Monday, February 14, 2011

YRF's Khotey Sikkey - How real will it get?

YRF is back with a bang with a unique concept - a story of five affluent youngsters and an honest cop who walk on the path of eradicating urban crime in the society. The first fiction launched on Sony this year. YRF's Khotey Sikkey is the story of an unlikely gang – five priveleged youngsters and one stubborn cop who manage to solve various crimes in an unorthodox manner but emerge victorious.

Set somewhere in a plush South Bombay night club a young 22 year old over doses on drugs. Somewhere else a drunken 20 year old runs over sleeping street dwellers. Somewhere else a small group of 18 year olds get into a rabid fight after a rock concert – the rich in the city are getting richer by the day – their crimes are getting more random & more uncontrollable – the cops in the city are not able to deal with it – they cannot relate to the rich youth – they cannot understand their problems & they cannot help them in any possible way. Not only can they not understand or relate to them but they are also unable to investigate these crimes thanks to the clout and connections the rich criminals have. And this leads to immense frustration in the police force.

Senior Inspector Damodar Deshmukh is one such frustrated, honest cop who is unable to deal with the aggravation of having unsolved cases which remain unsolved because of the various obstructions that the rich are able to put in the path of his investigations. But what is one lone cop to do? Specially when he has no access to the worlds of the rich – in fact he has no access into their minds either. As he puts it, he can still understand crimes which have a motivation of hunger, greed, need – crimes committed daily by the poor, the dispossessed, the homeless. But he cannot understand why the rich, priveleged people commit crimes. And he cannot understand how to deal with it. That is until the day five young criminals with priveleged backgrounds land up in his police station lock up.

Hameer Rizvi, Uttara Bakshi, Mohit Kishenchandani, Ayush Khetarpal and Dilnaaz Shroff are five youngsters who have been arrested for various offenses ranging from drunken driving and internet hacking to theft and arson. Deshmukh’s simmering anger and annoyance at yet another manifestation of the crimes of the rich and priveleged turns to an inspiration which prompts him to use these youngsters to solve his current case – a seemingly pointless crime by an annonymous criminal who seems to belong to their background. He uses the threat of prison to convince them to help him gain access into the world of this criminal.

The five reluctant youngsters embark on this adventure initially to save their own skins but over a period of time they the reasons change going from sheer enjoyment to a sense of purpose to loyalty for Deshmukh who ultimately becomes a mentor.

YRF team has shot for the show in real-life situations and atleast the initial episodes have come out well. But it does carry a strong essence and influence of YRF's earlier venture "Powder". This is not only due to Hasan Zaidi and Vikas Kumar playing a role once again here after Powder, but the track and the shot takings as well as the story movements are more or less on the same lines - atleast that what seems in these initial episodes aired on the small screen till now.

Khotey Sikkey has Hasan playing the character of Mohit who is a complete alcoholic, and a street car racer. He is one character who buries a lot of anger within him, as his girl friend is in coma due to a mishap that he committed earlier. Then you have Puru Chibber who essays the role of Hameer Rizvi who is an out and out gambler. Dilkush plays the role of Delnaaz who is totally into drugs. Sukhmini Sadhana plays Uttara who is a typical recluse and does not like to be in a company. Mark Parikh essays Ayush who is a computer hacker. The role of the honest yet adamant cop is played by Vikas Kumar who was also earlier seen in Powder.

This product from YRF appears right now appears to be the hottest property on Sony Entertainment Television, and we are sure viewers would love it, especially the genx as its a far cry from the usual stuff of dance remixes n saas bahu rona dhona aired on all channels all the time...

Friday, February 11, 2011

A bold film for bold people... says Sundeep

Recently under the banner of Filmalani, Director Sundeep Malani screened his short films – Jo Jo Lali along with Hum Tum aur Loan and the promo of his thriller film Woh 5 Din..... however, the icing on the cake was the screening of Shayad – whose posters were screeching Sex is beautiful, Nudity is divine… With such a tag line, who can refrain from not being there to watch the premiere show of this sensuous movie? Naturally the turnout was over whelming with the likes of Sanjay Suri, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Kalpana Pandit, Sachin Chhabra, Kishore Namit Kapoor, Jayesh Sheth, and Mohan Das apart from a host of other models and facebook friends of Sundeep.  

Through Shaayad, Sundeep tried to touch a very niche area and tried to explore the relationship between two thick buddies, albeit of the opposite sex. A film dealing with sex, lust, love and betrayal, it also explores the other side dealing with companionship, emotions and understanding. The story revolves around Viveik and Jenica and their lives intertwined. Both Viveik and Jenica are flat mates and aspiring actors trying to make their mark in the fashion and film industry. The couple looks like being in a living in relationship at first as the very opening scene shows them lying on same bed in negligees and cuddled to each other. Later Viveik tries to be the perfect metrosexual male by even making Coffee for her.

However, the story takes a sharp drastic turn when Jenica moves out of her home and instead of proceeding to her meets, cancels her appointments and goes to meet up her designer boyfriend for some lusty sex. But wait, don’t let vague ideas flash your mind that this female is cheating on her husband or lover as the guy is also planning some different take. He logs on to Planet Romeo and hooks a guy and ends up calling him home for some moments of private pleasure. What follows next is a straight repeat from Madhur Bhandarkar’s scene from Page 3 where Konkona Sen Sharma catches her boyfriend with his pants down with a fashion designer.  This film too has Jenica walking in and repeating the same dialogue – Cant you guys close the door at least? Couldn’t have been anything different? There is. As Sundeep has given a twist to this scene with Viveik saying that Jenica knows that he is gay.

Sundeep Malani
Its only later at this stage it clears that she is in a relationship with that fashion designer (Vikramjeet) and who is too consumed with his work and not able to spend time with his girl friend, except on bed. Oh gosh!! Give a break!! Wondering what makes us say that? Well, if she is so consumed by love with her fashion designer boyfriend, then what is she sleeping with this guy (oops read gay) for? I strongly agree that two friends of opposite sex do share a room and stay together, but sleeping together?  But what is all the more unusual is that why do they need to play hide-and-seek and get onto their respective partners if they so much know about each others lives. This point remains unclarified though.

Later a bitter break-up follows between the girl and her boyfriend who has even forgotten her birthday. She comes home dejected only to be met with a caring birthday celebration and she is floored. But hold your horns… The girl starts fantasizing that the guy is making passionate sex to her, when she is interrupted in her dreams and brought back to the present by this gay room mate. She reveals to her homosexual flat mate that they could be a couple only if he was not gay, which goes to say that she is too confused about what she wants in life. 

What one fails to understand is what was in the mind of the director when he conceived this story. The story is not clear and as well fails to rise to any decent levels of film making - right from technicalities to story telling. If he wanted to portray a story on gay life and what happens behind closed doors, he could have tried something daringly different as Riyad Winci Wadia tried with BomGay - a decade and half back. Those were the dark times then and the subject was far more taboo than in today’s times where people no longer live in the closet.

Moreover, the smooching scenes between Viveik and his partner Rohan are shot very shoddily rather than aesthetically. One also might be wondering what had the tagline “Sex is beautiful, Nudity is divine” got to do with the basic storyline? Also the shot in the poster of a silhouette nude Viveik or a nude Viveik playing a guitar (as was splashed all over on facebook) has no semblance in the movie. Seems it was just shot to titillate and bring in the audiences and also to get the required attention as Viveik went ahead and gave a few interviews everywhere including Hindustan Times saying ‎'Nude is Sensuous. Porn is Titillating'. Wonder what do we call this short film as??

- Mohan Das
  Guest Editor
  Films & TV World Editor

Saturday, February 5, 2011


To showcase the diversity of contemporary independent cinema and producing short films on a wide and varied subject is one thing and getting it showcased is a another ball game altogether. Rather it’s a major task these days and naturally, most of our producers don’t want to invest in this medium as they don’t find a good platform to showcase their talent and reach out to the common audiences. Either the short films are relegated to the audiences at Film Festivals held across the country or at international venues and the effort of bringing a theme to the common man just remains a dream for lack of a proper platform to reach out to them.

Sundeep Malani
But Writer, Producer and Director- Sundeep Malani had a different take on this when he was making his short films. He wanted to reach out to the common man and thus he initiated a new concept - of showcasing his films at “The Malani Film Fest”. And to feed this new idea and get it widely accepted, Sundeep reached out to the audiences at large via the biggest networking site – Facebook and through other social contacts. His efforts have paid off and The Malani Film Fest that is being organized on 5th February 2010 at Star House, Mhada, Andheri (West), will be seeing a good mix of all types of audiences who have already confirmed their invites to the show.

The Malani Film Fest will be screening Jo Jo Laali, Shaayad, and Hum tum or Loan followed by a 10 minute showreel of his film Who 5 Din. While Shaayad will be screened for the first time, Jo Jo Laali was widely accepted by the audiences at a special screening conducted by Filmalani in Mumbai, Bangalore, New Delhi and Hyderabad. In fact, Los Angeles Distributor Quantum Releasing has acquired the worldwide rights of the film and its now making its way to the American Film Market at Santa Monica on March 4th. Meanwhile, Shaayad is making its way to the 3rd Bangalore Queer Film Festival (BQFF) to be held this year on 25th, 26th and 27th February 2011 and has been SELECTED for screening. This is one another step towards reaching out to the vast audiences.

JO JO LAALI (38 minutes) is a heart wrenching lullaby made in HINDI with a few lines in Kannada and English. Its about a classical dancer who falls in love with a photographer and they have a love child. The photographer turns out to be a flirt and she breaks up with him. Years pass by and for a shock, she gets to know that the child is infected the deadly virus HIV Aids. Its then she recalls what took place in her life and she moves on after she looses her loved ones. Produced by House of Pandit, it stars Kalpana Pandit, Akash Hora, Shrey Tejani. Music by Ricky Kej and Ameya Naik, it is been scripted and directed by Sundeep Malani.

SHAAYAD (28 minutes) is about a living relationship that has nothing to do with physical attraction. The couple who are friendly are in love, but it’s a bonding that they live on. A boyfriend who ditches her and a gay friend who loves her and the twist and turns at the climax is interesting. Very real and not filmy, it stars Jenica, Viviek and Vikramjit. Produced by Filmalani, it is scripted and directed by Sundeep Malani.

HUM TUM AUR LOAN (8 minutes) is a short film about a young family, happy, luxurious lifestyle but with problems of debts. They are unable to meet their ends. How they cope up with their life is what is dealt with. Starring Sheershika Kasarvalli and Aryaa Trilok. Produced by Life Is Entertainment, it is scripted and directed by Sundeep Malani

WOH 5 DIN (10 minutes) is a fun filled suspense thriller shot in Nainital. 4 Boys go out for vacation with fun and frolic and when they reach the destination, they face obstacles, problems and one by one, they get hooked and killed. Who is the murderer forms the thrilling suspense and is unveiled in an interesting climax. Featuring Piush Anand, Akash Hora, Mann Hora, Anant Joshi, Bhagyasri Rao, Jenica and Ruby Anand. It has music by Ricky Kej and score by Dev Chauhan. Produced by Bless Films and Pr, it is scripted and directed by Sundeep Malani.

This novel idea has actually taken off and quite a few are thinking of recreating this magic coming under one umbrella. If it really happens the way Sundeep has envisaged, short films will get a new lease of life and more and more people will look forward to putting their dreams onto reality.

The main attraction of this Film Fest will be the premiere of Sundeep's new short film "Shaayad" and will be attended by Kalpana Pandit, the producer and actress of Jo Jo Laali. Also confirmed guest list include Sanjay Suri, Viveik Vaswani, Aloknath and a bevy of film and TV personalities.

The Malani Film Fest is being organised by the House of Pandit, Filmalani, Bless Films & PR, Eon Films, Reproductions-the PR agency and is a Malani Talkies Presentation.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Eon Films SAAWARIYA I LOVE YOU is coming to the Cinema Halls this February 4th

Eon Films much awaited Bhojpuri family entertainer SAAWARIYA I LOVE YOU is coming to the Cinema Halls in Bihar and Jharkhand this February 4th. Presented by Mohan Das and produced by Shambhu Pandey under the banner of Shambhu Pandey Productions, this film is sure to be the flavour of the season as the hit pair of Damini - Vinnay Anand and Rani Chatterjee are once again coming together in the lead roles.

Co-produced by Sudeep Das, this film has all the ingredients of a complete entertainer with 11 songs, 7 fight sequences, romance, family drama and rib-tickling comedy set on a lavish scale. The film has good romantic songs penned by Pyarelal Yadav, Phanindra Rao and Arvind Tiwari which is put to music by Aman Shlok.

If Seema Singh’s colourful performance will enthrall the audience in her glamorous and intense sexciting item number, Mandira’s racy mujra in kathak style will make the audiences remember their lost loved ones. To add opulence and grandeur to the Mujra as was in the days of the rajahs and maharajas, the producers have spent lavishly to film this mujra aesthetically on a well designed haveli which will remind the Bhojpuri audiences of Bollywood mujras a-la Pakeezah style. It is sure to set new standards of film entertainment in Bhojpuri industry as the songs are efficiently captured in a brilliant framework by ace cameraman Pramod Pandey and editing is by Jitendra Singh Jeetu.

Directed by Rampal Singh with a supporting cast that includes Divya Dwivedi, Gorav Ghai, Deepak Dubey, Neeraj Bharadwaj, Mehnaz Shroff, Pari Singhania, Akhilesh Kumar and Aly Khan, Saawariya I Love You promises to be a movie experience that will bring the issue of widow remarriage once again to the fore. Containing every ingredient that sets it apart from conventional Bhojpuri Films, Saawariya I Love You is an electrifying story of a woman caught in a web of situations - a plot that has electrifying disclosures at every turn - is fast paced, and not at all superficial in its treatment with exceptionally skilful, high tension, gripping emotional drama with a profound moral debate at its heart.