Posts Tagged ‘Arjun Rampal’

Disney-UTV has announced its slate for 2013. While most of us knew about their releases, what’s most interesting for me is the official synopsis of all the films. For example we have been hearing about Chennai Express’ pitch in hush-hush tone for a long time. This one just makes it official.  Do check it out. Wish they had given out writers name with all the films too. And i hope other studios could also do something on similar lines.

chennaiexpress

RACE 2

Realease Date : 25th January

Producers : UTV Motion Pictures and TIPS Industries

Director : Abbas Mustan

Music : Pritam

Cast : Saif Ali Khan, Anil Kapoor, John Abraham, Deepika Padukone, Jacqueline Fernandez, Ameesha Patel

Synopsis : The story of Race 2 is set in the lush locales of exotic Europe, with a backdrop of gambling and Casinos. A fast paced thriller that takes the legacy of “Race1”forward, with high octane action, combined with thrills and twists that have a roller coaster effect, and edge of the seat excitement.

ABCD – ANYBODY CAN DANCE

Release Date : 8th February

Producer : UTV Spotboy

Director : Remo D’Souza

Music Director : Sachin-Jigar

Cast : Prabhudheva, Ganesh Acharya, Dance India Dance winners like Salman Khan, Dharmesh, Prince, Mayuresh and Vrushali and Lauren Gottlieb, the finalist of the popular international television dance talent show So You Think You Can Dance

Synopsis : For Vishnu (Prabhudheva), widely regarded as India’s best dancer, dance is more than a passion – it’s the reason he lives! So when he finds himself thrown out from the swish dance academy he himself set up, by his manipulative business partner, it feels like the oxygen has been sucked out from the air he breathes. Heart-broken, Vishnu decides to give up dance and leave Mumbai forever. However the night before his departure he witnesses a most amazing sight – a group of dancers preparing for the upcoming Ganpati Dance Battle – an annual festival that pits Mumbai’s best dance groups against each other. Watching the raw talent of these amazing dancers helps Vishnu arrive at a decision – he will take this disparate group under his wing, help them overcome their personal rivalries and past demons and turn them into India’s best dance squad!. From India’s biggest film studio, UTV Motion Pictures, and renowned choreographer & director, Remo D’souza comes India’s first dance film in 3D– a spectacular entertainer that proves yet again that if you dare to dream, impossible is nothing!

KAI PO CHE!

Release Date : 22nd February

Producer : UTV Spotboy

Director : Abhishek Kapoor

Music Director : Amit Trivedi

Cast : Sushant Singh Rajput, RajKumar Yadav, Amit Sadh, Amrita Puri

Synopsis : Best friends Ishaan, Omi and Govind – young, ambitious and restless – are trying to make a mark in the India of the early 2000’s. These are exciting times – a new millennium has just dawned, India is a nuclear power and ostensibly shining – a perfect place for the 3 Ahmedabad boys to start a business that could be their ticket to fame and riches. In a country where cricket is religion, they hit upon a brilliant plan – to start a training academy that could produce India’s next sporting superstars! What follows is without doubt the greatest adventure of their lives, as they attempt to navigate the big hurdles in the path of fulfilling their dreams. Based on Chetan Bhagat’s bestselling novel “The Three Mistakes of My Life”, Kai Po Che (meaning a triumphant yell in Gujarati) is an unforgettable ode to friendship and the magical moments one shares with one’s closest pals – celebrating festivals, drunken dancing, watching cricket matches together, strategizing on how to catch the attention of the cute neighborhood girl, being there to watch each other’s back in troubled times and to celebrate one’s successes by screaming “Kai Po Che”!

HIMMATWALA

Release Date : 29th March

Producer : UTV Motion Pictures and Puja Entertainment

Director : Sajid Khan

Music Director : Sajid Wajid

Cast : Ajay Devgan, Tammannah

Synopsis : The biggest remake of the 80s Bollywood cult classic “Himmatwala” is a story of a poor and wronged mothers son who comes to the village to avenge his father.

GHANCHAKKAR

Release Date : 21st June

Producer : UTV Motion Pictures

Director : RajKumar Gupta

Music Director : Amit Trivedi

Cast : Emraan Hashmi and Vidya Balan

Synopsis : When Sanju (Emraan Hashmi), a suave, master safe cracker wants to retire from a career in crime, he decides to team up with two dangerous criminals to commit one last heist. A bank robbery that will ensure that he never has to worry about money again! Everything goes according to plan. Sanju is given the task of hiding the money till things cool down and the booty can be split. Two months later the associates return to collect their share of the loot, but Sanju refuses to even recognize them! What dangerous game is Sanju playing? Ghanchakkar is a crazy, quirky rollercoaster suspense ride that will surprise, shock and entertain the audience at every turn.

SATYAGRAHA

Release Date : 15th August

Producer : UTV Motion Pictures and Prakash Jha Productions

Director: Prakash Jha

Cast : Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgan, Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Manoj Bajpayee

Synopsis : The film deals with the movement of the middle-class to re-negotiate democracy. It’s the story of a man who is a firm believer of Gandhian principles, an ambitious entrepreneur who represents the modern India shining philosophy, a social activist who aims to be a politician, a fearless political journalist and a wily politician who uses every means to break the system.

CHENNAI EXPRESS

Producer : UTV Motion Pictures and Red Chillies Entertainment

Release Date : To be announced

Director : Rohit Shetty

Music Director : Vishal Shekhar

Cast : Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone

Synopsis : The story is about a man’s journey from Mumbai to Rameshwaram and what happens during the journey.

TAMIL

SETTAI

Producer : UTV Motion Pictures

Release date : February, 2012

Director : R. Kannan

Music Director : S. Thaman

Cast : Arya, Anjali, Santhanam, Premji Amaren and Hansika Motwani

Synopsis : Settai is a remake of the 2011 Bollywood comedy, Delhi Belly.

IVAN VERAMADHIRI (He is different)

Producer : UTV Motion Pictures & N. Lingusamy of Thirrupathi Brothers

Release Date : June, 2013

Director : M. Saravanan

Music Director : Sathya

Cast : Vikram Prabhu and others

Synopsis : It is about a common man’s anger on the criminals and demonstrating the commitment of youth to reform the society

SIGARAM THODU (Scale the peak) December

Producer : UTV Motion Pictures

Release Date : December, 2013

Director : Gaurav

Music director: D. Imman

Cast : Vikram Prabhu, Sathyaraj, Yamini Gautam and others

Synopsis : It is about father & son’s relationship. A son’s desire to fulfill the desire of his father.

Thats what Fatema Kagalwala is wondering.

I saw the film recently and came out of the theatre with mixed feelings. Happy, that its doing good at the box office. Sad, that it seems like intelluctual Race. Bus jhatke pe jhatke. Dialogue pe dialogue! Its just a thrill-pill with political mask. And I still have no clue who was narrating the story to whom in the beginning of the film and then, it suddenly vanishes! Anyway, back to Fatema’s review. Read, discuss and dissect. Have underlined my favourite lines.

When the film began I was all agog with anticipation. ‘Fan-girl’, you’ll smirk. No.  I like Jha’s films and I think he is a great story-teller (well, sometimes) but am not a fan. At least in the usual sense of the word. And even if I were, I generally watch all films removed from expectations, impressions or pre-conceived notions, (which is how they are supposed to be watched in the first place, it’s something else, giving yourself up to a film) well, the latter sometimes get heavily influenced by trailors/promos mostly misleading but that’s not my fault!

Secondly, I had read so many bad reviews about Rajneeti and from people whose opinion I respect and that does not include the Sens and Chopras of the world (Not the beauty queens but then they might as well be, they are no different, just brand names). So, I went expecting or wanting nothing. Just with curiosity.

And I got an extremely entertaining commercial thriller posing as a serious political drama made by a man known for everything that he has not shown in the film. Bad acting apart, bad adaptation apart, bad (terrible) writing apart, Rajneeti stood out for me as a classic example of a story well-told, the story itself be damned. I itch to rip it apart threadbare but a Manmohan Desai film cannot warrant the same analysis as a Bergman film, can it? And Rajneeti, for whatever it is, is not a Jha film, is not a serious film and it is not a film to be taken seriously either. Still, I will still rip it apart because it is so much fun to do. And this is not a review so please don’t cry.

Before I do that, time for another disclaimer. I liked the film. (I can even sit through it for a second time.) And everyone who is itching to bang the comment section with red-hot full caps words like ‘How could you like the film, blah, blah bloo blee’ should understand that the fact of a film being good is exclusive from the fact of someone liking it or not. Yes, the assumed perception is that we ‘like’ only those things that are good (Really?) and so if I liked it, it must be good. Well, thank you for giving my tastes so much benefit of doubt, but I like lasagna as much as yesterday’s stale pizza fresh from the fridge and biryani as much as road-side Bangalore chaat. (Bangalore’s got the worst road-side chaat on earth.) And I would continue to do so even if I were a food critic.

So, Rajneeti. It is an engaging film.The narrative, even though flawed in its ideology, flawed in its character graphs, in the exploration of its context and setting, trivializing serious issues to profit dramatic and even melodramatic moments etc, is punchy. It keeps the audience hooked, edge of the seat excited right till the end when it trips upon itself and becomes incredibly silly.

And till now I believed that if a film was engaging it was a good film. But Rajneeti proved me wrong on that. It is a strongly told narrative, grabbing attention by force while never looking forced (unless the performances are, case-in-point the Kunti-Karan-Kavachh-Kundal scene. The alliteration is not mine. Blame Ved Vyaas for it.) But does it come together as a satisfactory cinematic experience? To me it didn’t. Amar Akbar Anthony still does, if one is looking for an example of engaging films that are good. (We will discuss what’s a good film some day here.)

If it is engaging, a story well-told then what goes wrong for the film? We shall begin with writing, my favourite. That’s always the culprit, in most bad ones. The film is structured like a historical droning on and on, packing as much as it can, yet where crispness turns shallow under the disguise of economy. This saga is woven together for this very sake of economy by older than Mahabharata (or as old? ‘Main Samay Hoon?’) tactic of voice-overs. The charter of film-making (we should have one) should declare any film using V/Os anymore be banned unless done differently. In an attempt to pack back-stories and backgrounds, the film rushes through years in the first fifteen minutes with a tacky after-thought of an exposition and settles around the issue of winning one election. Which takes more than two hours and multiple deaths on-screen to be finally won. Surely, there was a better way to structure it?

Like a historical, the film pretends to be important, as important as its epic counterpart Mahabharata, from which it borrows heavily and gives back nothing. That pretence becomes all the more petty when Godfather steps in for good measure. All promotional brouhaha (more about that later) about Sonia Gandhi’s story aside, a film that puts together Godfather and Mahabharata, two of the most powerful stories ever told, in itself makes for interesting viewing. But, if you cannot respect the classics by leaving them alone do not insult them (and us) by cut-paste-copy jobs. Rajneeti, by far is just that. The initial referencing seems a bit too obvious but can be taken as lengthy exposition given the scope of the story. But as it winds (down) it just borrows plot points after plot points, even unnecessary ones in a hastily stitched patchwork of a film. Right down to the unnecessary deaths that subsume the bloody drama into silly melodrama.

While we are talking about bad writing we shall talk about the epitome of all bad characterizations which is Samar. All others play out crosses between their Godfather selves and Mahabharata roles in various degrees of ability and inability but it is Samar’s character, though portrayed ably by Ranbir Kapoor, is the single undoing of an otherwise strongly-held commercial film. Like Padmaja Thakore’s review on PFC so very well put it, he is the most menacing of all criminals who after orchestrating tons of bloody deaths turns around in the end and says none of it interests him anymore. But for me, it is worse when he justifies it by spewing gyaan on how dirty politics is and how ‘andar ka jaanwar bahaar aa jaata hain’ and all that jazz. In one stroke it killed the whole film, (something that even Arjun Rampal’s or Katrina Kaif’s desperate attempts at acting could not do). That take, suited Shakti of ‘Virasat’ but not our confused Arjun-cum-Michael (zyaada) Samar. It is but only a reflection of a lack of political, social or ethical strand that the film had or even pretended to have reducing itself from what could have been a significant political film to a revenge family drama.

Realism was never a thought that crossed the maker’s minds despite the genre of his repertoire and his first-hand experience of the politics and hence the drama operates in a bubble, much like My Name Is Khan did, in a never-land which has the look and feel of the UP-Bihar belt but neither has its grit, its dirt, its earthiness or even its dialect, leave alone its politics. Moreover, the use of dalit politics is almost a shame as cursorily as it has been used. Everything, the politics, the land, the people and the context are a gaudily and hastily painted backdrop, much like the ones seen put up at Filmcity for B-grade film songs. So even if you are just talking about politics as a game, don’t reduce it to mere kabaddi!

Jha and Rajabali play some more kabaddi with their unique treatment of relationships, love, familial or sexual. It is surprising, or interesting, or both to note the flippancy with which romantic and sexual relationships are treated in the film. We will leave aside the moral issue of the stand the film takes or doesn’t by its strange portrayal of sexual relationships by giving benefit of doubt to the fact that maybe the makers hadn’t heard of protection or birth control. (Considering the writing technique is so old the film may have been written decades back, much before Copper-T and its setting sun ads hit the market). It is not a cause of real concern here as the film takes no stand on it just makes a fool of itself. But on a cinematic level it is a cause of concern as visually the scenes are presented as referentially as the relationships they are born of, are treated. Why I choose to make a point of it is because this guilty exploration sexual relationships in our movies is irritating the hell out of me. Sex scenes exist in a movie (commercial films) for two reasons, titillation or to define the romance. First of all, a film like Rajneeti needed none. (Its films like ‘In Mood for love’ that can use it but wont but that sensibility is something else!) Secondly, even if you use it for titillation the go all out and give the first benchers what they came for! And if you are pretending to do it aesthetically then do it like Mani Rathnam, no one does it better than him! And he doesn’t even have to pretend!

Here I am venting to my hearts content about a film I had no expectations about, which I even enjoyed! And I know scores of people who, fooled by the publicity of the film are actually raving mad. And this publicity angle really makes me raving mad too! It is like a promising an orange and delivering an apple! The blatancy of this deception makes me wonder, is it that the makers never have the faith in what they have made to publicise it as what it is? Or is it that the opening weekend is all that has begun to matter in a world of fast-decaying cinema?

The film could have sold on its own steam and did not need false alarm PR tactics that only led to depress certain sections of the audience. With its eye on commerce its sensibilities are purely commercial too. From that standpoint, Rajneeti works beautifully. Three hours of complete pop-corn crunching time-pass which has its repeat value. So what are we really cribbing about?

The first question is why would anyone want to remake Stepmom. Ok, now that they have already done it, there is another issue. The film is yet untitled. It stars Kajol, Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal and is directed by debutant Siddharth Malhotra.

Karan recently tweetd the three (or is it four )options that he has shortlisted…

The first three titles surely do sound like KJo film titles – Love You Maa, We Are Family, Hamesha & Forever. And here is our pick – Kabhi Mom Na Kehna (KMNK). And there is more. Chhabs came up with something more interesting  – Kabhi Ma, Kabhi StepMa (KMKS). And Envyas added the punchline – Its all about losing your parents. Well, one of them atleast. Now, thats what we call Instant Classic! Whats your pick ?

The filmmaker, oops, pottymaker is back! He made his feature directorial debut with Heyy Potty and claimed himself as “The King Of The World”. Here is the first trailer of his new film Housefull. Expect more of banana peel and poo poo jokes! Looks like a strange cocktail of lot of films that you have seen.

The film is produced by Sajid Nadiadwala and stars Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone, Ritesh Deshmukh, Arjun Rampal, Lara Dutta, Malaika Arora, Randhir Kapoor, Jiah Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez and Boman Irani.

Before you wonder which year’s National Awards, have a look at the list first. You will be tempted to say more after checking the list.

Best Film – Antaheen

Best Director – Bala ( Naan Kadavul )

Best Actor – Upendra Limaye ( Jogva)

Best Actress – Priyanka Chopra ( Fashion )

Best Actor in Supporting Role – Arjun Rampal (Rock On)

Best Actress in Supoorting Role – Kangana Ranaut (Fashion)

Best First Film of a Director – Neeraj Pandey (A Wednesday)

Best Film providing wholesome entertainment – Oye Lucky Lucky Oye

Best Childrens Film : Gubachigalu (Kannada)

Best Animation : Roadside Romeo

Best Playback Singer (male)  : Hariharan (Jogva)

Best Playback Singer (female) : Shreya Ghoshal (Antaheen & Jogva)

Best Choreography : Chinni and Rekha Prakash (Jodha Akbar – azeem-o-shaan shenshah)

Best Costume Designer – Neeta Lulla (Jodha Akbar)

Best Cinematography – Aveek Mukherjee ( Antaheen)

Best Screenplay – Sachin Kundalkar (Gandha )

Best Music Direction – Atul & Ajay (Jogva)

Best Lyrics – Anindya Bannerjee & Chandranil Bhattacharya ( Antaheen)

Best Special Effects – Mumbai Meri Jaan

Best Make Up Artist – Moorthy V ( Naan Kadavul)

Best Audiography – Pramod J Thomas ( Gandha)

So, where are we headed ?

The JURY (read culprits) – Panel was headed by Shaji N. Karun (hmmm). Members – Roshan Taneja,  H M Ramachandra, Nagma (really ?), Satyabrata Kalita, Neelakanta, Dilip Ghosh,  Swapan Mullick, Sudesh Syal, S.K. Srivastava, Archana, B. Shashi Kumar,  Subhash Sehgal, Santosh Desai and Sreelekha Mukherjee.

Who are all these people ? Can someone enlighten us ? Except few, not sure about others and their credentials.

Among the other awards are…

Best Film on National Integration – Aai Kot Nai ( Assamese)

Best Film on Social Issues – Jogva (Marathi)

Best Film on Environmental Conservation – Jianata Bhoota (Oriya)

Best Film on Family values – Little Zizou

Best Chilren’s Film Award – Gubbachigalu

Best Child Artist – Master Shams Patel ( Thanks Maa)

The Special Jury Award – Bioscope ( Malayalam)

Best Assamese Film – Mon Jai

Best Bengali Film – Shob Charitro Kalponik

Best Hindi Film – Rock On

Best Kannada Film- Vimukthi

Best Malayalam Film Thirakkada

Best Marathi Film – Harishchandrachi Factory

Best Tamil Film Veranam Airam

Best Telugu Film – 1940 Lookagramam.

Best English Film – Land Gold Women

 Best Kokborok Film – Yarwng 

Best Tulu Film  – Gaggara

In the Non-Feature film category…

Best Short Fiction Film – Stations (Emmanuel Palo. Producer – FTII)

Best Direction – Umesh Kulkarni (Three of Us)

And the award for the Best Book on Cinema is for Bollywood Melodies (Ganesh Anantharaman). Also Special Mention to The Director’s Mind (Ujjal Chakraborty).

Best Film Critic – Altaf Mazid and R K Bidur Singh.

Here it is. The multi-starrer of the year. Produced by UTV, Prakash Jha’s Raajneeti stars  Ajay Devgan, Katrina Kaif, Ranbir Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Vivek Oberoi, Nana Patekar and Manoj Bajpai. Check it out! WTF! why so much voiceover!!!!???? Guess few things will never change!

UPDATE – As soon as the promo was out today, Prakash Jha was furious. It seems he wasnt aware of it. The director doesnt know that his film’s first theatrical trailer is already out. Surprise! What’s more, it was out on UTV’s official channel on youtube. Talking about the head not knowing where the arm is! Few phone calls here and there and the promo was pulled out. But the good word had spread by then. And so here it is. We also had to replace the video. Jhaji, ek trailer ke liye, pehle VVC aur ab itni raajneeti ?

The first official poster of Raajneeti is out. The film is directed by Prakasha Jha and stars Naseeruddin Shah, Nana Patekar, Ajay Devgan, Manoj Bajpai, Arjun Rampal, Ranbir Kapoor & Katrina Kaif.