Faridoon Shahryar's Blog

Friday, August 31, 2012

Tabu, Priyanka, Konkana, Bipasha, Kareena...Who Is Madhur Bhandarkar's Favourite Heroine?

Madhur Bhandarkar has made mostly heroine oriented films. Tabu in Chandni Bar, Priyanka in Fashion, Konkana in Page 3, Bipasha in Corporate and now Kareena in Heroine. If he has to rate Kareena's performance vis a vis his other heroines, what do you think Mr Bhandarkar's answer would be? Well, I asked this question to him during his interview along with Kareena today. So, what was his answer? And yes, I've ensured that he gives one name.

Kareena is super excited about Heroine and rates it as her finest performance. Apart from what you get to see in the theatrical trailer, Kareena promises that there are lot many more histrionics in the final edit. Madhur informed that the duration of the film is 2 hrs 25 minutes (isn't it a wee bit longer than the norm these days?). 'Mumbai daily ki associate editor ho tum, film stars ki friendship tumse nahin tumhari position se hai,' said Mahi in the theatrical promo. How does Kareena react to it considering she has friends in the media? Niranjan Iyengar has penned the dialogues. They carry the trademark Bhandarkar stamp. Madhur was open to discussing the comparisons with The Dirty Picture and Fashion.

Kareena prepared very hard for Halkat Jawani (specially the physical look). She has a Chammak Challo under her belt and now Halkat Jawani. As an actress and a performer, does she consciously think about outnumbering the Chikni Chameli, Munni, Sheila while preparing for an item song? She is seen drinking, smoking in the film, any apprehensions about being judged in real life as well? Khwahishen is Kareena and Madhur's favourite song from the album.

I've taken some questions from a few fans as well. It's a half an hour special, so I guess it will spread into three parts. Hope you all will enjoy it. Cheers!
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Joker: Bad Joke Of The Day

A certain section of the audience walked out of the theatre much before the film was over. "Yaar disprin de do," a guy said as he walked past me once the film was over. Another boy whipped out an obscene expletive, making his disgusting-cinema-watching experience loud-n-clear. Well, there are no prizes for guessing that I am talking about 'Joker'. Akshay Kumar, wisely stayed away from promotions of this film but dude what were you thinking when you said yes to a film like this in the first place?

The premise of the film is based in a village called 'Paglapur'. Now, the director made me buy a ticket for watching a film that can make any one go NUTS. FBI, NASA, Indian Army's tanks (cardboard tigers), soldiers (laced with laser guns that never ever hit the target) and a bunch of cartoon politcos. 'Ancient Human' Vindu Dara Singh, shrill Pitobash, 'Alien-lingo-pro' Shreyas Talpade (Joker is way ahead in being an intolerable hackneyed-hamming experience than Hum Tum Aur Shabana), supportive bosoms of Minissha Lamba (she hardly has a dialogue and her claim to fame is a clinging-in-white wet dance right at the end), Sonakshi Sinha gives up the city polish and settles in the comfort-zone of village-belle curves (What a dampener to her 440 watt guest appearance in Rowdy Rathore). Akshay Kumar desperately tries to save a film that has 'Disaster' written all over it, and fails miserably.

Asrani brings in a few laughs with his wrong English but then you are trying all efforts to find semblance of anything remotely good with the film. Shirish Kunder's directorial debut 'Jaaneman' had a great music score. Each song is worth-listening. Any day. Gulzar sahab had written fantastic lyrics for that film. But here, story, screenplay, lyrics, background score, editing, direction (I am sure there must be more 'credits) are hoarded by Shirish Kunder. It is a perfect case of obsessive nascissism and the results are disastrous to say the least.

Do yourself a favour and stay far far away from this Joke of a movie.

Star Rating: Can I have my money back Puhleeze?
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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Send Questions For Kareena And Madhur

Guys I shall be doing a joint interview with Kareena Kapoor and Madhur Bhandakar. Send in your questions for both at faridoonshahryar@gmail.com. You can also post in the comments section. It's important that questions both for Madhur and Kareena are sent by you guys as the balance is important. Cheers. 

Student Of The Year Music To Be Launched At Radio City

Music of Karan Johar's 'Student Of The Year' will be launched tomorrow August 31 at Radio City FM channel. The starcast comprising of Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt and Siddharth Malhotra along with Karan will be chatting live with their fans from 9-11 am. 

Aamir Khan On Talaash, Dhoom 3, Peekay, 3 Idiots Record

FS: Can you just briefly talk about your movies, you are right now shooting for Dhoom 3 in Chicago, your entire experience?

AK: It's great to come here and shoot and I am having a great time shooting here. Dhoom 3 is a fantastic script and I am really enjoying because I am doing an action, fun film after a long time. So I am really enjoying it. And ofcourse on the 30th November Talaash is releasing, so I am looking forward to Talaash as well. I must tell you that it's a film that I am really looking forward to. You know at one time in Hindi Cinema we used to see films like Woh Kaun Thi? or Mera Saaya or Madhumati or Howrah Bridge or you know those suspense dramas. It's that genre of cinema coming back after a long time. I think we are all quite happy with the way it's turned out, so I am looking forward to Talaash releasing on the 30th of November. Dhoom 3, is shooting now, it will come out sometime next year, we don't know when but sometime next year for sure, and when I finish with Dhoom 3, I get onto Raju Hirani's next film Peekay, I start shooting for that, so that's my plan as far as films are concerned, and once I finish shooting for  Peekay, hopefully by then our research would be complete and I will get back onto Season 2 of Satyamev Jayate. 

FS: You are a bit upset with certain rumors doing the rounds about Talaash. Do you still maintain that because we still, we heard a few more rumors recently as well that advance booking has started and all those things infact. 

AK: Yeah, someone is playing some mischief with our film, I don't know who it is, but someone is spreading false rumors about the film. I mean ultimately all this doesn't matter, ultimately what matters is the film has to turn out well. Ultimately when people see the film, only then will they like it or not like it. But this has happened too many times for it to be a coincidence, so I was speaking with Reema and with Ritesh and with Farhan and we were discussing the fact that yes there seems to be someone, who doesn't want good things to happen to us. But whoever that person is, we still wish him or her well and we are just concentrating on our own work. So please don't believe in any rumors, the film is scheduled for 30th of November and advance booking will be normal, whenever it normally starts, it will start. 

FS: 3 Idiots still has the record of 202 crores, that it has earned, the net amount. It is still a record and you guys came up with 1500 prints at that point of time which is very less. How do you look at it, that the film is still unbeatable and people still talk about it, and whenever it comes on television and even overseas it released recently, in a few centers in China and it has done a great business over there. 

AK: Well, 3 Idiots is a very special film for all of us and it really pleases me that it has done so well and people have connected so much. 

FS: Thank you so much for being on Bollywood Hungama and all the best wishes. Thanks a lot. 

"Don't Know What Bhatt Sahab Is Talking About": Emraan Hashmi

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"We will make announcement of the cast of Happy New Year On January 1, 2013": Farah Khan

Farah Khan in an interview with me today informed that 'Joker' is 1 hour 45 minutes long. She has been approached by Atul Kasbekar's agency 'Bling' for handling her endorsements and public appearances.

Speaking about Shahrukh Khan's 'Happy New Year', she said that the film has five male leads (Shahrukh and Boman have been finalised) and one actress. She says that she is looking for an experienced actress and not a new face since the role requires a fine actress, who can dance beautifully and is a great looker. On the question of Abhishek Bachchan being one of the other leads, she said that her lips are sealed. "We will make the announcements on cast and other details on January 1, 2013." Vishal Shekhar are doing the music for the film.

Farah will also be judging Dance India Dance and India's Got Talent on television. Incidentally Karan Johar is one of the other judges on IGT.
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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Emraan On The Reported Differences With Mentor Mahash Bhatt

In an interview with me a short while back, Emran Hashmi spoke about the reports about his alleged differences with mentor Mahesh Bhatt sahab. There have been reports that Bhatts are not happy with Emraan giving prominence to films outside their family banner. Emraan says he is waiting for a good script from Bhatt sahab for him to sign on the dotted lines. He also spoke about the allegations that he has not been giving enough time for promotions and was not seen at the recent screening of Raaz 3 as well. In fact he is yet to watch the film. He also says that sequel of any film should be, at the maximum, a trilogy, as it loses steam after that.

Emraan also spoke about the experience of being amongst fans when he visits smaller cities. He says the girls have checked him out at unmentionable places (his body that is). The Karan Johar film that he is doing is called 'Ungli' and it co stars Sanjay Dutt. There are reports of Kareena Kapoor opting out of that film, does it upset him? He spoke about 'Rush' and how he plays a journalist in the film. Ghanchakkar, according to him has "Dark Humour". Ghanchakkar is 45 per cent complete.
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Shahid Kapoor Opts Out Of Maneesh Sharma's Film

Maneesh Sharma's film for YRF has been postponed. The film was earlier supposed to start in September but apparently some lip sync songs have been added to the film which has delayed the film further. According to an official press release, Shahid Kapoor has opted out of the film as he has other commitments and wouldn't be able to adjust his dates. The film had been delayed earlier due to Maneesh Sharma's health issues. Incidentally the film has been co scripted by Maneesh Sharma, Jaideep Sahni and Aditya Chopra. Habib Faisal had been the writer for Maneesh's earlier two films Band Baaja Baraat and Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl.
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Monday, August 27, 2012

Priyanka Chopra Excited About 'In My City'

I just spoke to Priyanka Chopra on phone. She is in USA, giving final touches to her debut single 'It's My City' that will be launched at the National Football League on September 13. She will be accompanied by Will I Am who'll be rapping along with her. Now, this number is being used as theme song for the NFL this season and the same song will be applied for each team hailing from various cities. Priyanka says that one can draw parallel with IPL theme music. Priyanka has co written the song.

I asked her if the song refers to any city in India. She said, it's a reflection of a lot of cities in India like Mumbai, Bareily, Jamshedpur, US...the places that she grew up in. She is excited about performing live. Priyanka has written around 40 songs and she will be choosing from them for the album which should be releasing later this year in all probability. 'It's My City' is a pop song and as far as her album is concerned, it comprises of ballads and other genres. Priyanka is excited about 'Barfi' as well. She shall be leaving for London for promoting the film followed by Dubai and then city tours in India. And then she will be in US for the September 13 D Day. Priyanka spoke highly of Ranbir Kapoor and also says that Barfi is a fun film. 

"SRK, Aamir, Salman Ke Saath Nawazuddin...": Faridoon Shahryar

A Seminar was organised at Mumbai Press Club on August 25, 2012. The topic of the seminar was: Bollywood Journalism or PR Journalism? Senior journalist and a respected critic Mr Ajay Brahmataj (Dainik Jagran), Iqbal Parvez (NDTV India) and I were the speakers. Ajay ji made some wonderful points about the frivolous manner in which film journalism is treated even though it has a wide reach and millions of people dedicatedly follow it. Iqbal shared his experiences and point of view. I feel strongly about the topic of the seminar and put forth my point of view as well. Celeste, I know you will ask for Hindi subtitles. Well, I have referred to you as 'the friend from Italy'. If you have any queries regarding portions that you haven't been able to understand, well, feel free to correspond and I shall make things as clear as possible.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

"Raajniti 2 Will Be Katrina's Story": Prakash Jha

"Rajniti 2 will be Katrina's story as her character will take it forward," said Prakash Jha in an interview with me a short while back. With regards to the heroine for Satyagrah, there has been speculation on the names of Katrina and Kareena. Mr Jha says that he will announce the name of the heroine within a week's time. My gut feeling says that it is going to be Katrina but wait till the official announcement. Ajay Devgn will play the male lead.

Mr Jha is also working on Gangaajal 2 which will star Ajay Devgn. I spoke to him about the impact that the promo of Chakravyuh has had since the time it was launched a few days back. The film highlights the Naxalite movement. I repeatedly asked Mr Jha if he is apprehensive about presenting contentious issues in his film considering Aarakshan was banned in four states and suffered. He says that he will only respect the verdict of the Censor Board and wouldn't bow before any other forces.

Mr Jha spoke about the entire process of story screenplay, dialogues that he weaves along with his co writer Anjum Raja Bali. They go through several drafts and keep bouncing on each other till they reach the final draft. He spoke about conceptualising dialogues that should have the desired impact on the audience. He also spoke about Anjali Patil, the actress who plays a fierce Naxalite in the film. Patil has some chilling scenes in the promo. Mr Jha said that he had met a Naxalite lady in a jail who spoke about killing and chopping people with the same nonchalance with which she must have cut vegetables or carried out daily household chores.
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Eid Glory: Insha Shimmers In Gharara Gifted By Her Daadi

Emotion Packed SIX Hours At Wagah Border On Independence Day

Vijay, Manu, Raj, Vishwajeet's Exclusive On 'Kya Dilli Kya Lahore'

Salman-Katrina Talk About 'Ek Tha Tiger' Post Release

"I Have Lost A Lot Of Money On Satyamev Jayate": Aamir Khan

Faridoon: Now Aamir, you have taken up many contentious issues you know, you have may be in a way upset a lot of people as well. You have spoken about Satyendra Dubey, you have spoken about Rizwan, which has earned you a lot of respect as well, that finally someone has actually spoken about these guys. But at the same time, whatever battle you have had with the entire medical fraternity, not the entire medical fraternity, people who are doing malpractices as far as female infanticide is concerned, at the same time many a pesticides, lobby of pesticides and the pharmaceutical companies, the lobby of pharmaceutical companies, the Khap Panchayats have had issues with a certain thing that you have been saying as far as honor killing and all these things concerns. At any point of time don't you feel any sort of fear by any chance, because you are actually coming out in the open and these are very very touchy topics as far as India is concerned?

Aamir: Well, the fact of the matter is Faridoon that when you are talking about issues and they talk about the problems that the country is facing and when we are talking about such big issues which our society is facing where 99 percent of the people are getting badly affected by something, certainly there will be 1 percent of the people who are also benefiting from that problem. That is why that problem is existing. Many times the people who are benefiting from the problem are in many ways part of the problem. So while we were doing this show we were well aware that every topic that we take up, there will be people who are part of the problem, and not proper solution or don't want to be part of the solution. We were aware of that right from the very beginning. But that did not deter us from doing what we did because we also believe, and this is what I strongly believe, that I really believe that every Indian wants to contribute to our country, wants to contribute to the betterment of our country. Every Indian loves his country or her country. And initially a person will get upset with me or my team. Nahin yaar yeh hamaare bare mein aise kyun bol raha hai, yaar yeh hamaare nuksaan ki baat kyun kar raha hai. But main kisike nuksaan ki baat nahin kar raha hoon, main desh ke bhale ki baat kar raha hoon, society ke bhale ki baat karne ki koshish kar raha hoon atleast, that's my attempt. So I think that initially the person may get disturbed but in the long run, the person will realize that you know what he is trying to say is for everyone's benefit, because we are not pointing fingers at anyone. Faridoon, the fact of the matter is that whatever situation we are in, we are all collectively responsible for it. I cannot say just one section of the society is responsible for something. That is not correct and that is not true also. So when we take an issue, we try and understand the root cause of it. Ultimately we are all human beings and we sometimes make mistakes. I also make mistakes in my life, but the key is to try and learn from it and to try to be honest with yourself to see if I can live a life with dignity with love and with respect. So our show in any case does not point fingers at any particular person or group because that is not our purpose, our purpose is not to exclude anyone, our purpose is to include everyone in the solution, and everyone has to be a part of that solution. For example, when you say pharmaceutical company. The pharmaceutical companies are doing a great job also, they are making the medicines, and I think the pharmaceutical companies can earn a lot of money even by providing generic medicines because there are people who would prefer to have branded medicines. The people who are well-off financially will continue to buy branded medicines, but those people who cannot afford branded medicines for them generic medicines would be available. So in my opinion the business will grow, it will not become less, according to me. 

Faridoon: Now Aamir, what is being said is that, what you have started off has been phenomenal, you have had around 1 billion impressions on internet, which is I think, no show has ever had that before. Even in terms of reach within India you have had around many channels that the show was going on, in many languages. You also wrote extensively in lots of newspapers as well as regional newspapers usmein bhi aapke translations chape gaye the. You spoke on All India Radio as well. You have started a wonderful thing, it's been a 3 and a half months thing and aapne kaha hai that ant nahin shuruwat hai and dil pe lagegi tabhi baat banegi. You know you have started a fantastic thing and its like 4 months, but still the sceptics will say that abhi aapka show aapka khatam ho gaya hai, now what? Isko asp sustain kaise kareinge. 

Aamir: I will tell you what our plans are. First of all I didn't know what to react to the sceptics and critics because they, I mean they are not really looking for my reply also. But I will tell you Faridoon, what our plans are. What are plans are that every 6 months, like today on 15th August we did a special episode of Satyamev Jayate, it took us through the journey. Similarly on 26th of January, ko hum ek aur show kareinge, which is 6 months from now. So 6 months from now we will again see that each 13 topics that we took up, where have we reached now after 6 months. Next August on 15th August, again after 6 months we will check where have we reached. So every 6 months we will have a special show just to see where these original 13 topics which we started out with, what has the progress that has been made in these 13 topics, that is number one. Number two in this 1 year in any case our research of season 2 has begun. So our season 2 research is going on and it will take us year to do the research, thereafter we start shooting for season 2 and that will be on-air in a year or year and a half from now. So in  a year and a half, you will have season 2 on-air, but in the interval period every 6 months we will be doing a special episode, just to keep tabs on where we have reached. 

FS: I have read somewhere that you guys have also, may be taken some sort of office or something  for Satyamev Jayate, some building or something, I read somewhere. Is there any truth in that?

AK: No, we don't need to, I mean the Aamir Khan Productions office is there, we work out of an office, half the times we are working out of our homes. 

Will the website continue, will you continue just keeping the tab on the website?

AK : Yes, definitely the website will continue. The website will be one very important platform which will take this forward.

FS: Aamir, I just read this autobiography of Kuldip Nayar sahab, he is a very well-renowned journalist, and he has seen the evolution of this country since the partition and he has seen everything. Now what he said was that he had a certain opportunity at some point of time that he was offered that may be he should contest elections and may be, be a part of the system, but he said that I am better off not being a part of the system. But he has written in his autobiography that may be it was a mistake that he made, because if he would have been part of the system may be the kind of impact that he wanted to bring in the society, may be he could have done it. He has done Human Rights work apart from that as well. In that context, you have said repeatedly that you won't be part of the political system, but do you at times think that may be you would want to be part of the political system because I read a column as well and it was said Aamir Khan perfectionist hain, and if he becomes the Prime Minister of the country, he will be the perfect Prime Minister of the country as well. Ke aap jo kaam karte hain bahut hi dil lagake karte hain. 

AK: Faridoon, the fact is that I won't be entering politics because I don't feel that, that is my area of expertise. I don't feel that I will be able to contribute enough to my society, to my country in a field that I don't know anything about. I feel wherever I am today, I am able to infact contribute much more. So Kuldip may have felt differently and may today feel differently about what his actions and decisions were and certainly he knows best about that. But as far as I am concerned I feel, I feel I have a lot to contribute as an artist, and as a creative person I would love to contribute. And I am saying 'lot to contribute' not only in my films, but I am saying even socially or even towards my country or towards my society, I can contribute much more, through what my capabilities are, what my abilities are, what my core strengths are, these are my core strengths, you know communication, telling people stories, touching your emotions, making you laugh or cry, making you think about certain things, these are my core strengths and this is what I also enjoy doing. This is what I know how to do, I don't know how to do anything else. So I don't know anything about politics 

FS: But what has been said is that jaise aap jo bhi kaam karte hain, you literally get into the skin of it. Aapko perfectionist kaha jaata hai and even in the role of a journalist as far as Satyamev Jayate is concerned, people have applauded, even the most political journalists they have acknowledged the way you have gone about and just treated the stories. The stories are not treated in a glamourous manner, bahut hi aise bhi subjects aapne choose kiye hain which are not glamourous at all infact, and the way you just grilled Dr. K.K. Talwar in the doctors episode was something which is, which was phenomenal infact. So in that context, aap jis bhi kaam mein aap jaate hain aap usko, you really get into it. May be you never know in terms of, in some role may be as far as social awareness is concerned, can we see Aamir Khan?

AK: Well I am already doing that through Satyamev Jayate and even through my film, I am doing that. I don't need to get into politics for that. I don't think it's for me you know so I can understand that people may be thinking that, that's my plan. A lot of times we try to find reasons why is this person doing this. It doesn't occur once, you know the reason to make Satyamev Jayate, some people may be feeling arre iske kuch political plans honge, isliye woh aaj yeh show kar raha hai, kal jaake election ladega. So people are more bothered about why I am doing something, as opposed to what I am doing. Why I am doing this, I am very clear because it makes me happy. Why am I doing Satyamev Jayate, because it gives me peace of mind, it makes me happy, that's why I am doing Satyamev Jayate. I feel it's a very enriching experience and you cannot value this in money Faridoon. The experience that I have had over these 2 years is invaluable. The people I have met, amazing people I have met from small villages from different parts of the country. This for me is very important, I am doing this because it makes me happy, I am doing it because it gives me more knowledge, I am doing it because I am passionate about it on a personal level, that's why I am doing it. That's the only reason why I am doing it. There are people who are not use to these situations, people will be haan woh kar raha hai toh yaa toh usko bahut zyaada paise itne mil rahe hain yaa toh, or he has got some political ambitions, but none of this is true. 

FS: You know a lot was said about the entire money thing that you are earning per episode, but at the same time may be, what has not really been spoken about is that you have not been endorsing any products in the last 4 months. None of your advertisements are coming on television. I think may be, no actor would be doing something of that sort that just stop endorsing any product, when you can endorse almost any product for that matter. 

AK: Strictly speaking Faridoon, that these 2 years that I have put into Satyamev Jayate, if I look at it, only from a financial point of view, then I have lost a lot of money. My chartered accountant is most unhappy with me, let me tell you, because he knows how much I could have earned in these 2 years, if I had done a film or if I had continued with my endorsements, I have not renewed some of them and in some cases I have actually terminated some of them. I have requested my clients that you know I no longer want to continue. As a result, in these 2 years what I could have earned is a fairly substantial amount, so financially this is a losing proposition for me. But I am not doing it for money, I am not concerned, I am earning enough. In my life I will want enough, I will continue to earn enough. I am not doing this for money, I am doing it because as I said earlier, I just feel happy doing this. I feel like doing this, I have always followed my heart and that's what I am continuing to do. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

"My Team And I Are Very Thrilled": Aamir Khan

I have watched all the episodes of Satyamev Jayate. My entire family has watched it religiously including my mother who rarely watches television. I had interviewed Aamir before the show had started and had sensed the tremendous impact this show has had on him. I had been trying for an interview with Aamir for a long time now. He promised me that he will do it. He hasn't done too many interviews since the time SMJ wrapped up since he had started work on Dhoom 3. And when Aamir works on something, he dedicates himself totally. Before he left for Chicago, he once again tried to find some time. We were on standby. But somehow the interview didn't materialise. Once he was settled in Chicago, I contacted him once again (just trying my luck). He was gracious enough to contact through his team immediately. We conducted this interview via Skype and Aamir patiently spoke to me for half an hour. It was meant to be audio visual but due to some technical issues, the video couldn't be recorded. I was heartbroken. My brother in law Tabish tried his best to recover the video somehow. But it was not meant to be. Thankfully, the audio was saved and we decided to make a story using the audio, the way we've done in the past. It is a special interview. Here's the first part of the interview with two more to go. Hope you like it. 

Faridoon Shahryar: Are you enjoying the entire excitement that Satyamev Jayate has developed, you had one more episode that came on TV and I think the response to that has been fabulous as well?  

Aamir Khan: Faridoon, we felt that you know throughout this journey there was so much that I didn't want the show to be just my voice and what we are saying, but we wanted to hear what people are saying, and from our side we had made so many efforts to collect the voices of people. Persistent is the company we had hired for this purpose to plan everything on the net and of-course we had people writing in letters. So all of this we felt is very important to share it with people. And every week I have asked a question to people, you know every week people have answered what their opinion on that topic is. We have requested people to support certain organizations which are doing good work, which we had selected. So that money has been collected. How much has been collected? Which organization has it gone to? So, in a short while whatever has happened we wanted to share it with people, because we felt it's very important for them to know what's happening. 

FS: What is the total amount that has been collected so far, because I believe for every episode you have got from 27 Lakhs to around 2 Crores. What is the total amount?

AK: Because the collection date is going on till 31st August, so far the minimum any organization has got is 27 or 28 Lakhs, and 2 Crores something is what one organization has got. So that's the highest amongst between 27 and 2 Crore. And I am hoping that this will, you know till 31st August we are going to collect some more. I think the total is somewhere around 9 Crores or 10 Crores. Somewhere there, I am not sure exactly.   

FS: When you had started off and we had done an interview with you and even after that when I had met you one thing you had said I think quite a few times, that apart from the impact that you want to create from this show, most importantly what you want to do is that people should bring a change within themselves, and that is something which I think has come forth in many ways. The way people have come forward  and the way people have atleast started talking about many of these things because many of these issues were there, people knew about dowry and the child sexual abuse and female infanticide as well, but just get the details about it and the impact of it and even the alcoholism is something which is unprecedented. So the change within people, How do you react to that. What sort of inputs have you got from people in general?  

AK: Well actually you know my team and I are very thrilled with the kind of emotional connect that people have had with the show, and exactly what we wanted is that you know, because we have always believed that with information and knowledge we can empower people. And if the information and knowledge empowers me and based on that I can change my steps if I feel that I need to. So first the impact of that knowledge and information has happened on me, because I have been so unaware in my whole life about so many things, so that impact is first on me, and then through me via media I am hoping that it also reaches more and more people. And it has, so I am very excited about that this show has really connected with people and it has you know made all of us aware, its made all of us more introspective. And I truly believe that this will bring about, you know a strong change as we go along. 

FS: You know what has happened is that you have been working on this show for the last 3 years and apparently you had a very small core team of 3 people, Lancy Fernandes, Svati Chakravarty and Satyajit Bhatkal. And apparently you guys were just meeting every day and during the entire night many a times you guys were just brainstorming and just thinking about it. I think per episode you have spent around 3 months on every episode in terms of the researching and just doing the ground work and apparently you have had around 1600 hours of footage. Now the question that a lot of people are asking is that Aamir Khan koi aasaan kaam kyun nahin kar sakte hain. Aise hi kaam woh kyun pasand karte hain jiske andar bahut hi zyada mushkilein hoti hain and it's not easy to do it in the first place. 

AK: I think every work that you do can be easy or difficult, it's upto you. And it's not a question of easy and difficult also, it's a question of how deep you want to go into anything. So no matter what I am doing, I like.. I am very.. I am a passionate person and I like to give everything that I have in whatever I am doing, could be playing a game of chess, could be eating a meal, it could be talking to my friends. When i am talking to you my entire attention should be on you and nobody else. So I like to give myself fully to everything that I do, and so therefore even in something like this which is infact very all consuming and all demanding. It's more than likely that I would be totally immersed in this and and it was and it's been a very rewarding and enriching experience for me. I think I have learnt so much, I have met such amazing people, I would have never met all these people from different parts of the country. So its been a big learning experience. 

FS: You had 13 episodes and almost every, I must say every episode has been spoken about, you have had different issues and there has been huge impact as well, but personally as someone who has been associated with this and if you have to look at it objectively, which particular issue that you think has really brought about a change within yourself or you felt that has had the maximum impact?     

AK: Well Faridoon all the topics are important to all of us and it will be very difficult for me to pick out any one, but I would be like to say three things over here, one is that in terms of the episode, the last episode was probably the most important for me because it reminds us that, our forefathers who fought for our independence, what was their dream of India, what were they dreaming and what hopes did they have when they were fighting for an independent India. When they were fighting against the British and they were sacrificing so much, what was reaching in their hearts and whether it was our leaders, our national leaders or whether it was a common man on the road, that generation of Indians has sacrificed a lot to give us our independence, and the dream that they had, they wrote it down, in the form of the Preamble to the Constitution. Jo hamaare Samvidhan ka pehla panna hai, so that first page tells you, what their dream was. They dreamt of an India where there would be justice, they dreamt of an India where there would be equality, no one is superior or inferior they are all equal. They dreamt of an India where there would be freedom and liberty. They dreamt of an India where there would be fraternity and brotherhood. So these were the 4 important pillars of their dream. That last episode reminds us of that dream and it represents us and makes me want to promise to myself that I will try and do everything in my power to fulfill the dream that they dreamt when they fought for our Independence. The independent country we are living in today is because of them, this was their dream. Can we move towards achieving it, in a very holistically, in a whole-hearted way. So I should make every attempt from my side as an Indian to fulfill that dream and that is what the last episode tells us, so I find that very inspiring. So for me that is the most important episode, because if we do that then the other topics also get covered up in that.

The other 2 things I am going to tell Faridoon over here is that in the entire you know 2 - 3 years of work that we have put in, the 2 main things that have come up, 2 big learnings if I can say for me, has been that one of the biggest stumbling blocks for us as a society has been this patriarchal thinking. Patriarchal thinking means a society which believes that men are superior to women and therefore they have more rights. So that kind of thinking according to me is very harmful to the healthy growth of a society and for a better and happier society. So that patriarchal thinking which says that men are superior, needs to be addressed. We need to realize that men and women are both equal. Our Constitution tells us that, but we often forget, that in our heart somewhere as Indians we have been living with this patriarchal kind of thinking. This patriarchal thinking is there in men and in women both and this is the thinking that really disturbs our country on lot of levels and I will tell you how. Very simple thought I will tell you is that the centre of any family is the mother, mother is a woman. When that woman is born and she is a girl, we have to realize that we have to make her strong. So you have to feed your daughter properly, you have to educate your daughter properly, in terms of health issues, you have to look after the health of your daughter properly. In India, unfortunately, first of all people indulge into female feticide. Then after that, if they don't kill the fetus, often girl-child are left in dust-bins and all, then if the girl-child is not left in the dust-bin she is not fed properly, she is not given equal as her brother is given. So your son is well-fed, your son is well-educated, he is sent to the best schools, but not your daughter. Now this is the inequality we need to remove because when you educate your daughter properly, when you make her strong physically, mentally, emotionally in every way, when she grows up and she becomes a mother that family becomes strong. When the mother of the family is strong, the family is strong, because the mother is the centre of every family and when the mother is strong, the family is strong. The family is strong then the nation is strong. My mother has spent more time with me, she has done by upbringing. So what we have to realize is that as Indians we have to treat a girl-child with the same love and respect and offer her everything the same as we offer to the boys and that is a very big requirement of our society right now. So that is one learning. 

The other big learning that I had is that, wherever we found people living as a community we found happiness more there. We found that people were prosperous over there, financially, economically in every way, wherever people were working as a community as one. So, whether its villages, whether its mauhullas. Wherever we found that people are thinking ki yaar yeh toh mere liye accha hai, main toh kar leta hoon. Baaki let it be whatever happens there, there is a breakdown of society and there is a downfall. So you go to a village where you feel, where you see people are working collectively there you find that the village is prospering, because they are able to deal with the things in a good way. So there people are not cast conscious or religion conscious or other things conscious and they work as a community. There we have found that the people were successful. So this is a big learning for us where you have to always think that what is good for everyone is also good for me. If that kind of thinking we can ingrain in ourselves then that will go a long way, it will go a long way in bettering our society. 

"Bullet Ki Tarah Chalti Hai Film": Salman Khan

"Possibility Of A Sequel To Ek Tha Tiger...": Salman Khan

Salman-Katrina's Exclusive On The Huge Opening Of Ek Tha Tiger

Friday, August 17, 2012

Salman Sad With The Ban On Ek Tha Tiger In Pakistan

In an interview with me a short while back, Salman Khan expressed sadness that 'Ek Tha Tiger' is not releasing in Pakistan. He said that many of his Pakistani fans in Dubai, London and elsewhere have seen the film and loved it. He says that the Pakistani censor board must be having reasons and he respects that.

Katrina is excited with the response that her character has received. In a Salman Khan film, heroines are generally meant to indulge in song and dance routine and a few stray dialogues here and there but ETT has Katrina playing a pivotal role with serious action too. Kaif is happy with the appreciation for her action. Salman has been taking Action to another level with each passing film. The aeroplane scene and the stunt on the train in Dublin have been choreographed brilliantly in ETT. Salman and Katrina praised the action consultant Conrad and his team and also the manner in which director Kabir Khan conceptualised the action.

Salman spoke about the sense of humour in ETT and why he doesn't want his films to be preachy. He spoke about the working experience with Girish Karnad and Roshan Seth. Katrina said that the dog Rocket was the most pampered on the sets as he had a huge staff tagging along.

Salman is happy with the huge Box Office numbers but he says its the public acceptance that has been most satisfying. What does he have to say about the numbers around Sunday and Monday on Eid? Are there chances of Salman and Katrina working together in future?

I didn't ask any personal question as I found no sense in probing into someone's private life especially when certain sections have already gone crazy inventing and concocting stories.
Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone

Shahrukh Khan Meets The Aliens From Joker At Mannat

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tantalizing Picture Of Kareena In Halkat Jawaani (Heroine)

Ketan Mehta Signs Nawazuddin Siddiqui For 'Mountain Man'

Ketan Mehta has signed Nawazuddin Siddiqui for the lead role in his film 'Mountain Main'. The film is based on Dashrath Manjhi who is famous for breaking a mountain over a period of 22 years which resulted in saving a lot of time (75 kilometers shortened to one kilometer) for the people of his village in Bihar.  Dashrath's feet was recognised in the thirteenth episode of Aamir Khan's television show 'Satyamev Jayate'. 

Says Ketan Mehta in an official press release, "To me, Dashrath Manjhi, the 'Mountain Man', is Mr. India. He embodies the spirit of independent India, the amazing, indomitable; never say die spirit of achieving the impossible against all odds. It is the story of 'Mind over Matter'. The film depicts the victory of an idea – The idea of being the change.  But above all it is a great love story, set amongst the wretched of the earth.  His sheer perseverance  and determination as they say would 'move the mountains'  of apathy- a fighter whose weapon was not a gun but the human will, fuelled by Love !''.

Speaking about the film & his role Nawazuddin said, "As an actor I always crave for challenges, and working with Ketan Sir is a huge opportunity & honour. I'm also fortunate to get the opportunity to essay the role of such a great man. What Dashrath Manjhi has done is greater than anything anyone could've ever done for love. He made a monument of love, with his own hands! And his monument of Love for me went even beyond being just a thing of beauty like the Taj Mahal - it actually transformed the lives of millions of people! I cannot wait to begin the shoot for this film."

Said producer Deepa Sahi, ''I am most excited about Nawazuddin acting in it -  unfortunately I had not seen him before I saw 'Kahaani'  but  the moment he stepped into frame as 'Khan'  I knew a great actor had come in  – and how he handled the difficult scenes in Gangs confirmed that!  Watch out for this new age actor as, 'Dashrath Manjhi'. ''

The script has been co-written by Mehta himself, along with Anjum Rajabali & Mahendra Jhakar. The rest of the cast will be finalized soon and the film will go on floors later this year.


Shootout At Wadala Release Date Shifts To May 1, 2013

Sanjay Gupta's 'Shootout At Wadala' was supposed to release in January 2013 but it has now been shifted to May 1, 2013 which is the labour day and apparently the team is aiming to cash in on a five day weekend.

Producer Ekta Kapoor in an official press release said, "When I recently watched the rushes, I was blown away. It's such an engaging and powerful film. With its content and massive star cast, topped by the kind of marketing push that the Balaji team will give, we need a long weekend for SAW. The film is a supreme mass entertainer and we will hype it to the hilt."

Director Sanjay Gupta said, "May 1 is Maharashtra Day / Labour Day. Manya Surve, our lead protagonist, is a Maharashtrian  from a work-oriented middle-class family whose life takes a precarious turn.

Shootout At Wadala stars Anil Kapoor, John Abraham, Kangana Ranaut, Tusshar, Manoj Bajpai, Sonu Sood, Ronit Roy, Siddhant Kapoor and Arif Zakaria among others.

I have read the book 'Dongri To Dubai' by Journalist Hussain Zaidi on which the film is supposedly based. The book chronicles the Bombay mafia even before the Independence till the present times. I believe the makers have taken the section where the Pathans bump off Dawood's brother Sabir Khan. Manya Surve was the mastermind behind this killing. Manya's persona was maniacal. If John has been repeatedly raving about his role (he plays Manya) then I believe he has reasons to be excited as Manya surely did a lot of heropanti. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Why Kabir Khan Is Not A 'Numbers' Person?

Kabir Khan Speaks About 'Ek Tha Tiger part 1'

"Ek Tha Tiger Should Make Money For Everybody": Kabir Khan

Must Watch: 'Khan'tastic Independence Day

Emotion Packed Hours At Wagah Border On The Eve Of Independence Day

It has been an emotion packed day. As our bus heads back to hotel from the Wagah Border, let me cull the events of the evening by starting from the end. T S Eliot said, 'In the beginning is my end, in the end is my beginning.' At the stroke of midnight, several citizens from the Pakistani side started raising slogans of 'Pak Hind dosti zindbad, Visa policy band karo, Bhai ko bhai se milne do.' The drums were getting louder and the Indian side reciprocated by repeating the same slogans. Candles were lit and I saw families marching towards the Indian gate, a young girl in particular had tears in her eyes as she went past me. A very very old man assisted by his old son walked towards the gate.

Such signs of positivity were heartening especially after being a witness to the evening's march past where the soldiers crush their feet very very forcefully as they go about performing the drill which ends in soldiers of their countries taking off their respective flags. The commentators on each side raised loud slogans in an attempt to outdo each other. After the march past we went right upto the border stone (seen in the picture, the territory behind me belongs to Pakistan).

The first look of Kya Dilli Kya Lahore was launched later in the night. It was an emotion packed event. The promo is interesting, absorbing and moving. Gulzar sahab's lines, 'Lakeerein hain to rahne do, Kisi ne rooth kar gusse mein shayad kheech di thi' haunt you. Music composer Sandesh Shandilya sang these lines. He was later joined by a talented Pakstani band Raga Boys as they sang another poem of Gulzar Sahab. I am dead tired as I've hardly slept but undoubtedly it has been a truly memorable experience.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Supremely Spiritual At Golden Temple, Amritsar

I couldn't sleep much at night but early morning was ushered in by the sight of lush green fields of Punjab. We had tea at a Dhaba early in the morning (I volunteered for breakfast too since the tandoori parathas were very tempting but my suggestion was vetoed). We are staying at the MK Hotel in Amritsar. After breakfast, we decided to head to the historic Golden Temple. The shoe keeper didn't take any money, the surroundings are kept clean by dutiful bhakts and the general ambience is extremely peaceful. I recently read noted Journalist Kuldip Nayyar's autobiography 'Beyond The Lines' where he wrote about the infamous Operation Bluestar that had shook Golden Temple in 1984 where hundreds of lives were lost. As I walked my way with my associates for the Darshan, my mind meandered towards the events in 1984.

Once we reached the Darbar, the sight of singers rendering the peaceful Kirtan was gratifying and humbling. After coming out of the crowded Darshan area, I interviewed the starcast of 'Kya Dilli Kya Lahore', Vijay Raaz, Manu Rishi, Raj Zutshi and Vishwajit Pradhan. Vijay seems confident about the film and when I asked him how is it different from other films based on the India Pakistan theme, he said that once you watch the film, you'd realise it for yourself. Talented writer actor Manu Rishi said it's a story of two soldiers who indulge in friendly bantering. They complain to each other in a loving manner. Raj Zutshi plays a postman in the film while Vishwajit is an officer in Pakistan Army. Vijay Raaz says the film is not pro Pakistan or pro India..."it's a film, which is pro humanity," he says.

Gulzar Sahab is mentoring the film and has written the lyrics for the film while Sandesh Shandilya has composed the music. I asked Manu Rishi about the charged atmosphere these days where Hindus in Pakistan are reportedly upset and Muslims staged a violent protest in Bombay. Rishi sagaciouly said that it is in such a charged atmosphere that it is important to present stories that cools down the atmosphere.

On The Way To Wagah Border, Amritsar, For The Independence Day

It is 1:30 am. I have just had dinner at Haveli dhaba (delicious stuffed paratha and dal makhni) somewhere in Haryana. I along with my cameraman Alok Dubey are part of a group of journalists-cameramen from Bombay-Delhi on the way to Amritsar where we shall be covering the first look promo launch of the film 'Kya Dilli Kya Lahore' tomorrow August 14 at the momentous Wagah Border. It's a film starring Manu Rishi and Vijay Raaz (also the director of the film) where they play soldiers from Indian and Pakistani armies. Ironically, they belong to two warring nations yet they are thick friends.

The incentive for me obviously is the opportunity to be at Wagah border and that too on the eve of Independence Day. I was reading Maulana Azad's autobiography 'India Wins Freedom' during the flight from Bombay to Delhi and I am engulfed with nationalistic fervour. We have produced a video for the Independence Day and the discussions that our team had while brainstorming for the same had filled us with a lot of patriotic spirit. I am looking forward to the march past, the event in the evening and then there's a candle light march in the night. I guess, I should try and catch up on some sleep, though the night journey in a bus doesn't seem inviting to me.

Monday, August 13, 2012

New Sufi Singer Sings For Salman In Dabanng 2

Sufi singer Shadaab Faridi has sung a song in Salman Khan's 'Dabanng 2'. Faridi had earlier sung a song 'Chanda Pe Dance' in Aamir's TV show 'Satyamev Jayate'. 


"As a singer I feel very lucky that I have got a chance to be a part of Salman Khan's upcoming movie. As a sufi singer its great to be work with bollywood Khan's," says Shadaab.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Prabhudeva Excited About Working With Shahid Kapoor

In an interview with me, Prabhudeva said that he is eagerly looking forward to his film starring Shahid Kapoor. The name that has been floating around is 'Namak' but Prabhudeva says that they had never zeroed in on this title and it is more of a media creation. He is still not sure if 'Namak' will be the title. He plans to start the shoot in January 2013 (tentatively) and the film will be ready for release most probably sometime in the middle of 2013 (release date not decided). The name of Sonakshi Sinha is doing the rounds as the lead opposite Shahid? What does Prabhudeva has to say about it? The hit filmmaker seems to be fond of Shahid. He promises that it will be a full on masala action film in his style. Will he tap Shahid's dancing skills? Shahid's last two films haven't worked at the Box Office. How does he react to it?

Prabhudeva is happy with the superlative response to 'Rowdy Rathore'. He refuses to take credit for resurrecting Akshay Kumar as an action hero. Currently, he has started working on the film starring Kumar Taurani's son Girish and Shruti Haasan. He had choreographed a song for Kamal Haasan at the beginning of his career and is excited about working with his daughter now. I asked him about his chartbusting numbers 'Mukabla' and 'Urvashi, Take It Easy Policy' that gained huge love all over India. Prabhudeva has recently shifted to Bombay and is getting acquainted with the ways of the city. He likes watching movies in cinema halls. He has seen 'Bol Bachchan' and 'Cocktail' and liked both of them. 

Kareena Kapoor's Style Tips

Kareena Kapoor has been signed as the brand ambassador for Philips hair styling range. Kapoor shares her thoughts on shooting for the commercial.

 "When I saw the script, I felt Shakun Batra was perfect to direct it, since my character is so much fun and tongue and cheek. I feel proud to be associated with Philips Hair Styling Range since my young fans are crazy about trying out different hairdos or hairstyles, straight or curly etc. In fact we have tried all the styles in the commercial. And shooting again with Shakun after Ek Main Aur Ek Tu, was great, since we share such a comfort level. It's the first time, I think an actress has endorsed this kind of styling range. Happy that Philips being such a huge brand, made me a part of their family and that too with something more new and stylish," says Kareena.

Kareena also shared her insights on different hairstyle looks for different Occasions:

Date look: "Somehow I know the boys prefer the girls to be in straight hair, sometimes ironed out for the Date Look".

Beach look: - "I would Tie my hair for the beach look, probably something more casual, since it would be hot too".

Red carpet look: "I think curly hair which we shot for the Philips Hair Styling range commercial with an elegant gown would be the perfect Red Carpet look".

Iconic Hollywood Actress Hairstyle: "It would definitely be Marilyn Monroe. Her short hair that had curls in them"

Iconic Bollywood Actresses Hairstyles: "Earlier our iconic actresses preferred long hair and bouffant. Presently most actresses prefer donning the straight hair look, which is ironed out, which is quite classic".

Says Director Shakun Batra who had earlier shot Kareena Kapoor in Ek Main Aur Ek Tu, "Kareena Kapoor is very instinctive in the true sense of the word, and her instincts are always right. The concept of the commercial is that it is believed that most women take longer than men to get ready. So we wanted to prove a point that with something like Philips Styling Range is quick, allows you multitasking and can be ready in half the time. Have shot it in a very tongue and cheek manner".


Friday, August 10, 2012

Gangs Of Wasseypur 2: Gripping Work Of Art

A lot is made out of the so called 100 Crore club (littered with items and gags and little else) but cinema is also Art (a compromised Art form but it can be Art nevertheless). Cinema is also about story telling, sketching-n-developing memorable characters, crafty technique and then the ability to weave it all together ensuring that the end product holds the audience attention from start to finish. Gangs Of Wasseypur part 2 grips your attention from start to finish though the blood-n-gore leaves you numb as you exit the theatre.

A movie is special when the Moments from the film continue to play on in your mind, hours after coming out of a movie hall. Gangs of Wasseypur part 2 succeeds in doing so. Faizal Khan (Nawazuddin, smashing) pleads Mohsina's (Huma Qureshi, confident and pretty) 'permission' for having sex with her. Faizal tells his traiter friend Fazlu, "Hum to samjhe the ki hum Sanjeev Kumar ke vahan Bachchan paida hue hain, lekin hum to Shashi Kapoor nikle, Bachchan to koi aur tha" and then he cuts Fazlu's head off with blood spurting out in a rush. After coming out from the jail Faizal is horny and grips Mohsina, "Jail mein tumhaare baare mein soch soch kar haath thak gaye". Mohsina sings 'Nervsao nahin moora, frustiyao nahin moora, thoda fightuya karo ji moora' to a dejected Faizal Khan languishing in jail. It emanates from their filmy romance where heroine is meant to motivate the hero by singing songs of positivity and hope. Nagma Khatoon (Richa Chadda, simply fascinating) provokes Faizal to rise up from his obsession with drugs and take revenge from the enemies. Definite (Zeishan Qadri, surprise package) is on a mission to bump off the dreaded Sultan. As he communicates with his comrades on mobile phone, a hilarious comic situation ensues where one guy is talking to two accomplices simultaniously on two different mobiles and his pyjama drops down. Ramadhir Singh (Tigmanshu Dhulia, what a find as an actor) takes a dig at Hindi movies in an extremely funny, tongue-in-cheek manner. Yashpal Sharma is the orchestra singer for all occasions, be it death or celebration. He sings the popular Hindi film songs that gel with the mood of the situation. And yes he surely fancies his Bollywood chances as he counts the beats during interludes ensuring that he practises perfection required at the highest level. There are many more scenes that stay with you.

Writers Akhilesh Jaiswal, Anurag Kashyap, Sachin K Ladia and Zeeshan Qadri deserve full marks for putting together a very interesting story. Yes, you've seen many gangster stories but this one has a unique edge. Wasiq Khan's production design is true to life. Minutest of details are taken care of. Rajeev Ravi's camerawork is brilliant. It captures the 'reality' of the small town superbly with the right doses of darkness and dinginess. Sneha Khanwalkar's music is special. 'Checha Ledar' has been used superbly. 'Moora' carries a very unprepared feel to it that makes it sound very real and believable. G V Prakash's background score elevates the mood of all the situations. Casting director Mukesh Chhabra deserves full marks for putting together a stellar ensemble cast. Perpendicular, the fat police inspector with a silly laughter, Sultan, Jameel Khan.... Long list of incredible performers.

The much hyped introduction scene where Sultan raids Faizal Khan's home with bombs and machine guns seems far fetched. When the hooligans were having such heightened ammunition, why didn't they barge into the house to ensure that everyone is bumped off. No one from Faizal's family gets killed in such a gruesome attack. The usage of expletives definitely goes with the context of the film but there's an excessive usage of cuss words that gets repulsive beyond a point. The bloody gun battles that litter the entire course of the film weighs you down. Also, the manner in which the murders are committed with least remorse and the brutality of the crime doesn't make for an easy watch.

Director Anurag Kashyap's 'Gangs Of Wasseypur part 2' is a brilliant film that finds its director at the top of his game. He is charged up and handles the complexities of a difficult context (it involves real people, a few of whom are still alive) with a lot of conviction. The best part is that Anurag as a director triumphs as he leads a passionate team and is more than willing to share credit with them. Cinema is a collective Art form and Anurag seems to be one of the very few directors in India who understands, advocates and respects that.
Star Rating: *** 1/2 stars.
Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone

Thursday, August 9, 2012

"You Want To Burn Me, I Don't Care": Sunny Leone

"Aamir Is Going To Be Great In Dhoom 3": Abhishek Bachchan

"Aamir Khan Is Going To Be Great In Dhoom 3": Abhishek Bachchan

"Matter Of Great Pride That I'm My Father's Son": Abhishek Bachchan

"Shahrukh Is Close To All Of Us": Abhishek Bachchan

Exclusive Video-Pictures Of Aamir Khan, Dhoom 3 On Location In Chicago

Pictures, Video Courtesy: Jibran Ilyas

"Katrina Is The Best Thing In Ek Tha Tiger": Salman Khan

Faridoon Shahryar (FS): Rarely it happens that a film carries such a tremendous hype as ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ is doing right now and we have with us Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif. Huge pleasure to have you on Bollywood Hungama!

Salman Khan (SK): Thank you buddy!

Katrina Kaif (KK): Thank you!

FS: Enjoying all the tremendous hype that the film is carrying since the first teaser came out?

SK: (to Katrina) You start!

KK: Me? Ok. It’s been passed to me. I was missing in the first trailer which just showed Salman’s character and what the film is. Some people didn’t know how to react to it initially but from there only, people just got excited for the film. They felt that it was something slightly different but at the same time it still had all the ingredients of what they were expecting from the film. Then, when the theatrical trailer released, Salman right away said that he really liked it. I had apprehensions about few shots but Salman said that it’s really good. The response to the trailer was indeed phenomenal.

FS: You’ve become a mass blockbuster star in many ways. But when this promo came out, it indicated that ‘iske andar kuch different hai’…

SK: You know, first of all, main mass aur class mein bilkul believe nahi karta hoon. Main sirf ek cheez mein believe karta hoon ki either you can afford a multiplex theatre or you can’t. And now, most of the multiplex audiences are going to single-screen theatre for no rhyme or reason to watch a film when they can easily afford to go and watch in a multiplex. So everybody is equal. Kisi ke pass bahut zyaada paise hote hai. They want to see the film in an environment where they can take their family along. Some people want to go for a film with their friends in a place where they can have lots of fun…guy kind of fun you know!

FS: When you talk of Kabir Khan, he has different sort of sensibilities, unlike the directors you have worked in the past…

SK: Uske liye Main Hoon Na! Uske liye main hoon na, ke itni sensible film na banane ke liye.

FS: Sensibility in the sense that he has a certain point of view as well…

SK: Jaise ki aap promo ki baat karte hai, jo cheez fatt se acchi dikh jaati hai na first glance mein, woh chalni hi chalni hai. I was very proud when I saw the promo. Aur aisa nahi ki jitna promo ke andar hai, utna hi picture ke andar hai. Woh promo se hi aapko pata chal jaata hai ki ye to sirf promo hai bhaiyya. Iske baad ab bahut hai aur kuch jo aane waala hai!

FS: You have shot in Cuba, Iraq and Dublin. No Hindi film has been shot in Cuba till now…

SK: All these locations look really interesting on screen. These are really beautiful places to go for honeymoon or with your family, not to shoot or film action scenes in Mardin (Turkey), Cuba or Dublin. Hamara trip to bummer hi nikla na! Hum gaye wahaan par aur action hi action kar ke aaye aur romance karne ke to mauka hi nahi mila wahaan par!

FS: Iraq ke border pe bhi shoot kiya hai aapne…

SK: Haan, wohi, Mardin and yeah, it was good.

FS: (to Katrina) In your last film, ‘Mere Brother Ki Dulhan’, your performance was very nice and as an actress, you’ve been coming on to on your own. So what do we see from Katrina Kaif in ‘Ek Tha Tiger’? Even In ‘New York’, also made by Kabir, you had a very fine performance…

SK: Don’t be modest, I am telling you!

KK: Me?

SK: Yeah…she’s the best thing in the film!

KK: Yeah, I am outstanding in the film! Kabir is a really, really, really, really nice person!

SK: 3 really nahi, ek really nice hai!

KK: Ok…so, Kabir is a really nice person (laughs).

FS: But he’s saying wonderful things about you. Recently he said that you are the only tiger in the industry!

KK: Hey, you are not letting me answer my question!

FS: Ji ji, please please!

KK: He (Salman) is really, really, really nice and Kabir is really nice, just nice!

SK: Actually, nice…

KK: Nice, just nice! And ‘New York’ was really a good film and I think he did a great job and I had a really good time. So when he told me about ‘Ek Tha Tiger’, I was right away excited and I said yes at that time. As to what can one expect from the film, you do your work as an actor. You do it as well as you can, hoping that the audiences like it.

SK: Kabir Khan ka career start hota hai iss film se! Unhone pehle jo film banayi thi, woh acchi  banayi hogi but compared to this film, they are nothing. To unka career graph yahaan se shuru hota hai. Problem to unko yeh hogi ki iske baad woh kya banaye.

FS: Salim saab has liked the film a lot apparently…

SK: Yeah he’s liked the film a lot.

FS: And technically, the film is looking brilliant as well…

SK: Yeah it’s a well-shot and very slick film. Linear film hai. Ek deesha mein jaati hai. Jaise bandook se swiftly goli nikalti hai, ussi type ki yeh film jo ek baar chutti hai, to ekdum target mein jaa ke hit karti hai.

FS: Is ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ releasing in Pakistan? Not only you but even Katrina has a tremendous fan following in Pakistan…

SK: Ab jab ye picture censor hogi, tab ye decide karenge…

FS: I think aaj baithne waale the Censor Board film dekhne ke liye…

SK: Haan. To jab woh picture dekhenge, tab decide karenge aur unko aisa lagta hai ki film mein itna bhi unke khilaaf kuch hai, to woh beshak release naa karein. Yeh daava hai hamara. Duniyabhar mein jo hamare fans hai, unke liye film banayi hai humne. Ek pyaar mohabbat ki kahani banaayi hai. Halaaki mera character RAW agent hai, lekin aisi koi baat nahin jo ke kisi dusre mulk ko negatively dikhaya hoga.

FS: How has been the experience of playing Zoya for you?

KK: The experience of whole film actually was very interesting. A very interesting team came together – YRF, Salman’s first film with them, Kabir Khan, the way he works, the way Salman works. I’ve known the team so for me, it was a comfort level. I liked the script and I thought it was a really interesting idea and the way Kabir had visualized the film. Everything that he does has a certain edge to it. It’s an incredible film and I am really proud of it! Some of the sequences in the film, in my opinion, are one of the best that I have seen in the last few years.

FS: In the film, you tell Ranvir Shorey that ‘Zoya ko patana zaroori hai mission ke liye’. Could you talk about that sequence?

SK: I am an undercover RAW agent in the film and I figure out that she could perhaps help me get to my goal. That is the reason why I say that ‘isko patana bahut zaroori hai’. Actually, woh double meaning mein bhi aata hai!