Archive for the ‘Xclusive’ Category

For those who have been curious about Ritesh Batra’s Dabba, we have got the first look of the film. Here are some of the stills from the film which look really impressive. We do also have all the cast, credit and official synopsis details.

The film will have its international premiere at Cannes Festival in International Critics Week section.

(Click on any image to start the slide show in hi-res)

Though Nawaz was also in Paan Singh Tomar, but it looks like this film finally brings together two of the finest actors of our generation in full fledged roles. And is Irrfan Khan in Namesake avatar again? Bring it on!

Official Synopsis

A mistaken delivery in Mumbai’s famously efficient lunchbox delivery system connects a young housewife to an old man in the dusk of his life as they build a fantasy world together through notes in the lunchbox. Gradually, this fantasy threatens to overwhelm their reality.

Mumbai, a city of miracles.

One of Mumbai’s miracles is Mumbai’s Dabbawallahs – a community of 5000 dabba (lunchbox) deliverymen. It is a hereditary profession. Every morning the Dabbawallahs deliver hot meals from the kitchens of housewives to the offices of their husbands, and then return the empty lunchboxes back to the homes in the afternoon. For 120 years they have provided Mumbaikars with a taste of home in the office. They navigate through the overcrowded local trains and chaotic streets – that often have a namesake or more than one name. The Dabbahwallahs are illiterate, and instead rely on a complex coding system of colors and symbols to deliver dabbas in the labyrinth that is Mumbai. Harvard University analyzed their delivery system, concluding that just 1 in 8 million lunchboxes is ever delivered to the wrong address. Dabba is the story of that one lunchbox.

A mistakenly delivered lunchbox connects a housewife, Ila Singh, to Saajan Thomas, a lonely man in the dusk of his life. Ila lives in Dadar, the conservative middle class Hindu enclave. And Saajan lives in Ranwar village, Bandra, an old Christian neighborhood that is threatened by the new high rises in Mumbai. Very soon Saajan will retire and bid goodbye to a Mumbai that has crushed his dreams, took away his loved ones one by one, and turned his hair white. Just then Ila comes into his life. In the big city, that crushes dreams and recycles them every day, both find a dream to hold on to. Ila begins a fantastical affair with a mystery suitor, pouring her heart into cooking meals for him. And Saajan looks forward to lunch box deliveries from a mystery woman every day. They exchange notes via the lunchbox and create a fantasy life. As the lunchbox goes back and forth, this fantasy becomes so elaborate that it threatens to overwhelm their reality. The characters of The Lunchbox exist on the line between the Mumbai of reality and the Mumbai of fantasy.

The Lunchbox is the story of the life we dream of versus the life we live in, and of the courage it takes to turn out fantasies into reality.

Credits

director: Ritesh Batra
screenplay: Ritesh Batra
cinematography: Michael Simmonds
editing: John Lyons
sound: Michael Kaczmarek
production design: Shruti Gupte
music: Max Richter

Cast:
Irrfan Khan
Nimrat Kaur
Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Denzil Smith
Bharati Achrekar
Nakul Vaid
Yashvi Puneet Nagar
Lillete Dubey
Sada (Dabbawala)

The film is produced by Sikhya Entertainment (India), Dar Motion Pictures (India), and co-produced by National Film Development Corporation (India), ASAP Films (France) and Roh Films (Germany).

Btw, Michael Simmonds? The DoP of Ramin Bahrani’s films? Chop Shop, Man Push Cart, Goodbye Solo and Plastic Bag. That’s a great talent to have on board.

To know more about the film and the filmmaker, click here to read his interview on DearCinema.

Director

Ritesh Batra is a writer/director based in Mumbai and New York. In 2009, Batra was selected for the Sundance Writers and Directors labs for his feature project “The Story of Ram”. He was also named the Sundance Time Warner Storytelling Fellow and an Annenburg Fellow. He was part of the Graduate Film Program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, from which he dropped out in 2010. His short films have been presented in many international film festivals and fine arts venues. His recent short “Café Regular, Cairo” was featured in the 2012 Inter- national Film Festival of Rotterdam and 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. His upcoming short ‘The State of Siege’ is currently in post-production.

His feature screenplay THE LUNCHBOX was part of the 2011 Binger-NFDC Screenwriting Lab, it won an Honorable Mention from the Jury at the 2012 edition of the Cinemart at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam and was part of the Berlinale Talent Project Market.

(Cast/credit/synopsis/Director’s bio taken from various co-producers’ site)

Saif, Sriram - Agent Vinod

For many of us, Sriram Raghavan’s Agent Vinod was one of the most anticipated films of the year. After two thrill-pills – Ek Haseena Thi and Johnny Gaddar, we all were waiting for a hat-trick. But somehow it didn’t work out. And that leads us to a bigger question – how do you know what’s working and what’s not at the script stage. It’s quite a difficult task.

I had read the script first and then saw the film. And this (So what happened to Agent Vinod?) was the post that i wrote after watching the film. At that time many of you had tweeted and sent mails asking for the script of Agent Vinod. I didn’t have the permission then. Now, as we look back, and are compiling year-end posts, i thought it would be a nice idea to share the script with you all. And we must thank Sriram Raghavan for it who quickly agreed and gave a go-ahead to post it.

So here it is, read, share and have fun! It’s written by Sriram Raghavan and Arijit Biswas.

(PS – Don’t forget to check out Sriram’s footnotes in the script 😉

(PS1 – The script shared here is only for educational purpose and is completely non-commercial initiative.)

(PS2 – To check out other scripts that we have posted on the blog, click here for Vikramaditya Motwane’s Udaan script, click here for Anurag Kashyap’s Dev D script and click here for Dev Benegal’s Road, Movie script.)

Zohra Sehgal, a name that symbolizes liveliness, and truly defines ‘Life’ in every possible way.  The unmatched charm, the animated smile on that expressive face, and the young heart, even at this age it fills every ambiance with so much joy and happiness. Forget real life, look at any of her pictures and you realise that it’s so easy for the camera to capture it.

The living legend completes a century “full of Life” today on April 27, 2012.  Born exactly 100 years ago, Zohra started her career  as a dancer with Uday Shankar, was later associated with IPTA & Prithvi Theater and made her onscreen debut in Khwaja Ahmed Abbas’s much acclaimed Dharti Ke Laal in 1946.

Here’s a rare clip of her onscreen appearance in Dharti Ke Lal.

In recent years she has continued to work in films and has made her unique presence felt strongly in films like Dil Se, Bend it Like Beckham, Saaya & Cheeni Kum.

Hundred & not out, we wish Zohra Sehgal many more years of life…a life that has priceless memories to share, stories to tell and moments to cherish.

Happy 100 years, Zohra-ji!

(PS – ANI recently did an interview with her. It’s in three parts. Click here to start with the first part.)

Pavan Jha

…But were afraid to ask? Well, that doesn’t quite work out. Let’s say, But you were not sure whom to ask.

First came the teasers (Here, here and here).

And then came the official song where we saw Jesus Aamir Christ, who is here to save us.

But what is the show about? Well, like Aamir Khan’s movies, the show is also being guarded as a top secret. No details are being given out anywhere. And that’s why you don’t see anything about the show in the teasers or the song. But we suffer from a strange disease – the more you want to keep something as a secret, it makes us more curious. If you belong to the same tribe, we got all the answers for you. If you are not, skip the post.

– Satyamev Jayate is basically a chat show with guests and case studies from across the country.

– The first season will have 13 episodes out of which 10 have already been recorded.

– The idea is to pick one subject and discuss it from every possible angle – social, political, economic and such.

– The subjects include health, water, marriage, child issues (abuse and other), addiction and other social issues.

– The duration of each episode is 90mins.

– Each episode will end with a musical performance of a new song. All songs have been composed by Ram Sampath and lyrics are by Prasoon Joshi, Swanand Kirkire, Munna Dhiman and few others.

– The series is directed by Satyajeet Bhatkal (Aamir’s friend and director of Zokkoman) but every decision is taken by Aamir Khan. The final edit call is also his. Nothing is finalised without his approval.

– The series was earlier produced by Big Synergy. But they wanted to make it more commercial and Aamir wasn’t in favour of it. Currently it’s being produced by Aamir Khan Productions.

– Imran Khan and Sridevi will appear in two different episodes of the series.

– The pilot episode of the series was rejected by Aamir himself after it received negative feedback from test audience.

– The first episode is on girl child discrimination and female infanticide. Not sure if they have changed the sequence.

– Do expect lots of rona-dhona was they discuss sensitive issues. Aamir will be in full Oprah Winfrey avatar.

Anything else? If you have some more dope on it, the comment box is all yours.

Yes, it’s true! Cent percent true! So all your lovers of Coke Studio, get ready for some more music. The news has been doing the rounds for quite sometime but now the shoot is going to start soon. And here are some of the details that we have managed so far…

– The show will be on MTv and will start  by May-June. MTv? Do they still play music? Well, may be this will compensate for all the Roadies.

– The non-fiction division of Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment is producing the show in India.

– Like the Pakistan edition, this one will also have episodes of 1hour each and the idea is to get one new and young talent with an established name. They are still trying to sort this out.

– Talks are on to get Shafqat Amanat Ali to open the first season of Coke Studio India. He will be the only Pakistani singer in this season.

– And now the most important thing – the singers. Here’s the first list…..

  • Shankar Mahadevan
  • Kailash kher
  • Raghu Dixit
  • Shaan
  • Sunidhi Chauhan
  • KK
  • Richa Sharma
  • Bombay Jayashri

Talks are on to get few more. Can we please have Rabbi Shergill and Indian Ocean too?

And till then, dum ghutkoon….ghutkoon…

To know more about Coke Studio@MTv, click here and here – two posts written by Rohit.

Thanks to the good soul who mailed us the (un)official synopsis of Life Of Pi. The film is directed by Ang Lee and is based on Yann Martel’s novel of the same name. It has Irrfan Khan (Older Pi), Tabu (Pi’s mother), debutant Suraj Sharma (Piscine Molitor ‘Pi’ Patel) and Adil Hussain (Pi’s father) in lead roles. It’s scheduled to release in 2012 and will be in 3D.

And here is the synopis…

PISCINE “PI” PATEL (54) was born in India but now lives in Montreal. Though he loves Canada, he misses the heat of his native country. He is still a bit traumatized by the memory of being abandoned by RICHARD PARKER when he was 12.

Pi’s father studied zoology in Paris which is where he met Pi’s mother. An avid swimmer, Pi’s father taught Pi how to swim when he was seven. His father worked as the director of the Pondicherry Zoo in Madras. Pi grew up around the animals, learning to love each of theirs unique and sometimes amusing idiosyncrasies.

In school, Pi earned the unfortunate nickname of “pissing Patel”. When he entered middle school, he took the moniker Pi and was thankfully never teased again.

In 1964, over the objections of his mother, Pi’s father took Pi and his cousin RAVI to the tiger cage to watch it kill a goat. It was a lesson to teach them to fear the big cats. They may look fluffy and cuddly but they are ferocious animals.

Pi became interested in Catholicism. He would visit the local church and talk to the PRIEST about his religion. Pi was raised as a Hindu and would go to temple to question the PANDIT about his philosophy. Pi also would go to the mosque to ask the IMAM about his religion. Pi was fascinated by all three religions and considered himself a member of each. It never proved a problem until one day when he was walking with his parents and encountered the priest, pandit and imam. Each declared Pi a member of their congregation and got into a fight when the others made the same claim.

When the owner of the zoo, the MAHARAJAH died, his SON took control of his holdings. He decided to raze the zoo and replace it with a golf course. Pi’s father hoped he could change the Maharajah’s son’s mind by acquiring a lion for the zoo. He took Pi with him when he went to a circus to look for a lion to buy. While he negotiated a deal with the circus owner, Pi met the LION TAMER. He took the boy into the cage with him and showed him how he controlled the animals. The most important thing he taught Pi was never to show fear and to always be in command. Pi’s father was unable to make a deal with the circus owner and they left empty-handed.

With the zoo closing, Pi’s father got a job with the Canadian zoo which purchased all of the animals. They were loaded onto a boat along with Pi and his family. While on the cruise to their new home, Pi helped to feed the animals.

Pi was awakened one night to find his room flooding. The ship was sinking. The sailors freed most of the animals, giving them a chance on the open sea rather than drown on the boat. Unable to find his parents, Pi was taken topside by a sailor who threw him into the ocean. Pi swam to the nearest lifeboat, climbed aboard and watched the ship go down. That’s when he noticed that he wasn’t alone on the lifeboat. He shared it with a zebra, peacock and a hyena. Pi never saw his parents again.

Pi saw a tiger named Richard Parker clinging to a piece of driftwood nearby. It got that name from the Brit who found the orphaned cub that was then given to the zoo.

Pi is telling the story from his hospital bed to MR. OKAMATO and MR. CHIBA, investigators from the insurance company who were questioning him about why the boat sunk. Besides the two Japanese, there were a few nurses and orderlies also listening to Pi’s fascinating tale.

Pi then saw a hand grab the edge of the lifeboat. It belonged to a female orangutan who pulled herself into the boat. After a couple of days and getting hungry, the hyena moved to attack the zebra. Pi tried to fend it off with an oar but couldn’t stop the starving animal. It attacked the zebra who panicked and fell out of the boat. Thwarted, the hyena then turned and attacked the orangutan, killing it. That’s when the tiger reappeared, jumped into the boat and killed the hyena. Pi escaped the boat after making a raft from oars and life preservers. He stayed near the boat because it contained supplies that he might need.

As Pi continued his tale, his hospital room began to be filled with more patients and staff who were hanging on every word he said.

As the days continued, Pi remembered the things he learned from the lion tamer. Using a fishing hook he found in the survival kit on the lifeboat, Pi began catching fish to feed himself and the tiger. He would clean the fish by using one of the tiger’s discarded claws. In time, they formed an unlikely truce. The tiger wouldn’t eat Pi as long as he continued to feed him. When Pi got the chance, he would also feed on sea turtles and sea birds that he would encounter. Pi would keep track of the days by making notches on an oar. He would eventually make a total of 137 notches.

Pi woke up one morning to find that his boat had reached an island. The tiger jumped out and ran into the jungle. Pi began to investigate himself before passing out from exhaustion. He woke up to find his hands and feet bound. The sailor from the ship was also on the island. The sailor was apologizing for his what he was about to do – eat Pi. Before he got the chance though, he was attacked and killed by the tiger. Pi jumped back in his boat and began to paddle away but then felt guilty about leaving the tiger, so he used a whistle he had found to call the big beast. It came running (carrying the sailor’s arm in his mouth) and jumped back in the boat.

Some time later, the boat washed up on the beaches of Mexico. The tiger leaped to the shore and disappeared into the woods. Pi was extremely saddened by the loss of his only friend. Pi was found by some locals and taken to the nearest hospital.

By now Pi’s audience had filled his room and spilled out into the hallway. When he finished his story, many of the listeners dabbed at the tears in their eyes. Some openly wept.

SPOILER

Mr. Okamato and Mr. Chiba expressed their doubts about the veracity of the story, finding it to be just too implausible. When they saw Pi’s eyes look downward, they thought they hit a nerve so they ushered everyone out of the room. Pi then told a simpler tale. He said when he reached the lifeboat, it held his mother and two sailors, one with a broken leg. After a few days out on sea, one of the sailors wanted to kill the injured one to eat. Rather than face that fate, he jumped into the ocean taking his chances with the sharks. The sailor then turned and killed Pi’s mother, stripping her flesh to hang and dry. When the sailor fell asleep, Pi killed him and later ate him. Mr. Okamato and Mr. Chiba are distressed by the story, feeling sorry for Pi having to witness his mother being killed and cannibalized. As they left the boy alone, they remarked how similar his two tales were, marveling how the young man’s imagination had replaced humans with animals. They figured the hyena was one sailor, the zebra was the injured sailor and the orangutan was Pi’s mother. Who then was the tiger? Well, Pi of course.

SPOILER ENDS

Years later, Pi is living in Montreal. He returns to his apartment. Pi still has the tiger’s claw.

UPDATE : After the news of Delhi Belly getting shelved came out, AKP has now denied the news. According to official release – On behalf of Aamir Khan  Productions, we would like to inform that Delhi Belly has not been shelved. The film is presently in it’s post production stages. Delhi Belly will release in summer 2011.

The Delhi Belly news was passed to us from a reliable friend who has worked on the film. So, we still believe in what he told us. Also, strangely the IMDB page of the film has been removed. Search for Delhi Belly and you get nothing. But you can click here to check out the google cache of the same page which was there earlier.

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December is going to be the month of “shelved” news. First we told you the news about Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Broken Horses and now its about Imran Khan’s new film.

Its shocking but it seems to be true. The film was shot long back. And till now there has been no announcements about the release plan. Starring Imran Khan, Shenaz Treasurywala, Kunaal Roy Kapoor and Vir Das in the lead, the film has been directed by Abhinay Deo.

UTV and Aamir Khan produced the film. But at the editing stage they realised that its not making much sense. They shot, re-shot, edited, re-edited, tried everything possible and spent about Rs 20 crores on it but still could not make much sense of it. And now they have finally decided to shelve it.

UTV doesn’t want to go ahead with it any more and Aamir Khan is not that stupid to take all the risk himself. The director Abhinay Deo has moved on to his next film and Imran Khan is clueless about the release date. The film is a sex comedy set in Delhi and is mostly in English. And some are putting the blame on Bhansali’s Guzaarish. With such a big dud in its kitty, UTV doesn’t want to take any more risk. In the next few days, if you hear about more films getting shelved, don’t be surprised.

PS – Dear UTV, stop lying now. Or tell us who is reading the scripts and green-lighting the films ? If they can’t read scripts and make sense of it, try us. Chance Pe Dance ?

Xclusive : Meet John Roy Hill

Posted: November 28, 2010 by moifightclub in cinema, Xclusive
Tags: , ,

Naam toh suna hoga ? Ok, padha hoga ? Remember John Roy Hill ? Remember Dabangg ? Remember Dabangg’s first trailer ?

Well, if you belong to a club like ours where every new detail or piece of information about cinema makes you curious, then here is something for cheap thrill. Take a look at this pic.

Now you remember ? The first theatrical trailer of Dabangg opened with this quote by John Roy Hill. If you still can’t remember, here is the trailer…

And a trailer of Salman’s film opening with a quote ? Well, even Ripley must be scratching his head.

It made us curious. Who is this John Roy Hill ? Why we haven’t heard about him before ? We googled him, we googled the quote, we asked the quote masters. But nothing helped.  Because someone else was having a cheap thrill by calling himself John Roy Hill. Aha, Fight Club!

Ok, here is the answer. John Roy Hill. Abhinav Kashyap. #SameGuy. #CheapThrill.

UPDATE – We had put this post last year. But the makers got to know about it and thought it was too early and might harm the prospect of the film. So we removed the post. Now that the film’s trailer is out, we are posting it again. Haven’t change anything else.

This one is strictly for the fanboys. Dibakar Banerjee, easily one of the best directors among the current lot, is busy working on his fourth film titled Shanghai. And a good soul did a good deed for the day – mailed us the synopsis of the film. And it seems much more than just synopsis. The film is based on Vassilis Vassilikos’ novel Z. Costa Gavras’ film Z was also based on the same novel. Click here to read the synopsis of Z.

And yes, here is the SPOILER ALERT! Read on…

A politically volatile state in India gears up for two much awaited events : the assembly elections and the completion of a multi-billion dollar special economic zone (SEZ) deal, both timed together to help the ruling party clinch the elections.

This is a story of modern India. A country ruled by contradictions. A country whose elite leadership is preoccupied with the growth rate and elected politicians thrive on the resentment created by economic development. This story is playing out across every town in India that wants to find itself on the map of “shining India” at any cost.

A prominent and respected social activist, Doctor Ahmedi, known as nationally and internationally for his successful struggle against the governments and multinationals to protect the rights of the poor, accuses the state government of acquiring huge real estate for the project without adequate compensation to the people living on it.

On the day of Doctor Ahmedi’s arrival, Shalini Pearson, a British social worker working in the working-class area where the SEZ is going to be set-up, learns of a threat to Doctor Ahmedi’s life. She warns the party, but her warnings are not taken seriously. They tell her, “You cannot afford to be afraid if you decide to stand up against injustice.”

That evening, amid a turbulent meeting in Bharat Nagar, Doctor Ahemdi with his supporters exhorts the locals to fight for their rights. A handful of police officials keep a mute watch, ostensibly to protect the doctor. A lone photojournalist, Jogi Parmar, is present.

As the doctor and his supporters are leaving the venue, a scuffle break out between the supporters and opponents of the doctor. In the melee, a truck crashes into the crowd, heads for the doctor, mows him down inches away from Shalini and escapes. One of the doctor’s supporters chases the truck and gets on to it. A distraught Shalini rushes to the doctor to the hospital, where he slips into a deep coma.

The state machinery moves into high gear to defuse the situation. The truck driver is caught and a case of drunk driving is registered. The doctor’s wife accuses the state of a conspiracy to kill her husband. The allegation is quickly countered by setting up of an enquiry commission by a former judge, Padmanabhiah.

Soon skeletons start tumbling out as the judge starts his meticulous investigation into the accident. Truth and falsehood get mixed up as testimonies get recorded. Questions are left unanswered or stalled. What seems to have been an open-and-shut case soon becomes a conspiracy and a cold-blooded plot to get rid of Doctor Ahmedi.

Shalini, working relentlessly to strengthen the case, finds the first witness, a local cable operator and photojournalist Jogi’s boss, who has accidently recorded a  telephone conversation between the local politician, Bhausaheb, and an unknown person plotting to get rid of Ahmedi. However the witness is found dead and the tape is lost before it can be presented to the judge.

Shanghai is a political story about the workings of Indian democracy told through three unlikely protagonists with ground level differing aims and often conflicting with each other as they start unraveling the story behind Doctor Ahmedi’s death.

Judge Padmanabhiah for the first time emerges out of the legalistic cocoon to understand the real, messy truth at the ground level. Jogi starts fighting for truth – something his opportunistic, hustling mind could have never thought possible before.

The danger increases, the hunter becomes the hunted. Truth pits them against the might of a  ruthless political machinery. Hanging in balance is the control of the state, power equations in the country’s political capital, Delhi, and the very meaning of justice in contemporary India.

So, what’s your bet ?

Yes, 80 fucking crores! What are the guys at UTV Motion Pictures smoking ? Please pass the dope. And believe it or not, the budget is not the only shocking part of the film.

Try guessing director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s fees. As wild as you want. And if you are done with it, breathe easy and hold your jaws tightly. Bhansali has been paid Rs 25 fucking crore as writing & direction fees! Beat that. And 25 crore to the director whose last film was Saawariya! BTW, do the guys at UTV read scripts ? Doesn’t look like. Atleast thats what it seems from their last few releases. And those of you, who are still bothered about Saawariya – how it got made and financed, click here to read the curious case of Saawariya. Its a must read. Seems like UTV guys don’t subscribe to Open Magazine. Do it, its good. And Beware!

Also, Hrithik Roshan has been paid Rs 15crore and Aishwarya Rai’s fees is Rs 5 crore for Guzaarish, and both of them command much higher fee in the market. Bhansali’s 25crore fees also include the clause that he will get Hrithik & Aishwarya Rai  at a discounted rate. The production budget of the film is Rs 35 crore. And that’s how the total budget is Rs 80 crore ( 25 + 15 + 5 + 35)

Now, the big question is how do they plan to recover so much ? It seems UTV is clear on that front. If they are lucky, they will break even. If not, its just to make their CV look good, maintain their position in the share market, make it look big to get easy funding. Its all about the big picture with the biggest stars and a big director and Guzaarish is just a 80crore tool to make that picture look good. The film ?  Well, it seems like Prestige meets The Sea Inside meets The Diving Bell and the butterfly.