Lake City International Film Festival 2019

Monday, December 27, 2010

Even fame comes at a price... In Rani's case its 15 Lakhs....

A working still from Eon Films "Saazish"






























Yes, even fame comes with a price… In this case it’s only Rs. 15 Lakhs for a life. Recently Rani Chatterjee - One of the reigning queens of Bhojpuri Film industry, who has major hits like Sasura Bada Paisawala, Munnibai Nautankiwali and the recent hit Damini, received an SMS from schoolteacher Ajay Pandey on December 11 which said that he would have to kill her if she did not give him more than Rs 15 lakh in three days. 

So terrified was this actress, that she filed a complaint with the Kashimira police instantly. The caller claimed to be a tantrik and told her that he was hired by a top Bhojpuri Actor who was smitten by her. Since she did not respond to his overtures, he is seething with anger and has vowed revenge. The tantrik told her that he will have to kill her through chanting mantras. But she can avoid this and buy her life if she upped his bid and paid him more than 15 Lakhs what he was being paid. The Actor in question is the famed Pawan Singh according to some media reports. However, the real reason is yet to be made public by the police who have arrested the accused.

The police started investigating on the case and it lead them to Barrackpore in West Bengal.  When the team reached Barrackpore, the officers were surprised to learn that the owner of the number was not of a tantrik, but government schoolteacher Ajay Pandey.

"I was not even aware of this person until I got the threatening text messages from him," said Rani. “Perhaps, the lure of money led him to strike a deal with me and he told me that he would spare me and kill the actor instead if I paid him an amount higher than Rs 15 lakh. I was scared and decided to approach the Kashimira police."

Rani will be seen soon in "Saawariya I Love You" which is being presented under the banner of Eon Films and has Vinnay Anand, Gourav Ghai and others in the lead.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Farah hits new low with film making... TMK is a lousily copied "After the Fox"

Farah Khan's third installment of masala potboilers, Tees Maar Khan is a total washout! This is nowhere close to Main Hoon Na or for that matter entertaining Om Shanti Om. TMK is entertaining, yes! But only in bits and pieces - while the rest of the film is a dull and absolutely senseless fare. Absurd, weird and utter nonsense! More so, looks like a C grade Bollywood Masala Film and worse - actors like Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif and the rest are too loud in the film that our Ear Buds would need relaxation!

Tabriz Khan aka Tees Maar Khan is an internationally wanted con artist infamous for his "half-ROBin Hood" act. He has his three side kicks who are seen hitting Men! A C-grade film actress as his lady love and a Bollywood Superstar dreaming of an Oscar - are all caricatures of this NO PAISA VASOOL film! Heavily inspired by an Italian film, 'After the Fox'. And how is 'After the Fox' plagiarized by Shirish Khunder and made into a Farah Khan film is thus:

TMK is been hired to rob a train that has worth crores of wealth. Its an impossible task and to do so, he enacts as a Hollywood Film Director and with a Super Star (Akshay Khanna) plans to shoot a film at the village wherein the train passes and they plan to stop the train as a part of their film shoot! And the rest, you can easily guess!

A story which has immense possibilities of comedy is reduced to actors trying buffoonery - something often mistaken by filmmakers as guaranteed laughter. Everyone in the film overacts and are desperate for every act! Looks like Farah and Khunder purposely gave such freedom to the actors and told them - do what you want to do! Salman in a Qawwal and Anil Kapoor towards the climax are just a treat to watch!

Now, tell me - Do you actually want to C this C grade film? If there is something that is worth watching, is just the C-eela Ki Jawaani! which deserves to be of a repeat value in the Big Screen!

TMK is one of the most boring and nonsense movies of all time. I really like Main Hoon Na and Om Shanti Om. They emotionally connect with the audience. But this movie is nothing but a piece of junk. Not even worth for a free watch! Overall, there is nothing gr8 about this film, and can be watched at your leisure when it hits the Small Screen pretty soon! And yes, Farah - Shah Rukh KHAN guarantees Hits and Blockbusters to you, but a Tees Maar KHAN't. And with TMK, Farah you have touched a new low in the making of bollywood movies. Cheers!!

Sundeep Malani
Film Critic

MERRY CHRISTMAS...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Give us a BREAK! This film is awfully BA(A)D!

Welcome to Yash Raj Films and Karan Johar Films Festival. These two prestigious productions films (DDLJ, Hum Tum, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, I Hate Luv Storys) and a whole lot of other films Love Aaj Kal, Dil Chahta Hai, Khushi, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na.. the list is on and on... Yep.. while you watch Imran and Deepika as characters and their portrayal of scenes - you will guess it right, you have seen such scenes in the above mentioned films. A Khichdi of various films put together is what a senseless and script less film BREAK KE BAAD is all about. Cmon, Kunal this wasn't expected from a critic, who used to talk about other films and now when came to one's own, went ahead to give condolence (oops.... gratitude to friends films) only a way to show how much you love these kind of films.

One should have a proper script, but instead copying various scenes from films and making it look a Filmi Khandaan as the hero and heroine are childhood buddies who grow up watching Mr. India in the theatre and also are Filmi Buff. They talk films, behave like Bollywood actors and even fight. Their chemistry works as friends but when it comes to be lovers, its nil. She goes abroad, he stays back in India. Their love blossoms Break Ke Baad. He goes to meet her and then there is again some Break Failures until alls well that ends well.

Actually, I need a Break! Cant write anything about this film. This Review itself is bad as bad as the film. As the first half is so - so so, that Break Ke Baad (After Interval), its turn to be actually BAD.  It should be re-titled BREAK or it will be BAD! Howwzzzat?

Sundeep Malani
Film Critic

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Somewhere - A Fear of Love, Somwhere - A Love of Fear....


After watching Robert De Niro in Cape Fear, I couldn't sleep for several nights. Not because Cape Fear was a horror film (a genre that always leaves me petrified), but because De Niro portrayed his character in a manner so chilling it made me numb with fear. In Sanghamitra Chaudhary’s “The Bhoot of Rose Ville”, I experienced the same sense of terror as the film moved straight from romance into horror. I wondered if I'd get out of the cinema hall alive. The film with its nail biting storyline with added dosage of steamy scenes, visual effects and a stunning background score, had me trembling with trepidation. I remembered the film's tagline – “The boldest, wildest and scariest movie” and felt even more nervous.

The Bhoot of Rose Ville is the story of Rose who stays at Rose Ville - a small bungalow at a sea side resort, Digha along with her father who is the Pastor of the Holy Church. Being very orthodox, he does not approve of his daughter’s relationship with a Hindu boy Samir Dutta and her plans to marry him. Rose succumbs to her father’s pressures and gets ready to marry Robin, her childhood friend, who is also an orphan. Cute young and very cheerful, Robin loved Rose right since childhood, unknown to her as he could never express his feelings. He is very happy and is on cloud nine

However, life has something else in store for him. Robin meets with a severe accident, just three days before their wedding, and dies. Unable to bear the separation and that too with Rose whom he loved very much, his soul comes and meets Rose. He gives a wedding ring to Rose and proceeds to make love. Rose later discovers that it was the soul of Robin as he is now dead. She is too scared to talk about it but eventually pours out her heart and her fears to Samir. Meanwhile her father has become a clergyman and starts living in a church.

Three months later, Rose discovers that she is expecting a child. She is shocked beyond her senses. Samir advises her to abort the baby and takes her to Kolkata and also seeks her father’s permission to marry as Robin is no longer alive. After three years Rose returns to Rose Ville to sell the house only to find a lot of unnatural activities happening there.

The highlight of Bhoot is its nail biting plot and the stylized cinematic presentation. The director uses the background music and close up shots to create the right atmospherics. Moreover, the movie has no songs because of which the flow of the narrative is not broken.

Even the romantic track between the lead pairs - Arpita Mukherjee and Dronn Mukherjee has been treated differently. Unlike other Tollywood movies, the intimacy between the couple is more mature. In a nutshell The Bhoot is atmospheric, spooky and sends a chill down the spine. And the commendable performances by its key players, propped by Sanghamitra’s sleek direction, send the shivers down the spines of the viewers.

A Tri Color Entertainment's Production, The Bhoot is an unusual fare that Tollywood hasn't produced till now. It is something beyond the usual blood-and-gore concoctions, and definitely gives a new dimension to horror films. But surely Sanghamitra has the ability to do better than this if she is given the right kinda budget and a better platform to paint her canvas well...

Siddharth Mohan
Film Analyst

Bas yehi GUZAARISH hai: Do watch this film!

Its Magic, Its Magic..... Hrithik sang and danced to a magical glory in Koi.. Mil Gaya, a few years ago. And today in Guzaarish, he plays the Magician who mesmerizes us (the audience) with his wonderful, award winning performance as a quadriplegic patient, who at the very first scene of the film makes this Request (Guzaarish) that he seeks euthanasia (which is asking for mercy killing) from the law. Now, this is something very new to Indian Cinema. Rather new, it is First ever of this kind. And the Lead Hero's Request is supported by the entire limited starcast - right from his doctor, to his best friend lawyer, his magician student, to his radio listeners to his mother and his nurse!

Meet Ethan Mascranehas who just can talk as a radio jockey and dedicate songs for his program 'Radio Zindagi'. While he chats on Live Life, he himself wants to End Life. With a few mini-flashbacks here and there, that shows us his past of being a classy Magician and performing an dangerous act, looses control and ends up being a wheelchair bound, semi-paralysed patient throughout his life. Though, tragic and emotive, the film celebrates life even if it’s inches away from the devouring jaws of death.

Believe me, this is one of the most relaxed performance by Hrithik in his entire career. Relaxed because, he is only sitting in a wheel chair or lying on the Bed. And by doing so, he comes out with a very difficult act which he performs to perfection. Wow! If you thought Koi.. Mil Gaya and Krrish was one of his best, then you got to see this! If Papa Roshan could get best from him, it is Bhansali who got Hrithik one of the best that no Khans deliver either.

Ish... Speaking of Ash. After being very lively and entertaining in Bhansali's earlier HDDCS and Devdas, here she comes out with a very sensitive performance that is quiet, silent and classy! An eternal beauty she is class as Sophiya, who nurses Ethan for life-long!

The best dialogue that still registers in my mind is: "I love God, and that is why I am dying to meet him!". Such meaningful and such disturbing at the same time. While we celebrate Life, its the climax scene of the film, that makes you shed tears at the finale thanksgiving speech by Hrithik as his guests and well wishers gather to celebrate his farewell. His death!

This is a Bhansali's poetry on celluloid which deserves to be appreciated, applauded and recommended everyone to watch it! After being colorful and lively (HDDCS and Devdas), BLACK and BLUE (Oh, forgive him for 'Saawariya'), here its MAGIC that is lavish in its sets, Hritik and Ash's un-romantic yet beautiful romantic film (You need to watch it to believe it!). While the film is minus action, minus comedy and minus romance, its just plus points for Hrithik all the way! Slow in parts, but yet, the film deserves to be watched!

Sundeep Malani
Film Critic

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Interactive session on “Crowd-Funding” to help independent filmmakers go public with their film projects

DearCinema.com in collaboration with Sadak Chhaap Films is organising an interactive session on “Crowd-Funding” on November 18, Thursday at PVR Juhu. This session, the first of DearCinema Dialogue Series, will help independent filmmakers who want to go public with their film projects. The panel will comprise of filmmaker Onir (My Brother Nikhil, Bas Ek Pal, Sorry Bhai and I AM) and actor-producer Sanjay Suri. The session will be chaired by eminent filmmaker and Vice President of India Independent Filmmakers Worldwide (IIFW), Sudhir Mishra.

Onir is one of the first Indian filmmakers to have made his latest film “I AM” through raising money from more than four hundred individuals spread across the globe. He used social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to reach out his potential audiences and turn them into co producers and co owners.
Through this interactive session, independent film makers and aspirants will be able to understand the potential and challenges of raising money from prospective audience of a film. The session will begin at 10 AM on Thursday, November 18 at Screen 5, PVR, Juhu and is open to registered participants. For details about registration log on to www.DearCinema.com or write to: registration@dearcinema.com.  
DearCinema Dialogue Series is an extension of DearCinema.com. Organised by Sadak Chhaap Films, it aims to emerge as a platform to share knowledge and experience between successful film practitioners and aspirants. It promises to bring successful film professionals face-to-face with newcomers and people who want to learn from the people who have been there and done that.

DearCinema.com is the first Indian online portal dedicated to the needs of Indian Independent film community and film society / festival organizers and regulars. Live since February 2007, it covers Indian cinema from a wider perspective beyond the glitz of mainstream, with a special focus on independent filmmaking and film festivals.

Sadak Chhap Films, founded in 2009, it is the organiser of India's first street film festival for children in slums and villages. It has organised film festivals in areas like Nai Seemapuri Basti in Delhi, Dharavi in Mumbai, Maruti Seva Nagar in Bangaluru and Chadri in Ranchi. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dunno Y…Na Jaane Kyun - BOLD in scenes, but SHY in conviction!!

Though our Indian film industry is putting up a brave front and churning out films on controversial subjects, sadly enough they lack the courage to project them as stark as possible. Stark, yes! They do make it, only as far as scenes are concerned. But when it comes to depicting the reasons for the same, they shy out and want to project the characters as not “one by choice” but rather a “victim of circumstances”. And if the writer and the director lack the conviction how can the audiences accept such a serious subject with so much of glitches. Naturally the film has to fall flat and the reasons are too many problems in the same household.

The film reminds me of the opening scene from the film “Atithi, Tum Kab Jaoge” which had the lead Ajay Devgun narrating a film script to Satish Kaushik that has the hero on crutches, a mother who is dumb, a sister who is deaf and a father who is paralysed or some what. The same reasoning was perhaps applied for turning the lead character a gay, which includes the entire malfunctional D'Souza family, their friends and lovers.

Dunno Y, the director didn’t want to show that it was neither a lack of choice nor want of voice that the character turns gay. Rather, it was his inner instincts that compel him to sleep with men and not because of bad parenting or a broken family. Dunno Y… director Sanjay Sharma made the story more melodramatic than the tear jerkers of our daily soaps by strenuously dramatizing the trauma in the family.

While Dunno Y… has made a brave attempt to show the family's efforts to come to terms with the dark secrets of the character, it could have been the “Brokeback Mountain” of Hindi Cinema had the director made an attempt to break the conventional mould and dared to portray a gay relationship without a disoriented family theme. Perhaps Sanjay Sharma was a bit intimidated to speak on the subject openly lest it gets slotted into the meaningful cinema slot. 

Not only the film has a mother who sleeps around with her boss, but even her elder married son with a child, makes out with a man for a want of a voice. Hang on, this strange family has something more to offer. Not only the gay protagonist has a torrid affair with his partner, but the neglected wife has an in house toy boy who gets into a shower together to continue the passion for those not interested in M2M scenes.

While the explicit gay love-making sequences are being talked about, one might find it nothing exceptional as a decade and half back - Rahul Bose and Kushal Punjabi had a stark love making scene in a library in the short film “BomGay” by Riyad Vinci Wadia. That too at a time when no one dared speak about homosexuality candidly. If Kushal could do a frontal nudity and an actor par excellence like Rahul Bose (who was already established then) could enact a passive gay (sans clothes), wonder what big deal it is being made about the passionate scenes in this movie. It seems, the idea of showing the love making scenes was more to bring in the audiences for the cheesy steamy scenes than driving the point home to accept a relationship (even if its gay).

A fatally flawed film, the talented cast comprises of Zeenat Aman, who as an abandoned wife and single mother plays her part convincingly well. The credit also goes to Kapil Sharma and Yuvraaj Parasher for performing the bed scenes with élan, but nothing much can be written about in terms of their acting prowess. In short, worth a one time dekho.

“Bidehir Khonje Rabindranath” will be the RDB of Tollywood...

Films & TV editorial team caught up with budding actor Abhinandan Dutta in Kolkata recently. For a guy who started off with modeling for an international photo shoot and that too with a theme on Mans world, is far from being shy. At the same time, he wants to master the art of acting work by playing amazing characters and work with respected people in the industry. 

Films & TV: Did you always aspire to be a model and actor?
Abhinandan: I always aspired to be an actor and used to spend my time imagining myself in screen shots. This perhaps stemmed out from the fact that my father Shri Subinay Dutta is also a director of short films and documentaries from Films Division. In a way, you can say, it reigns in my blood. However, I would say that I developed a passion for acting only after I joined theatre and took the art of acting seriously and also started watching the world classics.

Though I was always fascinated by movies and TV from a very young age and spent a lot of time trying to work out how to get on television, but didn’t want to push it hard as I wanted to do it on my own caliber. Also, thanks to my intent efforts, today, whatever I have evolved is due to my own struggle.

Films & TV: What all have you done till now?
Abhinandan: I did a couple of shoots for some international catalogues and yes, theatre also. In fact, in one of such shoots, the theme was based on Men’s World. I had no qualms doing it, though many of the models would refuse to do it in the initial phase of their career. It was just a theme and it was shot aesthetically. Moreover, there was no nudity involved.

Films & TV: In case you were offered to do nude modellling, would you do?
Abhinandan: Im not shy nor am I averse to it. However, I don’t have a hunky body like John Abraham or others. I might not do it for print shoots, but in case of a feature film, and if it’s integral to the story line, I might give it a shot.

Films & TV: From a model to an actor, how did the transition take place?
Abhinandan: It was during my modelling phase that I met Sanghamitra Chaudhuri (whom I fondly call Auntry) and expressed my desire to work with her. I had heard a lot about her style of film making and that she always works with new comers as well as seasoned artists. When it comes to selection of artists, she goes by what her story demands and is very strict when it comes to casting. In a way, you can say that if any one gets a role in her film, it’s only on the basis of what her story demands and ya, talent especially.

A shot from Bidehir Khonje Rabindranath
Films & TV: You are doing Sanghamitra Chaudhuri's “Bidehir Khonje Rabindranath”. What is your role in the film?
Abhinandan: Bidehir Khonje Rabindranath is a fun filled movie that starts getting serious as it gradually evolves. It starts with Abhishek Chatterjee coming to do a docufilm on Rabindranath Tagore and gets five of us to star in it. I, along with Anshuman Gupta, Souradeep, Arpita and Indrani are selected to do it. These five are today’s Genx kids who are hardly aware of Rabindranath Tagore. As the film progresses, due to a strange twist and turn in the events, these five guys end up doing a film the way they come to know about Rabindranath.

Films & TV: How was your experience working on this movie?
Abhinandan: To say working on the movie was awesome would be a great understatement. There was so much stuff to see and experience that if I just say it was an amazing experience won’t do any justice to it. I will however talk briefly about some of the highlights! I was cast as one of the core five roustabouts, and was thrown into one of the most eclectic and wonderful groups I’ve ever met.

From day one of our shoot to the last day, it was quite an adventure. In addition to the on-set camaraderie we all developed, it was incredible getting to watch most of the shots; whenever I wasn’t being used. I used this as a learning platform to see Abhishek da and Anshuman perform so brilliantly. I often watched the monitors to see exactly what the audiences would be seeing on the big screen and they were nothing short of gorgeous every time.

Films & TV: Tell us something about your director.
Abhinandan: To talk about Sanghamitra Aunty, she is so passionate about movies that I am indeed lucky to work with her. I don’t think I can achieve that level of passion and devotion but would always desire to do so. Besides, I also respect her devotion towards her profession. For someone like me who is starting his very first film, Sanghamitra aunty appeared to be a pretty sorted woman during his interaction. Technically too she is very sound and always knew the kind of look or the performance she wanted her characters to give to the film. Once the film is released, everyone can see her efforts that went into making the film so unique and special.

Films & TV: In case you are offered to choose your dream role?
Abhinandan: I would love to play Leonardo Dicaprio's part in Titanic. Its not only the role of a lifetime, in short, each and every take of the move was just breathtaking.

Films & TV: What are your future plans?
Abhinandan: I have never planned anything in my life. It was all unplanned and wonderful. Its fate that brought me to film industry and I feel blessed to make my debut with “Bidehir Khonje Rabindranath.” In fact, when one of my friends heard the story line, his instant reaction was “It’s going to do what Rang De Basanti did for Bollywood and the cast.” As for my future plans, I want to work with respected people in the industry and want to play amazing characters.

After a sensational performance in "Jo Jo Laali", Kalpana Pandit gives a scintillating performance in "Pani Thuli"


A Hindi-Tamil film titled 'PANI THULI' high-octane fast paced bilingual romantic thriller currently being filmed in the breathtaking locales in and around San Francisco California is bound to take the youth across the world by storm with its lilting music, romance, thrills and action, along with  a fast paced screenplay which will keep audiences on their toes. Starring Ganesh Venkatraman opposite two leading ladies....Kalpana Pandit and Shobana Shankar. The film introduces both Kalpana Pandit and Shobana Shankar to Tamil cinema.

The brand new heartthrob of Indian cinema Ganesh Venkatraman, who is going to scorch the big screens this December worldwide with mega blockbuster "Kandahar" where he shares screen credits with Indian superstars Amitabh Bachchan and Mohanlal is gearing up for a spectacular romantic thriller in Hindi and Tamil shot by an international production group based in the Bay area of United States which will hit theater screens  worldwide in SPRING 2011. Ganesh is reaching great heights after his much applauded performances in "Unnaipol Oruvan" and "Abhiyum Naanum"

Kalpana Pandit's latest international film in Kannada/ Hindi with English subtitles" Jo Jo Laali...a heartwrenching lullaby"  is receiving rave reviews across India. Pani Thuli will be the first Tamil – Hindi bilingual feature to be shot in India and across the US in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.Produced by US based production company "Dreams on Frames" and coproduced by "House of Pandit" and directed by director duo of Natty Kumar and Dr Raghavan Jayakumar. Cinematography is by Chris Eldridge from Hollywood, California. The film is a fast paced romantic thriller which travels from Chennai to USA.

Friday, November 12, 2010

"A FLAT"tering Performance!

It’s so fresh to see Sanjay and Jimmy back on screen together after their two well made - well performed musical hit films DIL VIL PYAR VYAR and BAS EK PAL. The third time together in fact is for a horror film, nevertheless, the film falls FLAT but the duo delivers A FLATtering Performance, and that matters the most when you watch them on screen!

Now that the verdict is out right in the beginning of the review, here goes the Post Mortem Report of the film. Jimmy lands from the States to Mumbai and lots of tragic incidents takes place in his FLAT. His dad is found dead, his girlfriend goes missing and he himself gets trapped. It’s all because of a past that happened in his absence. His friend Sanjay, a married man had resided in the FLAT a while ago and had played hanky panky with a village belle. And then when the village girl is pregnant, Sanjay plans to abort the kid. What happens next is solved with the mystery from a diary!

Technically, the film is brilliant. The film shot in an apartment (with reference as A FLAT) reminds you of director Ram Gopal Varma’s excellent Bhoot, which was horrifying and haunting too. May be that inspired the producer Raaj Varma to invest in this venture, which unfortunately does not keep you glued to the seats. It’s a thriller for sure, but the horror aspect is not scary. The Performances of the two heroes as mentioned above are excellent. The same cant be said about the leading ladies. And before I mention their names, they are all newbie’s you haven’t heard much about them. Definitely it’s their break, but doubtful if they would be nominated for the Newcomer of the year! Bappa's music is pleasing and has got his Pappa's stamp in a melody number. Well, there are just a few Positive aspects that can be praise worthy; besides that - it’s the screenplay and the direction that falls FLAT.

Overall, the film is watchable once and that is A FLAT review..

Sundeep Malani, Film Critic

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I believe in making what I call “Budget Cinema” says Sanghamitra Chaudhari


Films & TV editorial team caught up with director Sanghamitra Chaudhari in Mumbai today as she came down for talks with some senior bollywood actors for her First Hindi Film. She poured out her heart speaking on her style of film making and her future projects as well. For a female who started her career as a journalist to directing Jackie Shroff in a Bengali movie, Sanghamitra has indeed come a long way. However, people who know her right since her journalistic days can still vouch for the fact that she is the same Sanghamitra who hasnt changed even a wee bit. A short tete-a-tete with this film maker..

Can you elaborate on your work profile and the movies you have done till now?
I always harboured the desire to establish myself as a niche Director - to go beyond the art of simple story telling aided by a strong script and suitably supported by smart and arty audio-visual craft that could drive both the class and mass viewers to the theatres. I became a full fledged film maker with my debut film that released in March 2007 - Raat Porir Rupkatha that had Jackie Shroff in the lead. I later went on to direct Chakra, Jeeban Rang Berang, Premer Phande Kakatua, Rahasya, Jeena.. the endless love and now The Bhoot of Rose Ville which is scheduled to release. Two of my films “RUU” & “Bidehir Khonje Rabindranath” are under production now and are fast moving towards completion. Ranging from fantasy to reality, I believe in making what I call “Budget Cinema”, and want to stick to the essentials without compromising on the treatment of the subject. 
                      
Your new film “The Bhoot of Rose Ville” is all set for release. Do you think the Bengali audience will accept a new wave film?
I feel the taste of our Bengal Audience is fast changing. The old Cliché ‘round the tree romance’ has become out of date. The GenX film goers love to watch Bengali Movies with an international look. We cannot afford to make a Titanic or Avatar, but we can opt for something experimental and closer to our skin that any young blood will cherish.

The horror genre, though not touched much always did brisk business. Even RGV’s “Bhoot” brought audiences to the theatres
Ghosts and spirits are ’beings’ that are borne and brought up in our mind. It is a subject that every individual all over the world is curious about. Ghosts are beings that can do any thing and everything illogically. So this is a vast subject universally accepted yet not well utilized through our Film media in Bengal in recent years.  

Going by the synopsis, it seems, the film is loosely inspired by Paranormal Activities.
Yes, Paranormal Activity is one of the most Fascinating films I have seen recently. But it is a film not for Bengal Audience. It is more like a Docu-drama whereas Rose Ville is more Cinematic; though we have not used any song, Back ground score or Film make-up in this film. The Bhoot of Rose Ville is definitely been inspired by three films ‘The Unborn’, The Blair Witch Project’ and most importantly ‘Paranormal Activity’.

You have roped in new comers in this movie. And your female lead has done a bold scene. Will the Bengali audiences accept it?
Almost all are new comers. Purposely we have done it.  The film has a fresh look and it looks real. We did workshop for 15 days. There are bold scenes. Such scenes are first time in Bengal. But the scenes are so justified that the Censor Board did not ask for a single cut for the theatres. The scenes look original and sensuous. No space for Vulgarity in the film. The Bengal audience are matured now. I trust they will be able to handle it.

Right now, you are working on “Bidehir Khonje Rabindranath”. What is it all about?
It’s about a group of young boys and girls who join a researcher on a trip to Bolpur just for the sake of fun and gets involved in the subject.

What new plans on the anvil? Planning to do a Hindi film, as my knowledge goes.
Yes. My next plan is a Hindi Film, again about three young boys who meet after three years from leaving college and find how their lives have drastically changed……….

Any dream project you would like to work on?
Yes, A Hindi film titled “In Search of Saraswati”….. A dark film on the aftermath of Dance Bar Closure in Mumbai.

We wish you all the best for your projects....

Sunday, November 7, 2010

From Bareilly to Bollywood and now Hollywood, Akash Hora has travelled a long way

“I am blessed, honored and call myself lucky to be Sundeepji’s first choice,” says Akash Hora, the talented new comer whose Jo Jo Laali is being released by Quantum, an American Distribution agency and it is now also in the prestigious American Film Market at Santa Monica, California. Over coffee, mithais and lots of cracker sounds in the background, Akash Hora takes us on a journey from Bareilly to Hollywood, and from modeling to a film on AIDS that’s the talk of the town.

Films & TV: Your Jo Jo Laali is making a lot of waves. Can you throw more light on the film and your character.
Akash Hora: Jo Jo Laali has been the first film to be released by Quantum, an American Distribution agency and it is now also in the prestigious American Film Market at Santa Monica, California. Just recently it was screened at the National Aids Conference in Hyderabad and it has already made its premiere in Mumbai, Bangalore, Mangalore and my home town Barielly too. Very soon it will be screened in Delhi, Chennai and Goa too. In the film I play a photographer who falls in love with a classical dancer, played by Kalpana Pandit. It’s an innocent character that suddenly goes for a total change. And that’s the interesting plot in the film. The film has got good reviews and I am happy that everyone has appreciated the film.

Films & TV: From a small town boy to making it to the arc lights and to the American Film Market. How does it feel to be cheered for your talent?
Akash: It is a dream come true. I had never thought that from Barielly my journey would go to Bollywood and to Hollywood. I feel on the top of the world and also happy that as Priyanka Chopra made it from Barielly, even I did achieve a bit and looking forward for more to come. I can never forget my first autograph that I signed recently in Bangalore during the premiere, when one viewer who had not even watched the film and didn’t know me, came to me and asked for my autograph. That was my first way to stardom.

Films & TV: How was your experience working on this movie and especially with your heroine cum producer Kalpana Pandit.
Akash: I had watched Kalpana Pandit’s song from Moksh and also some of her songs in youtube before I met her. I was a bit tensed and nervous as I had to work with an established actress who has done several films, and happy too, that I got a good break. As a producer, she is so perfect as she made all arrangements to see that the entire shoot goes smoothly without any trouble or disturbance. As my heroine, she is wonderful. I had to do a erotic scene in the film and she made it so easy for me, as she told me to forget everything and perform as it is real. And my comfort level became easy. And after which, we had to do several other scenes and the romantic scenes which looks very natural on screen, that everyone is complementing.

Films & TV: Did you always aspire to be a model and actor? What all have you done till now?
Akash: I would lie, if I say that I wasn’t looking for a career for Bollywood. Well, who would not want to be with the arc lights? I have done ramp shows in my college, local advertisements and taken training in dance, as I have cold feet. But, now I can manage to dance well. I have done two films till date - Woh 5 Din and Jo Jo Laali

Films & TV: “Woh Paanch Din” was also directed by Sundeep Malani. Are you the first choice of Sundeep when it comes to roles? What’s your equation with your director?
Akash: I am blessed, honored and call myself lucky to be Sundeepji’s first choice. But, I don’t think he would consider me for all the films. It’s just that if I suit the role, I am in the project and I value and respect that. As he won’t be comfortable having me in a role that he won’t suit me and vice versa. I played a flirtious character in Woh 5 Din that had a comic touch to my role. And in Jo Jo Laali my character was of an innocent lover. So, Sundeepji has balanced both my characters for me to give dimensions to my roles. He is my elder brother and I don’t think I need to explain the equation between two brothers.

Films & TV: From modelling to acting, how did the transition take place?
Akash: I had done modelling in Barielly for college events. My friend Piush Anand had done events and also had shot an advertisement for a local brand. I was a part of it, and when he was making an entry to films with Woh 5 Din, he got me in and that’s how the transition took place.

Films & TV: It seems you are also doing some Bollywood projects. Can you highlight on the same?
Akash: My next film with Sundeepji will be taking off in February. This is a total transformation of the characters that I have played. But I am sorry as I am not supposed to reveal anything about the film. It would be better if it comes from the director himself.

Films & TV: What are your future plans?
Akash: My future plans are to do more and more films and when I have a big brother around, I am keeping my fingers crossed. Woh 5 Din is scheduled to release by the year end. Hoping for a bright 2011.

We wished him all the best and took his leave....

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Keep your minds FREE and go watch GOLMAAL THREE :)

The song in the film goes thus: Go go go golmaal, go go go golmaal. But I would rather say this Go Go Go GOA-lmaal, Go Go Go GOAL-maal! Go Go Go Go GOLMAAL... GOAL MAAL is back again! And again with almost the same star cast from the earlier two versions with add ons in GOA (the favorite shoot spot for Shetty) and he hits the GOAL for the third time, after having tested our brains and kept our minds happy for Action Comedy. And this time, it’s more... hence, keep your minds FREE and watch GOLMAAL (3) Three!

But Golmaal hai bhai sab Golmaal hai... This film is inspired by the oldie KHATTA MEETHA which was actually inspired by Yours, Mine and Ours - a 1968 Hollywood film - both comedies that was about Two Elderly Couple becoming One and their grown up kids who cant stand each other have to adjust under one roof! What a spoof!

This spoof of old Hindi films, full of camera pans and quick zooms, will nostalgically tickle the funny bone that comprises of a Disco Dancer (Mithun) who is in love with Mrs. Sarabhai (Pathak) and they have their grown up Angry Devgan, Muted Tusshar, Stammering Talpade, Tapori Warsi and Lolly Khemu! And with these 5 Boys, we have a Tomboy Kapoor who has a Face'bow'k with her (I mean a puppy that is called Facebook). But the person who is the main USP is Johny Lever in his Ghajini avatar who has short term memory loss. All this well packaged by Shetty for his third instalment and colorful eyes of Dudley (cameraman)!

Its the climax a la Priyadarshan style, wherein the entire starcast assemble for a LOLLEST finale! Go - watch Golmaal and enjoy the festival with laughter and full time pass entertainment!

Sundeep Malani, Film Critic

This REPLAYY is not of a RE-PLAY value!

'Awaaz..... Neeche' shouts the Khiladi Kumar in the film. Point to be Noted. For the first time, you get to see the Bollywood Biggies and Heartthrobs - Akki and Ash PLAYing Parents to a College Going Boy! This Old couple is 'Not Made For Each Other' as they have their own differences, even after their long not-happily married life. Akki spends more time in Kitchen - cooking and Ash spends more time in malls - shopping! Its Woman who wears the Pants and the Man who sobs! And the son, who is scared to marry his fiancée, as he assumes that he would also end up being an example like his parents. He wants his parents to be 'made for each other'.

With a time machine of a Antony Gonsalves Scientist, he goes back to the past in 1975 and we get to see Akki and Ash of the era of Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz. The screen becomes a festival of colorful extravaganza, cliché bellbottom pants, Mumtaz Flowers, Sharmila Wigs, Zeenat Aman glasses and the entire scenario goes back to Old Bollywood! Its that era, where the son who also lands up is all set to transform his father from a silly guy to an eligible bachelor and his mother from a tomboy into the soft beautiful girl next door and make the two fall in love with each other. And this despite all odds (Om Puri and Kirron Kher get to PLAY the comedy baddies). And to give twist - there is Ranvijay and Neha Dhupia too! And what role they PLAY in the film. Ahem! Ahem!!! Are you really interested? What happens at the climax is definitely predicted.

The humour is neither sharp nor slapstick and alternates between so many amateurishly-edited scenes that you would purposefully not try to even find the loose ends. ACTION REPLAYY falls flat and is good and humorous only in parts. 
With Elvis Presley and a old Medley music to entertain - get Nostalgic, If you like the word 'Old is Gold'. Ash looks tired and overacts and Akki looks bored and does not reacts. And their performance falls flat. There is hardly some Action in this PLAY! (This actually is inspired from a Gujrati Play of the same name) Its Roy Kapoor who plays the son is a new talent to watch! And I am referring to 'watch' your time as he gets more screen presence in this Akki-Ash film. So, you would actually want a Time Machine to Stop or Pause at times, instead of Re-PLAYing it. Its Action Neeche (thumbs down) for this REPLAY, which is (for sure) not of a RE-PLAY value! I would not watch this film for the second time. I wished I could take my PSP at the multiplex to PLAY with at times when I wasn't interested to see the boring yawning scenes in the film! And once out of the theatres, you invariably start singing "
Zor Ka Jhatka.. hai Dheere se Lagaa!" 


Sundeep Malani, Film Critic