan in the film, Music maestro AR Rahman, along with eminent personalities such as Rahman's long term associate Ranjit Barot (Music arranger) and Percussion guru Sivamani.

What’s more, music genius A R Rahman will be performing live in concert for the first time for his film, an added treat for music lovers!

The event is being organized by Deepak Gattani of Rapport, who coordinates all concerts of A R Rahman, with special choreography by Ashley Lobo.

Producer Hiren Gandhi of Shree Ashtavinayak Cinevision Ltd says, “Ever since his Bollywood debut, Ranbir has not performed live to an audience. This is what makes the Rockstar concert so much special for the team, as well as Ranbir’s fans. Plus, Rahman sir's brilliant soundtrack has generated an incredible hype – the songs are topping the charts not only in India, but in US, UK, and several other markets. Hence, planning a concert made a lot of sense, given the craze and euphoria for the music.”

Ranbir is playing a Rockstar in the film and he, with the support of several renowned personalities has put in tremendous effort to personify the character. This concert will enable his and the film’s fans to ‘actually experience’ the Rockstar in Ranbir Kapoor.

‘Saadda Haq’, the song that has become a rage with the youth will be the highlight of the concert. Other songs to be performed from Rockstar include: Jo Bhi Main, Kun Faaya Kun (with the original Qawwali singers also performing live at the concert), Katiyan Karun, Nadaan Parinde and Tum Ho.

Free invitations for the show will be distributed amongst the public and the concert will be held at Bhavan's College grounds, Andheri west.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ra.one: Item-Film With Enough HART To Keep You Interested

Bollywood has had several super hero VFX disasters, but Ra.one is different. This one has a 'HART' that ticks and connects (somewhat) with viewers on a human level. Obviously, the suspension of disbelief is a given (watch Bombay's VT station building crumble like a pack of cards and Victoria's statue stumble down grumpily. A nail in the coffin of the British 'Raj'). Item songs have been in vogue off late. Yes they add tadka to bolster a film's buzz (remember, Sheila is the one who's worth crores while Tees Maar Khan emerged a pauper). With Ra.one, one can invent a term Item-Film. Incredulous, absurd story but neatly decorated and sumptuously colored items that ensures a paisa-vasool-feeling for the viewers who had been Tsunamied with the film's promotions.

Desi Girl Priyanka is craftily saved by macho hero Lucifer (fresh from conquering three Chinese warrior girls, cheesily named 'Iski Lee, Uski Lee, Sabki Lee') from the clutches of Khalnayak Sanjay Dutt who pulps the iron sword with his hands. Ra.one crushes the rose and chases Sonia (Kareena) and Prateik (Armaan) as they indulge in rash driving and crash through a bus (all unscathed). Ra.one and G.one play ping pong with flying cars and perch on the top of big buildings. G.one defies logic and emerges triumphant in stopping a local train running at the speed of 100 km/hr. Football aided street fight outside Bombay's international airport is cleaned up by Chitti Rajni sir's entry, an icing on the electric cake for sure. And yes by the way, there are blessings from Ganpati ji as well.

The father son relationship is what makes Ra.one endearing. Wonder kid Armaan is a super find. He looks and behaves like Harry Potter. In a way he is the hero of the film. While Shahrukh will get all the applause and rewards, the kiddie crowd will take away the empowering feeling that like Lucifer Praeik, even they can control a super hero. Armaan-SRK bonding didn't need gimmicky special effects and that's where the 'human connect' works.

Shahrukh and Kareena's bonding is a bit of a mixed bag. Shekhar-Sonia chemistry is kinda thanda, G.one-Sonia's chemistry creates curiosity and is interesting. But in the second half, the emotional bonding tends to take away the focus and the film's pace slackens. The 'Condom Condom' joke was needless specially when kids are the prime target group. And why did Kareena want to specialise in spouting and decoding Hindi expletives (she seems to have become a specialist anyways, remember Jab We Met, Golmaal 3 and now Ra.one). Kareena has a one dimensional role. There is a small portion where one gets to see her villainous streak and she is really cool in that. Shahrukh goes all out to woo the classes and masses. He succeeds in a big way. As for Ra.one, well, I prefer Tom Wu's version to Arjun Rampal's one. Somehow Tom Wu has a surprise value that makes him look very mean while Arjun lays emphasis on displaying his chiseled physique rather than personify villainy.

The songs have been a big part of the film's promotions. And they are worth listening for sure as well. But in the film, the songs mostly seem out of place. The situation, for even a Chammak Challo, seems forced. The background score by Vishal-Shekhar is impressive while Resul Pookutty and Anup Dev's sound is special. Niranjan Iyengar and Kanika Dhillon's dialogues have a few smart lines (Log Raavan ko is liye har saal maarte hain kyunki vo kabhi marta nahin hai) but over all nothing extraordinary. Excellent VFX by Red Chillies makes Indian cinema proud. No penny is spared. The VFX sheen gives Ra.one a RICH feel in all respects. The gaming part is a bit over done but it has a novelty value that will appeal to the kids who live and die for a gaming console.

Ra.one may not be the best film of the year but one can safely say, the money, the promotions and the HART has delivered something worth remembering for sure. Go watch it (as if you wouldn't have seen it anyways)

Star Rating: *** stars