July 9, 2010

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