Posts Tagged ‘Kaminey’

Because he did a great and grand job there and you had all the voyeuristic pleasure. Because dil pe hath rakhkar you cant do that! That would be a great fake job.

What We Thought

1. Chetan Bhagat is a shitty writer who is like Priyadarshan of desi english writing. His PR guys are always working over time and going for the over kill. There is no reason to like him or his writing.

2. Raj Kumar Hirani was the Rocket Singh of Bollywood. He would not commit any wrong. Jadu ki jhappi and Gandhigiri happened because the man seriously believes in those virtues. The man who can say no to Shah Rukh Khan and his 20 crores, he surely has some ethics.

3. Vidhu Vinod Chopra is insane and passionate about films. The only producer who doesnt mind sharing profits with his cast and crew. But he loves talking only about himself and his films and has even passed his genes to his one time AD Sanjay Leela Bhansali. But he is here for cinema and nothing else.

Now, forget what Chetan said, what RajKumar Hirani replied, how VVC reacted and what percentage of the book is the film debate. Because their story has more twists and turns than the film. If you are still interested, you can click here to know more. Lets see what we got to know.

The Problem

The problem is simple. As Vir Sanghvi has put out in his blog post here. Imagine a producer like Vidhu Vinod Chopra and a filmmaker like RajKumar Hirani wanting to buy the rights of your book. Ask any sane writer, anyone will happily go for it and will settle for whatever decent money is offered.

When a writer is starting his career, most of them dont care much about the contract or the money. Because contracts are difficult to read and they are never in favour of writers anyway. And money doesnt matter much because its your first one. You just want to step in. For Chetan, am guessing it most have been the opposite. With IIT-IIM degree, how much more do you want ? 

When signing a contract in bollywood, try asking for a fair deal and they will show you the door. And nobody wants to lose an opportunity in this cut-throat competition. Argue a bit and they will tell you that they have million other stories to tell, trillion other books in mind and drillion writers waiting to write for free. Go figure! And Chetan was ofcourse more than interested to make an entry into bollywood, as he sent the copy of the book to Hirani first, who found it interesting and thought about adapting it.

The way bollywood works, its mostly based on relationship. You take the spoken words for guarantee. The bigger the other party, the lesser power you have to talk. Writers are asked to start writing, money comes later on depending on the mood of the producer/director and then the contract is signed. And when any writer is desperately looking for work, he/she will go ahead and sign any contract. Dont look at this case, look at the contract.

Let me tell you the story of the lyricist who wrote one of the cult songs of this decade. It was in a cult film directed by a well respected director and produced by a well known production house. Since it was his first song, you would not believe what he was offered. Listen to this carefully, he was offered to take some costumes fom the film which was ordered for the lead character. He didn’t say anything, entry was important. No doubt he is doing good for himself now and can ask for a fat cheque.

Curious Case of Contracts

In bollywood, its just another way of full proof exploitation unless you belong to the league of Kashyap & Tyrewala . Its a document that state the writer agrees with all their terms and conditions. In an industry where there are millions waiting for a door to open, people go for whatever they get. In this scenario, it totally depends on the other party, the one who has all the powers, to decide the deal he/she is going for. And if a big producer like VVC goes for this kind of contract, you can imagine the rest.

Its true that Chetan signed the contract and accepted a rolling credit. But the contract itself is UNFAIR! He accepted it for whatever reasons. But to even offer a credit in the end is like trying to sabotage the credit. VVC could have atleast consulted his in-house film reviewer Anupama Chopra, who contributes for many international newspapers and magazines.

Everywhere in the world, everywhere, when a book is adapted on screen, its always credited in the opening credit roll. It doesnt matter if its a 5 percent, 50 or cent percent. Whats surprising is that Vidhu Vinod Chopra gets a credit for Associate Screenplay in the opening titles. Also, since there is lot of similarity between the book and the film as pointed by those who have read the book, Chetan deserves a story credit as well.

Rahman Cant, Chetan Can ?

Many believe that its Chetan’s mistake because he signed the contract. Well, he signed it but was there any other choice ? I doubt. Those of you who have any bit of info about how the industry works, will understand.

Do you know that all big and small musicians and singers who are currently working in the industry have to pay a fee to the music company every time they perform their own songs ? Because none of them own copyright over their own creations. How weird is that! It happens only in thie country and nowhere else. Blame it on contracts again. Because you have no choice but to sign it or you will be out of work soon. They will tel you  forget intelluctual property, count what you are getting now! And we are talking about big names here. When A R Rahman asked for rights of music of Om Shanti Om, which he has suppose to compose, he was shown the door. He didnt even ask for complete rights but just wanted to share. The makers replaced Rahma with Vishal-Shekhar. Imagine if this can happen to A R Rahman, what can a new writer or even Chetan Bhagat do ? Even if he had asked for it, doubt it would have any kind of difference. You can read more about it here (Rahman episode) and here (artists & contracts).

In many countries including France, where the copyright issue was sorted out first, the contract is not counted for even if the artist has sold his intelluctual rights on the basis of contract. Because the creation of any artist always remains his/her, those are non-transferable rights, by any kind of contracts.

So, fuck the contracts. And its great that VVC and his gang put out the contract in the public domain. Now everyone can read and see for themselves, the way bollywood goes for bonded labour.

Forget Filmmaking, Learn Creditmaking

Learn it from Danny Boyle. He didnt bother even sharing the direction credits. It was not mentioned anywhere that Loveleen Tandon would get the co-director’s credit but Boyle felt that she deserves more. He even called his Chief AD Raj Acharya onstage at the Director’s Guild Award. It doesnt make him any less talented but  just better human being.

Closer home, look at the credits of Kaminey. Cajetan Boy, whose short story was the trigger point for the film gets the first credit in the opening title and a font so big that can be spotted from a distance. Whats more, even a character in the film is names Cajetan.  

What We Think Now

Chetan was never holier-than-thou, no doubt about that, and he still isn’t but all this is happening with those who taught us jadu ki jhappi and gandhigiri! Why fool us any more, Sir ? Wasnt there an easy solution ? When your cinema is all about commerce and credits, spare us the great gyaan of life. This real life story taught us more and hopefully our bollywoodwallahs are watching and learning too!

2009 – The Master of Feel Bad started the year delivering his career’s first hit and the Master of Feel Good Cinema ended the year with a recording breaking monster hit! Aha, not that bad if we count only the boundaries. After the musical notes of the year, we sat down to discuss the filmy notes of the year. Here it is – the good, the bad and the fuglies!

1. Best Credit Roll – If ever a credit roll said something so simply and superbly, this is it. Luck By Chance. Also great debut by Zoya Akhtar.

2. Anurag Kashyap turned musical and how! More than a dozen songs and we discovered Amit Trivedi.

3. Anurag Kashyap – 2009 belongs to only one director. Dev D, Gulaal and even Paanch finally got a release, you know where. Whats more, he finished shooting his next film That Girl In Yellow Boots in just 13 days. Aur bolo ?

PS : The same Anurag Kashyap wrote the dialogues for Kurbaan ! Strange bedfellows remained strange.

4. Nobody, we repeat nobody, can save Harman/Hurrman/Harmann/Harrman/Whatever it is Baweja.

5. Wooden Film of the Year – New York. Three good looking woods with zero expression.

6. Ranbir Kapoor – Dude of the year! He is not only working with best directors of bollywood but delivering his best too. Cool & confused, fool & romantic, middle class & lost – he did it all.

7.Imran Luck Khan – The poster boy of 2008 is light years behind Ranbir. He only talks cool and acts still uncool.  Competition, whats that ?

8. Imtiaz Ali has only one story to tell. The journey of cool and confused lovers on the verge of marriage. First time, they were about to mary. Second time, they were close to marriage. This time, they finally married and then solved their problem. More here and here.

9. Samir Karnik got money to make one more movie. Who ? Where ? Why ? How ?

10. Rani Mukherjee’s career is over. Hadippa!

11. Multiplex cinema & hits are not everything. Its a big myth. Ask the makers of Wanted. Or is it only Salman Khan ?

12. And if its Salman Khan, why Main Aur Mrs Khanna packed up in just two days ? As they say, nobody knows anything. And what was UTV smoking ? 

13. Overrated Gimmicky shit of the year – Paa. More ramblings here.

14. R Balki should stick to making tv commercials. One idea and thats it. He also told the same story again. Smart & dying child bring lovers back together. Age gap somewhere. Check.

15. Akshay Kumar’s bubble busted and how!. He failed everywhere. Chandni Chowk, China, Hollywood, under water, inside or outside Tasveer.

16. The Invisible Director – Who is Anurag Singh ? Does anyone knows him ? The man who put the last nail in the coffin of Rani’s acting career. Hadippa!

17. Sanjay Gupta and gang (read Suparn) are still copying. Even the promos! Now the Unknown ones! More here.

18. Suresh Nair – the only writer to have two big films releases on the same friday. Aladin & London Dreams and both flopped.

19. Underrated Film – Sooni Tarporevala’s delightful Little Zizou, where all the possible parsis united to turn bollywood into pollywood! ( Missed Barah Aana, Mohandas)

20. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not – Sunil Shetty got an award for acting in Anant Mahadevan’s Red Alert – the War Within. Believe it, nobody has seen the film yet.

21. Most Subtle Expression of the year – In Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Delhi 6, a man lands up with a mirror to show your andar ka kala bandar! Beat this!

22. Nagesh Kuknoor – Dont give him big budgests and big stars. He will go cuckoo-noor!

23. Vishal Bhardwaj delivered again. Five films in a row. And showed us Amole Gupte – the actor. More here.

24. Ajab Prem ki Gazab Kahani tried too hard to be Andaz Apna Apna. Insanity happens! You cant plan and design it.

25. ENG Filmmaker -Madhur Bhandarkar continued his expose and it finally flopped.

26. Smirk & Smug of the Year – Vivek Oberoi in Kurbaan. It was the ROFLOL film of the year where terrorism was wrapped in chiffon saree.

27. RajKumar Hirani lied to all of us and made the same film again. As a friend said, its Munnabhai B Tech. More here.

28. Couple Of The Year – Jaideep Sahni & Shimit Amin who delivered Rocket Singh – Sales Man of the Year! More here.

29. The only U-25 who proved us wrong – Ayan Mukherjee. Wake up Sid. Confident debut. More here.

30. Only 12 scenes, not 12 roles – Ask Priyanka Chopra. Easily the best performance of the year. Length doesnt matter, performanace counts. Vishal did it. Gowariker failed.

Bravery Awards  – Aftab Shivdasani turned writer and producer with Aao Wish Karein.

Someone directed a film titled Jai-Veeru!

Abhijeet Sawant turned actor.

LOL Titles Of The Year  – They said it all. No explanations required.

Kal Kisne Dekha

Do Knot Disturb

Fruit & Nuts

London Nightmares

Blue-s

Aa Dekhein Zara

Dhoondte Rah Jaoge

Ek Se Bure Do

(Tough) Luck

Shorkut – The Con Is On

PS. ENG – Electronic New Gathering.

Coming up next –  what to expect in 2010!

Its that time of the year when we love making those lists. The best, the worst and the top ten. We sat down with some of our favourite music in non-stop loop and made our list of the good, the bad and fuglies. Whatever caught our attention, from every possible extreme. 

1. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not – We had Himesh Reshammiya in non-stop loop! He had Rekha Bhardwaj for company, but this Himesh is all new. Check it out, if you still havent!

2. Cuss Word Converter – Give a cuss word to him and it will never be the same again. The reason why Gul-still-Czar! Add Vishal’s vocals and you have the best title song of the year! Meri aarzoo kamini, mere khwab bhi kaminey, ek dil se dosti thi, yeh huzoor bhi kaminey!

3. Whats In  a Name Song – Earlier they had no names. It was kabootar ja ja ja and atriya pe lotan kabutar re! Rahman and Prasoon Joshi made sure that we all googled Masakalli. And you are still wondering whats in a name, that too of a dove!

4. Religion Converter Song – It seems that A R Rahman is hell bent on making sure that we go for religion conversion soon. First it was Piya haaji ali, then Khwaja mere khwaja and this year he gave us Arziyaan. If I ever convert, blame it on Rahman, only Rahman. For cheap thrills, we still try to count the number of times “maula” is there in the song. Whats your count ?

5. Killer One Song  – Shankar Ehsaan Loy had the complete album, Amit Trivedi killed them with just ek gaana called ek taara!

6. New Genrae – Piyush Mishra invented a new genrae of mujra, polticial mujra!  Jaise door desh ke tower me ghus jaye re  aeroplane. Gulaal. Now our only worry is if he can be denied USA visa for putting 9/11 in a mujra

7. Legends Should Retire – Dont attack us! But if this is what we get, legends should remain as legends. Illayaraja’s music did little for Cheeni Kum and it was the same for Paa. Except the theme tune nothing worked in Paa. The udi mudi judi or whatever it is, doesnt stay even for few seconds! or May be legends should never work with their fanboys!

8. Song ONLY for the Big Screen – It proved us wrong. Dhan tedan! Its only for the big screen, in a dark theatre. We saw it once. We went again. Watching it on tv, we were wondering why has Vishal shot a song inside a nightclub in such unimaginative way. We saw it on the big screen and ate all our words, twice!

9. Musical Aag of The Year – Is Ashutosh Gowariker’s music sense complete zero ? Was it all Rahman ? Like his film, the music CD was quite a fat one packed with 13 forgettable songs! And shot in similar way! Is this the same man who shot yeh jo desh hai tera & khwaja mere khwaja ?

10. Music That Was Hit in Fantasyland – The album was hit in twittosphere but shit otherwise. Aladin. The cast and the crew went on overdrive with their tweets but as Time Out’s Nandini Ramnathan wrote, it was all gone in sixty seconds!

11. Vishal Dadlani must be the only rock-star who writes nursery rhymes. Have you heard the “hey baby, you may be” whatever shit it is! But he can put his vocals to great use. Kurbaan hua had our Rocky in full throttle!

12. No Pun Intended SongPocket me rocket hai, pocket me. As a friend said, it sounds like a great jingle for sex toys.

13. Cheap-est Thrill-est Song – Only for Adults! Bold and bitchy! Dev D. Courtesy lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya. Pyaar, emosanal atyachaar, bitch and (w)hooooore – all at one go!

14.  Best Installation Art in a song – Chandni chowk came close to New York, Gau Mata was near Gucci and we had our eyes wide open because Dil gira daftan.

15. Mohit Chauhan can do a masakalli and melancholy with equal ease! Can we now spare him! Why only rona dhona senti menti songs?

16. Best of 2009 – Bunch of kids got together in an “Audio Garage” and delivered the album of the year and the love anthem of our generation. Dev D. Music director, lyricist, singers – all new. Amit Trivedi, Amitabh Bhattacharya and the gang! ( If Rahman and Bhardwaj dont deliver, who will. So, would not put them here). 

17. A R Rahman gave us a musical note for boo boo. Its called Buuloooo.

18.  Best Closing Notes of the Year – Check out the last 2 mins of Rehna tu! Pure bliss. Can someone enlighten us what instrument it is. 

19. Underrated Songs of the YearPankho ko from Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year and Delhi Destiny from 99. Everything else gets so much overplay that the joy of discovering a good song is almost dead. Jaideep delivers one of the best lines of the year…..uljhe nahi to kaise suljhoge….bikhre nahi to kaise nikhroge.

20. Imtiaz Ali is going for formula in his music too. One punjabi bhangra for closing credit, one peppy number with english words, one sad song in Mohit or Raahat’s voice and blah blah! Partner in crime – Pritam.

21. Weirdest Words of the Year – Bhangra bistar! Courtesy – Jaideep Sahni.

22. Wannabe BPL Rock Album of the Year – London Dreams.

23. Worst Musical Import of the Year – Kylie Minogue with chiggy wiggie! whatever that means.

24. Worst Musical Export of the Year – Rahman with Couples Retreat. Why, O Dear Lord, why ?

25. Self-Flagellation Song of the YearBebo main bebo!

26. Musical Sucess Party of the Year – Dulha Mil Gaya! Yes, they threw a party to celebrate its musical success. Who is listening ?

27. Jingles of the Yeardil titli…dil titli….kabhi yaadon ka…kabhi sapno ka and Yeh kis pyaari hifazat me ho befikri ki haalat hai..yaara o yaara. First one is by Swanand Kirkire and second by Gulzar.

28.  Few things that never change – Atif still singing out of tune, here, there, everywhere. But its still working…tu jaane na ( Ajab Prem ki Ghajab Kahani )nobody knows why and how! Confession – we also love it!

29. Cinematic Homage Song of the Year – Akira Kurosawa from Chintuji. Its a riot…Kapola kapola! Listen carefully and see how many filmmakers you can spot!

Coming up next is filmy fuglies of the year!

PS. BPL – Below the Poverty Line.

Sorry for this overdose of Kaminey but few things we really canttoilet graffitti escape. Because these newbits make our day by making us ROFL. 

Today’s TOI has a damn interesting piece of news on Vishal Bhardwaj’s Kaminey. Its about “Apna Haath Jagannath“, the writing on the loo door in one of the scenes in Kaminey. The Puri priests think its a derogatory reference to their Lord Jagannath.

We are not sure whats the origin of this phrase but its very common loo graffiti across North India. Schools, colleges, public toilets or trains, you can spot it anywhere. Loo graphiti is a specialised art by itself and in India, it seems we have artists everywhere. 

Back to AHJ! The news is that a case has been filed against Kaminey’s producer for the use of the line “apna haath jagannath“. We wonder if the priests know the real meaning of the line and in what context it is used. Because according to this report, it seems the protest is only because there is a picture of a scantily clad woman next to the writing. Wish someone could tell them the ‘real’ meaning of the phrase…the fun be double!

Cajetan Boy 2If you have seen Vishal Bhardwaj’s Kaminey, you must have noticed the name Cajetan Boy in the opening credits of the film. We have been trying to google more about him but no luck. Timeout Mumbai has done a small piece on him, the writer on whose story Kaminey is based.

Vishal met him at the Mira Nair’s Maisha Filmlab where he had gone as a mentor. He liked Cajetan’s story Roho and later on bought the rights. You can read the feature here or scroll down…

Vishal Bhardwaj’s Kaminey explores a singe day in the lives of identical twins from Dharavi, but the story was actually born an ocean away. The plot was created by Cajetan Boy, a writer and short-film director from Nairobi, whom Bhardwaj met in Kampala in 2005. “I am excited to see how it will be handled by an experienced and renowned director working with a budget,” Boy told Time Out in an email interview.

In Kaminey, Shahid Kapur plays twins who can be told apart by their particular speech impediments. The twins, Charlie and Guddu, get embroiled with a gangster (played by Taare Zameen Par writer Amole Gupte) and spend the course of the movie trying to save their skins. The speech impediments are Bhardwaj’s innovation, as is the gangster angle.

Boy said his story, titled Roho (which means soul) was about identical twins from Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya’s biggest slum. There are no gangsters in the original plot. “The movie was initially set in extreme poverty,” Boy said. “I set out to show that there is a direct link between crime and poverty; crime and the police; crime and the affluent. I set to show that the system conspires to have poverty.”

Boy said he wrote the story, the screen treatment as well as one draft of the script. He said he had mixed feelings about selling the story to Bhardwaj. The director told the Mumbai Mirror that he bought the idea from Boy for $4,000, or just under Rs 2 lakh. Boy describes himself as a “passionate movie maker who is determined to make Kenyan movies with or without a budget – mostly we have none”. Kaminey’s rumoured Rs 44 crore budget will probably come as something of a shock to him. 

Boy is the Products Development Leader for Et Cetera Productions, a film and television production house. He has written one-act and full-length plays, including Benta, which was made into a movie in 2006, as well as the screenplays of All Girls Together, a social drama, and Backlash, which he described as “an HIV/AIDS epic exploring culture and the pandemic”. He met Bhardwaj at a scriptwriting workshop in Kampala organised by Maisha, the filmmaking centre set up by Mira Nair in 2004. “I am hopeful that I will get a visible credit that will put me on the map as a writer,” Boy said. “So far all the material I have seen on the net makes no mention of Maisha or me – maybe I am not checking in the right place.”

Boy’s concerns as a writer are about “poverty, crime and classes – the links between them and how each preys on the other”. He said he was also keen to accurately portray the lives of those who live on the margins of society. “I am concerned with how to make people look at what they take for granted (slums, prostitutes, thieves, drug dealers etc), accept their existence and question why these things exist,” he said.

The Kenyan writer hasn’t watched many Hindi films, but the few he has seen have impressed him. “Those that I have watched thrill me with the intensity of the characters, the beauty of the picture and the ability to make mundane even ugly scenarios and locations cinematically beautiful,” Boy said.

Kaminey 2Finally, the audio and video of the original Dhen Tedan song is out. Though Vishal Bhardwaj has admitted it many times in his interviews, but those of you who still cant recall, click the play button. Its sung by Suresh Wadekar and Roop Kumar Rathod for Vishal’s directorial debut on television. Remember the series Gubbare ? Check out young Sharman Joshi. The original was also by Vishal Bhardwaj and Gulzar.

And for the full audio track click here.

KamineyDamn! The Fwine flu! We still havent managed to watch Kaminey. And going by the film reviews, almost everyone seems to have loved it except Khalid Mohamed. Lets check who rated how much.

Taran Adarsh ( Indiafm) – On the whole, KAMINEY lives up to the hype associated with it. The film has three stars – Vishal Bhardwaj, Shahid Kapoor and ‘Dhan Te Nan’ – and this combo as also the crooked characters and a genuinely hatke subject should guarantee ample footfalls in cineplexes even after its initial weekend – 4/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – Kaminey, amidst all the bloodshed and bullets, this film has a full beating heart. As Charlie would say: It’s a MUFT-WATCH – 4/5

Khalid Mohamed (Aslibaat) – At the end of Kaminey, then, you exit with some upbeat feelings. Fit looks food fut..fut is fwite fisappointing. F..ouch – 2.5/5

Raja Sen (Rediff) – Wow. Now if that isn’t kameenapan, I don’t know what is. Awefome – 4.5/5

(Now, this is one guy whose style we really like but his politics is all wrong. The dudde published the review on wednesday for some early word of mouth publicity. And clearly the intention must have been to score some brownie points from Bhardwajsaab for his writing career! Mr Sen, for how long ? )

Shubhra Gupta (Indian Express) – I came away with a stunning build-up, some spectacular sequences, and terrific music. But from a Vishal film, I wanted the full monty – 4/5

Minty Tejpal (Mumbai Mirror) – Well, this is it. Tarantino gave Hollywood Pulp Fiction, and now Vishal Bhardwaj gives Bollywood Kaminey. It’s the new standard of cutting edge cinema, and it rocks all the way. Dhan te nan. Damn, just can’t get the tune out of my head – 4/5

Mayank Shekhar (Hindustan Times) – There’s still nothing to take away from the movement this movie means to Hindi films. Missing it is your own entertainment loss. Given the director’s unfortunate commercial track-record with gems like Maqbool and Omkara, I really hope this time, ‘Vishal overcome!’ – 3.5/5

Anupama Chopra ( NDTV) – Kaminey will take some getting used to. It isn’t the comfort food that Bollywood normally dishes out. But I strongly recommend that you see it. This taste is worth acquiring – 4/5

And we are dying to have that taste!