Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Saaransh - Anupam Kher

Saaransh (1984) directed by Mahesh Bhatt was Anupam Kher's first outing as a lead actor. It was an amazing performance considering he was just touching 30's at that time and he enacted the role of an old man (grieving the death of his young son) in his 70's.

The movie also had Rohini Hattangadi, Soni Razdan, Madan Jain and Deepak Qaizer in pivotal roles.

Interesting trivia about Saaransh is that Mahesh Bhatt had zeroed in on Anupam Kher to play the main lead of Mr. Pradhan. However, the producers of the film thought that Anupam Kher, who was an unknown face at that time, would not go down well with the audiences and that he may not be accepted as a lead actor. Hence, the producers were insisting on casting a bankable actor like Sanjeev Kumar in the role of Mr. Pradhan.

Anupam Kher heard this piece of news (from a third source) and marched to Mahesh Bhatt's house to fight with him. He had a big fight with Mahesh Bhatt and Mahesh Bhatt tried to console him that he was not aware of what had happened. Thereafer, Mahesh Bhatt went over to the producer and made out the case for sticking with Anupam Kher as he had given him his word.

Needless to say, they made the movie Anupam Kher. I read in one of Anupam Kher's interviews that even Sanjeev Kumar came and told him that if he were to potray the character of Mr. Pradhan, he wouldnt' have been as convincing as Anupam Kher.

Mani Ratnam, Shaad Ali and Quentin Tarantino

Did anybody find any film-making similarities in Mani Ratnam's Yuva, Shaad Ali's Saathiya with that of the style of Quentin Tarantino's movies?

I thought that the basic style of showing the last few scenes as the opening sequences and then going through the story back and forth and then connecting it with the last scenes (that were shown first).

Now try and recollect the first few scenes of Yuva and Saathiya and how they were connected in the end.

Any thoughts?

Tom Dick and Harry

Tom Dick and Harry was released a few weeks back. This slapstick comedy is directed by Deepak Tijori and stars Jimmy Shergill, Dino Morea, Anuj Sawhney, Celina Jaitley and Kim Sharma. The musical assault is by Himesh Reshamiyya.

The movie is about three friends living together, one of whom is blind, one deaf and one dumb. And how these guys fall for the same girl is the story about Tom Dick and Harry.

Actually, this movie has been inspired from a play called "All The Best" which was originally a Marathi play and subsequently was staged in Hindi and Gujarati as well. I have seen the Hindi as well as Gujarati version and the play was absolutely fantastic! The comic timing and the performances were impeccable. The only regret I have is not having watched the original Marathi play. Hope to do it someday.

Perfect Film - V

While I have, in my previous posts, listed down what I felt were some of the perfect Hindi films ever made, I would like to specify that I may have left out (what others would have thought) the usual suspects like Satyajit Ray, Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt, Raj Kapoor etc. However, I dont think I have seen all the movies that these directors have made and hence my list of perfect films, could be out of sheer lack of knowledge (of other film-makers' films) as well.

As I said previously, that I have always wondered how difficult it would be for a director, who has delivered a perfect product, to come up with his next film, as they would be carrying the burden of huge expectations to match the success of their previous film. I would like to take this discussion in some of my later posts.

Anybody, any thoughts on these films?

Perfect Film - IV

Continuing from my previous posts on perfect film:

14. Anand (Hrishikesh Mukherjee) - Heart-wrenching story about a man, full of life, who knows that he is about to die. Rajesh Khanna played the role of a lifetime.

15. Chupke Chupke - Once again, one of the funniest Hindi film made. Hrishikesh Mukherjee was once again in fine form. One of Dharmendra's best performances.

16. Kabhi Kabhi (Yash Chopra) - A very matured love story with superb performances from Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor and Rakhee. Very well directed by Yash Chopra. Great music as well.

17. Silsila (Yash Chopra) - Once again Yash Chopra at the helm, a love story (probably) ahead of its time. Didn't do too well, but still remains one of my favourite romantic films. Superb music as well.

18. Swades (Ashutosh Gowariker) - Can you imagine Shahrukh underplyaing any character? Well, that's what he did here and this definitely one of my favourite Shahrukh movies (in terms of performance). Ashutosh Gowariker once again delivered after the super success of Lagaan.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Perfect Film - III

Continuing from my previous two posts:

8. Lagaan (Ashutosh Gowariker) - Cricket meets Film. The two things that are considered to be religions in India. It was always difficult for this movie to succeed. However, the premise of the film was something with which every common man could identify - victory against all odds.

9. Parinda (Vidhu Vinod Chopra) - Another look at the Mumbai underworld. Amazing performances and a very hard hitting film.

10. Saaransh (Mahesh Bhatt) - Probably, one of Anupam Kher's best performances. Mind you, this was his first film as a lead actor.

11. Andaz Apna Apna (Rajkumar Santoshi) - One of the funniest movies I have seen. Comic timing of Aamir Khan and Salman Khan was impeccable. Paresh Rawal was in top form as well.

12. Angoor (Gulzar) - True classic from Gulzar. Hindi film industry's very own Comedy of Errors.

13. Dil Chahta Hai (Farhan Akhtar) - Very cult, very stylish and yet simple. Brilliant direction.

Perfect Film - II

Continuing from my previous post, the list of perfect film according to me continues as follows:

3. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge (Aditya Chopra) - Perfect. Too good.

4. Satya (Ram Gopal Varma) - Stark look at and realistic potrayal of Mumbai's underbelly i.e., the Mumbai underworld.

5. Jaane Bhi do Yaaron (Kundan Shah) - They dont make movies like this any more. Funniest movie ever made especially the Mahabharata scene in the end. Just perfect.

6. Masoom (Shekhar Kapur) - Very poignant, very touching. Amazing performances from Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi and Jugal Hansraj (unofficially, his best performance till date) and very good direction by Shekhar Kapur.

7. Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (Mansoor Khan) - This movie came like a breath of fresh air. It started the trend of romantic movies once again in the late 80's which was mostly dominated by action films.

Perfect Film - I

I have always wondered what would it be like to direct a PERFECT FILM? Meaning, if a director makes a film which is perfect in all regards i.e., story, script, casting, performances, music, direction and to top it all, box office collections as well as critical acclaim. Based on the above criteria (which are illustrative only), there are many such Hindi films which qualify as perfect films. Of course, this is entirely my thinking and it may not find many takers. Personally, I find that these films have very little flaws in them. Of course, cant say that they are flawless, but on a conservative basis, I prefer to say that the flaws in such movies are minimal and almost non-existant.

Some of the perfect films that come immediatley to my mind are:

1. Sholay (Ramesh Sippy) - This is my all time favourite film (as would be already known if you've read my previous posts) and hence has to top the list.

2. Mother India (Mehboob Khan) - Arguably, one of the better films to be churned out by Hindi film industry and probably the best performances from Nargis and Sunil Dutt.

It is said that the romance between Nargis and Sunil Dutt started on the sets of Mother India. There was a huge fire on the sets of the film and Sunil Dutt saved Nargis from the fire.

Salman Khan - Maine Pyar Kiya

Salman Khan was not the first choice to play the lead actor in Maine Pyar Kiya (1988). It was directed by Sooraj Barjatya. The original lead actor was Faraaz Khan, who is the son of the villian of yesteryears Zubisco (the fair well built villian in Amar Akhar Anthony). However, just when the shooting of the film was about to begin, Faraaz had a bout of jaundice and he was out of action for almost two months. Sooraj Barjatya could not wait for two months and hence the role of "Prem" went to Salman Khan.

One man's illness turned out to be another's super-stardom.

Himesh Reshamiyya - Filmography

Some of the movies in which he has given music which has become popular are:

36 China Town (2006)

Shaadi Se Pehle (2006)

Aksar (2006)

Tom, Dick, and Harry (2006)

Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi (2005)

Kyon Ki (2005)

Aashiq Banaya Aapne(2005)

Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya (2005)

Dil Maange More (2004)

Aitraaz (2004)

Run (2004) (songs)

Zameen (2003)

Tere Naam (2003)

Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne (2003)

Humraaz (2002)

Yeh Hai Jalwa (2002)

Kyaa Dil Ne Kahaa (2002)

Jodi No.1 (2001)

Kahin Pyaar Na Ho Jaaye (2000)

Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge (2000)

Hello Brother (1999)

Bandhan (1998)

Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya (1998). He composed the song "Odh Li Chunariya" in the movie and the music of the rest of the album was by Jatin Lalit.

If you take a look at the above movies, Salman Khan figured in quite a few of them. No points for guessing why Himesh is so grateful to Salman Khan and owes his success to him.

Some of his forthcoming movies are:

Chup Chup Ke (2006) directed by Priyadarshan and starring Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Sunil Shetty and Neha Dhupia.

Phir Hera Pheri (2006) directed by Neeraj Vora starring Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal, Sunil Shetty, Bipasha Basu and Rimi Sen.

Milenge Milenge (2006)

Besides the above, he has also cut a music album called Aap Ka Suroor which is also topping the musical charts.

Himesh Reshamiyya is all over the place!!!!

Himesh Reshamiyya

These days, if you switch on to any television channel or a radio channel or for that matter, listen to the music of any new Hindi movie, there are 99% chances that you will either see or hear Himesh Reshamiyya. He's all over the place.

He's unarguably the current "flavour of the month" and his "month" seems to be getting longer by the day.

I have been reading from the media that apparently he has given 29 consecutive hit songs. Of course, most of these have been sung by him. Notwithstanding his nasal voice and that most of the people I have met do not like him or his voice, there is no denying that this man is on a roll and his popularity is soaring by the day. Of course, that has left many a music director fuming. Personally, I do not like him or his music (as I think he's very repetitive), but the final verdict is that of the people and they have declared him to be a hit and so that ought to be the end of discussion.

Before he became a successful music director, Himesh Reshamiyya had to struggle a lot. He had, at a very young age, started making television serials that were aired on Zee TV. He had produced and directed few serials, but I can remember only one name i.e., Amar Prem (whose title song was sung in a very nasal manner by Kumar Sanu) and it had Shekhar Suman (who was a peak of his television career at that time). There was this another serial he had made with Shekhar Suman but I cant remember its name.

Then he got break into films which according to Himesh was thanks to Salman Khan and thereafter there was no looking back.

So folks, sit back and enjoy the Himesh assault!!!

Aamir Khan controversy

The latest development on the controversy over Aamir Khan's comments on the rehabilitation of the farmers in Gujarat on account of the Sardar Sarover Dam is that the entire film industry rallied behind Aamir to support him in the stand that he has taken on the issue. Leading people from Hindi film industry such as Yash Chopra, Anil Kapoor, Amit Khanna, Mahesh Bhatt, Pahlaj Nihlani addressed a packed press conference yesterday (May 29, 2006) in support of Aamir Khan.

Even noted filmmakers such as Sudhir Mishra, Subhash Ghai, Ashutosh Gowariker and many others also gave interviews and came out in full support of Aamir Khan.

As a result of Fanaa not being released in Gujarat, Yash Chopra will lose business worth crores of rupees. Hence, by way of a magnamious gesture, Aamir Khan has informed Yash Chopra to deduct Rs. 2 crores from his remuneration from Fanaa towards the loss that he may suffer due to non-release of Fanaa in Gujarat.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Anand

Hrishikesh Mukherjee had written Anand with Raj Kapoor in mind and he had Rajesh Khanna in mind for Dr. Bhasker Banerjee's role. However, Raj Kapoor could not do the movie for some reason and the role of Anand went to Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan did the role of Dr. Bhasker Banerjee.

Casting of Yash Chopra's Darr

There was lot of intrigue involved in the casting of Yash Chopra's Darr. The movie had Shahrukh Khan and Sunny Deol as two lead actors. However, Shahrukh Khan was not the first choice to essay the role of Rahul. It was initially to be done by Aamir Khan. However, once shooting for the movie commenced, Aamir Khan walked out of the film over some differences (apparently over his true role in the movie vis-a-vis the script) being with Yash Chopra. After Aamir Khan, Ajay Devgan was tipped to do the role. However, that didn't work out either and finally, the role went into the lap of Shahrukh Khan, who tasted stupendous success with Darr.

Darr was Shahrukh Khan's first movie with Yash Chopra as a director.

It was also Shiv-Hari's last movie as music directors with Yash Chopra.

Zanjeer - Amitabh Bachchan

The role potrayed by Amitabh Bachchan in Zanjeer (1973) directed by Prakash Mehra was initially offered to Dev Anand, Dharmendra and Raj Kumar. But as luck would have it, they rejected it and upon Pran's recommendation (and after watching Amitabh's action sequences in Bombay to Goa), Prakash Mehra gave the role to Amitabh and the rest, as they say, is history.

Saif Ali Khan

Continuing from my earlier posts, Saif Ali Khan was earlier offered the role of Girish in the movie Parineeta, which role was eventually played by Sanjay Dutt. But Saif Ali Khan convinced Vidhu Vinod Chopra (Producer) and Pradeep Sarkar (Director) that he was fit to play the character of Shekhar and that's how he got the lead role in Parineeta (2005). Parineeta was directed by Pradeep Sarkar and had Vidya Balan (making her debut in Hindi films) and Sanjay Dutt in pivotal roles.

Saif was also offered the role in No Entry (2005), directed by Anees Bazmee, produced by Boney Kapoor and starring Anil Kapoor, Salman Khan, Fardeen Khan, Lara Dutta, Esha Deol and Celina Jaitley. But he refused the film as he could not identify with the character he was offered. The film went on to become one of the biggest hits of 2005.

Abhishek Bachchan - Yuva and Bunty Aur Babli

Like his father, Abhishek Bachchan also had to go through a fairly long spell of failures till he tasted sweet success. Amongst the films that wonders for Abhishek's career are (i) Yuva (2004) directed by Mani Ratnam and starring Ajay Devgan, Vivek Oberoi, Rani Mukherji, Esha Deol and Kareena Kapoor and Bunty Aur Babli (2005) directed by Shaad Ali and starring Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukherji with a very special appearance by Aishwarya Rai for the hit song "Kajra Re".

Both Yuva and Bunty Aur Babli were first offered to Hrithik Roshan and he had to say no to both these films as he had date problems.

And what these two movies did for Abhishek's career is known to everybody. As the fiery Lallan Singh in Yuva, Abhishek got a lot of critical acclaim and as the smart-alec-fast-talking Rakesh a.k.a. Bunty, he got both critical and commercial success.

There have been countless such instances in the Hindi film industry where one actor (some times more than one) rejects the movie and it goes to another actor who benefits tremendously from that movie. More about such instances, in some of my later posts.

The Killer - Inspired from Collateral

Just yesterday (May 28, 2006), I was watching TV and saw the trailer of "The Killer" starring Irfan Khan, Emraan Hashmi and Nisha Kothari. There were names of two directors whose name I couldn't remember, but they both seem to be new. However, I faintly recollect that the movie is being produced by Mukesh Bhatt. But I will verify and update this post.

Unfortunately, it looked like a very bad copy of Collateral (directed by Michael Mann and starring Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx and Jada Pinkett Smith). The trailer didn't even look interesting or appealing (poor production value!!!)

Just imagine:

Irfan Khan as Tom Cruise;
Emraan Hashmi as Jamie Foxx; and
Nisha Kothari as Jada Pinkett Smith. I'm not sure if she's playing her role because Jada Pinkett Smith didn't have an item song in Collateral.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Initial movies of Amitabh Bachchan – IX

Amitabh Bachchan – Before Amitabh became a huge star, angry young man and the legend that he is, he has acted in several movies most of which were unsuccessful with a sole exception of Anand. But Anand was a Rajesh Khanna show all the way but Amitabh did manage to hold on to his own and won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor award for the same. The movies Amitabh acted in before Zanjeer are as follows:

Saat Hindustani (1969) directed by Khwaja Ahmed Abbas and starring Utpal Dutt, Jalal Agha and A. K. Hangal.

Anand (1970) directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee and starring Rajesh Khanna and Sumita Sanyal.

Sanjog (1971) directed by S. S. Balan and starring Mala Sinha, Aruna Irani and Madan Puri.

Reshma Aur Shera (1971) directed by Sunil Dutt and starring Waheeda Rehman, Sunil Dutt, Rakhee Gulzar and Vinod Khanna.

Parwana (1971) directed by Jyoti Swaroop and starring Navin Nischol, Yogeeta Bali, Shatrughan Sinha and Om Prakash.

Pyar Ki Kahani (1971) directed by Ravi Kant Nagaich and starring Tanuja, Mala Sinha and Farida Jalal.

Raaste Kaa Patthar (1972) directed by Mukul Dutt and starring Shatrughna Sinha, Laxmi Chhaya and Prem Chopra.

Jaban (1972) directed by Palash Banerjee and starring Samit Bhanja and Radha Saluja.

Ek Nazar (1972) directed by B. R. Ishara and starring Jaya Bhaduri, Nadira, Tarun Bose and Asit Sen.

Bansi Birju (1972) directed by Prakash Verma and starring Jaya Bhaduri and Anwar Ali.

Bombay to Goa (1972) directed by S. Ramanathan and starring Aruna Irani, Shatrughan Sinha and Mehmood.

Saudagar (1973) directed by Sudhendu Roy and starring Nutan, Trilok Kapoor and Padma Khanna.

Bandhe Haath (1973) directed by O. P. Goyle and starring Mumtaz, Ajit and Madan Puri.

Initial movies of Top Stars – VIII

Juhi Chawla – Before giving her first hit in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1987) directed by Mansoor Khan and starring Aamir Khan, Dalip Tahil and Goga Kapoor, Juhi Chawla acted in another film called Sultanat (1986) directed by Mukul Anand and starring Dharmendra, Sunny Deol, Sridevi and Karan Kapoor.

Kunal Kapoor - Before getting recognition for his performance in Rang De Basanti (2006) directed by Rakyesh Om Prakash Mehra and starring Aamir Khan, Soha Ali Khan, Atul Kulkarni, Siddharth and Sharman Joshi, Kunal Kapoor acted in Meenaxi (2004) directed by the famous painter Maqbool Fida Hussain (a.k.a. M. F. Hussain) and starring Tabu and Raghuvir Yadav.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Fanaa - Controversy

I am sure that everybody is following the controversy that Fanaa is getting into even on the day of its release. Actually, make that controversies.

The movie is being released today worldwide. It was already in a controversy with regards to its release in the multiplexes and the news that have come today is that the producers of Fanaa Yash Raj Films have reached a settlment with the multiplexes and except a couple of multiplexes, Fanaa would be released everywhere in single screen theatres as well as multiplexes.

Another controversy that has been raging since last couple of days is Aamir's outburst against the Gujarat government in favour of Narmada Bachao Aandolan. Apparently, Fanaa has been banned in Gujarat. There are some youth leaders in Gujarat who have stated that they would not permit the movie to be released in Gujarat. So much so that even the Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh has come out in support of Aamir Khan and stated that every citizen of India must have the freedom of speech that has been granted by the Constitution of India.

Let's see how these controversies affect the box office collections of Fanaa as well as Aamir Khan's standing as a film star and as the newest crusader in favour of Narmada Bachao Aandolan.

Will keep you guys posted on the developments.

Initial movies of Top Stars – VII

Kunal Kemmu – Before becoming a full fledged lead actor in Kalyug (2005) directed by Mohit Suri and starring Smiley Suri, Emraan Hashmi, Deepal Shaw and Ashutosh Rana, he has starred in several movies as a child artiste. Some of the movies in which Kunal has acted in are as follows:

Sir (1993) directed by Mahesh Bhatt and starring Naseeruddin Shah, Paresh Rawal, Pooja Bhatt and Atul Agnihotri.

Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke (1993) directed by Mahesh Bhatt and starring Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla.

Naraaz (1994) directed by Mahesh Bhatt and starring Mithun Chakraborty, Pooja Bhatt, Atul Agnihotri and Sonali Bendre.

Aazmaiysh (1995) directed by Sachin and starring Dharmendra, Rohit Kumar and Anjali Jathar.

Raja Hindustani (1996) directed by Dharmesh Darshan and starring Aamir Khan and Karisma Kapoor.

Tamanna (1997) directed by Mahesh Bhatt and starring Pooja Bhatt, Paresh Rawal and Manoj Bajpai

Bhai (1997) directed by Deepak Shivdasani and starring Sunil Shetty, Sonali Bendre and Pooja Batra.

Dushman (1998) directed by Tanuja Chandra and starring Sanjay Dutt, Kajol and Ashutosh Rana.

Angaaray (1998) directed by Mahesh Bhatt and starring Akshay Kumar, Pooja Bhatt, Nagarjuna, Sonali Bendre and Paresh Rawal.

Zakham (1998) directed by Mahesh Bhatt and starring Ajay Devgan, Pooja Bhatt and Sonali Bendre.

Jugal Hansraj - Before becoming a full fledged lead actor in Aa Gale Lag Jaa (1994) directed by Hamid Ali Khan and starring Urmila Matondkar and Ajit, Jugal Hansraj has done a few movies as a child artiste. Some of the movies in which Jugal has acted in are as follows:

Masoom (1983) directed by Shekhar Kapur and starring Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi, Saeed Jaffrey, Tanuja and a very young Urmila Matondkar (also as a child artiste). Fortunately or unfortunately, till date, this remains Jugal Hansraj’s best performance and he has not had commercial success after becoming a lead actor.

Jhootha Sach (1984) directed by Esmayeel Shroff and starring Dharmendra and Rekha.

Sultanat (1986) directed by Mukul Anand and starring Dharmendra, Sunny Deol, Sridevi, Karan Kapoor and Juhi Chawla. Incidentally, this was Juhi Chawla’s debut film before she hit big time with Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak.

Karma (1986) directed by Subhash Ghai and starring Nutan, Naseeruddin Shah, Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Sridevi, Poonam Dhillon.

Initial movies of Top Stars – VI

Ahmed Khan – Before becoming a big time choreographer with Rangeela (1995) directed by Ram Gopal Varma and starring Aamir Khan, Urmila Matondkar and Jackie Shroff, he was one of the child actors in the super hit Mr. India (1987) directed by Shekhar Kapur and starring Anil Kapoor, Sridevi and Amrish Puri.

Karan Nath – Before becoming a full time lead actor with Paagalpan (2001) directed by Joy Augustine, he was also one of the child actor in the super hit Mr. India (1987) directed by Shekhar Kapur and starring Anil Kapoor, Sridevi and Amrish Puri.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Initial movies of Top Stars – V

Madhuri Dixit – Before Madhuri became a big “Ek Do Teen” queen in the movie Tezaab (1988) directed by N. Chandra and starring Anil Kapoor, Anupam Kher, Chunkey Pandey and Kiran Kumar, she did quite a few small roles and movies like (i) Swati (1986) directed by Kranthi Kumar and starring Meenakshi Sheshadri, Shashi Kapoor, Sharmila Tagore, Vinod Mehra and Akbar Khan; this was Madhuri’s first released film (ii) Abodh (1986) directed by Hiren Nag and starring Meenakshi Sheshadri, Shashi Kapoor, Sharmila Tagore (iii) Mohre (1987) directed by Raghuvir Kul (iv) Awara Baap (1987) directed by Sohanlal Kanwar and starring Rajesh Khanna and Meenakshi Sheshadri (v) Hifazat (1987) directed by Prayag Raj starring Ashok Kumar, Nutan and Anil Kapoor; this was her first film with Anil Kapoor (vi) Uttar Dakshin (1987) directed by Prabhat Khanna and starring Rajnikant, Jackie Shroff and Anupam Kher.

Tabu – Before getting head break as a lead actress in movies like (i) Vijaypath ((1994) directed by Farogh Siddiqui and starring Ajay Devgan (ii) Pehla Pehla Pyaar (1994) directed by Manmohan Singh and starring Rishi Kapoor, Anupam Kher and Amrish Puri and (iii) Prem (1995) directed by Satish Kaushik and starring Sanjay Kapoor and Pehla Pehla Pyaar, she acted in Hum Naujawan (1985) directed by Dev Anand and starring Dev Anand, Richa Sharma and Anupam Kher.

Initial movies of Top Stars - IV

Salman Khan – Before become a huge star in Maine Pyaar Kiya (1989) directed by Sooraj Barjatya and starring Bhagyashree and Alok Nath, Salman Khan acted in Biwi Ho To Aisi directed by J. K. Bihari and starring Farooq Shaikh, Rekha, Bindu and Kader Khan. He was younger brother to Farooq Shaikh in the movie.

Aftab Shivdasani – Before becoming a full fledged lead actor in Mast (1999) directed by Ram Gopal Varma and starring Urmila Matondkar and Antara Mali, Aftab acted in movies like (i) Mr. India (1987) directed by Shekhar Kapur and starring Anil Kapoor, Sridevi and Amrish Puri, (ii) Shahenshah (1988) directed by Tinnu Anand and starring Amitabh Bachchan, Meenakshi Sheshadri, Pran and Amrish Puri (iii) Chaalbaaz (1989) directed by Pankaj Parashar starring Sridevi, Sunny Deol and Rajnikant (iv) Awwal Number (1990) directed by Dev Anand and starring Aamir Khan, Aditya Pancholi and Ekta (v) CID (1990) directed by Ajay Goel and starring Vinod Khanna and Juhi Chawla and (vi) Insaniyaat (1994) directed by Tony Juneja and starring Amitabh Bachchan, Sunny Deol, Chunkey Pandey, Jaya Prada, Raveena tendon, Sonam and Anupam Kher.

Initial movies of Top Stars - III

Sanjay Dutt - Before making his debut with Rocky (1981) directed by his father Sunil Dutt and starring Tina Munim, Rakhee Gulzar and Reena Roy, Sanjay Dutt acted in Reshma Aur Shera (1971) directed by once again by his father Sunil Dutt and starring Waheeda Rehman, Sunil Dutt, Rakhee Gulzar, Vinod Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan.

Rishi Kapoor – Before making his debut with Bobby (1973) directed by his father Raj Kapoor and starring Dimple Kapadia, Pran and Prem Nath, Rishi Kapoor made his film appearance in Mera Naam Joker (1970) directed by Raj Kapoor and starring Rishi Kapoor, Simi Garewal, Rajendra Kumar and Manoj Kumar.

Initial movies of Top Stars - II

Hrithik Roshan – Before making his sensational debut with Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai (2000) directed by Rakesh Roshan and starring Amisha Patel, Hrithik did tiny roles in few movies such as (i) Aapke Deewane (1980)directed by Surendra Mohan and starring Rishi Kapoor Tina Munim and Rakesh Roshan (ii) Asha (1980) directed by J. Om Prakash and starring Jeetendra and Reena Roy and (iii) Bhagwan Dada (1986) directed by J. Om Prakash.

Incidentally, J. Om Prakash is Hrithik Roshan's grand father (i.e., his mother Pinky Roshan's father).

Jackie Shorff - Before making his hit debut with Hero (1983) directed by Subhash Ghai and starring Meenakshi Sheshadri, Sanjeev Kumar, Shammi Kapoor and Amrish Puri, Jackie Shorff did smaller roles in movies like (i) Heera Panna (1973) directed by Dev Anand starring Dev Anand and Zeenad Aman and (ii) Swami Dada (1982) directed by Dev Anand and T. K. Desai and starring Dev Anand, Mithun Chakraborty, Naseeruddin Shah, Padmini Kolhapure and Rati Agnihotri. Jackie Shorff played Shakti Kapoor's sidekick in this movie.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Initial movies of Top Stars - I

It is surprising to note that many leading actors / actresses, who hit big time with some movie, made small modest beginnings with obscure roles. Following are some of the actors who have made it big with their debut as leading actors but in fact did smaller roles in films before their big break.

Aamir Khan - Debut as a leading actor in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988) directed by Mansoor Khan and starring Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla. Also featured as a child artist in the title song of Yaadon Ki Baraat (1973) directed by Nasir Hussain starring Dharmendra, Zeenat Aman, Tariq and Neetu Singh.

Sridevi - Before she hit big time in Hindi film industry with Sadma (1983) directed by (Balu Mahendra and Hrishikesh Mukherjee) and starring Kamal Haasan and Sridevi, she acted as a child artiste in Julie (1975) directed by K. S. Setumadhava and starring Laxmi and Vikram. Of course, by the time Sridevi started acting in Hindi movies, she had acted in numerous South Indian films.

Anil Kapoor - Before he became a recognised leading actor with Woh Saat Din (1983) directed by Bapu and starring Anil Kapoor, Padmini Kolhapure and Naseerudin Shah, he did quite a few teeny weeny roles in movies like (i) Humare Tumhare (1979) directed by Umesh Mehra and starring Sanjeev Kumar and Rakhee Gulzar (ii) Hum Paanch (1980) directed by Bapu and starring Sanjeev Kumar, Shabana Azmi and Mithun Chakraborty) and (iii) Shakti (1982) directed by Ramesh Sippy and starring Dilip Kumar, Rakhee Gulzar, Amitabh Bachchan and Smita Patil.

Release of Fanaa

Fanaa, produced by Yash Raj Films, directed by Kunal Kohli and starring Aamir KHan and Kajol is releasing this Friday i.e., May 26, 2006. I was reading today's newspapers and the news is that they may release Fanaa only in single screen theatre and not in the multiplexes for the simple reason that Yash Raj Films are having disputes with multiplexes. And the dispute is over sharing the revenues of multiplexes. Apparently, Yash Raj Films want a larger percentage than what they are already getting and their argument is that we will share the risk wiht the multiplex owners and if the movie does well, they will want a higher percentage and if it does not do well, they will stick to the original rate. Multiplexes have not agreed to these terms as a result of which Fanaa may not be released in multiplexes.

Anybody, any thoughts?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Directors with original ideas

Continuing my earlier discussion, there have been many directors who've made some of the most memorable movies in Hindi cinema have been original. Some of the names that immediately come to my mind are Guru Dutt, Bimal Roy, Raj Kapoor, B. R. Chopra, Yash Chopra, Manmohan Desai, Prakash Mehra, Chetan Anand, J. Om Prakash, Basu Chatterjee etc.

Even some of the younger lot like Farhan Akhtar, Karan Johar, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Ram Gopal Varma have made movies that have been refreshingly original. Of course, Farhan Akhtar is re-making Don and Ram Gopal Varma was inspired while making Sarkar and is planning to re-make Sholay. The difference is that they are open about these remakes / inspirations and they actually ensure that the inspiration / remake is keeping in mind the taste of present Indian audiences.

Till sometime back, even David Dhawan used to make original and mindless movies. But since the past few years, he's also started raking up his bills on DVD rentals.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali started very well with Khamoshi and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, but with his "Miracle Worker" inspired Black. Technically, Black was very good, but as a movie, I wasn't too impressed.

In my next post, I'll try to list out some of the movies that have been inspired from hollywood flicks.

Phir Hera Pheri

Has anybody seen the video of the song "Yaad Sataaye Teri" from the forthcoming movie Phir Hera Pheri? Some parts of the song looked like the "They Dont Really Care About Us" video by Michael Jackson. Not the music, but the video.

Phir Hera Pheri is the sequel to the super hit Hera Pheri and it has almost the same star cast. It stars Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal, Sunil Shetty, Bipasha Basu and Rimi Sen. Tabu is absent in this sequel. Also, Priyadarsan, who had directed Hera Pheri is not at the helm of Phir Hera Pheri. Instead, it's being directed (and written) by Neeraj Vora, who was the writer of Hera Pheri as well.

The musical assault is by Himesh Reshammaiyya.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Yash Raj Films - Hike in ticket rates

Just a couple of days back, there was a story in one of the newspapers in Mumbai that Yash Raj Films have demanded a hike in their fees from the multiplex owners as a result of which the rates of tickets are expected to go up when the next Yash Raj Films production Fanaa releases this coming Friday i.e., May 26, 2006.

Yash Raj Films is considered to be one of the biggest film production house in India today. They have the money, they have the distribution network and they have the clout in the Hindi Film Industry. Now, they will control the ticket rates.

In any case, the ticket rates of some of the multiplexes in South Mumbai are touching Rs. 200/-, if they are hiked, very soon, it will be difficult for a common man and his family of four to enjoy a nice Hindi film in the multiplex.

Just imagine, if you take an average ticket rate at Rs. 150/- per ticket, then the cost of ticket for a family of four is Rs. 600/- and add another Rs. 500/- to Rs. 700/- for an average meal for that family. It would add upto almost Rs. 1200/- to Rs. 1300/- rupees. This could be one of the factors which may encourage piracy in VCD / DVD.

Anybody, any thoughts?

Kunal Kohli

Kunal Kohli is a film critic turned director.

He got prominence with music videos like 'Mera Long Gawacha' and 'Chui Mui See Tum Lagti Ho'. He also was the host of a film based programme called Chalo Cinema which primarily reviewed Hindi films.

His directorial debut was Mujhse Shadi Karogi (starring Hrithik Roshan, Rani Mukherji and Kareena Kapoor). It was produced by Yash Raj Films. This movie, although inspired from the hollywood flick "The Truth About Cats and Dogs" (starring Ben Chaplin, Uma Thurman and Jeanne Garofalo). However, it didn't do well at the box office. However, full marks to Kunal for trying to adapt the movie to suit the taste of Indian audiences.

Kunal's second movie was Hum Tum (starring Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukherji). This was also produced by Yash Raj Films. This time Kunal hits bulls eye and this movie was a big hit. Even this was inspired from the hollywood flick "When Harry Met Sally" (starring Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal). However, once again he adapted this very well to suit Indian audiences' taste. This time he was rewarded.

Kunal Kohli's third instalment Fanaa (starring Aamir Khan and Kajol) is hitting the screens this coming Friday i.e., May 26, 2006. Once again, this film is being produced by Yash Raj Films. I am totally looking forward to watch this film.

Zeher (Out of Time) / Tathastu (John Q)

For every movie that is genuinely inspired from Hollywood flicks, there are probably 5 movies that are blatantly copied.

In my earlier posts, I have already written as to how Zeher (directed by Mohit Suri and starring Emraan Hashmi and Shamita Shetty) was copied from Out of Time (Starring Denzel Washington and Eva Mendes) and Tathastu (starring Sanjay Dutt and Amisha Patel) was copied from John Q (starring Denzel Washington).

It is for moives like these that I feel that these film-makers do not show any creativity.

Koi Mil Gaya - ET

Continuing from my earlier post (in response to Girish's comment about nothing being wrong if movies are inspired), one of the more recent films that comes to my mind is Koi Mil Gaya that was clearly inspired from ET. However, it would be unfair to say that it was copied. I am not sure if Rakesh Roshan had gone on record to state that Koi Mil Gaya was inspired from ET. Though I remember him saying that Koi Mil Gaya was not the Indian version of ET. I think he was fair enough on both the counts.

Rakesh Roshan had clearly transformed the idea of ET into his own style and wrote the script / screenplay keeping the Indian audiences in mind as well as sticking to his own formula of film making. It was a typical Hindi film with the usual song'n'dance sequences, the standard comedy by Johnny Lever, a usual villain and to top it all, a very lovable character who is autistic and gets bullied by everybody at school but rises to the challenge, becomes almost super-human, but also comes back to his normal self in the end.

The movie did extremely well and got critical as well as commercial acclaim.

Akbar Khan's Taj Mahal

I just read in this morning's Bombay Times (May 22, 2006) that Akbar Khan is planning to re-release his magnum opus (is it really one?). Apparently, he's been inspired from the 'positive' response his film has received in Pakistan. Now, I'm not sure if positive response means box office collections or just publicity in the media.

Also, he felt that when the movie was released the first time around in India, the publicity was not done in a proper manner and hence the movie didn't do well. Just one question Mr. Akbar Khan, is inadequate publicity the only reason your movie Taj Mahal didn't do well?

Akbar Khan feels that this time around, if the publicity of his movie is done in a correct manner and then he re-releases his movie, then it would do good business. And the reason is Braveheart (starring Mel Gibson) did good business after re-releasing the movie.

Personally, I have no opinion on whether the movie will do well or not because I have not seen the movie. But from what I saw in the trailers, it is not inspiring. The movie has a star cast which is a who's who of the strugglers of the Hindi film industry. There's not even one actor who can pull in the crowds to the theatres. Here is wishing Mr. Akbar Khan all the very best for his Magnum Opus.

Anyways, so much for the re-release of Taj Mahal.

Comment - Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena - Confidence

On my last post (Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena - Inspired from Confidence), an avid blogger Girish has made the following comment:

>Is there something wrong in being inspired by another flick or in doing a >remake. I agree credits have to be given

I thought it best to write a post on the same. I partially agree with Girish and partially disagree. There's nothing wrong in being inspired from another movie or in doing a remake. There are many movies that have been inspired from other fims (mostly films from Hollywood) and they do not even give the credits. But these inspired movies have been suitably made to suit the Indian purposes.

And the other way to be inspired is to copy the movie frame to frame. That to me is zero creativity. Considering the field is considered to be creative, there is some element of creativity that needs to be shown by a filmmaker.

Giving credit to the original film / film-maker is to some extent being honest towards one's work. However, some of our film-makers do not even bother to do that while some genuinely give credit where it is due.

Girish further commented that:

> If you appreciate the contraints a Indian producer has to work in (he >really can't afford to buy the remake rights, plus the media looks down >on remakes). Plus its unfair to call inspiration a copy.

Hindi film industry is not what it used to be about 7-10 years ago. Today, funds are being channelised to the film industry in a much more transperent, correct and legal manner and the industry is slowly inching towards corporatization. In these circumstances, I cant buy the argument that an Indian producer has to work under financial constraints.

I am not sure who the industry works with regards to buying movie making rights. I agree that it would be expensive if the Indian producers were to ask the big Hollywood Studios for remake rights. However, I dont think media looks down on remakes. There have been movies that have been remade in Hindi (remakes of South Indian films) and these films have done well. Immediately, I can think of films like Dayavan, Ek Duje Ke Liye etc. that were re-made and were successful.

If the inspiration is genuinely adapted to Indian situations, then I agree that it would be unfair to call them 'copy.

However, if the inspiration is nothing but just a copy of another Hollywood flick, then I dont know any other word to use besides "copy".

In my next few posts, I will deal with movies that were good inspirations from Hollywood flicks and the movies that were shamelessly copied from Hollywood.

As an aside, just a thought before I part. Is the art of making an original movie lost? Unfortunately, there are very few film-makers today who make films on an original idea.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena and Confidence

Couple of weeks back, I was watching TV when on one of the channels was showing Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena. The movie stars Fardeen Khan, Koena Mitra, Feroz Khan, Kay Kay Menon and an ensemble cast.

I did not watch the movie from the beginning and had missed about 30-45 minutes of the film. And within 10 minutes of my watching it, I realised that it was copied from the hollywood flick Confidence directed by James Foley and starring Dustin Hoffman, Edward Burns and Rachel Weisz. I had seen Confidence and I quite liked the film especially the unexpected ending. Immediately upon realising that Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena was a rehash of Confidence, I changed channels as I didn't have the patience to sit through the movie..

Anybody (especially someone who has seen Confidence) has seen Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena completely? Would be interested in knowing to what extent the movie was copied.

Jatin Lalit

Jatin Lalit have composed music for over past two decades. I am not sure which was their first film as music directors. Some of the websites say that they started their music career with a film called Dil Hi Dil Main (1982) while some say that they started with Yaara Dildara (1991).

As far as I can remember, I remember Jatin Lalit getting recognition for their song “Bin Tere Sanam” from Yaara Dildara. Recently the same song was remixed and was a huge success.

However, they tasted big success in the year 1992 for Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, Khiladi and Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander and they were immediately catapulted into the bollywood big league. They have composed music for almost over two decades and have given big hits on many occasions and their music has wowed millions.

They have composed their music of the latest film Fanaa (starring Aamir Khan and Kajol, directed by Kunal Kohli and produced by Yash Raj Films) and this is possibly their last composition as a music director duo. They have decided to pursue thier music careers separately.

Jatin Lalit have composed hit music for Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan. All of Shahrukh’s big hits (nine of them) have had music by Jatin Lalit. The list of such movies is as follows:

Chalte Chalte (2003)
Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (2001)
Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani (2000)
Mohabbatein (2000)
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)
Yes Boss (1997)
Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge (1995)
Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1994)
Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman (1992)

They have given hit music for some of Aamir Khan hits as well. The list of such movies is as follows:

Fanaa (2006)
Sarfarosh (1999)
Ghulam (1998)
Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992)

They have given hit music for some of Salman Khan movies as well. The list of such movies is as follows:

Jab Pyaar Kisi Se Hota Hai (1998)
Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya (1998)
Khamoshi (1996)

They have given hit music for some of Kajol’s movies as well. The list of such movies is as follows:

Fanaa (2006)
Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (2001)
Dil Kya Kare (1999)
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)
Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya (1998)
Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha (1998)
Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge (1995)

Interesting trivia about Jatin Lalit is that both of them have acted in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander as students of one of the schools. Both of them have also sung songs in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander. These were the songs that were a part of the music contest in the film.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Cannes - Bollywood presence

As is being widely publicised in the media since the last few days, the who's who of Bollywood (read Hindi film industry) is attending the Cannes Film Festival in France. Right from Aishwarya Rai (does she go to Cannes every year), to Karan Johar to Mahesh Bhatt to Ajay Devgan. It is reported that over 30 bollywood film-makers are there at Cannes this year promoting their films.

One quick question - Is Cannes the place for our bollywood producers to 'sell' their films? Or are they there just because the world media desends on Cannes every year? Frankly, I dont know. Subject to correction, for some reason I was under the impression that film-makers at Cannes would essentially focus on marketing their films, forging international ties for film distributions etc. I have no idea how much of Bollywood or Indian cinema for that matter would get genuine commercial interests from international studios.

Aishwarya Rai gets all the media attention because she is apparently the most beautiful woman in the world and all that rubbish.

I dont know how many people would be able to identify with Karan Johar genre of movies. Or for that matter, what would be the sales pitch of a filmmaker like Mahesh Bhatt? Here is the Indian version of the latest hollywood flick? Would that kind of a sales pitch make any business?

Of course, the probable saving grace for Bollywood at Cannes this year could be Vishal Bharadwaj's Omkara which is an adaptation of William Shakespeare's Othello. Now, this is something that any cine-goer in the world would want to watch and understand as to how Vishal Bharadwaj would adapt the story of Othello interwined in the typical milieu of the state of Uttar Pradesh.Personally, I would be very interested in Omkara.

Anyways, so much for our Bollywood going international.

One quick question before I part: Has Aishwarya Rai made it in Hollywood?

Fanaa Trivia

The next big release of the year is Fanaa from Yash Raj Films. The title Fanaa means annihilation in Sufism, a mystic tradition of Islam. It also means destruction or destroyed in love in Urdu|Hindi. In Urdu/Hindi, it can convey the meaning of totally lost in love, or completely encapsulated by love.

The movie has been directed by Kunal Kohli and produced by Yash Raj Films. Kunal Kohli had earlier directed Hum Tum for Yash Raj Films. The film also stars Shiney Ahuja, Rishi Kapoor and Kiron Kher and Tabu, Lara Dutta, Sahil Chaudhry and Vishal Rampal in special appearances.

The script of the movie has been kept secret by the director. Director Kunal Kohli sent Aamir Khan and Kajol a draft of the script, hoping they would agree with each other. His plan backfired - each of them sent back their revised versions of the script, with their own little adjustments, which included more depth and flesh to their own characters and less to the others.

The film is highly anticipated as it marks the end of Kajol's four year sabbatical from the film industry. It also brings together for the first time ever the mercurial talents of Aamir Khan and Kajol. The two worked together in Ishq, but were not paired opposite each other.

Zooni Ali Beg (Kajol) is a blind Kashmiri girl who travels for the first time all alone. On her journey, she meets Rehan Qadri (Aamir Khan), a casanova and tour guide. Although her friends warn Zooni about him, she still wants to experience the feeling of being in love for the first time and spends time with him. They travel Delhi and Rehan shows her the city and starts to develop feelings for her but he also keeps a secret from her that his ulterior motives may threaten her life.

The film was shot in Poland, because Kajol refused to shoot in the valleys of Jammu and Kashmir fearing terrorist attacks. The film was also shot shot in several historical locations in Delhi including the Red Fort, Jantar Mantar, Qutub Minar, Purana Qila and Lodhi Gardens.

The music of Fanaa is by Jatin Lalit is becoming quite popular and is climbing the music charts especially the melidous "chaand sifaarish" sung by Shaan and Kailash Kher. Interestingly, this is Jatin Lalit’s last movie together as composer duo because they have decided to pursue their music careers separately. Jatin Lalit have composed some chart busting numbers over the years and they have always given their best for a Shahrukh Khan film. More about that, in my next post.

Leading winners of Filmfare Best Choreographer Award

Leading winners of Filmfare Best Choreographer Award

Although the awards started in 1953, the best choreography category did not start until 1996. Frequent winners include Farah Khan (5) and Saroj Khan (2).

Farah Khan holds the record for winning most number of Filmfare Award for Best Choreographer. She has won it five times for:

Idhar Chala –Koi… Mil Gaya (2003)
Dil Chahta Hai (2001)
Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai – Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai (2000)
Chhaiyya Chhaiyya – Dil Se (1998)
Dhol Bajne Laga – Virasat (1997)

Farah Khan became a choreographer quite by chance. She was an assistant director to Mansoor Khan for the movie Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander and just before Mansoor commenced shooting the song Pehla Nasha, for some reason, Saroj Khan could not make it for the shooting and Mansoor immediatley summoned Farah to step in and choreograph the song. I think Pehla Nasha was the only song choreographed by Farah Khan in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander and till date, it remains one of the most beautifully choreographed song. Interestingly, Pehla Nasha became the first song in the history of hindi film industry to be shot in slow motion.

Saroj Khan has won this award two times for:

Dola Re – Devdas (2002)
Nimbooda – Hum dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Filmfare Awards - Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai

Besides Black, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge and Madhumati, even Rakesh Roshan's Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai had a rich haul at the Filmfare Awards. Although I dont remember how many total Filmfare Awards did Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai win, but the major categories in which it won awards are:

Best Film – Rakesh Roshan

Best Director – Rakesh Roshan

Best Actor – Hrithik Roshan

Best Debut – Hrithik Roshan

Best Music – Rajesh Roshan

Best Male Playback Singer (Naa Tum Jaano Na Hum) – Lucky Ali

Best Choreographer – Farah Khan

Filmfare Awards - Madhumati

Madhumati had won 9 Filmfare Awards and held the record for winning maximum Filmfare Awards from 1959 till 1996, when Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge bettered it with 10 awards.

Madhumati won in the following categories:

Best Film—Bimal Roy

Best Director—Bimal Roy

Best Editor—Hrishikesh Mukherjee

Best Music Director—Salil Choudhury

Best Playback Singer – Female—Lata Mangeshkar For the song 'Aaja Re Pardesi'

Best Supporting Actor—Johnny Walker

Best Art Director—Sudhendu Roy

Best Cinematographer—Dilip Gupta

Best Dialogue Writer—Rajinder Singh Bedi

Filmfare Awards - Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge

Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge has won 10 Filmfare Awards and some of the awards won in the major categories are:

Best Film – Yash Chopra

Best Director – Aditya Chopra

Best Actor – Shahrukh Khan

Best Actress – Kajol

Best Supporting Actress – Farida Jalal

Best Comedian – Anupam Kher

Best Lyrics (Tujhe Dekha) – Anand Bakshi

Best Male Playback (Mehendi Laga Ke Rakhna) – Udit Narayan

Amrish Puri had a huge regret that he did not win the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor as the film had won all the awards in the main categories (Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress).

Another low point for this film is that it did not win the Filmfare Best Music Award as that year, the award went to A. R. Rahman for Rangeela.

Films to have won maximum Filmfare Awards

Films to have won maximum Filmfare Awards

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black holds the record of winning maximum Filmfare Awards ever. It picked up 11 Filmfare Awards at the 51st Fair One Filmfare Awards, which are as follows:

Best Film – Black

Best Director – Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Best Actor – Amitabh Bachchan

Best Actress – Rani Mukerjee

Best Supporting Actress – Ayesha Kapur

Critics Award for Best Actor – Amitabh Bachchan

Critics Award for Best Actress – Rani Mukherjee

Critics Award for Best Film – Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Best Cinematography - Ravi K Chandran

Best Background Score – Monty

Best Editing – Bela Sehgal

Black is followed by Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge which held the record of winning 10 awards from 1996 till 2005. The record was earlier held by Madhumati (which had won 9 Filmfare Awards) from 1958 till 1996 i.e., for almost 38 years.

More about the Filmfare Awards won by Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge and Madhumati in my next postings.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Filmfare Award for Best Villain

Filmfare Award for Best Villian

Any guesss why didn’t Amjad Khan (Gabbar Singh), Amrish Puri (Mogambo), Anupam Kher (Dr. Dang), Gulshan Grover (Kesariya Vilayti) and many more actors like Pran, Prem Chopra, Ajit and Jeevan never won any Filmfare Award for Best Villain?

The reason is that although the Filmfare Awards were started way back in 1953, the awards for the best villain category was started only in 1991 and hence some of the meanest characters ever potrayed in Hindi films, have never won this award. However, this category has seen some very interesting winners over the past years since 1991. Some of them are:

1. Sadashiv Amrapurkar was the first receipient of this award in the year 1991 for his potrayal as “Maharani” in Sadak.

Sadak was inspired by Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver (starring Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster)

2. Kajol was the first woman to win an award under this category for Gupt (1997).

3. Priyanka Chopra has won this award for Aitraaz (2004)

4. Ashutosh Rana has won two back to back awards for Sangharsh (1999) and Dushman (1998).

5. Nana Patekar has won this award twice for Apaharan (2005) and Angaar (1992).

6. Some of film industry’s leading actors have won awards in this category such as:

Shahrukh Khan for Anjaam (1994)
Sunil Shetty for Dhadkan (2000)
Akshay Kumar for Ajnabee (2001)
Ajay Devgan for Deewangee (2002)

Leading winners of Filmfare Best Female Playback Singer Award

Leading winners of Filmfare Best Female Playback Singer Award

Although the awards started in 1953, awards for the best female playback category started nearly ten years later in 1962.

Frequent winners include Alka Yagnik (7), Asha Bhosle (7) and Kavita Krishnamoorthy (4).

Alka Yagnik holds the record (alongwith Asha Bhosle) of winning most number of Filmfare Best Female Playback Singer Award. She has won the award seven times for:

Hum Tum – Hum Tum (2004)
O Rey Chori – Lagaan (2001
Dil Ne Yeh Kaha Hai Dil Se – Dhadkan (2000)
Taal Se Taal – Taal (1999)
Zara tasveer Se Tu – Pardes (1997)
Choli Ke Peeche – Khalnayak (with Ila Arun) (1993)
Ek Do Teen – Tezaab (1988)

Asha Bhosle also holds the record of winning most number of Filmfare Best Female Playback Singer Award. She has won the award seven times for:

Yeh Mera Dil Pyaar Ka Deewana – Don (1978)
Chain Se Kabhi – Pran jaaye Par Vachan Na Jaaye (1974)
Hone Lagi Hai Raat Jawan - Naina (1973)
Dum Maro Dum – Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1972)
Piya Tu Ab To Aaja – Caravan (1971)
Parde Mein Rehne Do – Shikaar (1968)
Garibon Ki Suno – Dus Lakh (1967)

Kavita Krishnamurthy has won the Filmfare Best Male Playback Singer Award four times for:

Dola Re – Devdas (with Shreya Ghoshal) (2002)
Aaj Main Upar – Khamoshi (1996)
Mera Piya Ghar Aaya – Yaaraana 91995)
Pyaar Hua Chupke Se – 1942 A Love Story (1994)

Leading winners of Filmfare Best Male Playback Singer Award

Leading winners of Filmfare Best Male Playback Singer Award

Although the awards started in 1953, awards for the best playback category started in 1959. This was common for both male and female. It was from 1967 onwards that there were separate categories for male and female playback singing.

Frequent winners include Kishore Kumar (8 awards), Mohammed Rafi (6), Kumar Sanu and Udit Narayan (5). Kumar Sanu's 5 awards were in a row from 1990-1994.

Kishore Kumar holds the record of winning most number of Filmfare Best Male Playback Singer Award. He has won the award eight times for:

Saagar Kinaare – Saagar (1986)
Manzilein Apni Jagah – Sharaabi (1984)
Hume Aur Jeene Ki – Agar Tum Na Hote (1983)
Pag Ghunghroo Baandh – Namak Halal (1982)
Hazaar Raahein Mudke Dekhi – Thodisi Bewafai (1980)
Khaike Pan Banaraswala – Don (1978)
Dil Aisa Kisi Ne – Amanush (1975)
Roop Tera Mastana – Aradhana (1969)

Mohammed Rafi has won the Filmfare Best Male Playback Singer Award six times for:

Kya Hua Tera Vaada – Hum Kissi Se Kum Nahin (1977)
Dil Ke Jharoke Main – Brahmachari (1968)
Baharon Phool Barsao – Suraj (1966)
Chahunga Main Tujhe – Dosti (1964)
Teri Pyari Pyari Surat – Sasural (1961)
Chaudhvin Ka Chand - Chaudhvin Ka Chand (1960)

Kumar Sanu has won the Filmfare Best Male Playback Singer Award five times for:

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha – 1942 A Love Story (1994)
Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhen – Baazigar (1993)
Deewana – Deewana (1992)
Mera Dil Bhi – Saajan (1991)
Ab tere Bin – Aashiqui (1990)

Udit Narayan has won the Filmfare Best Male Playback Singer Award five times for:

Mitwa – Lagaan (2001)
Chand Chupa – Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)
Pardesi Pardesi – Raja Hindustani (1996)
Mehendi Laga Ke Rakhna – Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge (1995)
Papa Kehte Hain – Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988)

Monday, May 15, 2006

Leading winners of Filmfare Best Lyrics Award

Leading winners of Filmfare Best Lyrics Award

The awards were first given in 1953, however the Award for the best lyricist was first given in 1958. Multiple winners include Gulzar (9 awards), Javed Akhtar (7), Anand Bakshi (4), Shakeel Badayuni (3) and Sameer (3).

Gulzar holds the record of winning most number of Filmfare Best Lyricist Award. He has won the award nine times for:

Kajra Re - Bunty Aur Babli (2005)
Saathiya – Saathiya (2002)
Chhaiyya Chhaiyya – Dil Se (1998)
Yaara Seeli Seeli - Lekin (1991)
Mera Kuch samaan – Ijaazat (1988)
Tujhse Naraaz Nahin – Masoom (1983)
Hazar Rahein – Thodisi Bewafai (1980)
Aanewala Pal - Golmal (1979)
Do Deewane Shaher Main – Gharonda (1977)

Javed Akhtar has won Filmfare Awards for Best Lyrics seven times for:

Tere Liye – Veer Zaara (2004)
Kal Ho Naa Ho - Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003)
Mitwa – Lagaan (2001)
Panchi Nadiya – Refugee (2000)
Sandese Aate Hain – Border (1997)
Ghar Se Nikalte Hi – Papa Kehte Hain (1996)
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha – 1942 A Love Story (1994)

Anand Bakshi has won Filmfare Awards for Best Lyrics four times for:

Ishq Bina – Taal (1999)
Tujhe Dekha – Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge (1995)
Tere Mere Beech Main – Ek Duje Ke Liye (1981)
Aadmi Musafir Hain – Apnapan (1978)

Shakeel Badayuni has won Filmfare Awards for Best Lyrics three times for:

Kahin Deep Jale – Bees Saal Baad (1962)
Husnawale Tera Jawab – Gharana (1961)
Chaudhavin Ka Chand - Chaudhavin Ka Chand (1960)

Sameer has won Filmfare Awards for Best Lyrics three times for:

Ghunghat Ki Aad Se – Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke (1993)
Teri Umeed Tera Intezaar – Deewana (1992)
Nazar Ke Saamne - Aashiqui (1990)

Leading winners of Filmfare Best Music Award

Leading winners of Filmfare Best Music Award

The awards were first given in 1953. Multiple winners include Shankar Jaikishen (9 awards), Laxmikant Pyarelal (7), A.R. Rahman (5), Nadeem-Shravan (4) and R.D. Burman (3).

This includes 4 times in a row for Laxmikant Pyarelal (1977/78/79/80), and 3 times in a row for Nadeem-Shravan (1990/91/92) and Shankar Jaikishen (1970/71/72).

Shankar Jaikishen hold the record for winning most number of Filmfare Awards for Best Music. They have won this award nine times for:

Beimaan (1972)
Mera Naam Joker (1971)
Pehchaan (1970)
Brahmachari (1968)
Suraj (1966)
Professor (1962)
Dili Apna Aur Preet Parayee (1960)
Anari (1959)
Chori Chori (1956)

Laxmikant Pyarelal have won Filmfare Awards for Best Music seven times for:

Karz (1980)
Sargam (1979)
Satyam Shivam Sundaram (1978)
Amar Akbar Anthony (1977)
Jeene Ki Raah (1969)
Milan (1967)
Dosti (1964)

A. R. Rahman has won Filmfare Awards for Best Music five times for:

Saathiya (2002)
Lagaan (2001)
Taal (1999)
Dil Se (1998)
Rangeela (1995)

Nadeem Shravan have won Filmfare Awards for Best Music four times for:

Raja Hindustani (1996)
Deewana (1992)
Saajan (1991)
Aashiqui (1990)

R. D. Burman has won Filmfare Awards for Best Music three times for:

1942 – A Love Story (1994)
Masoom (1983)
Sanam Teri Kasam (1982)

Krrish Trivia

Krrish is an upcoming sci-fi Bollywood movie directed by Rakesh Roshan, slated for release on June 16, 2006. The film is a sequel to Koi... Mil Gaya. The movie will star Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Rekha, Naseeruddin Shah with a cameo by Preity Zinta, who was Hrithik’s love interest in Koi… Mil Gaya. The movie will be subsequently dubbed in Tamil and Telugu.

Rohit (Hrithik Roshan) and Nisha (Preity Zinta) are married and they have a kid. They both die in a car accident. The kid starts growing up in his grand mother's care. As he is growing up, he discovers that he has superpowers, which the alien, Jadoo in Koi... Mil Gaya, transferred into his father. The movie basically shows how he deals with his power and save the world from a villain, played by Naseeruddin Shah.

The movie was previously titled was "Koi ... Tumsa Nahin" - a song in the movie is still titled this way.

Hrithik Roshan received special training in Hong Kong with his trainer was Siu-Tung Ching, for the special leap he makes in this film. Apparently, his character has no powers, but is very strong and can leap 30 feet in the air. Hrithik Roshan had a near-fatal accident shooting for a scene in this movie, but escaped unharmed

While performing a stunt scene on a circus set Hrithik Roshan suffered a hamstring tear in his right leg. Doctors prescribed bed rest for two weeks but he continued shooting after two days using pain killers. He also singed his hair while running through a fire in another action scene.

Amrita Rao and Aishwarya Rai were also considered for the role of Priya. But Rakesh Roshan saw Priyanka's performance in a special screening of Aitraaz (2004) and was so impressed that he decided to cast her instead.

The song "Main Hoon Voh Aasman" is "inspired" by score from the game The Dig composed by Michael Land and Richard Wagner.

The father / son (director / actor) combination of Rakesh Roshan and Hrithik Roshan has worked very well in the past. Krrish will be Hrithik Roshan's third movie with his father Rakesh Roshan. Earlier, they have done Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai and Koi... Mil Gaya.

Interestingly, both Hrithik Roshan and Rakesh Roshan won filmfare awards for Best Actor and Best Director respectively for both Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai and Koi... Mil Gaya. Both Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai and Koi... Mil Gaya also won the Filmfare Best Film Award.

Leading winners of Filmfare Best Director Award

Filmfare Award for Best Director

The award was first given in 1953. Frequent winners include Bimal Roy (7 awards), Raj Kapoor and Yash Chopra (4 each). Bimal Roy won the award thrice in a row on two separate occaisions (1953 1954 1955 and 1958 1959 1960).

Bimal Roy holds the record of winning the Filmfare Best Director Award seven times for:

Bandini (1963)
Parakh (1960)
Sujata (1959)
Madhumati (1958)
Biraj Bahu (1955)
Parineeta (1954)
Do Bigha Zameen (1953)

Raj Kapoor has won the Filmfare Best Director Award four times for:

Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985)
Prem Rog (1982)
Mera Naam Joker (1971)
Sangam (1964)

Yash Chopra has won the Filmfare Best Director Award four times for:

Deewar (1975)
Daag (1973)
Ittefaq (1969)
Waqt (1965)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Leading winners of Filmfare Best Actress Award

Actresses who have won Filmfare Award for Best Actress most number of times:

Nutan holds the record of most Filmfare Award for Best Actress and has won it five times for:

Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki (1978)
Milan (1967)
Bandini (1963)
Sujata (1959)
Seema (1956)

Meena Kumari has won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress award four times for:

Kaajal (1965)
Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962)
Parineeta (1954)
Baiju Bawra (1953)

Madhuri Dixit also has won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress award four times for:

Dil To Paagal Hai (1997)
Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (1994)
Beta (1992)
Dil (1990)

Amitabh Bachchan with Yash Chopra

Movies of Amitabh Bachchan directed by Yash Chopra

Although I’ve liked Amitabh Bachchan’s movies with Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Manmohan Desai and Prakash Mehra, his movies with Yash Chopra have been my favourites. It can be termed as plain bias.

Movie: Deewar (1975)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Rakhee, Shashi Kapoor, Parveen Babi, Shashi Kapoor, Iftekhar
Directed by: Yash Chopra
Music by: R.D. Burman

One of the first ventures between Yash Chopra and Amitabh Bachchan and they hit bullseye. Gripping drama of a mother and his two sons, one a police inspector and another as a gangster. Amitabh once again as the angry young man (and once again as Vijay) who’s out to get his due from the society even if it means being on the wrong side of the law. Although music was not a main focus area in the movie, R. D. Burman music was good especially the “Keh Doon Tumhe” teeny bopper song which was (and still is) a rage. Just that today’s generation prefers to listen to the jazzed up version of Keh Doon Tumhe as remixed by DJ Aqeel.

Movie: Kabhi Kabhi (1976)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Rakhee, Shashi Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Singh, Waheeda Rehman
Directed by: Yash Chopra
Music by: Khayyam

In my view, Yash Chopra managed to pull off one of the most matured love stories of the Hindi film industry. The scene where Shashi Kapoor finds out that Amitabh and Rakhee were involved in a relationship that did not work out and his performance and dialogue delivery and Amitabh’s response to that is one of the best scenes I have ever seen. If you don’t remember what I’m talking about, then I’d strongly recommend you watch it on DVD / VCD. It is one of the most matured discussion between a guy who got the girl with a guy who did not get the girl. Very well executed performances. Music by Khayyam was unforgettable. The music of this film till date remains one of my favourite. All the songs are very good especially “Main Pal Do Pal Ka Shayar Hoon” and “Kabhi Kabhi” and Amitabh’s rendition of the poetry “Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Main Khayaal Aata Hai”. Just too good.

Movie: Trishul (1978)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Rakhee, Sanjeev Kumar, Shashi Kapoor, Hema Malini, Poonam Dhillon, Waheeda Rehman
Directed by: Yash Chopra
Music by: Khayyam

Powerful performances and a gritty story. One more angry-young-man performance from Amitabh equally supported by Sanjeev Kumar and Shashi Kapoor. Another hit from the Amitabh Bachchan – Yash Chopra combination. Khayyam, once again was in good form and came out with one of his better compisitions in this movie. In one of his press interviews, Khayyam had said that Yash Chopra was a little apprehensive about Khayyam doing the music for his films as Khayyam was known for his classical music and this movie needed some youthful songs. Khayyam took up the challenge and came up with chartbuster numbers for this movie.

Movie: Kaala Patthar (1979)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Rakhee, Shashi Kapoor, Parveen Babi, Shatrughan Sinha, Neetu Singh, Prem Chopra
Directed by: Yash Chopra
Music by: Khayyam

A story about a Navy Officer who’s trying to forget his past by working in a mine. This movie also highlighted the working conditions of miners. Amitabh was well supported by Shashi Kapoor, Shatrughan Sinha, Rakhee and Parveen Babi. Music of this film was not such a great highlight but Kishore Kumar song “Ek Raasta Hai Zindagi” picturised on Shashi Kapoor is a great peppy number. Once again the Amitabh Bachchan – Yash Chopra hit the bulls eye.

Movie: Silsila (1982)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Jaya Bachchan, Rekha, Sanjeev Kumar, Deven Verma
Directed by: Yash Chopra
Music by: Shiv-Hari

Unfortunately, the Amitabh Bachchan – Yash Chopra combination failed to work their magic to turn into box-office success. This movie had arguably the casting coup of all times in the Hindi film industry. Who would have imagined that Yash Chopra would bring together Amitabh Bachchan, Rekha and Jaya Bachchan for this film, the simple reason being at that point of time, the rumours of Amitabh’s alleged affair with Rekha was at its height and Jaya Bachchan was already Amitabh’s wife. I would definitely be interested in knowing how he pulled off this casting coup. Yash Chopra was initially planning to make this film with Hema Malini and Smita Patil.

In any case, this remains one of my favourite love story. Amitabh and Rekha’s chemistry on screen is unmatched. The only pair that resembles them in today’s time is Shahrukh Khan – Kajol’s pairing. With this movie, Shiv – Hari made their debut as music directors for films. Both Shiv Kumar Sharma (Santoor) and Hari Prasad Chaurasia (Flute) were already big musicians in their own right. Yash chopra got them together and they created one of the phenomenal music album. All the songs of the film are first rate.

One possible reason for the failure of the movie could be that it dealt with extra-marital affair, which probably was way ahead of its time in 1982. In one of the TV interviews, Yash Chopra has said that Silsila and Lamhe (another failure from Yash Chopra) will always remain his favourite movies.

Movie: Veer-Zaara (2004)
Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Rani Mukherjee, Amitabh Bachchan
Directed by: Yash Chopra
Music by: The late Madan Mohan (Music Recreated by: Sanjeev Kohli)

Amitabh had a tiny role in this movie and was nothing notable in terms of performance.

Amitabh Bachchan with Prakash Mehra

Movies of Amitabh Bachchan directed by Prakash Mehra

Movie: Zanjeer (1973)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bhaduri, Ajit, Bindu, Pran, Iftekhar, Om Prakash, Keshto Mukherjee
Directed by: Prakash Mehra
Music by: Kalyanji-Anandji

Without a doubt, Zanjeer was the most defining movie in Amitabh’s career. It is now almost a legend that after a series of flops, Amitabh was returning to his hometown and that’s when he got this opportunity from Prakash Mehra. Prakash Mehra had approached many big stars such as Dharmendra, Dev Anand, Raj Kumar etc., to play the lead in Zanjeer but all of them had turned down this role. In one of his TV interviews, Pran had said that he suggested Amitabh’s name to Prakash Mehra and made Prakash watch Amitabhs’ action scenes in Bombay to Goa. After that, Prakash Mehra offered Amitabh the role of Inspector Vijay in Zanjeer, which role made him the angry young man, which image stayed with him for almost two decades. All odd’s were against Amitabh succeeding as a lead actor. He wasn’t good looking, he had no songs in the movie, he was not a recognized / established actor to pull in the crowds. But still, the movie did rocking business and catapulted Amitabh to a star status. Memorable performances from Pran, Jaya Bhaduri and Ajit. The script of Zanjeer was one of the many by Salim-Javed in their ‘Angry Young Man’ scripts that they wrote for Amitabh.

Movie: Hera Pheri (1975) Review
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Saira Banu, Vinod Khanna, Shabana Azmi
Directed by: Prakash Mehra
Music by: Kalyanji-Anandji

One more hit from Amitabh – Vinod. The movie was a complete entertainer as it had music, romance, action, drama. It was amazing the number of formula films that clicked in the 70’s and 80’s. But more than anything, it was the magic of Prakash Mehra – Amitabh Bachchan combination alongiwth the Amitabh Bachchan – Vinod Khanna pairing that clicked for this movie.

Movie: Muqaddar Ka Sikander (1978)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna, Rekha, Amjad Khan, Shreeram Lagoo
Directed by: Prakash Mehra
Music by: Kalyanji-Anandji

Once again, one of the more memorable roles of Amitabh and most definitely one of my favourite films. Amitabh as Sikander and Rekha as Zohra were just perfect for the roles and no one else (during that time) could have pulled it off better than them. The music of the movie was a great hit especially “rote huye aate hai sab” and the unforgettable “salaam-e-ishq”. I don’t think anybody could have matched the on screen chemistry of Amitabh and Rekha in that song as well as in the movie. Amitabh continued to succeed with the trend of his character dying in the end.

Movie: Lawaaris (1981)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Rakhee, Zeenat Aman, Suresh Oberoi, Ranjeet
Directed by: Prakash Mehra
Music by: Kalyanji-Anandji

One more hit from this combination. Great star cast and great music.

Movie: Namak Halaal (1982)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Smita Patil, Parveen Babi, Waheeda Rehman, Om Prakash
Directed by: Prakash Mehra
Music by: Bappi Lahiri

One of Amitabh’s extremely popular comic performance. And who would have thought that an art cinema actress like Smita Patil could actually pull off a rain dance (“Aaj Rapat Jaaye”) and actually look sensuous. Music by Bappi Lahiri was first rate with “Pag Ghunghroo Baandh Meera” becoming a rage and is still being re-mixed by the disc jockeys. Parveen Babi’s sizzling act in “Raat Baaki” and “Jawani Jaaneman” are still sensuous by today’s standards as well. Good performances from Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Smita Patil, Parveen Babi and Waheeda Rehman.

Movie: Sharaabi (1984)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Prada, Pran, Om Prakash
Directed by: Prakash Mehra
Music by: Bappi Lahiri

Inspired by the Hollywood flick “Arthur” (starring Dudley Moore), this movie had Amitabh playing the perpetual drunkard who is the son of a rich industrialist played by Pran and both father and son do not get along. Pran as the rich industrialist father and Amitabh as the spoilt drunkard son were good. Another notable performance was Om Prakash’s “Munshi ji”. The music by Bappi Lahiri was once again first rate. Kishore Kumar’s rendition of “Intehaan Ho Gayee” was flawless and “Jahaan Chaar Yaar” was playful. To top it was Asha Bhonsle and Kishore Kumar’s “Mujhe Nau Lakkha Manga De Re” which is one of my favourite songs.

Movie: Jadugar (1989)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Prada, Aditya Panscholi, Amrish Puri
Directed by: Prakash Mehra
Music by: Kalyanji-Anandji

Must have been a huge regret for both Amitabh Bachchan and Prakash Mehra. Not worth mentioning.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Tathastu - Movie Review in Bombay Times and

In my earlier post of May 6, 2006, I had written about my apprehension that Tathastu (starring Sanjay Dutt and Amisha Patel) could be inspired from the hollywood flick John Q (Starring Denzel Washington).

The movie has been reviewed in today's (May 12, 2006) edition of Bombay Times (Page 9) the story is indeed the exact same as John Q. It has also been reviewed on today (May 12, 2006).

The review of Tathastu is as follows:

Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Amisha Patel, Jaya Prada, Yash Pathak, Darshan Jariwala, Gulshan Grover etc
Direction: Anubhav Sinha

Rating: * ½

So, we’re on that beaten track again. Bite for bite, the people are worse, but they can be saved. Says who? Well, says Ravi Rajput as he parks himself outside a 5-star hospital (so we’re told) ranting his aphorism ‘Tathastu’. God’s round the corner, so make your wish lest his mortal re-surface and the reek of reality soften your pop corn. This is spectacle at its very bleak in Anubhav Sinha’s re-meshed ditto of Nick Cassavetes’ Denzel Washington-starrer ‘John Q’ (2002).

Denzel Washington’s down-on-his luck father is reprised by our good fellow Sanjay Dutt. Dutt plays Ravi Rajput, whose insurance won't cover his son's heart transplant and his hard-nosed employers won’t care as much. True like every screen protagonist who was pitted against the system since ‘Citizen Kane’, Rajput too decides to hack the law and grant his son his innate right to survival.

Here, pop the B-complex. Ravi Rajput’s sunny boy (Yash Pathak) is the little wonder-whiz cricketer who collapses while playing the game as a result of a heart failure. Rajput immediately rushes his boy wonder to the hospital, where our protagonist and his wife (Amisha Patel) learn of their son’s near-terminal heart illness which can only be corrected by a transplant.

But the parenting woes are only just complicating for our factory mazdoor Rajput. The emergency room for the transplant is a 5-star facility and the operation costs are more than our poor fellow can ever cough up. Sources quickly run out on our good man as the deadline for raising the fee nears. Then, there’s also the added complication of one politician Swamiji (faceless) as the other contender for the lone heart available.

With his back to the wall, Rajput decides to take matters in his own hands. He takes the emergency room hostage until the doctors agree to the transplant. The hostages include a conscientious hooker, a beaten wife, a shrewd old businessman and a knocked out ward boy among others.

Now, how can the protagonist wage a war on the system without a good measure of social sermons? So, as Rajput loads a earful to the hostages, the police and politicians are conniving outside the scene to get the situation in control. As the whole negotiation gets knotty, you’re already switched off while just into the second half.

You’re finally woken up by that last dig at climactic resuscitation, which to say the least is the coup-de-grace. The story and screenplay (by Yash-Vinay) is a baggy patch of the original and is so separated from cinematic fluidity, you almost gawk at their momentous luck in getting an opportunity in the first place.

The potential sub-plots which are hung at you mid way through the film (remember the hostages) flatter to deceive as the plots are left half baked and undone. I must make a special mention here of Manoj Pahwa (as the ward boy) who turns out another impressive performance after ‘Being Cyrus’.

After ‘Zinda’ (2005), Sanjay Dutt comes out with another stellar show. If there’s a reason you survive the end of this retrogression onslaught, it is purely for the neat and committed performance by Dutt who tries to lift the film in parts but the script just fails him every step of the way. Amisha Patel’s presence in the film could only be attributed to star value; you can count her lines in singles. Yash Pathak is hardly given any scope to build a resonance with the watcher.

Jaya Prada as the well meaning doctor is completely wasted in a badly written part. The support cast including Darshan Jariwala, Arun Jhankal, Anoop Soni and Gulshan Grover are nothing out of the ordinary.

The music by Vishal and Shekhar have only one Qawwali number to prove their utility. The cinematography by Ravi Walia and editing by Sanjib Datta are inconsequential given the nature and texture of the story and visuals.

The direction by Anubhav Sinha is a poor return after ‘Dus’ (2005). But, in spite of the limited scope Sinha doesn’t show much innovation in bracing up the display. Give it a skip, unless you absolutely can’t, like me.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Leading winners of Filmfare Best Actor Award

Actors who have won the Filmfare Best Actor Award most number of times:

Dilip Kumar holds the record of winning the Filmfare Award for Best Actor eight times for:

Shakti (1982)
Ram Aur Shyam (1967)
Leader (1964)
Kohinoor (1960)
Naya Daur (1957)
Devdas (1956)
Azaad (1955) and
Daag (1953)

He is followed by Shahrukh Khan who has won the honour six times for:

Swades (2004)
Devdas (2002)
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)
Dil To Pagal Hai (1997)
Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge (1995) and
Baazigar (1993).

Both Dilip Kumar and Shahrukh Khan won the Filmfare Best Actor Award for Devdas.

Amitabh Bachchan has won the Filmfare Best Actor award four times for:

Black (2005)
Hum (1991)
Don (1978) and
Amar Akbar Anthony (1977).

Rajesh Khanna has won the Filmfare Best Actor award three times for:

Aavishkar (1974)
Anand (1971) and
Saccha Jhoota (1970).

Naseeruddin Shah has won the Filmfare Best Actor award three times for:

Masoom (1983)
Chakra (1981) and
Aakrosh (1980)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Manmohan Desai, David Dhawan and Priyadarsan

There is a very peculiar and interesting trivia about Manmohan Desai, David Dhawan and Priyadarsan.

These three guys are the only directors to have two of their films released on the same day. Manmohan Desai's Parvarish and Chacha Bhatija were released on the same day in 1977.

David Dhawan's Deewana Mastana and Mr. and Mrs. Khiladi released on the same day in 1997.

Priyadarsan's Garam Masala and Kyon Ki were released on the same day in 2005.

Amitabh Bachchan with Manmohan Desai

Movies of Amitabh Bachchan directed by Manmohan Desai

Manmohan Desai was the king of entertainers of the 70’s and his movies with Amitabh spelt big bucks for the distributors. His genre of cinema was mindless entertainers and in recent times, David Dhawan has carried on that mantle. I think that it would be safe to assume that Manmohan Desai exploited the “lost-and-found” formula to the hilt. Most of his films with Amitabh were mutli starrers and everybody always wondered how he handled so man ‘stars’ on his sets.

Movie: Amar Akbar Anthony (1977)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna, Rishi Kapoor, Pran, Ranjeet, Parveen Babi, Neetu Singh, Shabana Azmi, Nirupa Roy, Nazir Hussain
Music by: Laxmikant-Pyarelal

This was one of the biggest film that Amitabh did with Manmohan Desai and this movie did stupendous business at the box office. The story was a typical lost and found formula, the music was great, the performances were good. This movie also had all the possible ingredients of a “hit” film viz., romance, drama, action and a heavy duty climax scene. Amitabh played the character of Anthony Gonsalves and till date there are many fans who call him “Anthony bhai”. The song “My name is Anthony Gonsalves” was a chartbuster. The interesting trivia about the name Anthony Gonsalves is that it was actually the nameof the music teacher of Laxmikant (of Laxmikant-Pyaarelal duo) and he suggested this name to Manmohan Desai.

Movie: Parvarish (1977)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna, Neetu Singh, Shabana Azmi, Shammi Kapoor
Directed by: Manmohan Desai
Music by: Laxmikant-Pyarelal
Followed by the success of Amar Akbar Anthony, the Amitabh Bachchan-Vinod Khanna pair had become quite a hit after Parvarish. Vinod Khanna was considererd to be a serious contender to Amitabh’s superstar status, but he did not live up to the expectations and could never manage to be the superstar that he was touted to become.

Movie: Suhaag (1979)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Rekha, Parveen Babi, Shashi Kapoor
Directed by: Manmohan Desai
Music by: Laxmikant-Pyarelal

Was a hit and did good business. The music was above average though. The Navratri song sung by Mohammed Rafi is still popular and is played every year during the Navratri festival.

Movie: Naseeb (1981)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Shatrughan Sinha, Rishi Kapoor, Reena Roy, Pran, Amrish Puri, Kader Khan, Amjad Khan, Shakti Kapoor, Prem Chopra, Lalita Pawar, Jagdish Raj, Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor, Dharmendra, Rajesh Khanna, Mala Sinha, Waheeda Rehmanm, Sharmila Tagore, Shubha Khote, Om Shivpuri
Directed by: Manmohan Desai
Music by: Laxmikant-Pyarelal

This multi-starrer was also a very big hit. An interesting trivia about this movie was that Naseeb was one of the first films to advertise on Doordarshan viz., what we call as trailers / teasers these days, apparently was a trend started by Naseeb. Great starcast and great music.

Movie: Desh Premee (1982)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Parveen Babi, Hema Malini, Shammi Kapoor
Music by: Laxmikant-Pyarelal

I am not sure how this movie did at the box office.

Movie: Coolie (1983)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Waheeda Rehman, Rishi Kapoor, Rati Agnihotri, Shoma Anand, Suresh Oberoi, Kader Khan, Om Shivpuri, Satyen Kappu, Nilu Phule, Puneet Issar
Music by: Laxmikant-Pyarelal

Amitabh had a near death experience while shooting for an action sequence for the film. Punit Issar accidently hit him in the stomach and Amitabh got hit by the corner of a table due to which, he was battling for his life in the hospital. The film industry had virtually come to a stand still and everybody was praying for his recovery. After he recovered from his injury he completed this film and when it was released, it became a huge hit because of the publicity the film had generated during Amitabh’s injury.

Movie: Mard (1985)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Amrita Singh, Nirupa Roy, Dara Singh, Prem Chopra
Directed by: Manmohan Desai
Music by: Anu Malik

“Mard Tangewala main hoon mard tangewaala, mujhe dushman kya maarega mera dost hai uparwala” and “Mard ko dard nahin hota” – Need I say anything more?

I think either Manmohan Desai was losing his touch or the audiences were becoming more smart. They rejected this movie outright.

Movie: Gangaa Jamunaa Saraswati (1989)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Mithun Chakraborty, Jaya Prada, Meenakshi Sheshadri, Nirupa Roy, Amrish Puri
Music by: Anu Malik

What were Manmohan Desai / Amitabh thinking?

One little observation, which need not necessarily be true but is an amazing co-incidence. The biggest duds in the careers of Manmohan Desai and Amitabh Bachchan were Mard and Gangaa Jamunaa Saraswati. Till the time Manmohan Desai made Coolie, he had his usual Laxmikant-Pyaarelal as his music directors. He changed to Anu Malik for Mard and then repeated Anu for Gangaa Jamuna Saraswati. And look what happened to the movies? Of course, the music may not have been the only criteria for the fate of these movies. But it’s a strange co-incidence!

Amar Akbar Anthony, Parvarish, Suhaag, Naseeb and Coolie were the major films Amitabh did with Manmohan Desai.

Amitabh Bachchan with Hrishikesh Mukherjee

Movies of Amitabh Bachchan directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee

Movie: Anand (1971)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna, Sumita Sanyal
Music by: Salil Choudhury

Interesting trivia about Anand was that Hrishkesh Mukherjee had written this story with Raj Kapoor in mind with Rajesh Khanna playing Dr. Banerjee. However, as destiny would have it, Raj Kapoor did not do this movie and Anand's role went to Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh potrayed Dr. Banerjee. And what the movie did for the careers of both Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan is history. Definitely one of the finest performances from our very own "Kaka". Amitabh Bachchan won his first Filmfare Award (Best Supporting Actor in 1971) for his performance in Anand and Rajesh Khanna won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor for Anand. The movie also got the Filmfare Award for Best Movie.

Movie: Guddi (1971)
Starring: Vijay Sharma, (intr.) Jaya Bhaduri, Asrani, Utpal Dutt, Nimmi, Smita Sanyal, Amitabh Bachchan, Dilip Kumar, Ashok Kumar, Rajesh Khanna, Biswajeet, Vinod Khanna, Shatrughan Sinha, Navin Nischal, Pran, Om Prakash
Music by: Vasant Desai

Amitabh had a special appearance in this movie.

Movie: Abhimaan (1973)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Asrani, Jaya Bhaduri, Bindu
Music by: S.D. Burman

One of the best movies of Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan. Although it was inspired from a South Indian film (I cant remember the name), Amitabh potrayed the jealous husband (who cant handle his wife's success) to the hilt. The music by S. D. Burman was unforgettable!

Movie: Namak Haraam (1973)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna, Rekha, Simi Garewal, (intr.) Raza Murad, Manju Bansal, Manisha, Asrani, A.K. Hangal, Manmohan, Om Shivpuri, Durga Khote, Jayshri T.
Music by: Rahul Dev Burman

The hit pair of Rajesh Khanna-Amitabh Bachchan was repeated in Namak Haram and Amitabh got his second Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for this movie.

Movie: Chupke Chupke (1975)
Starring: Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, Sharmila Tagore, Jaya Bhaduri, Lily Chakravarty, David, Om Prakash, Usha Kiran, Keshto Mukherjee, Asrani
Music by: S.D. Burman

Although Dharmendra had an author-backed role in this movie and Amitabh was playing a second fiddle to Dharmendra, Amitabh did manage to hold on to his own with his great comic timing. Chupke Chupke is one of the more genuinely funny films. One of Dharmendra's best performances.

Movie: Mili (1975)
Starring: Ashok Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Usha Kiran, Shobha Khote, Suresh Chatwal, Aruna Irani, Jaya Bhaduri (Mili)
Music by: S.D. Burman

Once again one of the better movies of Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan. Amitabh as the brooding-angry-trying to get over his past-neighbour to an extremely chirpy and full of life Jaya Bachchan who tries to help him live life to its fullest. The last half an hour of the movie was really touching. Music of this film was brilliant and Kishore Kumar's rendition of "Badi Sooni Sooni Hai" was excellent making it one of the most beautiful sad songs sung by him.

Movie: Alaap (1977)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Rekha, Chhaya Devi, Asrani, Manmohan Krishna, Farida Jalal, Lily Chakraborty, Om Prakash, (special app.) Sanjeev Kumar, A.K. Hangal, Jhumur
Music by: Jaidev


Movie: Gol Maal (1979)
Starring: Amol Palekar, Bindiya, Utpal Dutt, Amitabh Bachchan, Deven Verma
Music by: Rahul Dev Burman

Special appearance by Amitabh Bachchan. Once again, amazingly funny film with amazing performances from Amol Palekar and Utpal Dutt.

Movie: Jurmana (1979)
Starring: Rakhee Gulzar, Amitabh Bachchan, Dr. Shreeram Lagoo, A.K. Hangal, Asrani, Farida Jalal, Ashit Sen, Keshto Mukherjee, Manju Bansal, Vinod Mehra
Music by: Rahul Dev Burman


Movie: Bemisaal (1982)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Rakhee, Vinod Mehra, Deven Verma
Music by: Rahul Dev Burman

Did not do very well but the movie had great music. Not one of Amitabh's better performances.

From the above movies, Anand, Abhimaan, Namak Haram, Chupke Chupke and Mili are clearly some of Amitabh's more memorable movies.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan is a living legend in the Indian film industry and his popularity (both in India and abroad) is unparalleled. I am not sure if there is any other actor in the Indian film industry who has been through so many ups and downs in his career than Amitabh Bachchan.

He took over the mantle of super-star from Rajesh Khanna and virtually owned it till Shahrukh Khan came along to stake his claim. He dominated the silver screen in the 70’s and 80’s and he personified the ‘angry young man’ image.

Amitabh’s movie can be broadly divided into two distinct categories viz., movies done pre-Kaun Banega Crorepati and post-Kaun Banega Crorepati. He has mostly worked with newer and younger directors post-Kaun Banega Crorepati and has met with reasonable amount of success.

Pre-Kaun Banega Crorepati, Amitabh’s best work and performance has been mainly with four prominent directors viz., Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Manmohan Desai, Prakash Mehra and Yash Chopra. All these directors have literally had a dream run with Amitabh. Of course, they have also had some absolutely forgettable duds.

Pre-Kaun Banega Crorepati period, besides these directors, Amitabh Bachchan has given hits with other directors as well which have been extremely popular and great box office successes. For e.g., (i) Don (directed by Chandra Barot) gave Amitabh his second Best Actor Filmfare Award in 1978, the first being for Amar Akbar Anthony in 1977, (ii) Hum (which gave him his third Best Actor Filmfare Award in 1991) and Agneepath both directed by Mukul Anand (although I am still not sure if Agneepath was a hit or not), (iii) Kaalia directed by Tinnu Anand, (iv) Ram Balram directed by Vijay Anand, (v) Roti Kapda Aur Makaan directed by Manoj Kumar and (vi) Sholay directed by Ramesh Sippy.

Personally, I have liked Amitabh in the movies done by him pre-Kaun Banega Crorepati. Post Kaun Banega Crorepati, there were few performances like Dev and Khakee that were good, but other than that, his performance was fairly standard and repetitive in most of his movies (including Mohabbatein and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham). Although the media is praising him sky-high for his performance in Black, I wasn’t too impressed because he genuinely looked tired and old in the movie and I felt that it took a lot out of him (as an actor) to potray such an over-the-top character i.e., he did not look the natural actor that he is. Method acting is not something that one would associate with Amitabh. Of course, he won his fourth Best Actor Filmfare Award for his performance in Black but I would not want to watch the movie again.

However, none of his post-Kaun Banega Crorepati movies have generated the same amount of hysteria that he managed during his hey-days in the 70’s and the 80’s. In my next few posts, I would discuss the films done by Amitabh Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Manmohan Desai, Prakash Mehra and Yash Chopra which I think would be very interesting and which arguably is Amitabh's best phase in his entire film career.

Does anybody have any thoughts?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Indian Films at the Academy Awards (Oscars)

Every year we send one Indian film as an official Indian entry for the Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars. However, considering that we are one of the largest film producing country in the world, it would not be too difficult to figure out that we have not had great many movies which actually get nominated in the Best Foreign Film category. We have had only three Indian films which have actually managed to take that big step forward to have been nominated in the Best Foreign Film Category at the Academy Awards. These films are:

1. Mehboob Khan’s MOTHER INDIA starring Nargis, Rajendra Kumar and Sunil Dutt

2. Mira Nair’s SALAAM BOMBAY and

3. Ashutosh Gowariker’s LAGAAN starring Aamir Khan and Gracy Singh.

Since last quite a few years, the quality of films representing Indian film industry is not so good (and quite often questionable and full of controversy) with the lone exception of Aamir Khan / Ashutosh Gowarikar's Lagaan. However, from the articles that I have read on the net, this year there seems to be good chance for Water, directed by Deepa Mehta to make it to the main category at the Oscars including the Best Foreign Film as well as Best Original Score (by A. R. Rahman). Water is the final film of her trilogy (the earlier two movies being Fire and Earth).

One more interesting trivia about Indian films at Oscars is that out of all the other films that have been nominated as India’s entry at the Academy Awards, the maximum (6) have been been movies with Kamal Haasan as the lead actor.

1. HEY RAM directed by Kamal Haasan (2000)

2. INDIAN directed by Shankar (1996)

3. KURUDHI PUNAL directed by Kurudhi Punal (1995)

4. THEVAR MAGAN directed by Bharathan (1992)

5. NAYAGAN directed by Mani Ratnam (1987)

6. SWATHI MUTHYAM directed by Dr.K.Vishwanath – (1986)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Denzel is the current favourite in Bollywood

Talking about how I fear that TATHASTU could be a possible 'inspiration' of John Q, it seems that Denzel Washington is quite a favourite with our desi directors in the Hindi film industry. The two movies that I can remember off the cuff that have been heavily 'inspired' in the recent past are Zeher and Ek Ajnabee.

Zeher was directed by Mohit Suri was a frame-by-frame inspiration of "Out of Time" starring Denzel Washington and Eva Mendes.

Ek Ajnabee was directed by Apoorva Lakhia and was once again frame-by-frame inspiration from Man on Fire starring Denzel Washington and an amazingly talented Dakota Fanning.

If you have seen these movies (I mean the English movies), you will realise that not only have our guys copied the story, but they have gone ahead and copied the movie frame-to-frame.

Talking about Mohit Suri, he's a Bhatt camp protege' and hence I am not surprised that he's runs up huge bills on DVD rentals.

Another recent movie that was an 'inspiration' was Taxi No. 9211 directed by Milan Luthria. Taxi No. 9211 (starring Nana Patekar, John Abraham and Sameera Reddy) was inspired from Changing Lanes (starring Samuel Jackson and Ben Affleck). I was surprised he had to look westwards for his inspiration. He showed good promise in his debut vehicle Kachche Dhaage (unless that's also been aped).

Come on guys, I am sure we can do better than just rip off hollywood flicks and make them a sorry reason of a hindi film!!!!!