Archive for October 22, 2009

SwadesAshutosh Gowariker’s Swades is one of our favourite films. And among those counted few films in which we really liked Shah Rukh Khan.

What we knew was that the film is based on a tv series. What we didnt know was the long story behind this long film! A reader of our blog mailed us some interesting info about it. Its in first person account by Mr V. On Swades, Whats Your Raashee, Lage Raho Munnabhai & more! Have replaced few names with their intials. Read on.

Hi…Last afternoon I was at a brunch hosted by AL to celebrate his birthday….As the wine, mojito’s and beer started doing the rounds and the guests were getting a tad reckless…..Sanjay Chhel who was seated at my table along with GB suddenly stated…Swades was V’s script…..we all knew it… It had come on Zee TV’s Yule Love stories as a 1.5 hour, two 45 minutes episode story in 1996!!!!!!!!! Ashutosh played SRK’s role in it as an actor….i was taken aback at this sudden announcement! It was a de ja vu.

Cut Back to:-

Swades Premiere. December 2004 at Fame Malad…. During the interval inside the smoking room of the multiplex… as I was puffing away along side Abbas Mastan and a few others… Anurag Kashyap walked in saying…. V- Bhai this is your script Waapasi on Zee Tv… I will never forget it…..Abbas-Mastan turn to look at me wondering who the hell i am… and also who the hell is Anurag!!!!!!!!!

That night post the premiere….Satya the producer of the Yule love story who gets the credit for story of Swadesh, Anand Subramanium, an alumini of FTII who directed Wapasi and myself were stopped by Ashutosh wanting to know our reactions as we were the original creators of the film according to him……..All we said was he fucked up a simple love story of an NRI who comes to pick up his Kaveri amma…discovers his roots in a village, feels guilty seeing poverty and exploitation of poor and also finds his soulmate and decides to stay back.

By trying to be in Appy’s words ‘A shantaram’ he went haywire with that electricity making incident which is incidentally a chapter in a Book titled Bapu Kutir… Bapu Kutir is a compilation of events & expereiences of some 10 people who gave up lucrative careers in the corporate world to follow Gandhian principles!!!!!!!!!!

The event in the film comes as tangent from no where… The Yule Love Story episode begins with the hero landingin Delhi looking for Kaveri amma and meeting the herione in the travel agency who gives him the wrong address and he takes a caravan bus to trace her and the story ends when his caravan leaves the village and the herione thinks he has left for good and turns to walk back and to her surprise he comes back in his caravan and honks behind her!!!!!!!!!

The character of Dayashankar Pandey of a village buffon wanting to go to USA in Swades is a character created by Naushil Mehta and myself in a play called Suitable Bride way back in 1996. Incidentally Suitable Bride is the inspiration for What’s Your Raashee…Its infact a straight lift of my play…. NM and I directed the play and also adpated it for stage from the novel Kimball Ravenswood. Seema Kapoor played 12 roles and Babbloo Mukherjee played Yogesh Patel…Darshan Jariwala plays the same character he played in the play!

Incidentally the play was a musical and had 12 songs… we had to drop the songs after the first 5 shows as the running time of the play was 3.5 hours and we realised audience were getting impatient. What’s Your Raashee is also 3.5 hours with 13 songs!!!!!!!!!!

There are 8 people who get the credit for screenplay in Swades and one of the guys told me that my dialogue script of Waapasi was photocopied and circulated amongst the 8 of them to change it from TV to a film script… Scene to scene, dialogue to dialogue ( i used to write dialogues in those days) were kept as in the original!

And exactly like Swades I am told I am getting a credit in What’s Your Raashee too in the begining acknoweldgements………You may ask why am i talking about it NOW!!!!! ST the producer of the show on Zee wanted to file a case against Ashutosh and UTV for cheating me of my credits and compensation… I didn’t want to file a case as i felt it was pointless exercise.

Ashutosh on his part had asked my permission to do the film saying he is using only the story and changing the screenplay….Well he did change the screenplay….By adding 40 minutes of NASA begining and end of film and a good 30-40 minute of the Bapu Kutir.

The reason I am talking about this today is I feel after what Amole Gupte went through…and more over… SC…whose idea Gandhi and Godfather… narrated to Mr. Dutt during the making of Khoobsoorat becomes Lage raho Munnabhai!

I feel there is no harm in giving the due people their credit or atleast let people know the real people behind these works…My name comes in the acknowledgements of Swades and Whats Your Raashee but I feel Swades is more Anand Subramanium than Ashu Gowarikar…..And Lage Raho Munnabhai is Chel rather than Hirani and Abhijat Joshi… and as for Taare Zameen Par… people in the know… know who directed the film 🙂

Wooohoo! Some revealations and it all seems so believable except the Lage Raho Munnabhai part! Whats your guess ?

BTW, according to IMDB, the writing credit of Swdes has nine names as follows.

Story – M.G. Sathya and Ashutosh Gowariker

Screeplay – Ashutosh Gowariker, Sameer Sharma, Lalit Marathe, Amin Hajee,  Charlotte Whitby-Coles, Yashodeep Nigudkar & Ayan Mukherjee 

Dialogue – K.P. Saxena

Aao Wish KarienWhat do you do when you have no films in hand ? Turn Producer. And thats the mantra of lot of out-of-work actors. Ask Dino Morea, Sushmita Sen, Sohail Khan among others. And the  new kid to join the club is  Aftab Shivdasani.

Aftab has started his own production house called Rising Sun Entertainment (Hmm..ambitious!) and their first film Aao Wish Karein is ready for release. Obviously it stars Aftab Shivdasani and his girlfreind Aamna Shariff and is directed by Glen Barreto (Jaane Hoga Kya ? Dont get us wrong. Thats the film he co-directed earlier, rite ? ). The story is about a kid who wants to grow up and suddenly one day his wish comes true.

The first promo of the film is out. All is well except the way they have decided to kill one of our favourite songs…sabse picche hum khade! Check out the video. It doesnt get any more boring than this! The song was earlier used in the film Lets Enjoy.

Just when we thought that Bigg Boss Season 3 is getting boring and is almost dead, things got quite spiced up! With Kamal Rashid Khan (KRK) in the house, how can it all be so quiet! In tonite’s episode, he throws a bottle at Rohit Verma, abuses & fights with Raju Srivastava and Bakhtiyaar Irani! And there are lonnnnnnnng beeps!

Whats more, even the couple is fighting. Tanaaz & Bakhtiyaar Irani. And watch Bakhtiyaar as you have never seen before. They even plan to quit the game in protest if KRK is not given punishment! The best episode so far! If you missed tonite’s episode, click on the play button! We have picked up the best parts!