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July 31, 2010

Visitors on Reellusions!


Thanks for your patronage of this blog. For various reasons the BOLG has now moved to THIS LOCATION!

Do stop by, visit, read, and leave comments!

July 16, 2010

Farah Khan gifts 'rocking item number' to Katrina Kaif





The gorgeous Katrina Kaif celebrates her birthday today and her Tees Maar Khan director Farah Khan has a special gift for the beautiful actress. Farah has decided to gift Katrina, a special rocking item song titled 'Sheela Ki Jawani'. Katrina will be seen doing belly dancing in this particular song.To give the song a really authentic feel, Farah Khan has decided to bring Veronica, a professional belly dancing trainer all the way from Brazil. The director has even charted a specific diet plan for Katrina so that she looks at her sexiest best. The song will be shot in a few days from now when Katrina returns from Spain where she is currently shooting for Zoya Akhtar's film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.Reveals a production source, "Farah is known for creating iconic film songs. She revealed Shah Rukh's six packs in 'Dard-E-Disco' and this time round she is going to exhibit to audiences Katrina Kaif's hottest side yet as she gyrates to the song 'Sheela Ki Jawani'. Audiences are going to be in for a treat with this king of item songs."

http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/slideshow/2010/07/16/671/index3.html

July 12, 2010

WTdoubleF: Guess who is supporting Akshay “Jackass” Kumar ? Amitabh Bachchan. Naam toh suna hoga!



It all started with this picture.

We wrote about it here. It was a shameless piece of shit publicity idea to involve an ailing old man who has nothing to do with the film. Rajeev Masand tweeted about it saying…

Need innovative ideas 2 promote films in competitive times. But Akshay Kumar grinning like a jackass at RKLaxman’s hospital bed is a new low.

Guess who found the tweet offensive. Amitabh Bachchan. Why ? Because of the use of the word “jackass”. We think thats an understatement. Look at the grin on Akshay Kumar’s face. What do you call that ? Plus, Rajeev said “like a jackass”. And even before Rajeev tweeted his thoughts on the pic, blogosphere and social media was already buzzing with sharp criticism of the pic and the publicity idea.

So, the key word is “Jackass”. We checked Dictionary.com and according to it…..

jack·ass has two meanings – noun

1. a male donkey.

2. a contemptibly foolish or stupid person; dolt; blockhead; ass.

We bet Rajeev didn’t mean the second one. It has to be the first one.

Anyway, WTdoubleF is that Amitabh Bachchan who criticises media almost everyday on his blog doesn’t find the pic offensive. Infact, he doesn’t comment on it but puts the focus on “jackass”. Wow! Bachchan in Blunderland. And to remind Mr Holier-than-thou, here is what he commented on his blog about TOI journalist Bharati Dubey once….

Get married, if you are not already. Embrace your sentiment. And may you hold on to it till your old age without the use of any props ! When you get there, give me a call. If I am still around, we’ll talk !!

Ofcourse, thats not personal. Click here to read more – why and when. And this wasn’t the first time. He also commented on Upala KBR of Mid-day stating…

Upala, the affable and rotund by-line writer form MidDay is insistent on my responses to the utterances of Mr Sinha, Mr ShahRukh Khan, Mr Salim Khan, Mr Aamir Khan.

Mr Bachchan, what do you mean by rotund by-line writer ? Again, going back to dictionary.com, it means…

ro·tund –adjective

1. round in shape; rounded: ripe, rotund fruit.

2. plump; fat.

3. full-toned or sonorous: rotund speeches.

Well, its also not personal! You can read the blogpost here. Wow, Sir, you are surely getting better with age. And yes, you choice of words surely confirms that you went to Doon School.

And click here to read Rajeev Masand’s reply to Bachchan’s criticism.

BTW, Sir, what do you think of that publicity stunt of Akshay Jackass Kumar ? Knowing your Doon School background, you surely can come up with better word than “jackass”! We are waiting and how!

PS – We lost respect for the old man long long long back, though he still remains one of our favourite actor of all time. So, all you “jackass” fans of Big B, come, attack us!

http://moifightclub.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/wtdoublef-guess-who-is-supporting-akshay-jackass-kumar-amitabh-bachchan-naam-toh-suna-hoga/

Rajnikanth and Ash in Endhiran wrap-up party





No..Thats not an upcoming actress!Thats Rekha!





Read the rest here

Pehli Nazar Mein - The magic of 'First Look'


By Joginder Tuteja, July 12, 2010 - 14:20 IST

'Pehli Nazar Mein Kaisa Jadoo Kar Diya'

...and so did the song continue in Race. Of course the lyrics are nothing new, the thoughts tried and tested and situation sensing of seen it-done all. Well, all of this and more for a romantic outing between the lead pair of the film. However, in the context of film promotion today, 'pehli nazar' brings in a different connotation altogether. 'Pehli Nazar', the First Look - Two dreaded words that are now coming with the power of making or breaking a film. The first poster, the first teaser, the first theatrical promos - everything which is first about the release-to-be has been taking such dangerous as well as lucrative preposition that has fast emerged as a double edged sword.

The past

Gone are the days when the film's first look was referred to as trailers. 80s was the time when a few random shots from the films, mainly coming with a combination of a romantic track, a comic track, a rape sequence, a fight sequence and a few dramatic dialogues used to make for a rather lengthy promo. There wasn't much variety in store as everything was way too predictable (and in process something which was actually wanted by the audience).

Things started changing in the 90s, though the end result was not as stylish if one looks back to see how things stood then. Still, an effort was being made and while the masala elements still remained intact; better cut promos with some inkling of the film's theme was put on display. At least random shots were done away with and there was more narrative feel to those few minutes that detailed the context of the film.

The present

Of course it all became pretty organised with the turn of the century. One can pick, choose and blame corporate houses for the current mess that Bollywood is in from the business standpoint. However, one can't deny the fact that it was due to some planning and focus from bodies like UTV and EROS along with desi production houses of Yash Raj Films, Dharma Productions, Nadiadwala Grandsons, Boney Kapoor and of course the maverick Ram Gopal Varma which changed the way 'trailers' looked.

It was now the time for an altogether different way of pitching the film to the audience. Gone were the days of 'ek gaane ki line daal do, ek romantic scene dikha do, thodi comedy ka touch de do, heroine ka ek emotional scene rakh lo' mandate that made for a promo. It was the time to work hard on the first poster of the film. After that, there was a 30 seconds teaser that did its job of, well, just about managing to tease the audience into speculating what the film was all about. And then the theatrical promo was unleashed, something that was good enough for audience to decide in those two and a half to three minutes that whether the film was going to be a worthy trip to the theatre or not.

Worthy trip did I say? That's because this was now the era of multiplexes. A film was not going to be a 'chalta hai, time pass hai' affair any more. 'You deliver well in those 3 minutes and I will step in, else forget it', is what an average man (who willing to shell out Rs. 300 for a single ticket) was ready to say. No wonder, there were also instances when promos were being cut before the film itself (can you believe that?). Some of those instances were Milan Luthria's Deewar [Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Akshaye Khanna] and Sanjay Gupta's Kaante [Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Suniel Shetty] when the first look made such a rocking impression that there was immense curiosity to see what the film was all about even though the film's real shooting still remained.

The power of 180 seconds

No wonder, in the current times, a maker is most concerned about what to show in those 3 minutes. He did all to make those 120 minutes of a movie's playtime exciting but it was sheer sacrilege if every second didn't count in the theatrical promo. It had to be edited, re-edited, thought, re-thought and worked upon with even more vigour than the film by itself. Really, I know of instances where film makers have spent 50 days to shoot an entire film and then spend 30 days in cutting the first promo. Whoever said that the editor's job was easy?

The man who led the bunch was Ram Gopal Varma. For someone who at one point in time was making half a dozen films simultaneously and carried the vision of having an independent corporate world of his own in place, Ramu's mandate for his team was to get the 'First Look' perfect. Period. There were no negotiations, no arguments, no difference in opinions. What was required was to have those few seconds count and get the audience in. No wonder, even though his films from that time - James, Darna Mana Hai, Road, Gayab, Vaastushastra, My Wife's Murder or Mr. Ya Miss - didn't turn out to be hits at the box office, his promos were superhits. The only film where he really faltered with the promos? Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag. And we know the fate of the film as well.

This is something that the biggest of the makers will also agree i.e. a 'First Look' has to be bang on. None other than Mani Ratnam would agree as well. The 30 seconds teaser with (body double of) Abhishek Bachchan jumping into a river worked but the promos that followed didn't. In fact whether it was the song promos, dialogue promos or the action promos, there were confusing signals all around. As it turned out, it was not the fault of the promo editor here. The film itself was confusing and hence the poor guy didn't have an option to cut a promo from the material made available to him. However, ruthless audience got it all and that reflected in the average opening that the film took.

The trick works

The promos failed in Raavan though in comparison the game was played quite well by the makers of Kites. They too knew the product that they had in hand so the magic lied in revealing those elements about the film that could entice the audience in a big enough manner to ensure a good enough opening that would dilute the (expected) damage. The trick worked as Kites took a phenomenal opening at the box office, courtesy the well cut promos that highlighted the action sequences of the film that led to and adrenalin push.

In recent past, the film which kept its options open was Housefull. It's 'First Look' took a great deal of permutation and combination to be put together. The first promo had Akshay Kumar seemingly troubled with three wives. The eye catchy promo caught the attention of the audience and just when they started thinking that this was Garam Masala revisited, an entire new set of promos was unveiled that brought to fore the ha-ha-land that Sajid Khan had created with his actors.

The ones who got it right

Another team which has always been known to be pretty active when it comes to unveiling the right 'First Look' at the right place and the right time is Yash Raj Films. There was a time when they had 4/5/6 films on floors (till 2-3 years back). Hence it was a ritual that whenever a film of theirs released, the promo of one or perhaps even two of their upcoming films was tagged along as well. Time and again they worked and helped raise immense curiosity amongst audience. The film may be poor (Tashan) or good (Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi) but the promo always worked. The only instance where it didn't work was in Chak De India and that showed at the box office. The film's opening was quite disheartening and it was mainly due to the strength that Chak De India carried coupled with Shah Rukh Khan's path breaking act that helped it succeed at the box office.

Corporate houses, which typically have 5 to 6 films in different stages of production at any point in time, continue to be conscious about correct promo for the kind of film (in terms of genre, scale, star cast) which is being made. No wonder, a small film like A Wednesday is pitched differently than a biggie like Raajneeti or Love Aaj Kal. And when the 'First Look' is uninspiring, case in point being Aladin, Drona, Veer, What's Your Raashee, Delhi 6 and 8 X 10 Tasveer - all of which failed at the 'First Look' stage itself.

The future

No wonder, one looks with bated breath with what films like Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai (boasting of the best cut promo in the current season), Khatta Meetha and Aisha have to offer. These are some of the films where the 'First Look' has managed to make such a huge impact that it would be overtly disheartening if the final product doesn't make an equally big mark. Also, in the coming months, one looks forward to see what do Salman Khan (Dabangg), Siddharth Anand (Anjaana Anjaani), Ram Gopal Varma (Rakta Charitra), Rohit Shetty (Golmaal 3), Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Guzaarish), Ashutish Gowariker (Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se), Anees Bazmee (No Problem) and Farah Khan (Tees Maar Khan) would have to offer.

The clock is ticking but it is the second that counts!

http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/features/2010/07/12/6432/index.html

Aisha is not women-centric!


Contrary to popular impression, director Rajshree Ojha says her film Aisha is not women-centric even though it has a woman protagonist. She also feels that Bollywood has copied Hollywood films for too long and it's time to reverse the trend. "The protagonist may be a woman, but it's not a women-centric film. It's an ensemble piece and a romantic comedy," Rajshree told IANS in an interview. The 28-year-old director, who has studied filmmaking in New k University and did her masters in film direction from American Film Institute, wants to reverse the practice of copying Hollywood movies.
"Enough of Hollywood films have been copied to make Bollywood hits. I want to take a Bollywood film and make a film in Hollywood," she said.

Rajshree also hopes to adapt a story by Oscar-winning director Satyajit Ray into a film. "Satyajit Ray is my favourite director and one day I would like to adapt a book of his and make a film on it."

The Sonam Kapoor-Abhay Deol starrer Aisha is her first commercial venture after Chaurahen (2007), an English film starring Soha Ali Khan, which travelled to a lot of film festivals, but never got released in the theatres.

"Chaurahen was on urban relationships. It had three different stories and in one of them Soha Ali Khan played the lead. It was in English and was tagged as an arty film and never got released in the theatres," Rajshree said.

"Aisha", produced by Anil Kapoor's daughter Rhea, is based on British novel Emma. Rajshree tweaked it to make a film because she found the story very relevant to Indian society.

"I wanted to make a film on urban relationships. I never thought to make a comedy. When I was reading Emma I found that it was so relevant to our society and I decided make a film on it," she said.

However, it wasn't a cakewalk for Rajshree.

"It was a little difficult to get a producer as people were apprehensive about the film and me too. I am actually very grateful to the Kapoors that they liked the film and kept it to my vision," she said.

"It took me four-and-a-half years before that because I went around pitching the production houses. Sonam was the first actor whom I approached with the film," she added.

The director decided to make Sonam the protagonist of her film even though she hadn't seen her work.

"We always wanted to have a young face. That time Saawariya had just released. I didn't see the film but had seen a lot of photographs and decided to make Sonam the protagonist of my film," she said.

Asked if she is planning to sign Sonam's father Anil Kapoor in any of her future projects, Rajshree said: "I don't know because I don't have any script in my mind and I don't write any script keeping any actors in mind. May be later."

Aisha is slated for release Aug 6.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/cinema-news/dresscircle/Aisha-is-not-women-centric/Article1-571135.aspx

Dhoom is nothing without Jai and Ali, says Abhishek


Abhishek Bachchan has confirmed that Dhoom 3 is in the works and he will reprise his role in the franchise.

"Dhoom 3 is being scripted. Dhoom is nothing without Uday and my character. We are the backbone of the film," he adds. Abhishek plays ACP Jai Dixit while Uday essays the role of Ali Akbar Fateh Khan in the first two installments of the Dhoom franchise.


Abhishek, who will also be seen in the sequel to Dostana, said he was initially against doing it. "I couldn't see how Tarun Mansukhani could make it funnier. But he said, 'Let me write the script. You'll be the first person I'd narrate it to. If you don't like it, then I'd throw it away.' Believe me, Dostana 2 would be twice as funny as Dostana," says Abhishek.

The actor has just returned from Greece, where he was shooting for Abhinay Deo's Game. The action scenes in Game were the opposite of the ones in Raavan. While Abhishek's character had to survive on his instincts in the jungles in Raavan, he has performed some slick action stunts for Game.

After shooting for Mani Ratnam's Raavan, Ashutosh Gowariker's Khelenge Hum Jee Jaan Se and Game, which are all action movies, Abhishek has now taken a concious decision to move away from the gruelling back-breaking action for a while.

Moreover, he has signed two comedies to be directed by Anees Bazmi and Vipul Shah.

So is he deliberately phasing out his career from project to project, genre to genre?

Protests Abhishek, "I'm not a calculating actor. I don't choose the genres, rather the genres choose me. I follow my heart."

He adds, "I am impatient. I like to do a lot of work. I'm happy with the zest with which I work. If tomorrow I want to do only one film a year, I'll do that. Right now, I'm enjoying being a prolific actor. How many actors can claim to have done two films as diverse as Paa and Raavan one after another?"

http://www.mid-day.com/entertainment/2010/jul/120710-abhishek-bachchan-dhoom-3.htm

July 11, 2010

Hrithik-Ash in Vishal Bharadwaj's next?



Manoj

There has been a lot of speculation about these two stars to have signed Vishal Bharadwaj's next movie.The story has been doing the rounds since last one and half years.

This was the first instance when Hrithik's name popped up:

Link

"Hrithik Roshan will star in a Vishal Bhardwaj helmed romance drama, which will feature two female leads who have yet to be picked, reports Mumbai Mirror."

On another instance,Vishal himself confirmed the story about Hrithik:

Link

"This is the first time I am confirming the news. Yes, Hrithik and I are working together. The project will roll once Hrithik is through with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's ‘Guzaarish’. In the meantime, I am wondering if I should make another film in the intervening period"

On the third instance,Ash talks about the Vishal movie:

Link

"Confirming this, Rai-Bachchan said, "Yes, Vishal and I have been meaning to work together for quite some time. "

And now we have yet another confirmation:

Link

"The story will be a love-triangle between two girls and one boy. All the three actors cast in the film will be big names"

So will we get to see the Golden-pair again after Guzaarish in Vishal's next? Stay tuned!

Five Films Better Than Birth Control



Nothing about these films will make you want to procreate. Ever.

Rosemary's Baby


It happens to every girl: you meet a guy, get married, and next thing you know, he's renting out your woman parts to the Devil. An epidural will be the least of your concerns once you realize you're giving birth to demon spawn. Worse yet, rumors of a Michael Bay-produced remake briefly surfaced in 2008. Just imagine -- all the excruciating pain of Satanic labor, plus explosions.

Junior

Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a gynecologist who's invented an experimental fertility drug too risky to test on women, so he tests it on himself. (This is how clinical research works.) But -- where inside a male body could a fetus grow? Who would grant Arnold a medical degree? And what sane woman would allow Danny DeVito to come at her with a speculum? We have all these questions, and many more.

The Fly/The Fly II

Congrats! Once the contractions and Lamaze are over, it's all Beanie Babies and soccer games from here on out -- unless, of course, you're the proud mother of a bouncing baby larvae. The moral: use contraception, especially during sex with a dude who looks like he might be part fly. The birth, as pictured above, is a dream sequence in the first film. The actual birth opens the sequel, which undergoes a metamorphosis from squishy over-sized maggot into Eric Stoltz.

Dawn of the Dead (2009)

You might be ready to deal with the occasional diaper rash, but no amount of Dr. Spock will prepare you for an undead child. In one early cut of the Dawn of the Dead remake, the newborn killed its own mom in this scene. Kids today, am I right? Check out director Peter Jackson's (yes, that Peter Jackson) splatstick classic Braindead for more zom-baby hijinks:

Knocked Up

But real life can get scarier than any horror movie, especially if your life involves being impregnated by Seth Rogen. The prospect of Rogen as a schlubby, superslacker babydaddy -- and the notorious crowning birth scene -- likely drove theaters of 17-year-olds straight to the condom aisle of their local pharmacy.


LINK

Bhojpuri cinema finds fans among Mumbai’s migrants


MUMBAI, India — An old man sits at a wooden stand slicing lemons for fresh juice as a group of movie fans gathers at a nearby gate. The collection of rickshaw drivers, taxi drivers and other migrants all eagerly wait to buy tickets for the latest Bhojpuri film. Bhojpuri is a Hindi dialect spoken in India’s northern states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and among much of the city’s migrant workers.

One of the men at the gate, Rajaram Chauhan, moved to Mumbai from his village in Uttar Pradesh 10 years ago to earn money to support him and his family back home. Wearing an old orange button-down and loose polyester pants with a hole in the knee, he says he earns 9,000 rupees (US$195) a month working a machine. Every Friday he spends his free time by going to the movies, usually a Bhojpuri film in his language. Asked if the movies remind him of home, Chauhan says: “Why would you ask a question like that? Of course it happens!”

As Bollywood films have increasingly catered to a wealthy, cosmopolitan class of Indians here and abroad, regional cinemas have seen a growth in demand from Indians who can no longer relate to the Hindi movies, according to Kathryn Hardy, a University of Pennsylvania Ph.D. candidate in South Asia studies who is working on a dissertation on Bhojpuri cinema.

Regional cinemas have filled the hole left by Bollywood by producing movies that cater to a local audience through language, themes, music and settings that resonate with them. Bhojpuri films have been around since the 1960s, but the number of movies made each year has jumped in the past decade. About 100 films are now made a year, Hardy said.

Read more about Bhojpuri cinema or scroll down for photos at LINK

The sweat list: 10 films that really perspire


Thought this post was quite weather-appropriate !!!

These movies -- from "Do the Right Thing" to "Body Heat" -- turn sticky bodies into glorious spectacle

BY MATT ZOLLER SEITZ

It's mid-July. Much of the country is reeling (or recovering) from a heat wave. Why on earth would you want to watch sweaty movies filled with sweaty people?

Because there's nothing more cinematic than sweat, that's why. For brazen, unapologetic, just-because-it's-beautiful screen spectacle, nothing else comes close, except cigarette smoke and huge explosions. And in that three-way race, sweat still comes out ahead because there's so much you can do with it -- so many ways to photograph it, so many possible gradations of texture and volume. Characters can shine, they can glisten, or they can sweat like galley slaves; the sheen can make them gorgeous or gross, depending on the actor, the lighting and the situation. The sweaty movie is very nearly a genre unto itself, so let's just go ahead and give it a pretentious French name -- la cinema de la sueur -- and induct 10 representative titles into a makeshift hall of fame: The Sweat List.

The following films are chosen, as always, for highly subjective reasons. I've tried to account not just for quantity of sweat but for quality -- and for the visual imagination with which the filmmakers capture their characters' incremental loss of precious bodily fluids. Readers are encouraged to submit their own nominees -- and chastise me for daring to omit this, that or the other -- in the Letters section.

10. "Dog Day Afternoon" (1975)

Al Pacino plays Sonny Wortzik, a Vietnam vet in a failing marriage who tries to rob a bank to pay for his male lover's sex-change operation. John Cazale plays Sonny's best friend and fellow veteran, Sal Naturale, a silent-but-deadly dimwit who thinks Wyoming is a country. Charles Durning plays Sgt. Eugene Moretti, a police negotiator caught between the hapless crooks, the media, his cranky superiors, the FBI agents that want to usurp his authority, and a growing crowd that treats the event as public theater. But make no mistake: The true star of "Dog Day Afternoon" is Brooklyn in August -- and Jesus H. Christ in a convection oven, is it hot. Director Sidney Lumet and his editor, the late, great Dede Allen, give the sun-baked borough a movie-star entrance in the opening credits sequence, a mini-documentary scored to Elton John's "Amoreena"; the montage's second image -- a shot of a stub-tailed dog rooting through garbage, which pans to reveal a man crouched in a shadowy doorway swatting a fly against his neck -- captures "Dog Day's" grubby ambiance. Pacino's sweat perm, Cazale's gleaming high-domed forehead, Durning's untucked shirt, and the tellers' perspiration-stained blouses all testify to climate's role in human drama. When the story starts at 2:57 p.m., the characters already seem defeated, and they grow more desperate by the second; days like this can make even reasonable people feel as though all hope is lost. (Lumet -- rhymes with "sweat" -- has directed many entries in le cinema de la sueur, including "The Pawnbroker," "Twelve Angry Men" and "The Fugitive Kind").

9. "Crimson Tide" (1995)

"If we launch, and we're wrong, what's left of Russia is gonna launch at us," says Lt. Cmdr. Ron Hunter (Denzel Washington), trying to stop his captain (Gene Hackman) from firing missiles against the former Soviet Union in the submarine thriller "Crimson Tide." "There will be a nuclear holocaust beyond imagination." That scenario would make most people sweat even if they were working in a meat locker at the South Pole. But Hunter and his fellow crewmen are deciding the fate of human civilization inside a huge tin can at the bottom of the sea. And the film's director, Tony Scott, portrays the title vehicle as a literal and figurative pressure-cooker, filling the movie's widescreen frames with densely packed, often disorientingly skewed images: low-ceilinged rooms; hallways festooned with intestinal-looking ducts; buzzing control panels and monitors. It's as if the film itself is trying to squash these guys. "Crimson Tide's" second half, much of which occurs in a cramped control room lit with hellish red emergency lighting, seems to be taking place beneath a heat lamp. On top of that, Scott -- a solid (if flashy) classical filmmaker before he decided to embrace the Attention Deficit Disorder school of cut-cut-cut filmmaking -- specializes in so-straight-they're-gay films, lowest-common-denominator blockbusters that seem to have been marinated in testosterone. Between this movie, "Top Gun," "Days of Thunder," "Revenge," and "The Last Boy Scout," he more than earns the title we're bestowing upon him here: Poet Laureate of Man Sweat.

8. "The Element of Crime" (1984)

This debut feature by Lars von Trier ("Dogville," "Antichrist") is a gloss on Fritz Lang's "M," about a burned-out detective trying to catch a serial child murderer. It unfolds in a universe whose exact geographic and temporal location is tough to fix. It's set in a ruined past-present that evokes the post-World War II sci-fi dystopia first seen in George Orwell's "1984"; it's probably European, but there are signifiers drawn from other parts of the globe (faintly North African music cues, fall-of-Saigon-type sequences set in a brothel populated by Asians). In the end, though, such distinctions are unimportant, because "The Element of Crime" is a subjective film, distorted by the psychic distress of its hero, whose ruminative narration suggests an endless answering machine message left by a film noir detective with a head injury. One thing's for sure: It's hot. Everybody's damp, sometimes drenched, mostly by sweat but also by mist from sudden rain showers, water spilling from leaky pipes. The whole film is sepia-toned save for the occasional TV monitor, which registers as a weirdly sad pale blue. It's meandering, grotesque, at times nearly incomprehensible, but gorgeous. It feels like a very specific type of dream: the kind you might have on a fearsomely hot summer afternoon when the air conditioner's just not up to snuff, so you draw the curtains, aim the fan at your face, and escape into the dark recesses of your imagination.

7. "In the Heat of the Night" (1967)

The title sets the stage, and director Norman Jewison and screenwriter Stirling Silliphant fill it with heat-exhausted, damp-browed Southerners whose clothes are permanently plastered to their skin. "In the Heat of the Night" is about a redneck small-town sheriff (Oscar-winner Rod Steiger) trying to solve a murder with help from an imperious -- but, the sheriff eventually admits, super-capable -- black Yankee detective in town from Philadelphia (Sidney Poitier, the rare screen star who makes rationality sexy). Between a byzantine small-town mystery and race-based mutual dislike (Poitier's detective Virgil Tibbs is initially assumed to be a suspect, and arrested), the two lawmen already have plenty to contend with. The climate makes everything worse. But as miserable as it must be to endure, the sweltering humidity is a treat to look at. The sweat is mostly subtle, at times curiously elegant -- a visual accent. Everybody glows.

6. "Body Heat" (1981)

When writer-director Lawrence Kasdan's debut feature came out almost 30 years ago, one of the minor raps against it had to do with the film's ostentatious old-movie posturing. "Body Heat" was set in present-day Florida, and filled with matter-of-fact sex, yet the characters still spoke in knowing euphemisms, as if trying to get naughty thoughts past a nonexistent board of censors -- and on top of all that, for some reason nobody in town seemed to own an air conditioner. Why? Because the movie's not set in reality, but in movie-land. The purplish dialogue, the nonstop banter about the punishing heat, and all the shots of a stripped-down William Hurt showing off his tennis body and costar Kathleen Turner giving him the eye while suggestively rattling ice cubes around in a glass and tugging her wet blouse away from her skin are all of a piece. "Body Heat" is a dirty fantasy about good-looking people doing very bad things and loving it. They're going to hell in style.

5. "Cool Hand Luke" (1967)

The New Yorker's Pauline Kael called it in her original review of this jailhouse S/M fantasy by director Stuart Rosenberg ("The Pope of Greenwich Village"), noting that a great deal of the film's action was blatantly aestheticized: felons on a rock-busting chain gang staggering their movements as if rehearsing a Broadway number; Paul Newman's title character sacrificing himself in an endless array of Christ-like predicaments; a long sequence in which the inmates ogle a buxom blonde suggestively washing a car (which in retrospect seems like heterosexuality insurance for an otherwise deeply homoerotic movie). Is "Cool Hand Luke" a deep and complex work of art? Nope. But it's one of the most beautifully lit and composed Hollywood productions of the late 1960s, often more a visceral experience than a story and rarely pretending to be otherwise. And the sheer variety of perspiration is stunning. There's sexy-lady sweat, handsome-leading-man sweat, skinny and fat supporting-character sweat, redneck-prison-guard sweat. Hell, in some of those shimmering wide shots of dusty roads -- photographed by the legendary cinematographer Conrad Hall -- Mother Earth herself seems damn near ready to pass out.

4. "Angel Heart" (1986)

You could improvise all sorts of drinking games from Alan Parker's "Angel Heart," a demented glossy blockbuster set in 1950s Manhattan and New Orleans that might be described as "Oedipus Rex" rewritten by Raymond Chandler. Every time the movie's hero, sleazy private eye Harry Angel (Mickey Rourke), squints in smug bemusement and purses his lips, drink. Every time he comes on to a sexy woman, drink. Every time he or one of the other characters wipes away sweat, drink. Just don't drink each time Parker cuts to a close-up of a rotating fan blade or foreshadows the film's twist ending in dialogue, because if you do, you'll be plastered inside of 20 minutes. Harry's sex scene with a lovely but unnerving young woman (Lisa Bonet, annihilating her girl-next-door image from "The Cosby Show") is one of the sweatiest trysts in the history of Hollywood movies. These characters aren't making love; they're fucking. Why? Because it's what the audience paid to see -- and because they've got to do something to take their minds off the heat.

3. "Touch of Evil" (1958)

Orson Welles' thriller pits a straight-arrow Mexican cop named Vargas (Charlton Heston in "swarthy" makeup) against corrupt small-town sheriff Hank Quinlan (an already-large Welles padded to Macy's-float dimensions), in a convoluted murder investigation set in and around a town that's supposedly located on the Texas border. But the way Welles photographs "Touch of Evil" -- using the most extreme lenses and exaggerated angles imaginable, filling the frame with crumbling, paint-peeling buildings and debris blown about by a persistent wind -- it's purgatory, a place where strong-willed, often deluded individuals are pushed to the limits of endurance. And whether the action occurs on sun-baked plains at noon, or on depopulated small-town streets in the wee hours, many of the characters are gleaming with sweat, often pouring sweat -- some beautifully (Heston's at the peak of his brawny beauty here), some repulsively (Welles oozes buckets from start to finish, and Akim Tamiroff, who plays one of Quinlan's slimiest toadies, matches him bead for bead). Only Janet Leigh as Vargas' new bride, Susie, manages to get through the film without drowning in perspiration -- but considering the horror she endures in a motel room at the hands of smack-pushing hooligans, that can hardly be considered a victory.

2. "Do the Right Thing" (1989)

"The forecast for today?" local DJ Mr. Senor Love Daddy (Samuel L. Jackson) tells his listeners. "Hhhhhot!" Spike Lee's incendiary urban version of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" is set on a single Brooklyn, N.Y., block, on a day so hot that no matter what the characters do (taking showers, dipping their faces in sinks full of cold water, playing in sprinklers, chugging cold beer), there's no hope of relief. Talk of the punishing weather is built into almost every scene. And the movie's climactic eruption of violence is exacerbated, maybe even sparked, by the characters' inability to escape it -- except, however fleetingly, by shutting the blinds, stripping down and getting busy.

1. "Apocalypse Now" (1979)

The opening shot of Francis Coppola's 1979 Vietnam riff on Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" looks more than hot enough: a static shot of a jungle landscape over which blurry helicopters pass like enormous black birds. "This is the end," the Doors' Jim Morrison croons on the soundtrack, "beautiful friend." And then the napalm hits. From the opening montage of Army assassin Capt. Willard (Martin Sheen) spiraling into drunken despair in a Saigon hotel room through to the druggy finale set in a corpse-and-fly-strewn compound lorded over by Willard's target, unhinged Green Beret Col. Walt Kurtz (Marlon Brando), the movie is the single greatest study of sweat every committed to celluloid. Coppola and his cinematographer, Vittorio Storaro, photograph Willard's journey upriver in rich, at times voluptuous images that emphasize the heat, the humidity, the merciless sun. When night falls, or when the characters retreat into dimly lit rooms, the film shifts into a chiaroscuro mode that finds a visual equivalent of Conrad's prose, which applied the writer's appreciation for the extremes of darkness and light in every soul to ornate descriptions of boats, buildings, hills, trees and bodies. Kurtz's bald head emerging from brownish-orange half-light is as lovely as it is menacing; when he cools off by squeezing a waterlogged sponge over his dome, the rivulets of water are distinct, tactile, as if etched onto the frame with a razor blade.

http://www.salon.com/entertainment/movies/2010/07/10/heat_wave_slide_show/slideshow.html

July 10, 2010

Damage-control report by.....you know who!



The following report just looks like a Damage-control in response to this

TOI

Director Anubhav Sinha (known for the super dud Cash) must have felt like King for exactly a day when rumour mills said that his Ra.One with Shah Rukh Khan was sold for Rs.175 crores.

But a segment of Bollywood saw red. “How can a Anubhav-SRK project get Rs 175 crores when a SRK-Farhan Akhtar (Farhan’s box office record is much better than Anubhav’s) combination be negotiated for Rs 125 crores,’’ asked a trade guru. He added, “While neither the price of Don-2 is Rs 125 crores nor can Ra.One ever fetch Rs 175 crores (in these economically challenged times) it is ridiculous for vested interests to spread these stories.’’

Trade expert Taran Adarsh said, “Bollywood is going through a correction process. Now, more than ever, there is arithmetic attached to the acquisition process. And the price of a film is based on the combined equity of the director and the star. If Shah Rukh Khan and Raju Hirani were to come into the market with a project and you hear figures like Rs 125 crores being bandied about, it may seem more likely. Both are hot at the box office. But just to float random figures will once again be Bollywood’s biggest folly. ’’

It is said that after disasters like Raavan and Kites (both of which crossed the Rs 100 crore marks leaving their investors near bankrupt), the Hindi film industry is very sceptical about acquisition prices. Exaggerated reports say that reeling under the impact of huge disasters like Drona, Blue, Kites and Raavan, there are film corporations who are unable to float their own IPOs (initial public offerings). An insider said, “Some corporations have tightened their purse strings and are even keeping a count of how many cups of tea are being served each day in their offices. So where is the question of them acquiring movies for ridiculous prices?’’

Trade consultant Amod Mehra also warned that one irresponsible number can have a domino effect on the whole system. “Stars and makers will again start believing in their own supremacy theory. And if they make ridiculous demands, then the trade that is just about raising its head with correct pricing (as in the case of I Hate Luv Storys) will fall prey to its own greed.’’ However, he felt that the biggest superstars (Aamir Khan, SRK) and sensible filmmakers are very aware of the trade machinations. “And it is just a few ill-informed people who end up spreading rumours of crazy prices when the reality is something else,’’ said Amod.

While corporations conveniently keep saying “company policy doesn’t allow us to talk figures,’’ it is hinted that the deal for Don-2 will close at Rs 81 crores; Golmaal-3 is being negotiated for a similar amount; Akshay Kumar’s Tees Maar Khan will sell for Rs 55 crores despite the unbeatable combination of Farah Khan (whose last hit Om Shanti Om was huge) and Katrina Kaif (10 hits in a row); Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Guzaarish with Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan also reportedly closed at Rs 81 crores. “This itself is a very big price to recover,’’ said a broker. It is hinted that SLB (whose Saawariya was a washout) has allegedly been paid Rs 30 crores for this film, and so has his hero Hrithik. But these are definitely the biggest deals as far as the current scenario goes. And even these may prove fatal for Bollywood. Ideally films that are in the Rs 55-70 crore bracket are the safe bets.

“Producers be warned. A 3-Idiots that grossed something to the tune of Rs 375 crores is a once-in-a-blue-moon phenomenon,” said Taran.

Finally a cabaret number - Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai!



Peepli Live music is rustic and wonderful




Listen to the tracks HERE

Here is a track listing (with my brief thoughts::

1. Chola Maati Ke Ram
Music Label:T-Series
Singers: Nageen Tanvir
Lyricist: Gangaram Sakhet
Music Director: Nageen Tanvir

Captures the essence of village life, beautiful track.

2. Des Mera
Music Label:T-Series
Singers: Indian Ocean
Lyricist: Sanjeev Sharma, Swanand Kirkire
Music Director: Indian Ocean

3. Des Mera - 1
Music Label:T-Series
Singers: Indian Ocean
Lyricist: Sanjeev Sharma, Swanand Kirkire
Music Director: Indian Ocean

These two tracks are also rustic, and have great lyrics.

4. Mehngai Dayain
Music Label:T-Series
Singers: Raghuveer Yadav
Lyricist:
Music Director: Ram Sampat

5. Mehngai Dayain - Remix
Music Label:T-Series
Singers: Raghuveer Yadav
Lyricist:
Music Director: Ram Sampat

Very catchy lyrics and tune, RaghuBir Yadav's voice is wonderfully used in this song.

6. Zindagi Se Darte Ho
Music Label:T-Series
Singers: Indian Ocean
Lyricist: Noon Meem Rashed
Music Director: Indian Ocean

The one NON-rustic tune, but even here the lyrics evoke a rustic feel.

All in all a great album that should suit the theme of the film very well.

Aamir doing Dhoom 3?



Link

When veteran filmmaker Yash Chopra and his wife Pamela attended Aamir Khan’s party for international musician Gustavo Santaolalla, they weren’t just socialising with the Bollywood superstar. Their visit also had a serious business connotation to it. Chopra has reportedly left behind a script for Aamir to leaf through for his next directorial venture. And Aamir is likely to start reading it in August after he finishes with the Peepli Live promotions.

The meeting between Yash and Aamir is causing quite a flutter, and in the corridors of Naaz Building (Bollywood’s stock exchange) there is a lot of gossip floating around. Some naive, wet-behind-the-ears brokers are even insinuating that Yash wants Aamir to play a role in Dhoom-3 which will have Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra and Hrithik Roshan as the baddie.

The trade-sorts seem to think that only Yash can try and get Aamir and Hrithik together in a project. But sources close to Aamir veto the Dhoom-3 angle completely. In fact, no official quotes are available on this meeting between Bollywood’s most powerful actor and the veteran filmmaker.

The other buzz doing the rounds is that Aamir and the long-haired current craze, Imtiaz Ali, are in talks for a project. And knowing how fastidious these two are, the project may not take off before 2012.

July 9, 2010

A tribute to Guru Dutt on his birthday!


Born Vasanth Kumar Shivashankar Padukone in Bangalore in 1925, he was renamed Guru Dutt after an early childhood accident. It is also rumored that he was supposed to have dropped the latter part of his name because of his love for all things Bengali. Never formally schooled due to financial troubles at home, he joined the performing troupe of Uday Shankar (brother of Ravi Shankar) and studied with the group until it was closed down due to WWII. He later moved to Bombay and worked at a succession of film related jobs like choreographer, assistant, and also at times as actor.

His chance meeting with Dev Anand over a shirt exchanged by the laundry led to a lifelong friendship. They vowed to each other that if Guru Dutt made a film he would have Anand as hero, and if Dev produced a film then he would use Guru Dutt as its director. Dev Anand asked Guru Dutt to direct his Baazi - a noir thriller with wonderful music from SD Burman:



Guru Dutt never really did direct Dev in a film made by him, even though the wonderful CID was produced by him with Dev in the lead. The film also saw the beginning of the relationship between Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rehman:



The wikipedia lists the following as contributions that Baazi made to cinema:
"Baazi also highlights two early key technical developments in Indian movie-making that are attributed to Guru Dutt. The use of close-up shots with a 100 mm lens - there are over 14 in the movie - which became known in Indian movie-making as the "Guru Dutt shot", and the use of songs to further the narrative in the movie. Guru Dutt also introduced Zohra Sehgal (whom he met at Almora) as the choreographer in the movie, and he also met his future wife, Geeta Dutt during the making of the movie.:"

Guru Dutt would go on to direct, produce and act in a series of outstanding films that have retained their quality and left their mark on Indian cinema. A core company that included Waheeda Rehman, Rehman, Johnny Walker, and Abrar Alvi (as writer and director for a few films) was part of most of these ventures. In Mr. and Mrs. 55 Guru Dutt played a poor artist in a marriage of convenience to the heiress played by Madhubala:



The success of this film led to other ventures like CID, Sailaab, and eventually Pyaasa. This latter film was an intensely personal story of an artist who is never appreciated until his death. Today the film resides in many international lists of best films and is gem-like in brilliance, and yet heartbreakingly melancholic. The lover who rejects the poet for a rich spose is played by Mala Sinha, and the woman who befriends and falls in love with him is the prostitute played by Waheeda Rehman. With many shades of the classic Devdas tale, Pyaasa mirrored the real life of Guru Dutt. He too was in a marriage with Geeta Dutt and yet his relationship with Waheeda was well known and not tolerated by his wife:



The next film that Guru Dutt directed was even more melancholic and even more personal, Kagaz Ke Phool was about a director, who sees all success, and then it all flees away from him. In this one too Waheeda was the muse, the actress he falls in love with, while married to another woman. The commercial failure of this film was a huge blow to Guru Dutt, and he was unable to recover fully from the shock:



After this Guru Dutt did not direct another film, though many speculate that he was the ghost-director for both subsequent films he produced, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam and Chadavin Ka Chand. Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam was a period film, moody and sprightly at the same time. The two leading ladies were polar opposites in character states and the film is considered to be one of Hindi cinema's masterpieces:



The other film produced by Guru Dutt was a huge box office success and it too had his indelible directorial mark. Set in the by-lanes of Lucknow, in a Muslim environment, the film about love and sacrifice, struck an instant chord with the viewers. Waheeda was the lady Guru Dutt fell in love with, and married, only to realize his best friend was also in love with the same woman....

Read more HERE

"The host in KBC 4 is 10 years older and wears glasses" - Amitabh Bachchan



By Subhash K. Jha, July 9, 2010 - 14:02 IST

Amitabh Bachchan speaks to Subhash K Jha on his return to Kaun Banega Crorepati

You are back on Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) though on a different channel this time. What made you agree to host the show a third time?
Sony TV now has the rights for KBC and they approached me. They shared with me their research and the changes that they wished to incorporate in the show and I agreed.

Earlier you also hosted Bigg Boss. Doesn't television eat into the precious time that you have for movies?
No it does not. The schedules get planned accordingly and film and TV get different slots and it all works out. I was also not shooting any film during the time of Bigg Boss and it's very likely that for KBC also the film shoot shall begin after the season is over. But even if it were not to, adjustments in dates would be made and incorporated.

KBC changed the relationship between cinema and television forever. No other game show since then has had the same impact. Do you in some ways; feel responsible for bringing cinema closer to the home medium?
That is too large a credit that you put on my shoulders. Innovators of the game show, its presenters and broadcasters and then the public are the ones that decide what shall work and how. I was merely a fortunate bystander that climbed on to the KBC joy ride. I am happy that it worked. This is not the first example of such a fusion. It has happened many times before, both here and in the West.

Not too many television shows after KBC featuring your colleagues have seen the success of KBC. Why do you think KBC remains one of its kind?
I would firstly disagree that shows featuring my colleagues were not successful, or as large as KBC. They have all done well - Shah Rukh, Salman and several others have all had their value and continue to have their importance. KBC conceptually was brilliant in its design. There was drama, learning, suspense and thrills all rolled into one. Its presentation was something that had been pioneering for Indian television. All these factors worked in its favor.

You've done two seasons of KBC. How would Season 3 be different?
Its host and anchor is 10 years older and wears glasses!!

Your connect with the home viewing audience has proven to be exceptional. How do you intend to carry that connectivity forward this time?
The format of the show is binding by contract, but yes there are some innovations that will be different from the earlier one. The Channel does not wish me to disclose this right now. They wish to bring that up at an appropriate time.

Anil Kapoor played host on KBC in Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire. Do you think he did the role well?
Yes he was very good!!

You've so far done only non-fiction on television. Are you at all tempted to take up one of the many soaps that are being offered to you?
There has not been a concrete proposal to do a soap, but if there were to be one I would not mind considering it.

http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/features/2010/07/09/6423/index.html

Business As Usual



Film celebrities are expanding the horizons of their ambitions as they venture into new businesses and alternate careers. Filmfare rates their growing aptitude.

Film production
Actors turning producers is a trend fast catching on. As actors’ careers progress, they look towards production to maintain an active profile in the film world.

Shah Rukh Khan
SRK turned producer when he set up Dreamz Unlimited with Juhi Chawla and Aziz Mirza in 1999. Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani (2000) and Asoka (2001) flopped but Chalte Chalte (2003) was a hit. Then came his new company Red Chillies Entertainment with the superhit Main Hoon Naa (2004). Paheli (2005) wasn’t successful but it did manage an Oscar entry. In 2007 Om Shanti Om broke box office records. SRK was also a co-producer on the YRF hit, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. SRK’s Red Chillies has diversified into a VFX company. His upcoming film as producer is the much anticipated Ra.One. This could be SRK’s career extension.
Rating: 8/10

Saif Ali Khan
Saif Ali Khan turned producer in 2008 when he set up Illuminati Films and launched Love Aaj Kal. Directed by Imtiaz Ali, the movie was one of the biggest hits of 2009. Turning producer seemed like a natural step for him. Saif’s Agent Vinod and co-production with TIPS Films Race 2 are being looked at with great fervour. There’s also talk that Saif’s producing Being Cyrus’ director Homi Adajania’s next with Imran Khan.
Rating: 7/10

Aamir Khan
Amongst the contemporaries, it was Aamir Khan who followed SRK’s lead in setting up his own production company. Aamir Khan Productions was set up in 2001 and it couldn’t have asked for a better
start as Lagaan managed phenomenal box office success as well as an Oscar nomination.
Then, in 2007 he produced the critically acclaimed and popularly praised Taare Zameen Par, which
was also Aamir’s directorial debut. A year later, Aamir launched his nephew Imran Khan in the film Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na. It turned out to be a big crowd pleaser and ensured that Aamir’s production record remained flawless. Aamir’s company has three eagerly-awaited films gearing up for release. And if the hype is to be believed Peepli Live, Delhi Belly and Dhobi Ghat will add to Aamir’s enviable record as a producer.
Rating: 9/10

Ajay Devgn
Ajay Devgn’s first stint as a producer was way back in 2000 when he made Raju Chacha under his home banner Devgan Films. Fast forward eight years and Ajay reprised his role as a producer and also debuted as a director with U Me Aur Hum. Ajay also produced the 2009 hit, All The Best which was his most successful production to date. It’s reported that Devgan Films has a project in the pipeline, one that Ajay plans to unveil in a few months.
Rating: 6/10

Katrina Kaif
She’s called the Czarina of the film industry and she’s very serious about her future career. Hindi film heroines don’t often end up as producers but Katrina Kaif is an exception. Her first production is going to be the remake of a French film. À la folie... pas du tout (He Loves Me… He Loves Me Not) and Hors De Prix (Priceless) have been speculated upon. It’s reported that Katrina wants SRK to be her leading man.
Rating: 7/10

Suneil Shetty
He might’ve had the biggest muscles in his time but there was more to Suneil Shetty than just pure brawn. He was one of the first Hindi film stars to display a strong sense of entrepreneurship. His production company Popcorn Entertainment started off slow with features like Khel and Rakht. But Sunil’s productions gained speed with films like Bhagam Bhaag, Mission Istaanbul and EMI. Popcorn’s upcoming films include Mumbai Chaka Chak, Raaste and Loot.
Rating: 4/10

Amitabh Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan laid foundations for the ABCL in 1996. But after producing several flop films and losing a lot of finances on live events, ABCL came to near closure. But since 2000, Bachchan's career picked up pace and so did ABCL’s operations. Paa’s spectacular showing was a testament to ABCL’s new perspective.
Rating: 5/10

Akshay Kumar
Akshay Kumar’s gone from being the Khiladi actor to ruling the roost in the Hindi film industry. He’s rolling out hits as if they’re made on an assembly line. A move to production was always on the cards. Recently, Akshay set up his production company Hari Om Entertainment and his first film Khatta Meetha with director Priyadarshan is expected to hit the screens later this year.
Rating: 6/10

http://www.filmfare.com/articles/business-as-usual-15-1083.html

Most actors in Bolywood are either poor or average

Poor actors:

Abhishek Bachchan - Can´t do anything besides trying to act like a tough man;
Priyanka Chopra - Only decent performance is Fashion. Rest is dull.
Imran Khan - Lucky to be Aamir´s nephew;
John Abraham - Wooden actor;
Arjun Rampal - Can´t play any role even though he acts in different roles;
Katrina - Huge star but 0 acting skills
Neil Nitin Mukesh - Same as John
Bipasha - Only suitable for skin show

Average actors:

Shahid Kapur - One good performance in Kaminey. Rest is either poor or average;
Ranbir Kapoor- Liked him in that role of a sardar. But doesn´t have much variety in his acting;
Lara Dutta - Underrated actress in comedy. But its her fault for not trying with different roles;


Most underrated actor:

Arjun Mathur - Saw two movies with him. He is a serious talent. Can act any kind of scene and deliver any kind of emotion;

July 8, 2010

The 100 cr Question?


Bollywood Seems to be going through the “100 cr” Season with many of the movies being mounted on the amount(in the past, the present and surely the future), question is not why are they pegged at that Price(thats almost an boring question now), the main question is how to re-coup the investment.
First things first, is it possible to recover that investment, yes it is possible.
The Revenue Channels,
Indian Theatrical : 50%
Overseas : 20%
Satellite : 20 %
DVD/Music : 10%
Next is how, lets see in little detail.
Indian Theatrical : As with any scenario, performance at the home turf is of the utmost importance.But why?, because all the related “Beyond the Box-office” revenues of a movie are pretty much directly proportional to it.
For the large amount of movies(95%), Indian Theatrical represents almost the bulk of the Overall Theatrical Business(70-75%).
For our movie, it has to at-least do 100 cr Nett domestically, thus giving a theatrical domestic share of around 50-52 cr,given it does Uniform business across the Multiplexes and Single Screens.
Overseas Theatrical : Increasingly in the last few years, Overseas Theatrical run of a movie is playing more and more significant part in the whole situation.In-fact, its almost regular to see them doing at-least 30-35% of what a movie does in India(especially for bigger stars), some rare cases have seen them almost doing comparable business to Indian counterpart but then that’s a rarity only.
For our movie we are expecting around 50 cr Gross overseas, giving us around ~ 22 cr share.
Satellite Rights: With the Advent of Cable TV, Satellite rights of the movies have been increasing by the day too, but as mentioned above the rate here is directly proportional to the Domestic Performance of the movie. If the movie bombs badly at home turf, there have even been outrageous cases of re-negotiations to bring down satellite rights rates.
If a movie is able to crack the 100 cr Nett barrier, it wont be a stretch to expect the movie to get a Satellite Deal as high as 25 cr(given that the movie is not pre-sold).
DVD/Music Rights: Industry standard for big movies is around 9-10 cr for these rights(usually bought together). But definitely even this is only possible/guaranteed if movie performs better at the home box-office.
Adding all revenues of our movie,
Indian Theatrical (50-52 cr) + Overseas Theatrical (22 cr) + Satellite (25 cr) + DVD/Music Rights(9-10 cr) = 106-109 cr
Thus we see that the said amount(100 cr) can be recovered if the movie performs uniformly across the board.
Boxofficekings

For aspiring film-makers: Jab We Met – an analysis of its screenplay and structure




I forget which Screenwriting guru said this – probably Syd Field… you know a movie will work for you, or not, in the first ten minutes itself. In these crucial first ten minutes, the protagonist is usually introduced; the dramatic premise of the story is laid out and the mood of the film is established. Does that happen in “Jab We Met”?

First 10 minutes:

* Protagonist is introduced: Aditya introduced in first shot, Geet in the next 6 minutes
* Within 14 mins: dramatic premise of the story: Geet has lost her luggage, has no money. Aditya has to reach her home
* The dramatic premise actually doesn’t end with Geet reaching home – because, as the audience learns post-interval, she has gone missing and no one knows her whereabouts for the past 9 months. So the dramatic premise continues till the end – when Aditya brings her home, along with Anshuman
* By 7 mins into the story you know this is going to be a boy-meets-girl love story – so what is it that “hooks” the audience’s attention. That Aditya and Geet are obviously a case of opposites attract. Aditya is quiet, depressed, a loner. Geet is very talkative, full of life and very optimistic. So what engages the audience is – how the two will fall in love.
* Mood: Romantic comedy (notice the lively background score when Kareena makes her entry – when she hops onto the train)

One of the many definitions of a screenplay is: “The story of a character who is emotionally engaging and who at the beginning of the screenplay is confronted with a problem which creates an inescapable need to reach a specific goal. The attempt to do so inevitably generates almost overwhelming obstacles which are finally overcome by the transformation and growth of that character.”

If we study the screenplay in the above light, we find:

ADITYA

(1) Aditya is an emotionally engaging person. He might be quiet, withdrawn, depressed but he has a wry sense of humour which slips out in that one night in Hotel Decent. He is also obviously the “good” guy, because the heroine trusts him implicitly – we know he will not take advantage of her (which he puts across humorously as “main (rape) karna chahta hi nahin hoon”. He is also impulsive, as when he steals a bicycle ride in the song “hum jo chalne lage”, and more so when he helps Geet run away to Anshuman.

(2) Confronted with a problem: his personal life is in shreds. His father is dead, his mother is going to court against him (and has run away with another man) and his girlfriend is marrying another man. He does NOT have the will to fight. So obviously the GOAL is to get back the will to fight and get his life in order. On another level the problem that needs a solution is that Geet needs to reach home safely.

(3) overwhelming obstacles: the first problem gets subsumed in the second problem – so the obstacles faced are really only in the second problem. He and Geet miss the train, catch a taxi, hire a car, hitch a ride on a delivery truck and finally reach Bhatinda. But that is just the beginning of the problem – because the main problem is that Geet intends to run away to Manali. So next they have to escape without getting caught. Aditya leaves Geet in Manali and comes back to surmount his personal obstacles – a sinking company, his embittered relationship with his mother. Only to be told by Geet’s father and uncle that she has been missing since the past nine months. So he traces Anshuman, finds Geet, overcomes her stubborn reluctance to return home disgraced, overcomes his own deep need to be with Geet and willingly hands her over to Anshuman. So in his case the obstacles are both external (reaching Geet home, reaching Geet to Manali, finding Geet) and internal (sacrificing his love for Geet, overcoming his fear of failure to revive the company and launch new ventures and forgiving his mother for leaving him behind for a new life).

(4) transformation and growth of character: same as above

GEET

(1) emotionally engaging: obviously! effervescent, a die-hard optimist and romantic, very transparent and open in her dealings with people, eager to help (she gets down from the train worried that Aditya would miss his train).

(2) confronted with a problem: she wants to run away from home. But before that she has to reach home first – and she has missed her train and all her luggage.

(3) Goal: to get married!

(4) overwhelming obstacles: misses her train, loses her luggage; her parents have fixed her marriage to a childhood friend; she is discovered as she is running away; the man she loves turns her down; she cannot return home, she desperately wants to win his love; after nine long months the man she loves comes back to her saying he loves her, but by then she loves someone else – so there is still an obstacle to overcome – she has to learn to recognize her own feelings.

(5) transformation of character: not as much as Aditya. But she does mature through suffering – those nine months that she is alone in Simla

THREE ACT STRUCTURE

I know, I know! Most people scoff at Syd Field’s Three Act Structure! Since I am new to screenplays – I don’t have much knowledge of other forms of screenplay plot. So here goes!

Act I (Set Up & Information)

* Point of Entry: Aditya Kashyap is at the lowest point in his life – his mother wants part of his business and is ready to go to court, his girlfriend is getting married to someone else
* Exposition: The board room (where Aditya’s lawyer and his mother’s lawyer argue) and Aditya’s girlfriend’s marriage
* Hook: A hook is something that grabs the audience’s attention, draws them into the story and makes them want to watch on. This is going to be a girl-meets boy love story – but here the two are poles apart. One is gregarious, chirpy, very transparent in her interactions, the other is silent, morose, guarded. The audience’s attention is “hooked” by “how” the two fall in love – especially since the girl declares right at the beginning that she is madly in love with someone else and will be running away and getting married.
* Inciting Incident: This is a moment or scene that confronts the protagonist with a problem and creates a crisis. This crisis forces the protagonist into a decision or choice which then causes a change in that character or story (ultimately leading to the climax at the end of Act I). The Inciting Incident here is definitely Geet missing the train. This causes Aditya to drop everything else and accompany Geet to Bhatinda. Of course along the way he falls in love – which hadn’t featured anywhere in his plans!
* Turning Point 1: something in the plot that grabs the story and turns it around in a whole new direction. It normally pushes the story forward towards the Act climax, and thereby into the next Act. It helps in increasing the momentum by making the outcome uncertain – so the audience is kept wondering – what will happen next. This turning point dramatically alters the protagonist’s motivation. I’m not so sure about which is the Turning Point in the movie. I think it’s when Aditya helps Geet to run away to Manali. Until now the single point agenda was – reaching Geet safely home. Now, by helping her to run away, he gets inextricably entangled in her life. For, from now onwards Geet’s family will think Geet has run away with him. So they blame him when she goes missing for nine months. Because he helped her run away, he is in fact responsible for her whereabouts – if she has not get back in touch with her family after her marriage to Anshuman, he feels morally bound to reunite her with her family. And then…he discovers she never married Anshuman. She ran away from home just so that she could marry him. Why didn’t she? What had happened to her?

Thus TP 1 turns the story around and sets up a new problem. It pushes the story forward to the next Act. It increases momentum by raising the stakes – by making the resolution more uncertain (where is Geet? why didn’t Anshuman and Geet get married? ). Turning Point 1 dramatically alter’s the protagonist’s motivation. Geet is now his responsibility; her happiness is his responsibility.

* Climax: Not sure of this. Is it when Geet finds Aditya in the dark alleys of Ratnam and hugs him (after being propositioned at the railway station)?
* Set Up and Pay Offs: Something that is introduced early in the plot or dialogue or characterization that is used for greater dramatic effect or plot resolution in the second half of the plot structure. (1) When Geet meets Aditya for the first time in the train and gabs non-stop about herself she mentions she has been living in hostels all her life, and rattles of the names of her various hostels, including “St Teresa’s boarding school hostel in Shimla”. This is where she returns to – when Anshuman refuses to marry her. (2) Station master’s famous line “ek akeli ladki ek khali tijori….” is used with humourous effect – by Geet when she convinces Dadaji that Aditya was a knight in shining armour – who had rescued her when she missed her train. She was all alone in the station, and as he knows, “ek akeli ladki ek khali tijori ki tarha hoti hai…”!

ACT II: DEVELOPMENT AND MOMENTUM

* Focus Point 1: This focuses on some development or change in the major character. Approximately 1 hour into the movie (so, Act II, since Act I is over by 30 mins. approx), Aditya decides to run away with Geet – to help her reach Manali. And here we notice the character transformation that is happening. Aditya reprimands Geet for taking everything as a joke. She retorts back by saying he took everything so seriously, did that help in anyway? She goes on to say – she would like to do exactly whatever she felt like – and take ownership for whatever happened to her in her life – that her choices in life would be her’s alone. She wouldn’t want to blame anyone else for it. This becomes a turning point in Aditya’s life – all this while he had been letting circumstances control his life. From now onwards he will take charge of his life.

Another change we find in his character – is when they have come down from the terrace and are running way into the darkness. Geet looks back at her house wistfully and asks him if he thought what she was doing was wrong. Aditya replies – it might be wrong – but after all everything is fair in love. And if he could now understand (and forgive) his mother, her parents too, in time, would understand and forgive her.

* Half-way point (Point of No Return): Usually the scene preceding the interval – a point in the story when the protagonist needs to reassess his goals, sometimes give up his quest or journey. In some films this is the lowest point in the film – when the protagonist thinks he has failed. In “Jab We Met” the half way point occurs when Aditya leaves Geet in Manali. He thinks Geet is now forever out of his life. He will now go back to his corporate life in Mumbai and Geet will only be a beautiful memory.
* Focus Point 2: Further transformation in Aditya’s character. Aditya’s now a happy, dynamic person – the sky is the limit for him and in everything he does he sees Geet’s guiding hand. “Insaan jab kuch really chahta hain na – actually – use hamesha wohi milta hai”. That was Geet’s philosophy – and now we see that Aditya has made that his own mantra. In the Aditya-Mrs. Jaya Khanna scene in the conference hall in the 2nd half – the scene is identical to the 1st scene – only this time Aditya is ready to accept all his mother’s claims. He looks the lawyer in the eye, his body language has changed. He is in command.
* Act II Climax: When Geet’s father and uncle barge into Aditya’s office and rough him up – demanding to know where he had abducted Geet to.

ACT III: CLIMAX AND RESOLUTION

* Turning Point 2: At TP2, the protagonist feels he has failed – it is the crisis point for the whole film. It leads logically to and ‘causes’ the final confrontation scene. In “Jab We Met” this turning point is when Anshuman tells Aditya that he had turned away Geet. He is callous and so obviously unworthy of Geet’s devotion. The audience now knows that Geet will ultimately choose Aditya over Anshuman (we’ve known all along of course, but this is the turning point in the film when the audience knows that Geet simply needs to outgrow her infatuation and recognize true love)
* Climax: Geet realizes she loves Aditya and not Anshuman. She tells Aditya that the biggest favour he has done her is to get back Anshuman in her life – so that she could recognize her true love.
* Resolution: Geet and Aditya get married. Aditya’s mother participates in the marriage (so no longer estranged from her son).
* Afterlife: Any good movie has an afterlife for its protagonists, at the end of the movie. It’s that “something” that the audience mulls over as they walk out of the theatre. Here it is Geet as a mother of two kids! Quite unimaginable! The director wraps it up neatly by having dadaji comment on Aditya and Geet as a couple – before they got married.

CHARACTERISATION

* Backstory of characters: some background history about the characters. This helps them appear more three dimensional – gives depth to their personalities.

* Geet: we get to know almost everything about Geet in the first few minutes of her entry. She is going to Bhatinda. She has been living in hostels all her life. She hates hostel life. She loves the mountains. She is going to run away and get married. She came to Mumbai when Mumbai was called Bombay! Her friends confess all their problems to her – she is their agony aunt.

* Aditya: We get to know of his background in bits and pieces. The girl whose wedding he attended in the first few scenes – we learn that she is his girlfriend (he shows Geet her picture in Hotel Decent). We learn that his mother had run away with another man (Aditya discloses this in the dhaba scene when they are both changing after having jumped into a stream). Much later in the film, Aditya tells Geet that his parents had never loved each other (this is disclosed when Anshuman walks back into Geet’s life, in the hotel in Simla).

It is interesting how the characters introduce themselves. Almost half-an-hour into the movie, and after several heated exchanges between the two of them, they finally introduce themselves to each other. Ratnaam ki galiyon mein – just after Geet has run away from a roadside Romeo who thinks she is a prostitute.

* Character is revealed in a very natural manner – never in a forced expositionary fashion. For example – we hear for the first time about Aditya’s failed relationship in Hotel Decent. When Geet warns him to keep his hands off her, because she was a one man woman. And she announces in a flourish – that her heart was Anshuman’s. “Anshuman – one and only, hamesha ke liye”. Exasperated and quite infuriated by her high opnion about herself and her love life, he finally allows his defenses to break down, ever so slightly, by saying, if she was a one man woman, he was a one woman man! “Tumhein sun ke khushi hogi ki main bhi one woman main hoon. Okay? Aur ye (takes out wallet) ye dekho.” This is the first time that he actually shares anything about himself with anyone, in the film.
* Transformational Arc: The protagonist is usually a better and wiser person by the end of the movie. The transformational arc represents a character’s growth in the movie. In “Jab We Met”, Geet and Aditya are two sides of the same coin. He becomes like her, she becomes like him. The key to Geet’s character is she loves herself. “Tum apne aap ko bahut pasand ho, nahin?” asks Aditya, very amused by her declaiming that had she not been madly in love with Anshuman, she might have fallen for Aditya. Geet replies, in such a self-assured, top of the world manner – “Bahut…Main apni favourite hoon.” Whereupon he says, “I wish main tumhare jaisa hota.” Which is what he becomes when he returns from Manali. Every action he takes, every decision he makes, is by putting himself in Geet’s shoes.
* Also neat structural plotting. She saves him twice: (1) He was about to jump off the train – she saves him by shouting at him (2) She turns around his life. He does the same. (1) She was about to be molested – he saves her, reaches her home. Then he reaches her to her beloved (2) Her life had come to a complete standstill. He rescues her and brings her all the happiness she had dreamt of.


More HERE

Da.One - Don 2 and Ra.one sold for impossible to recover prices?



A whopping amount of Rs 300 crore is riding on Shah Rukh Khan’s next two films, RA.One and Don 2

Agreed, Bollywood has lost crores this year because a lot of expensive films failed to retrieve their expected turnovers (Blue, of course, stands apart for its sheer wastage of money). But the biggest production companies seem to have blind belief in films that star Shah Rukh Khan. Nearly Rs 300 crore is riding on King Khan’s shoulders.



Newsflash: Reliance Big Pictures has not hit rock bottom with the poor turnover of the Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai starrer Raavan. Neither has Hrithik Roshan and Barbara Mori’s Kites debacle at the box office obstructed their soaring fund levels.

The buzz in the trade is that Reliance Big Pictures has bought the rights of Don 2 from Excel Entertainment for Rs 125 crore, which is about Rs 25 crore more than what they purchased Kites for. The deal has taken place even before Don 2 has gone on the floors, which implies that even in today’s times when films are flopping days after their release, the buyers in the market have extreme faith in a film that has Shah Rukh playing the lead.

Added to this is, there is talk in the industry of Eros International buying Shah Rukh’s home-production RA.One for a whopping Rs 175 crore.

A leading distributor says, “Shah Rukh rocks. He is still one of the top three stars in this country. His film guarantees good returns. Yes, Reliance Big Pictures has bought Don 2 for an amount which is definitely more than Rs 100 crore. But I think that Shah Rukh’s deal with Eros International on RA.One could be a funding proposal, which implies that Shah Rukh can still sell the film to other buyers.”

Even trade analysts in the film industry seem to second this view. A leading trade-analyst says, “I am unaware of the exact figures between Red Chillies Entertainment and Eros International, but I know that Shah Rukh is asking for at least Rs 150 crore for RA.One, wherein he has used some top-notch technicians to take his project to a very high level.”

Priti Shahani, chief strategy and marketing officer of Reliance Big Pictures confirmed, “It’s true that we have Don 2 in our slate of films for next year, but there is no truth in the purchase price that is being speculated in the market.”

An official from Eros International also confirmed that their latest purchase is RA.One, while refusing to reveal the exact terms and conditions of the agreement.

Sunil Lulla (President, Eros International), Amit Khanna (CEO, Reliance Big Pictures), Ritesh Siddhwani (Excel Entertainment) and Shah Rukh Khan remained unavailable for comment.

Currently, Shah Rukh is busy shooting for RA.One. As soon as he completes it, he’ll start work on Don 2, which co-stars Priyanka Chopra and Arjun Rampal. And all this hard work does indeed pay off. And how!

LINK

Granted it is Mumbai Mirror (and Vicky Lalwani) and could be complete fabrication, but not good news if it is true. The logic might have been that if MNIK could almost recover 95 cr as a serious film, maybe entertainers will be huge. BUT the non-traditional overseas market that MNIK tapped was very niche and I doubt those people will come out for Ra.one and Don 2.

July 7, 2010

Lafangey Parindey promo!



Looks very interesting, and it is great that we will get to see Piyush Mishra acting!