Posts Tagged ‘Katrina Kaif’

Sinus is a great equaliser. That’s the first thought which came to my mind when i met Shah Rukh Khan. I thought it was for lesser mortals like us. A superstar with a sinus problem and no solution? Plus, pain in the knees. Blame it on the jumping, dancing and cartwheeling. And when my nose gets irritating, i have the luxury to shut everything and go to bed quietly. But SRK doesn’t have that luxury – meetings, back to back interviews, photo-ops. Black coffee is his source of energy. He picks another cup and settles down to talk.

I pointed to the other big cup in the room – IPL one, and asked if that’s the source of energy these days even when he has bad cold? Having faced all kind of criticism because of KKR’s performance in the last few years, he could see it as a pitch for another one. And so quickly clarified it with a smiling face –  It’s completely wrong for me to be sitting with this cup for two days because it actually deserves to be with Gautam and the boys. So I was just asking before I sat with you that this needs to be sent back otherwise they will think the owner has stolen the cup and run away.

Since Vishal Bhardwaj is one of my favourite filmmakers and there has been talks about him working with VB, i could not control myself from starting the conversation by asking if they are ever going to work together. He said, we were discussing Two States. And then i heard from few other actors and actresses that they are also doing Two States. I thought arre we all are doing Two States kya? Also, there was some issue with the copyright of the book. So that’s not happening. But we are going to meet soon and inshahallah, let’s see.

We also discussed his school of cinema and where he belongs now. So without wasting any more time, over to him for what he does best – conversation. And for his other talent – spreading those arms and let the love flow? He promises he will deliver that soon in Yash Chopra’s film.

Still Flying High?

I am always high during the process of things. Once the process has been ended or achieved, I move on to other things. But, yes, we are very thrilled for this set of boys and the whole team, Venky and Jay, everyone who has been working so hard for 4-5 years. I sometimes feel it is a little unfortunate that KKR is strongly associated with me by virtue of being a film star but actually what happens in KKR is extremely and tightly associated with the people who run it, which is the staff, the administration, the on-ground staff, the cricketers and these 20-24 boys of the team. But its alright, now that we have won it, it’s an extremely happy feeling. I feel like a proud father for all the youngster who played for the team.

Criticism because of me

See, I don’t play the game. So what was difficult is to accept the fact that here is a set of team like any other team, which will do well and do badly, like all teams do, but, yes, I do feel responsible, but unfortunately a lot of the criticism is due to me. A lot of things which should not be attributed to cricket or the boys who are playing it, got attributed to them because I happen to be one of the owners of the team. And there is no other way that I can turn around and tell them ever that i am really sorry guys, people talk more about them, it’s over-hyped for its victory, it’s over-hyped for its defeat.

My involvement?

A lot of time I have heard  people turn around and say that I involve myself in the cricket. I have never done that. But there’s no way to explain it when you are losing. Because nobody gives you a chance or believes that. The decisions that the team has taken, when anyone asks me, why was this decision taken? I say I didn’t take it. You know there’s a whole set of good minds who know their cricket and they take it and they are still with us from day one. There are boys like Andrew and Adrian and Joydeep and Joy and Mathew and the Coaches that have come in and of course, the team. They take all the decisions, they believe in certain things, they design the strategy, so don’t blame them if that strategy have gone wrong. Ya, it’s just gone wrong but don’t blame them more than they should be held responsible for it just because a movie star happens to own the team.

Criticism of Kolkata celebrations & Sports as a career

Now, i don’t know how to say, may be I get hurt with the little things and I remain unhurt by the big things sometimes. Being the focus of attention twenty four hours a day for all good things and some bad, it does start making you a different person. We went there to share happiness and I have said this often enough that it’s alright to be happy. It’s an important aspect for sports in our country that if there is celebration, there will be lot of parents and guardians who will say that it’s a good thing if my son also takes to sports. It makes you famous, it makes you sing, it makes you dance, people come out on the streets. They will believe that they will be in good hands if they play sports. And I am not taking away from any other profession but I am a big believer that sport should be, as a profession, available to youngsters. And they should have the choice . Not just cricket, football, hockey, chess, but everything. We have some great achievements in that and that greatness would be multiplied or will go multifold only if we give the impression to everyone that it’s a great job to do. So when people  say that, Oo there are only 4 or 5 Bengalis in the team, why should Bengal celebrate? Come on, it’s a part of India. Its an integral part of India. We are Indians! If there is a club or city which wins on that day let them celebrate.

Next year when they win, be it Chennai, Insaallah, they celebrate. And let me tell you if they win it in Mumbai, I will come for it. I will not stay away from it.

If the Chief Minister wants to come for it, they are most welcome. Let me just tell you if we start looking for propriety in happiness, it will not be as free flowing and as beautiful as happiness should be. You can question everything it from a cartwheel to a bus ride to anything. I remember when I was shooting for Chak De India, there was a scene when the team wins and I didn’t know how to play it. Then i saw a Japanese coach winning an Olympic gold and through out the game he was most animated and shouting and abusing in Japanese. I could not tell, I was seeing the documentary and suddenly they won the gold. When they won he just sat down quietly. So everybody has their own way of expressing happiness. If I was to keep on questioning individually and pass judgement on how in happiness some people jump, some people sit.

My son jumped on the bed, broke the bed. I didn’t reprimand him. I think its alright to jump on the bed and be happy. I jumped on the field, my kids have not yet reprimanded me. And people came out on the street in lakhs to celebrate the fact there is an attachment to KKR and Gautam Gambhir. I think its fantastic.

Daddy as embarrassment

I don’t know how true it is for other star children but I think star children go through a lot of embarrassment. But on the other hand a lot of children go through the fact that parents say, you know what, its alright to be an actor. And you know what, let me see, if my Dad behaved like that, then? (He thinks for a bit and smiles) I ask my children many times, are you embarrassed? They say, no, its ok, Papa. Sometimes they say, sometimes they just say ok just to keep my heart. They might be embarrassed. But its alright, you know, I turn around and say, you know what, there are times when you embarrassed me but I still love you as much. It’s love.

Me and Mamtadi

 Oh, i think she is just a wonderful lady. You know, I heard some criticism that why is she telling people to move away, we were her guests, she wanted there to be no crowd. I think she is very earthy, she is very normal. I think she is amazingly appealing because you know, you normally assume that we have been trained to believe that people in high posts and important areas should be of a certain manner. It’s alright if you don’t wear a tie.

I’ll tell you, I met the Premier of Malaysia once, Dr. Mahathir, one of the most respected names in the world. I went to see him near his parliament and he held my hand, walked out of the parliament without any police around him, and he started showing me the gardens. And there were people who were waving out and he looks at me and he says, you know Shah Rukh, I think I am really famous, people are waving at me. And whenever I go to Malaysia, he has got a small shop, which is a beautiful shop and he makes breads there. And he always takes me by the hand from the 80th floor of the Petronas Towers, where he sits. He takes me there and says, come, lets have some bread. So I find it amazingly charming. So all these ideologies and all, I don’t know. Sometimes I believe, may be, it is a throw-back from the times when we were not free, you know, behave in a certain manner. If you are an officer on duty, behave like this. If you are an official, then treat everyone as if they are inferior. You know, I think it’s a bit of the babu culture that is remaining. But I think its time we change that and leaders talking, being wonderful and warm, because we forget anyone, whether anybody, a king or a person, just about manages in life. First, they are normal human beings with normal emotions, and allow that freedom to everyone. Don’t sit on judgement, don’t sit on a high horse, don’t believe that you can undermine somebody’s emotions just because the person happens to be important and you can do so.

Video you didn’t see – It’s all about the family (Winning mantra)

You know,  for 5 years people tell me that do you talk to your boys, do you say something to them? No, I hardly say anything to them. Whenever you finish a match or begin a match, you know, sometimes a boy comes down. Yusuf will come and sit with me, Iqbal will come, Manoj Tiwary or Debabrata. A couple of times I have been called by the Coach when he sees me, he calls me and says, Shah Rukh, come here, you know what, sit down with Bisla and have a chat with him. He’ll feel confident and good because they are young boys.  They are going on a  very big arena and maybe because i have the experience of myself on big arenas, so they feel if I can chat with them and make them comfortable.

Gautam sometimes tells me,  Shah Rukh Bhaiyya, isse paanch minute baat kar lena, khud apne aap main jab aapka dil kare. So I do and I remember when Sunil Narine had come in, initially he was very quiet. He was a young boy, so Gautam told me, Shahrukh Bhai speak to him and make him feel comfortable. So I just speak to them at that level and then the last match was on, and I just felt that these guys have been away from their families for more than two months. If I am able to make sure that their whole families talk to them, and send a message, they must be missing them too. So we sent cameras all over the world. We are filmi people, so that is something that lies in our domain, so we sent cameras and got messages from their children, their sisters, their brothers, their mothers, their fathers  and the whole idea was that the team plays for the team, the team plays for the fans, this time just go and play for the people who love you inspite of winning or losing. So, it was very touching to see. We never get to see the people behind the scenes of these great achievers. So it was wonderful to see Pradeep Sangwan’s parents, it was fantastic to see Debabrata’s dad, lovely to see Bisla, it was nice to see McCullum’s family and Marchant De Lange’s aunt from somewhere and Sunil Narine’s mom and dad talking. It was beautiful, it was fantastic. It was very touching to me, so I am sure they felt that this team is like a family because their family was there to cheer them on for the finals.

Wankhede

I have no stand on it. I don’t know why people think it’s a stand. I said so that I do not in any which way mix two things together. Like if I am doing something good or bad, does not mean I represent everyone in Bollywood and they are like that. I don’t think so. They are wonderful people, here there are much better people than me. Really nice guys. If you misbehave with me, does not mean the whole of your community is like you. An individual’s action or reaction does not hold true for the whole association or the organization he or she works for and my reaction is to an individual, in no which way to any organization or association. And on the other hand, an organization or association, if it feels the right thing to do, if an individual from our team has been subjected to an abuse, which I did, and even if you did the same, but its alright to stand by them. I think its absolutely alright and its absolutely clean and its the way and the rules of the organisation. I don’t know, may be, I would do the same if somebody came and got angry.

Suppose there was a boy in my office and he said something to instigate you, and you got angry with him. I’ll still stand by that individual, so its absolutely right. So I don’t think individually I would never pick on that gentlemen and say, look its okay what you said. I don’t think so. I don’t think it was okay what he said. And I will stand by that. And I hope it gets resolved in a nice manner because personally my behavior in front of my own children and viewers is not good because that’s not what I stand for.

B-A-N

It’s the first time I have had a ban, so I don’t really know how to react to it. I don’t know, if I had a few more, maybe I’ll be able to gauge is five too much or three little or should it be a lifetime ban? I don’t know, I’m really completely ill at ease about discussing the fact that does it bother me, doesn’t it bother me. This is the second time I have been there in 10 years, so by that calculation it’s kinda be alright. But not by any other calculation. Just by respectability, it’s not a good thing to have. And I don’t know the legality of all this and I don’t want to get into it but if I can’t go to watch a match, I wont go. Maybe I’ll wear a disguise and go, and nobody finds out. No, I am just being naughty.

If an association has decided to respect the individuals, who perhaps, who according to them are not spoken rightly to, its their decision but I lovingly say that anyone from that Association to come and watch my films whenever they want.

Yash Chopra Film

Yashji’s film is untitled yet, it’s with Katrina and Anushka. Yeah, we are shooting it from day after tomorrow. 50% is over and Inshahallah, it should be out by Eid. Lovely songs by Gulzar Sahab and Rahman Sahab, really nice. I think it’s a good thing that I have worked with them for long, so it feels nice. I feel at home working with them. And you know, when you’re doing a romantic film, it’s a little easy on the joints. Its just easier on the joints and muscles, that’s all. So it’ll be nice. Hopefully I’ll be able to present romantic film in a different way as an actor and I think Yashji and Adi have taken care that I play something different and still the film has something new, some new romantic quality to it and just the fact that the two girls are new and I have hardly worked with them. With Anushka i have done just one film, and with Katrina, have never worked, and that itself will be a high point for me as an actor, plus for the film. It will be really fresh and nice. I am really glad to work with them. I learn a lot from them. It’s wonderful to work with them and I learn a lot from them. They are really kind and gentle and they are really sweet girls and really wonderful actors because when we sit down and discuss things, they come out straight forward with what they think of the scene and that helps me in interpreting. I myself may be jaded sometimes, having done similar scenes, so when they have an interpretation, I think not only it is youthful but it is also, Ohhh, you could do it like this. It is also a big challenge for me to get out of my what you said tricks of romance and say do it differently. And I think a couple of scenes have been really helped by Katrina and even with Anushka I have worked with her before. Even Rab ne Bana di Jodi, its honest, its direct and its great fun. So I am really looking forward to it and

Chennai Express starts, I think, we are still in process of casting and recc-eing the locations. So I’ll take a month off after shooting for Yashiji’s film and I’ll get to Chennai Express and a couple of months later we’ll get into Happy New Year.

Give me a quiet dinner

I don’t know wherever I am taken by life. I have never planned, I am very disorganized. I whatever I am doing at the moment in my life is the most important thing. I haven’t shot for a month for this film, I am back to shooting. I look forward to that. I have a few injuries and hurt, not because of my cartwheel but otherwise. I’ll repair that in London, I think. I’ll have to spend some time with my children, I think, which is important. They have holidays now, play a little football in Hyde park. Wait for the other two films to come, come back to Mumbai and uhh, now you remind me, get tensed again because in Sept-Oct we have to play Champions League. So that will be one another roller-coaster ride but InshahAllah, the team now must be feeling extremely confident and unpressurized. Normally if a team just wins, there is a chance of them getting over-confident. Our team, because it had been so negatively portrayed, I think they must have just come to now as being the starting players. So it’ll be nice to see them.

I really, really feel I have to leave for London but I wish I could just sit down with Gautam and his wife, and all the boys, Jacque, Bisla, Rajat, you know, sit down and just have a quiet dinner with them. So hopefully I’ll just try and call them to London if they are not too busy playing cricket somewhere, I’d like to call them. If they are busy, I wont call them lest that becomes a controversy. But I’d call them and say, come have dinner, and just sit down and talk with them of other things than cricket and winning or losing, other things things which are more important than winning and losing, that is, being happy. So I’d like to sit down and talk to them .

4am Tweets

I don’t tweet now so much because I got a little heart-broken. You know, I used to use the twitter as something I thought would be a personal messaging platform but then the media picks it up and puts it out of context and its like, I didn’t mean it. This is about this and why are you writing this about this? Some little things happening somewhere and somebody said something about my film release and suddenly I have a tweet and they just say, he’s just saying this because of that and I’m like, oh, not again. why would they do it? And I’d like to request everyone that Twitter is just to express yourself, which does not necessarily mean that you need to get abusive. Sorry (smiles), it seems that I am the wrong guy to be giving advice about abuses but I don’t think you need to do that and take out some kind of an angst on people that you don’t know. Expressing yourself is wonderful but sometimes I feel I have these wonderful people I am sending what I think is important, which maybe completely unimportant, but I think I have said my heart.  And then suddenly you get these retaliations which are not related to that message.

And a couple of times I have spoken about innocent children and somebody has retaliated and I’m like why? Why this man, I mean you don’t need to do this. I got a little, how do you say thwarted, I got a little taken aback that you know that even on a place where I thought I could share something personal without a mediator, without media between, somehow it is not working out the way I want and is it because I just come too close too fast, should I just refrain? So I have been away. Today I tweeted I think. And I’d like to request everyone on twitter, just respect it, like it, dislike it, don’t get personal. Because I am not getting personal with you and I have to request everyone to get personal, do it face to face. Its more honest. If you wanna say something to me, come meet me, we’ll sit down and chat over a cup of coffee and see where the conversation goes after that. And don’t do it without any reason just because it’s good to say, leave that to the socialites. Leave that to analysts, pop psychologists. Don’t make yourself that to lend yourself to the analysts. So I’ll tweet maybe once in a week.

Why i do it at night is because I finish work by 9pm normally on a shooting day. I come in and like to be with my kids till I put them to bed. Then I just sit with the family, hang out for some time and I sleep late. So everyone kinda desserts me by 2.30-3, so I say this is the time. I don’t use the telephone, the internet, I don’t use emails when I am in the house. Once I am in the house, I have no way that anyone can communicate with me, except for my kids, my wife and my sister shouting and screaming at me, nobody else can communicate with me. And that’s a rule I have had for 20 years. So when they are kind, if out of sight, than I say, its alright, its not on their time, so I tweet late. I sleep a little late, so I do it at that time. I don’t do it in the car and all unless its something that I want to do. So I do it late night because I don’t think I should encroach upon my family time.

And with this we came to the end of conversation as the time given to us was over. Hopefully next time we will get to talk about his school of cinema and more. As i packed up, he was ready to move to another meeting. Sinus? A smoke break. Another cup of black coffee. And he must be all set.

The first trailer of Pankaj Kapur’s director debut Mausam is out. The film stars Shahid Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor in the lead and promises to be a “timeless journey of love”.

Yashraj Films is ready with a new film – Mere Brother Ki Dulhan. The film stars Imran Khan, Katrina Kaif, Ali Zafar and is directed by Ali Abbas Zafar. Strangely similar stories have been explored in Dan In Real Life and Onir’s Sorry Bhai.

Zoya Akhtar made an assured debut with Luck By Chance. And her next film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is ready for release. The film stars Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar, Katrina Kaif and Kalki Koechlin. It’s written by Zoya and Reema Kagti, dialogues by Farhan Akhtar and has music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy.

And here is the trailer….

Aha, Senorita seems fun. And here’s the official synopsis…

Kabir ( Abhay Deol) has just met Natasha. 6 months later they are engaged.

He wants to go on an extended bachelor party. A 3 week road trip with Imraan (Farhan Akhtar) and Arjun (Hrithik Roshan) – his 2 friends since school. The only problem is Arjun is too tied up with work. After much emotional blackmail and cajoling the boys set off on a journey they were meant to take 4 years ago.

A fantasy holiday they had planned to take after college but never happened. A road trip where each one gets to do the ultimate sport of his choice and other two just have to do it with him. Whether they want to or not.

Kabir, Imraan and Arjun meet up in Barcelona and set off on an adventure that will not only make them iron out their differences but also face their fears, alter their perception, unravel their fabric, force them to break out of the box and teach them to seize the day.

In other words, a holiday that will change their life forever.

Rock On was Dil Chahta Hai with mid-life crisis, and this one also seems to be DCH Redux. What do you think?

The film stars Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Akshay Khanna and the always-trying-hard-to-be-dude-in-JHS Raghu Ram and his twin brother. Directed by Farah Khan, its written by Kunder Bros – Shirish and Ashmith Kunder.

Have a look. And post your feedback in the comment box.

And here is the title song video, which the makers claim that it has been leaked out. Well, the makers of biggest con job got conned!

And thanks to BollywoodWiki for the trailer alert.

Zoya Akhtar is busy shooting her new film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara ( BTW, We Hate KJo-type Titles) in Spain. The film stars Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar, Katrina Kaif and Kalki Koechlin. Some pics from the sets of the film has been leaked out by the fans. Take a look. Seems Zoya is going to undress every male actor of the film! So all you fans of Hrithik, Farhan & Abhay look ahead for some exciting days. Click on the thumbnails to take a closer look!

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?

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 ?