Faridoon Shahryar's Blog

Friday, June 29, 2012

Bluntly Yours: Naseer On Big B, Anil, Refusal To Do Hollywood Films

"Mr Bachchan, If He is Candid, would Deny...": Naseeruddin Shah

Faridoon Shahryar (FS): We have with us the legendary actor Naseeruddin Shah whose next film ‘Maximum’ is releasing shortly. Huge honour to have you back on Bollywood Hungama!

Naseeruddin Shah (NS): Thanks!

FS: You’ve said that in ‘Maximum’, you are not playing Daya Nayak. Is it having context with real-life experiences or people?

NS: It has drawn it’s inspirations from real life. The characters are not based on anyone in particular. And we have taken great pains to state that because we don’t want the film to be misunderstood as a biopic. The film is also not seeking to explain the motivation behind people like him. It’s a study of two characters and they do have elements of Daya Nayak, Pradeep Sharma, Vijay Salaskar and others. But the characters are neither representative of them, nor is the film making any kind of comment on the police world. It’s about two people who happen to be policemen and who can be described as ruthless, cold-blooded, merciless mercenary. But they have their own beliefs and set of values which is quite different from the accepted norm…

FS: During the early 2000 phase, a lot of findings had come up that policemen possessed bungalows and a lot of money and this was also the period of lot of encounters. Does the film tackle these things as well?

NS: Absolutely. It’s very easy to say that these people should be put away or that what they did was wrong. Of for that matter, to curse them for being ineffective and corrupt. But what I have felt is that it’s not easy to be a policeman. Try doing one of their jobs. Try being a traffic cop for half an hour, for instance. The amount of work they do, the kind of frustration they meet up in the course of their work, the kind of danger they have to encounter, you realize that what is expected of them and what they receive in return is not at all commensurate. And it’s not just the cops. All types of people resort to all kinds of corrupt practices in all sorts of fields. It just happens that the police world is dealing with human lives. That’s what makes it peculiar and poignant. So, neither is ‘Maximum’ justifying them, nor is it condemning them. It’s just presenting a picture of a world which exists. It’s upto you to decide whether or not it should or whether these guys were right. This is what they did and this is the price they paid for crossing the lines.

FS: What is it about director Kabeer Kaushik that made u sign ‘Maximum’? He earlier made ‘Sehar’ which was a phenomenal film.

NS: Yes. And in between, he came up with a couple of bad movies. But that’s a part of the game. I still stay by my memory of ‘Sehar’ and would love to be a part of a similar film. I think Kabeer is back on his home-ground with a subject like ‘Maximum’. He did get diverted and tried to make films for the commercial industry which was not his cup of tea. But now, he’s back on his familiar turf with ‘Maximum’. He’s very well-organized, calm and trusting director.

FS: You just delivered a blockbuster in the form of ‘The Dirty Picture’. Don’t you think you should now hike up your price and that you should get crores because this is what the norm is these days…

NS: Well…I have hiked up my price! (laughs)

FS: Which film is that for? ‘Dedh Ishqiya’?

NS: ‘Dedh Ishqiya’ has still not fallen into place and I still don’t know the script yet. But I don’t know how I have reached where I have reached, starting from ‘Nishant’ for which I was paid Rs 7500. And that was a fortune for me then. And I haven’t been conscious of all this actually. In fact, after ‘The Dirty Picture’, I was recommended to increase my price since Vidya and Arshad were charging X for their project. But it doesn’t concern me who’s charging what. I charge as much I feel I need. I am not in the race with anybody and I am content with the amount I am earning. Once Tennis player Boris Becker turned down an offer to play a tournament for which he offered around $ 5 million. When people asked him the reason for it, he answered that ‘I already have $ 15 million! What is it with $ 20 million that I can’t do with $ 15 million?’!

FS: You had a pivotal role in ‘The League Of Extraordinary Gentleman’. Many were of the view that you should have hired an agent in the West and that you should have done more Hollywood films. For instance, Anil Kapoor bagged ‘Mission Impossible 4’ after ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and the amount of publicity that was done for Anil was too much.

NS: Yeah. He likes doing publicity about himself! I am not interested in that.

FS: But wouldn’t you like to do more of Hollywood films?

NS: Not really. It’s no different from our Bombay industry. They have a little more class because they have more money. But otherwise, it’s no different from our industry. So if I have to do rotten films, I’ll do it here. Why do it in Hollywood?

FS: Our Bollywood characters get easily stereotyped and you have also taken note of it. But in Hollywood, it’s mostly the character that’s far more important than the star…

NS: True. But when they think of an Indian character, there’s always a stereotype. Always! I was offered few roles after ‘The League Of Extraordinary Gentleman’ and I refused since I don’t want to play the coolie or the maharaja or the butler. It’ll be a while before the Indian actors are accepted in the mainstream in Hollywood as leading actors. In England, it’s already happening, in television. But in America, it’ll take a while longer. What I was being offered, I didn’t fancy doing those parts of an Indian wearing a turban and saying ‘Yes Master’! And Hollywood doesn’t think beyond that. They think in stereotypes.

FS: You’ve also said that you are the ‘Amitabh Bachchan of parallel cinema’. But at the same time, you never dreamt of being the art film hero. It was something that was forced…

NS: Yeah because it just happened. Even Mr Bachchan would deny that he would have never dreamed of reaching where he has. When he was doing ‘Reshma Aur Shera’ or ‘Parwana’, I don’t think he would have imagined this for himself. He was always a good actor. To be called the ‘Amitabh Bachchan of parallel cinema’ is a misnomer because in no way is the analogy correct. Mr Bachchan’s very presence ensures massive revenue, coverage, publicity and finally box office returns. My presence doesn’t guarantee any of those things!

"Won't Be Difficult To Start Lusting After Madhuri Dixit": Naseeruddin Shah

FS: There was a point of time, especially after films like ‘Tridev’ and ‘Mohra’ when you were quite an intrinsic part of parallel cinema…

NS: Yeah but then I realized that I didn’t quite fit into those movies. I can’t play larger-than-life characters or a man beating up 25 people. I can play true to life parts, vulnerable characters, twisted character, letch or even a villain. But I am not cut out to play a conventional leading man in commercial Hindi movies. I realized that a bit late.

FS: You did a film called ‘The Blueberry Hunt’ where you had an interesting role and look. What happened to the film and why hasn’t it released yet?

NS: I think you should ask the person who made it. I’ll give you his phone number and you can ask him. I have no idea. The film is complete since more than a year and nobody is touching it. I think when you’ll see the film, you’ll understand it.

FS: Is it too dark?

NS: It’s very artistic! It’s so artistic that I don’t think anybody understood it, except the guy who made it. Maybe he didn’t understand what he has made!

FS: What makes you take up such films?

NS: I recently did a film called ‘Charlie Ke Chakkar Mein’. It’s a thriller made by a young of bunch people in just Rs 25-30 lakhs. My heart went out to these people. They asked me whether I would like to play a small role and I happily agreed. And it has turned out very well. Same is the case with the fellow who made ‘The Blueberry Hunt’. He told me that he’s making an action film in Rs 25 lakhs. I have always believed that successful films can be made very cheaply. And hence, I took up the film thinking that here we have a great material on our hands and we can make a film that can’t possibly loose and that we could swing a film in 25 lakhs and we did. It’s just that the film itself doesn’t make any sense. And the guy who made it refused to be drawn into any kind of discussion.

FS: However, in today’s age, there are plenty of non-theatrical avenues to recover costs…

NS: But for that, the film has to make one iota of sense at least…

FS: You yourself don’t find it interesting?

NS: I don’t understand it though I have seen it twice! And I acted in it!

FS: Regarding the budget of a movie, you recently said that too much money is spent on irrelevant things. ‘Nishant’ I believe was made in Rs. 3.5 lakhs. Even ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron’ is an apt example. What is your take on today’s time when too much emphasis is laid on box office, 100 crores, weekend collections…

NS: Tons of money is wasted in commercial movies which really angers and upsets me. I still believe that a film like ‘Ishqiya’ could and should have been made on a smaller budget. But since it was not, I charged my pound of flesh. Why should I reduce my price when it’s going to be a lavish expenditure anyways? It should have been made on the kind of budget that ‘A Wednesday!’ was made.  ‘A Wednesday!’ is such a huge success because it was made on a tiny budget. So if I am confronted with a monumental film worth many crores, I make sure that I get a fat share of the pie. But I still believe that someday, a 25-30 lakhs movie is going to bust the box-office. It’s surely going to happen here, like it did in Hollywood.

FS: Any chance of a sequel to ‘A Wednesday!’?

NS: The film has been remade into Tamil, Telegu and god knows what else. I think it’s ripe for a sequel. But there’s no sign for it. The director at the moment is busy with another project (Special Chabbis).

FS: You have said that you have loved the earlier works of Dilip Kumar and also of Amitabh Bachchan, during his pre-Zanjeer era. Also, you’ve often tore apart your own work. I have heard during the shoot of ‘Junoon’, when unit members used to clap after you have given a shot, you didn’t like it as it used to give a false sense of delusion to an actor. How can you be so ruthlessly honest with yourself and others?

NS: To me, bettering my abilities is more important to me than anything else in the world. I don’t see anything to be gained by diplomacy. It’s different to be disrespectful. And I have never been disrespectful. But if I have been forth-right. If it displeases anyone, that’s too bad. I would appreciate if they bothered to see my work but I don’t think either of them has seen much of my work. And I can be so ruthless with myself because I have realized that its pointless deluding yourself and that I still need something to prove myself. I was a worthless child, I was a bad student, I came last in class and I was dismissed as someone who would amount to nothing. The horrors of that kind of treatment as a child still stay with me and I can never come to terms with them. I think I still need to prove something to myself. That’s why I try to be honest about my own work and about other’s works as well.

FS: Which are the works of Dilip Kumar that you loved?

NS: Everything before ‘Ganga Jamuna’

FS: Don’t you think ‘Karma’ is good enough?

NS: I have never seen ‘Karma’ actually!

FS: Really? But you had acted in it…

NS: I have seen bits of it. But I couldn’t be bothered with the whole film. It was too long!

FS: Even after it became a huge hit?

NS: Yeah, yeah!

FS: Hits and flops doesn’t bother you?

NS: Except that I can increase my price! (laughs)

FS: So are you excited to work with Madhuri Dixit in ‘Dedh Ishqiya’?

NS: Yes, I am a fan of Madhuri. I am also a fan of Abhishek (Chaubey) and think that he’s a terrific filmmaker. If frankly asked, I am more excited to work with Abhishek than Madhuri. That doesn’t decrease my excitement of working with Madhuri. Who my co-star is, has been of little consequence to me at every stage of my career. I do not consider my business to pass my comment on a co-actor. I work with whoever I am cast with. I was terribly excited working with Dilip Saab but he’s the only one.

FS: Your character in ‘Ishqiya’ lusted after Vidya. Can we see a similar romantic angle with Madhuri as well?

NS: I believe so and that won’t be difficult at all to be lusting after Madhuri! (laughs)

FS: You had lovemaking scenes in ‘The Dirty Picture’ while you went along in the item numbers of ‘Chaalis Chauraasi’. Do you enjoy this side of cinema?

NS: Well, I enjoyed ‘The Dirty Picture’ very much. I loved every moment of it. Vidya is simple and open. I have known Milan Luthria for a long time, has taught me horse-riding and he also likes me. So, the feeling is mutual. I had no terribly demanding dramatic scenes to do and it was indeed sheer fun. But doing these dance numbers is not fun because it is hard work and I am not very good at it.

FS: But your mannerisms in ‘Ooh La La’ was great fun and was loved by people…

NS: I got it right after 35 years of practice!

FS: Pankaj Parasher has been one of your favourite directors. Any chances of ‘Jalwa 2’?

NS: Nope. Not with Pankaj! About half a dozen other writers have approached me for potential scripts for ‘Jalwa 2’ but it never materialized. Pankaj keeps talking about it. But I don’t think it’ll ever happen and that it should be left alone.

FS: And ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro 2’?

NS: No, that too should be left alone. And Ravi (Baswani) and Bhakti (Barve) are no more. Everybody else has become like a pumpkin. Satish Kaushik, for instance, has changed beyond recognition. It’s a good memory and hence should be left untouched.

FS: So that was Naseeruddin Shah talking about ‘Maximum’ and a whole lot of interesting things. We can just keep on talking about a lot of topics because the man is an encyclopedia of cinema, experiences and a whole lot of other things. Thank you so much sir, lovely to have you and all the best for ‘Maximum’ and your forthcoming ventures.

NS: Thank you!

FS: That’s all we have from Bollywood Hungama. Keep on watching!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

First Look Promo Of Barfi On July 2

First look promo of Barfi is being launched on July 2. There is an event for the promo launch of Barfi at a Bombay multiplex where Ranbir, Priyanka and Anurag Basu will be present.

I saw Salman in a vest, shades and Police trousers outside Dabangg 2 set at the Mahboob studio yesterday. With Ek Tha Tiger looking hot and Dabanng 2 ending the year, it seems this Khan is going to have a blast of an year.
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Why Doesn't Naseeruddin Shah Work In Hollywood Films Any More?

Naseeruddin Shah is a sheer joy. He is absolutely politically incorrect and has a delightful sense of humour. Well, we met because his film 'Maximum' is releasing shortly. He rates director Kabir Kaushik highly for he considers 'Sehar' to be a very fine film. Naseer sahab spoke about why he doesn't like films of Dilip Kumar sahab (post Ganga Jamuna) and Mr Bachchan (post Zanjeer). He spoke about the hypocrisy that exists within the film industry, how money is blatantly spent on unnecessary things and why he thinks good films can be made in a very limited budget.

Naseer sahab says that a sequel of 'A Wednesday' can be made . He spoke about Jalwa 2 and why he likes Pankaj Parashar as a director. He also spoke about a film 'The Hunt', a film which is complete but for some strange reason, the makers haven't released it yet. Mr Shah has seen 'The Hunt' twice but he finds the film incomprehensible and vague.

Naseer sahab is looking forward to Dedh Ishqiya where Madhuri Dixit is paired with him. Can we see romantic scenes between the two? Did he enjoy the lovemaking scenes in 'The Dirty Picture' and being a part of item songs like the ones in 'Chalees Chaurasi'?

Why didn't Naseer sahab work in Hollywood projects after 'The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen'?
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Has Abhishek Been Roped In For Shahrukh's 'Happy New Year'?

It is always great fun meeting up with Abhishek Bachchan. From the moment we met today, somehow he picked up a thread of a 'Connect'. He always does that, cutting jokes with everyone around, speaking loudly, pulling up anyone who comes in his periphery. He had seen my interview with Rohit Shetty where we had discussed that maybe Abhishek's comic timing hasn't really been tapped well. He was fabulous in Dostana and now the promos of Bol Bachchan look good fun. He pulled my legs on the references to him in Rohit's interview. A fun start to the interview for sure.

He spoke on the comfort level that he shares with Ajay Devgn. They've worked together in Zameen earlier. I have taken up a few questions sent by some fans. @danabolly if you are reading this, Abhishek knows you and he exclaimed at your name. Abhishek will be shooting for Dhoom 3 in USA in August. Which city? There have been reports that Abhishek has been pencilled in by Farah Khan for Shahrukh's 'Happy New Year'. What did Abhishek say on that?

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Katrina Opposite Ajay? When Will Asin Work With Shahrukh?

I have taken a few questions from fans in a joint interview with Ajay Devgn and Asin today. A fan had asked if Katrina is paired opposite Ajay in Prakash Jha's Satyagrah. Ajay says that Katrina is being considered for the role and if it materialises then this will be his first film with Kaif. Another fan had asked if Ajay will ever kiss on screen? Ajay is excited about Bol Bachchan. Considering, both he and Abhishek seem to be sharing a wonderful chemistry, are there any chances of a sequel of Bol Bachchan? Sajid Khan has claimed that Himmatwala Remake will be the biggest hit of Ajay's career. What is Devgn's take on it?

A fan from Pakistan had invited Asin to their country and if possible stay with them. How did Asin react to the invitation? Asin says that she hasn't been approached for 'Two States' but she has read the novel and would be keen on being a part of the film. When can we see her paired with Shahrukh Khan? Fashion Designer Ashley Rebello had made a nasty remark about Asin being a difficult person to convince on the kind of clothes that she should be wearing. Asin hit back at the designer and I am sure Mallika Sherawat will be keen on seeing her reaction too.
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Feathers Of Hope

Blood stains on the
Wall of memories
Have darkened;
Expensive emotions
Fail to dry up
If nurtured with
Wasteful tears;
Feathers of hope
Fuel up
Aspirations of a
Flight in captivity.

Life on tenterhooks
Chirps cautiously;
There’s no respite,
Except optimism! 

Up Close And Adventurous With Homi Adajania

"Saif Ali Khan Has A Wicked Sense Of Humour": Homi Adajania

"Cocktail Is Deepika's Best Performance Till Date": Homi Adajania

Homi Adajania On 'The International Fakir', 'Finding Fanny Fernandes'

"To Much Is Made Out Of Sexuality In India": Emraan Hashmi

"I Was Thinking Of Other Career Options": Emraan Hashmi

"I Have Got Enough People To Pull Me Down": Emraan Hashmi

"To Much Is Made Out Of Sexuality In India": Emraan Hashmi

Monday, June 25, 2012

Richa Chadda To Act In A Mira Nair Film

In an interview with me today, Richa Chadda disclosed that she will be acting in a short film to be directed by Mira Nair. Richa is excited about the enthusiastic response that she has been getting for her commendable acting in 'Gangs Of Wasseypur'. She says that she has no aversion to masala entertainers as long as she is not merely a prop in the film. Richa also has projects lined up in Berlin and New York besides a few promising projects in Bombay.

Richa wore a hat and simple clothes, rather unlike the usual Bollywood actresses. She had come to my office and enjoyed interacting with our team. Her first film was Oye Lucky Lucky Oye and Gangs is her second film. I hope we get to see much more of this fine actress.

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Kashmir: An Unchained Melody

Kashmir is called the Heaven on Earth. I had visited Srinagar in 1985 with family but we were never able to explore the place. Terrorism took over the paradise and it hit the tourism industry dearly. My brother in law Tabish Ahsan visited Kashmir in his summer vacation this year. He is studying at the Tata Institute Of Social Services in Bombay. He along with a friend had to collect some data on Kashmir and hence they went for this trip. Tabish came back with a wonderful picture about Kashmir and its people. I coaxed him (later it turned to pleading since Tabbi sahab is the master of procrastination) into jotting down his thoughts. He has finally collected his thoughts and I am documenting his golden memories in this post. I am also enclosing some fantastic pictures that Tabbi clicked during his stay in Kashmir.

Kashmir has been a word than brings several different thoughts to your mind. On one hand Mughal Emperor Jahangir called it the only heaven on Earth, on contrary today it comes in the one of the most militarized area of the world. Whenever you think about going to Kashmir it is not like any other place.

If you go back to the 70s, especially in the era of Shammi Kapoor you will find scenes shot in Kashmir in almost every movie.  But in the following years, with the rising tensions in the valley Kashmir went off the silver screen. Even the scenes which represented Kashmir were shot in other location like Shimla. This is a shift that brought Kashmir from paradise to an unsafe region. I gradually developed my interest in the issue of Kashmir. After joining MSW in Tata Institute of Social Science I got a chance to explore it through research dissertation. For me Kashmir has been a place where I always wanted to go. There is a large-framed photograph in our house that has everyone in my family, except for me. To no surprise it was clicked in Kashmir. That very photograph teased me for more than 22 years by saying that I am the only one in the family who failed to reach the Heaven.

 There is a long story of preparation of data collection tool, selecting the universe etc but I would skip it and directly come to the Kashmir trip. I planned to leave Delhi to Kashmir at the end of the May. At that time Delhi had already started to roast you from heat.  I was assuming that Kashmir would bring some relief. On 19th May I left for Kashmir and planned to stop at Rajouri which comes in the Jammu division for 1 day.

In Rajouri I stayed at a friend’s place who himself was in Delhi. I must say that I never got such a reception away from home in my life. My friend Jaffer’s family was so loving that I can’t express. The food that we were served was one of the best that I had in my life. We were not allowed to leave Rajourias in Jaffer’s family 1 day was too less to spend with them. We wandered here and there in Rajouri and visited the Rajouri University. Believe me, I have never seen a beautiful campus in my life. It is hard to believe that you are in India. The plush green campus surrounded with mountains which was bisected by a current which goes all the way to fall in Chenab.

Well, it was time to leave for Srinagar. We took a Tata Sumo from Rajouri which is the only medium to reach Srinagar from Rajouri. We took the historical Mughal Road which was built by Emperor Akbar in 16th century. The road is an alternate road route to Kashmir valley from rest of India, other than over-crowded Jammu-Srinagar Highway through Jawahar Tunnel (Banihal Tunnel) (National Highway 1A). The road passes through Buffliaz, Poshana, Chattapani, Peer Ki Gali, Aliabad, Zaznar, Dubjan, Heerpora and Shopian. We were told that you can tell the difference between Jammu and Kashmir just by looking at the hills and in reality it was like that.  While one side of the same hill was dry, the other side was covered with snow and yes it was the border that divides Jammu and Kashmir.

I had never seen snow before and was very excited to see that. It is said that you can see four weathers in a same day on your trip from Mughal road and yes it happened. We started in the warm weather of Jammu and it was chilly cold as we moved towards Pir Ki Gali, after that we say snow fall and near Shopian to Srinagar it was raining heavily. We never imagined that we can see snowfall at the end of the day, but luckily we saw that. I will say that Mughal road is a must visit for its beauty and history.

When we landed in Srinagar it was still raining and the weather was very pleasant. We came to know that this year tourist arrival has broken the record of past many years. We then went to my Uncle’s place in Bishambar Nagar area of Srinagar. Again we were welcomed in a much hearted manner. I must say in my whole trip I never felt away from home because of the love that Kashmiri people gave us. You were welcomed to their houses by the people whom you know just from few minutes.

Kashmir has been able to secure its traditions and culture to a great extent. Still beautiful carpets are used to sit and sleep. Still there is no concept of western style sofa sets and beds. Food is served in beautiful metallic places with engraved textures. I will again say that people of Kashmir are so loving that I can’t explain it in words.

In my 20 days stay in Srinagar, there are many places that we visited but visit to Pahalgam is very unique. Pahalagam is about 3 hours away from Srinagar and is also popular for Amarnath yatra. Pahalgam is bisected by the river Lidder. Lidder carries water which melts from Himalayas just a few miles away from Pahalgam. The water is cold as ice and clear as glass. Alongside Lidder tourist department has developed several parks and you get a view that you can’t even imagine elsewhere. About 2-3 miles away, there is place Betaab Valley named after Sunny Deol’s movie Betaab. The valley is also a place that you can not forget.Along with this Chashma-e-Shahi, Mughal Gardens and Kasmir University are places worth exploring in Srinagar. You can spend evening after evening sitting on the shoes of Dal lake and you will find something new each day.

On contrast to this beauty, you can see a sadness and fear among the people of Kashmir. They are afraid of both militancy as well as from the India military. Many reports have shown presence of depression among the people of Kashmir. Many activities such as SMS and social gathering are controlled. Unlike other parts of India your movement is also restricted to the timings. The presence of military everywhere doesn’t let you feel normalcy. I constantly faced a dilemma inside me as one side you can’t expect anything more beautiful than it and on the other side you can sense the calm of sadness.

The trip to Kashmir has been a memorable part of life. I went there to get some answers to my research questions, but I believe that I have developed more curiosity to know about Kashmir that I am sure I will go there many more times.

Send Questions For Arjun Kapoor

Guys, Arjun Kapoor celebrates his birthday on June 26. I shall be doing an interview with him. Send in your questions and cards for Arjun at faridoonshahryar@gmail.com

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Send Questions For Ajay, Abhishek, Asin, Rohit

Guys, send your questions for the following actors:

1) Ajay Devgn
2) Abhishek Bachchan
3) Asin
4) Rohit Shetty

I shall try and take up the questions in my interview with these stars. You can send your questions at faridoonshahryar@gmail.com or post in the comments section.

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Accident On The Sets Of Dabanng 2

There was a mishap while filming an action sequence for Dabangg 2 at Mehboob Studio, Bandra, today. Three technicians sustained injuries and were taken to Lilavati Hospital by the doctor and ambulance that are on precautionary standby as a safety measure while filming action sequences. Members of the principal cast were not filming during the mishap. All the three technicians are out of danger. Salman Khan accompanied the injured technicians in the ambulance to the Lilavati Hospital in Bandra. Director Arbaz Khan was also present at the Hospital. Incidentally Rajesh Khanna has also been admitted at the Lilavati Hospital today.
There's a pall of secrecy shrouding his present health condition. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Teri Meri Kahani: Not A 'Timeless' Love Story But Watchable For Sure

A hurried climax and a sugarcane-juice-spiked ending of all the three love stories makes 'Teri Meri Kahani a perfect case of a novel premise, fine acting by the lead pair, engrossing dialogues-n-situations, crafty music score but the director is unable to wrap-up the film convincingly. Sunil Patel's camerawork is praiseworthy for he captures the varied shades of the three eras (1910, 1960 and 2012) with just-the-right colour tone. Editor Amitabh Shukla incorporates the editing-chops as per the era that he is dealing with. Simple-yet-hip (sign of the Independent times) editing swipes in the 1960s, straightforward cuts in the 1910 era while stylish-n-exuberant cuts in the 2012 story. Let me talk about each era individually.

1910: Javed lusts after beautiful girls, charms them with his shayri and then he falls in love with the Punjabi kudi Aradhna. Javed is a riot. I saw the film in a single screen theatre and people freaked out as he flirtatiously doled out his theories on love, freedom movement and why the Angrez are good for India. The two songs of the era, 'Humse Pyaar Kar Ke Tu' and 'Allah Jaane' are the highpoints of the film. One wished that maybe Javed shouldn't have fallen in love and continued with his philandering ways. He was so much more fun then ("Ma pe line maar raha hai ki beti par," a friend says. You can imagine the fun such situations created).

1960: They eat jaamun in the train and he brings kachcha aam for her on the film set. Govind-Rukhsar's love story has a classy 'nafasat' (its an Urdu word and its translation would be 'sophisticated'). Govind says 'mujhe maaf kijiyega' in the typical manner in which a Dev Anand or Shammi Kapoor would have said. They break into 'Jabse Mere Dil Ko Uff' and it is apparent that Kunal Kohli loves this era for he has picturised the song as a wonderful homage to the likes of Shammi Kapoor, Joy Mukherji, Biswaji, Dev Anand, Asha Parekh, Mumtaz, Saadhna, Sharmila Tagore etc who exemplified the aao-twist-karein culture of the 60s. The detailed Art Direction of the era is commendable. Right from the trams to The Bombay Dyeing poster, the clothes, the hair styles, a close attention has been given in recreating the 60s era. Vrajesh Hirjee has a delightful cameo as a snoopy reporter. There's a cute track between Prachi Desai and Shahid but sadly it isn't developed properly.

2012: Now, this story is the weakest link. Krish and Radha are hell bent on exemplifying the yuppy age that is eager to change their relationship status. The facebook goof up and the 'purani jeans' theory is not happening. Shahid does offer some fun moments in the bar when he holds the hand of a random girl and tells her about his break up stories. This story has two frothy-n-melodious songs in 'That's All I Really Wanna Do' and 'Muqtasar'.

As I said in the beginning, Kunal Kohli has tried something different but maybe he should have opted for a different trajectory for the way he would have wanted to wind up his film. In the recent times, films like 'Ek Main Aurr Ek Tu' have surprised the audience with its unpredictable ending. The what-must-have-happened-thereafter feeling lingered on there.

'Teri Meri Kahani' is not the ultimate love story but it is watchable for sure.

Star Rating: ***

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Gangs Of Wasseypur: Picture To Ab Bani Hai

Gangs of Wasseypur invents a new idiom of cinema. It is meaningful yet entertaining, dark but still saddled with several lighter moments. The references to several Hindi films like Qasam Paida Karne Waale Ki (The Mithun look-alike is a riot), Trishul, Deewar (Main aaj bhi pheke hue paise nahin uthaata) and a few more hit 80s numbers have been incorporated innovatively. One also gets to see the influence that the commercial escapist cinema has on the minds of the youngsters especially in the small towns. A case in point is the romantic argument between Nawazuddin and his filmi would-be girlfriend. "Permission li kya aapne," she asks.

Rajiv Ravi's camerawork is classy. There are many picture perfect moments where the framing is breathtaking. The rawness of a small town with the nakedness of emotions germinating in a butcher's backyard has been captured superbly. The performances are mindblowing. Jaideep Ahlawat as Shahid Khan is extraordinary. His raw power mixed with vulneraibility is a treat. Manoj Bajpai's Sardar Khan is brimming with revenge rage for Ramadheen (Tigmanshu Dhulia, very competent) and at the same time his heightened libido results in several comic situations.

Manoj digs into a meaty role with hunger. The result is special. Richa Chadda as the feisty wife of Sardar Khan is a delight (but why doesn't she look any different even though twenty years have lapsed?). Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays Bajpai's son and has a realively smaller role. I guess he'll be the mainstay of the second part of the movie. Siddiqui makes every scene count. Watch him do the Amitabh Bachchan gun trick. His silence speaks volumes and so do his eyes. There are many small time actors who have delivered extraordinary performances.

There is a liberal usage of cuss words. The violence is crude and dots almost the entire film. It will be a deterrent for the audience that relies on staple entertainment. Sneha Khanwalkar's music is esoteric. It appeals in parts but at other occasions it seems to be aimed at self-proclaimed-know-it-all critics. G V Prakash's background score is hard hitting and effective.
Director Anurag Kashyap is at his uncompromising best. He had compromised on the climax of Dev D but here he arrogantly pushes his point of view forward the way he deems it right. To his credit, he succeeds in presenting an unusual story in a refreshingly unique manner bereft of sentimentality and still having all the ingredients of masala entertainment.
Gangs of Wasseypur is brilliant cinema. Nothing can stop it from being a cult film.

Star Rating: ****

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Adnan Sami Claims His Ex Wife Sabah's Family Had Links With Osama Bin Laden

At the Bandra Family Court a short while back, Adnan Sami told the media that his estranged second wife Sabah Galadri's family has had links with Osama Bin Laden. Sami was granted divorce from Sabah from the Bombay High Court on tuesday June 19 and he along with Sabah appeared before the Family Court today to settle the other personal matters like Alimony etc. He came fashionably late, got down from his Range Rover and posed for the shutterbugs as if he has just delivered a superhit film.

Adnan levied several serious charges against Sabah by stating that she is having an illegal passprt with which she got a Pan Card to do business in India. He spoke about her Portuegeese Nationality. Sami had earlier pointed a discrepancy in Sabah's passport that had the birth year as 1974 whereas her birth year is 1968. Isn't it a wee bit too late in the day to find out that your ex wife was six years older than what you thought she is. Incidentally, while the video cameras hounded Adnan, I stood behind at a distance. I saw Sabah quietly walk past the crowd surrounding Adnan. She was accompanied by another woman.

I am a fan of Adnan Sami's music. I guess its high time for him to just move on. Dude, make some lasting-music rather than washing your dirty linen in public. I guess all this drama is nothing but methods to avoid giving alimony.
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'The Dirty Picture' To Release In France

The Dirty Picture will have a major art-house release in France on July 4. Released with French subtitles, it will show on three screens in Paris and one in Orleans. After the initial run, it will travel to smaller towns in France and Paris suburbs, releasing in all major art-house cinemas there.



Must Watch: Rishi-Ranbir Dance On Stage

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

IIFA Singapore And Weekend, Singapore 2012...A Recap

Shahid-Priyanka's Four Part BH Interview With Transcript

Shahid-Priyanka Hit Back At Random-Rumour-Manufacturers!

Faridoon Shahryar (FS): We have with us Priyanka Chopra and Shahid Kapoor. Ye log itne zyaada busy hai 'Teri Meri Kahaani' ke promotions mein ki kahin waqt nahi mil paa raha hai. So we are squeezing it in the car as they are on their way to a promotional event. Pleasure having you on Bollywood Hungama guys and congratulations to the huge response to the promos of 'Teri Meri Kahaani'! In fact, the music of the film is on in the car. 'Mukhtasar' in fact has become quite a rage in fact!

Priyanka Chopra (PC): Well, I love the song and it has been Shahid's favourite track throughout the making of the film. Loudly in the mornings, we used to hear 'Mukhtasar' everyday. So we are very glad that the track is doing well. And by the way, we are not squeezing you into the car; we are taking you for a ride!

FS: No, I meant, squeezing in time!

PC: We are not! Actually we thought that we'll just have fun. Hamesha hum log interviews studios mein karte hai. This time, you know, it's Shahid driving and music is playing…so lots of fun!

FS: Definitely a Bollywood Hungama exclusive!

FS: (To Shahid) the use of piano in 'Mukhtasar' is beautiful. You've been getting a fabulous response all along. Your thoughts, Shahid?

Shahid Kapoor (SK): Yeah man, the response to the music has been really good and we are all extremely happy. And yes, 'Mukhtasar' is my favourite song. I still remember pehli baar jab Kunal (Kohli) ne mujhe gaana sunaya tha, I was sitting in my home and I started jumping on the sofa! I really like songs like these and I have had few songs like these in the past as well. Bakhuda, for instance. Basically, I mean songs which are romantic and the ones which you'll take them and put them into a mix which is very clubby and 'dancy'. Such songs tend to last longer because there are melody-heavy and you can also dance to them. And yeah, the songs are doing really well according to your sources which we can all depend on! The film's coming out in few days, on 22nd of June. I am gearing up for promotions and remembering what is like to be getting up at 8 in the morning which I haven't done for a while!

FS: Not only my sources, but even the songs are trending quite well and were on No.1 position worldwide. That's quite something!

SK: We are very shocked because the music had just released online. Even the CDs hadn't come out. And within an hour of the music releasing, the song 'That's All I Really Wanna Do' was trending worldwide. What was really cool was that everybody was using it as a tagline. They were hash-tagging it and were tweeting 'blah blah blah #ThatsAllIReallyWannaDo', 'Have a cup of coffee #ThatsAllIReallyWannaDo', 'Go for a walk #ThatsAllIReallyWannaDo', etc! So it kind of became a term which everybody was using to define their state of mind which is nice as it connects with the film.

FS: The kind of chemistry you guys had in 'Kaminey' was outstanding. Many people have been even asking for a sequel to the film. (To Priyanka) You had 8 scenes in the film and yet you made your presence felt. Your dialogue 'Koi rape kar diya kya maine tumhara' is remembered even today! As for Shahid, he has a benchmark and everyone is of the opinion that if he can do a 'Kaminey', then we need more of such stuff. Now that you'll are coming once again after 'Kaminey', does that put pressure on you guys because people will be expecting rocking chemistry…

PC: Well, we always have rocking chemistry! However, chemistry has a lot to with the writing of a movie and our characters in 'Kaminey', Sweety and Guddu, were written like that. And in 'Teri Meri Kahaani', it's a different kind of chemistry. Here its love and it's beautiful, pretty and fun! In 'Kaminey', it was kamina (laughs).

FS: But Guddu was sweet…

PC: …But I wasn't!

FS: Aapka favourite gaana kaunsa hai 'Teri Meri Kahaani' mein?

PC: Mere 4 favourite gaane hai.

FS: To aap kaunse gaane sunaa sakte hai?

PC: Nahi nahi, main gaaungi nahin lekin mujhe 'Jab Se Mere Dil Ko Uff' to bahut hi pasand hai…

SK: Aapko pata hai gawaane ke liye inko India se baahar jaana padta hai. Secondly, you have to be a very huge international music company. Aur aap kiss international star ko laa rahe hai inke saath gungunaa ke liye ya gaana mix karne ke liye? Samajte kya hai aap?! Aise thodi gaayegi ye! Jabse ye wapis aayi hai, har aadmi puchta hai ki 'ek to line gaa dijiye' and ye har baar kahegi 'nahi nahi'!

PC: Faridoon naya hai ye? Main hamesha kehti hoon ki main nahi gaaungi! Mujhe sharm aati hai!

SK: Oho!

FS: Nahi, naya to hai because aapka album ab aane waala hai

PC: No I mean manaa karna to naya nahi hai na!

FS: Ha ha! How do you deal with the rumour and link-up stories about you guys that get published in newspapers and tabloids on a regular basis? Har din aap logon ne kya kiya kiya, socha, kaha, iski khabrein saamne aati hai. Does it bother and upset you?

PC: Of course it does and it bothers me tremendously. It's a professional hazard and everybody advises that I should get used to it. I am not used to it. But at the end of it, you come to a compromise where you know the truth and you know what's important to you. And it's important to live with that.

FS: But when stuff becomes slanderous and cheap at times, it must be revolting for you. How do you maintain your equilibrium?

PC: I don't!

FS: Be we don't see you blasting as such in print. You are even level-headed even at the point of time…

PC: I believe in dignity and that's more important than anything else. I may be blasting at home. But I don't like washing my dirty linen in public. And I am just private, as a person.

FS: Shahid, har din nayi khabar aapke baare mein chapti rehti hai. How do you react to it? Do you feel that certain people are jealous of you since you interact with so many good looking women?!

SK: I am very happy that I interact with beautiful women. It's one of the nice things about this profession. But there are also girls, normal girls, to be specific who as Priyanka said, want to live their life with dignity. And I don't think that it's something that anybody appreciates that mere ghar ke andar kya ho raha hai, ye duniya dekhe ya sab log dekhe. Honestly, I am learning to get used to it because there's nothing you could do about it and if I react, that is also giving people fodder to talk more. And that's not something I want to do. So it puts you in a situation that is awkward at times but I honestly try not to think about it at all. As Priyanka said, your family, friends and the two people who are talked know the truth and their equation is good, it's all good but I think it tends to get overboard at times.

FS: When you see pictures in a tabloid wherein you are holding elbow of Bipasha Basu which becomes a story in itself…

SK: Ye to galat baat hai dekho… 

FS: Next time you are in the public eye, you might feel that 'agar main isse kuch bhi karoonga, to uska kuch na kuch ban jaayega'. Do you now become conscious in that way?

SK: It leaves you with a really funny smirk on your face like 'Seriously?'! When you meet somebody, you give them a hug and perhaps, hold their shoulder or elbow or whatever. And is that really something that need to be published with a circle around the elbow and exclaim 'Dekhiye, ye elbow pe haath lagaya hai. Iska kya matlab hai?'! It's really a scary thought and I am glad it's happening with me and pretty women and that it'll not move to men, boys and animals soon!

FS: You've been in a relationship some time back and officially, you haven't been in a relationship after that…

SK: You talking to me or Priyanka?

FS: I am talking about you, Shahid.

SK: Achha…

FS: Don't you feel that love is important and that you'll like to be in a relationship and go back home, be with someone…

SK: Yaar aadhe se zyaada filmein to main love stories hi karta rehta hoon..

FS: No that is make-believe…

SK: No man! Love is not make-believe at all. Our films of course are make-believe because you have to entertain and hence, there has to be a certain amount of make-belief element in them. But I totally believe in love. I think it's the most beautiful thing in the world. The best thing about love is that it makes you do everything that you never thought you would do.
Your sane mind can never think of things that your insane heart can think of when it comes to love. To me, that's the most exciting part of love. It is most probably what makes the world go round. It might sound like a cliché but it is true.

FS: Many a times, you have tweeted that 'insomnia has struck me once again'

SK: Hahaha

FS: If you'll be with someone, then life alag si ho jaayegi na kuch…

SK: Matlab?

PC: Meaning, your insomnia wouldn't be so bad…

FS: Insomnia fir hoga hi nahi…

SK: Matlab main ekdum time pe sone lagoonga?!

PC: You'll use your time well. That's what he's saying.

FS: No no I didn't mean that.

PC: Hahaha. Jhoot hai Faridoon!

FS: Arre by God mere woh matlab nahi tha. What I meant is that everyone becomes systematic.

SK: Main coffee bahut zyaada peeta hoon. Main sochta shaam ko zyaada hoon. Pata nahi kyon. And I also work-out at nights. My system has now got used to it and I am used to insomnia. For instance, I just slept 3 hours last night and you can see main kitni baatein kar raha hoon! So I don't know whether falling in love will solve my issues of insomnia. And who knows, it might add to my problem. You never know!

FS: Priyanka, don't you feel like being in love or in a relationship?

PC: I always feel like being in love. I love the idea of being in love.

SK: Statement of the year! Priyanka Chopra announces that 'I am love'!

PC: Haha. Woh bhi theek hai. Woh bhi chalega. But love in a way numbs all your sensation. As Shahid said, it makes your brain not function and makes you do stupid things. I am hoping that when it happens, it is all of those things and more.

FS: You must be looking for a father figure in your prospective person because I believe you are very close to your father…

PC: Every girl looks for someone like her dad. I would like somebody who is fun and who treats me as the most special girl in the world.

FS: And how is your father doing now?

PC: He's alright. Thank you.

FS: Rani Mukerji said that few of the journalists told her that certain stories about her were given by some stars in the industry. Do you think it's possible and that a competition can do that in the industry?

PC: It could be anybody. It's not necessarily your colleagues who are female actresses. Of course, the industry gives out malicious gossip…

SK: Aaj kal guys bhi kaafi bitchy ho gaye hai!

PC: Ye dekhiye! Khulasaa!

SK: Khulasaa nahi, I am just saying that it's possible

FS: Nahi humein pata hai

SK: Accha Faridoon. You have a group?

FS: Main star thodi hoon..

SK: Arre aap bahut bade star hain aur aapki bahut badi following hain.

FS: But I am on the other line of the fence.

PC: The film industry comprises of so many kinds of people and of course, they give out news because kahin kuch log dekh lete hain aur baataon-baaton mein, baat nikal jaati hai. So I don't think it could be malicious slander unless you hate someone. But that's like any industry. It can happen in hospitals, among engineers…

SK: Hospital mein log kaise kehte honge na ki 'us doctor ne stitching theek se nahi ki'!

PC: Stitching ki baat nahi hogi. Rather 'uske zyaada patients hai? Abhi dekho kaise busy kar deta hoon main usse'!

SK: Or maybe 'uss doctor ka patient ke saath chakkar chal raha hai'!

PC: Ha ha!

"Aamir Khan Had Done It In...": Shahid Kapoor

FS: You guys have an amazing number of fans worldwide and they work selflessly without any expectations. Does that overwhelm you both?

PC: For me, it has been. I think everybody on Twitter, my Twitter rockstars, have made Twitter a great place for me. When I started out, I was one of the very few people in India who used to tweet. Our fans and admirers have really given us huge support through thick and thin. I wanna thank them for it because it really keeps me going.

FS: Talking about 'Jab Se Mere Dil Ko Uff'…

PC: I love it! It's one of my most favourite songs. It has got that amazing 60s music and vibe. Even the way we are dressed…surely one of my favourite songs!

FS: One of your characters in the film, Javed, has been appreciated a lot. Bahut hi zyaada dil khol ke flirt karte hain. I believe you have got the best response for it…

SK: Yeah because the promos are based on the shayaris which I really do think is the coolest part of the whole film. I was really nervous about it initially because Aamir Khan had done it in 'Fanaa'. Now, Kunal wanted me to do it in 'Teri Meri Kahaani' and I hoped that I wouldn't do it very badly. But once I started doing it, I really enjoyed it. What I like about Javed is that he's not really a shayar in the film. He only uses it as a pick-up line on women. To uske andar se shayari sirf tabhi nikalti hai jab usse ladkiyaan dikhti hai! But I did enjoy and I told Kunal after reading the 40-page synopsis that I am doing the film just for Javed. So he was definitely my favourite character in the film.

SK: (to Priyanka) You know how much of a morning person I am

PC: Even I am not a morning person but I slept well

SK: I slept late.

PC: Yeah, but I slept on time

FS: We're liking it!

FS: Ok, so is Javed based on the character of Javed Akhtar saab?

SK: That's a very interesting question but you should be asking it to Kunal

PC: I think it is because Javed saab is an absolutely lovely flirt. Aur woh bhi apni shayari ke saath!

FS: Kya baat hai!

PC: Meri jaan le lenge ab woh! (laughs)

FS: Kunal Kohli has written the shayaris?

SK: I think he has a team of writers. Some of the shayaris were written by his team while the rest were his shayaris. It's a very 'rasta shayari' which I like it. It's also shayari which is 'battameez'. Like uski jo pehli shayari hai in which he's praising himself. I really like that!

FS: While 'That's All I Really Wanna Do' is multiplex-friendly, the qawaali and characterization of Javed has a massy element to it and if its clicks, it can work big time. So do you guys consider these demographics?

SK: Film is based in 3 eras. So it was important to capture an important element of each era. And you are correct that we have approached each era with a certain mindset. So Javed ka character heroic hai. Woh har cheez karta hai hai jo hum apne mann mein karna chahte hai par sharafat mein kar nahi paate. So that's why the whole approach towards Javed's character is very massy. Even the kind of music that we have, his shayari, behavior, attitude and jab woh aata hai to background music bajta hai…that's how the character has been approached. The 1960s track is very similar to Shammiji's and Devsaab's films…the fun films. The entertainers of that time, jis tarah ka mahaul unme hua karta tha and that's why the song 'Jab Se Mere Dil Ko Uff' is also a little bit of takeoff on those lines. Meanwhile, the 2012 track is more for the younger college audience.

Most people love all kind of stuff, yaar. Massy films are doing so well in multiplexes and in big cities and even youngsters like it. But it's important to recognize three different flavours which we have tried to come up in the film and the fact that you are mentioning it means that some level it has made a connect.

FS: Looking forward to the performances at IIFA Singapore 2012?

PC: Yes IIFA is gonna be great. Prabhu (Dheva) sir is killing me. Because of all the work that I am doing right now – the promotions for 'Teri Meri Kahaani' and shooting for 'Barfi!' – I haven't got the time to rehearse much. But I have a very special act this year and I am very excited about it. And we'll also be promoting 'Teri Meri Kahaani' at IIFA. Shak (Shahid) and I would be doing a whole bunch of fun stuff together.

FS: Shahid, I believe, will be hosting IIFA as well as performing…

PC: Shahid is doing everything in IIFA this year! (laughs)

FS: Screen Awards mein iss baar inhone zabardast hosting ki with 'fakt chikni chameli' and all…

SK: Bacha bada ho raha hai…thoda-thoda…thoda-thoda…thoda-thoda…!

FS: Bade ki baat nahi hai. Aap mein alag sa confidence tha. And you took chances.

SK: I was very nervous initially because doing a live event is different from performing in front of the camera. In the last couple of years, I have started enjoying it. And once you start enjoying something, you start playing a little bit with it. And that has started happening now which is indeed a lot of fun. And I'll be hosting IIFA and Farhan too will be co-hosting some sections with it. Then, there will be a lot of Southern actors who'll be attending IIFA, including Kamal Haasan. And I am doing a song from his film 'Appu Raja'. The whole act is a dedication to the Southern heroes and it would be quite massy and fun. So I am looking forward to something that I have never done before. And obviously, we'll be doing something from 'Teri Meri Kahaani' together. Moreover, there's also IIFA Rocks which will be held a day before the IIFA Awards wherein me and Priyanka will be doing a walk on the ramp.

PC: Also, Shahid's choreographing a gig for me! He's going to make me dance? Have you finished the choreography?

SK: No Ma'm, I am working on it. By the time you get time, it'll be ready!

PC: Hahahah!

FS: Also, the best part about this year's Screen Awards was that there was no teleprompter prompting you. You were just doing stuff on your own.

SK: Exactly and once you get used to it, you should start doing your own stuff. Only then you can enjoy it. Having said that, it's always important to have the teleprompter!

"I Really Loved Shahid...": Priyanka Chopra 

FS: There was a story in a tabloid yesterday that time-based films don't tend to work. Do you believe so or do you feel it's the story and script that people come in for?

SK: Some of our biggest hits like 'Lagaan', 'Gadar', 'Om Shanti Om' etc were period films. Also, log kuch na kuch to kahenge. I don't think any genre is on or off. Only thing that matters in films today is you have to entertain and not bore the viewers. And 'Teri Meri Kahaani' is high in entertainment. It's a romcom based in 3 eras and not a drama. It's not a typical reincarnation film jahaan pe log marte hai, dil tootta hai, fir paida hote hai etc. For instance, the character of Javed is based in the pre-independence era. Usually pre-1947 era films show hard characters jo desh ke liye lad rahe hai and sacrifice kar rahe hai. Par Javeed saab inn sab mein bilkul bhi interested nahi hai. Unko lagta hai ki angrez hamare liye kaam kar rahe hai kyonki woh railway lines aur roads bana rahe hai. Aur unko foreigners ke saath flirt karne ka bhi mauka mil jaata hai. He has no tension about India's freedom. The format is entertaining and beyond that, people will see the film and decide. The concept is fresh and aisi koi film aayi nahi hai jahaan humne 3 alag-alag periods ke andar unhi 2 logon ko alag-alag tarike se milte hue dekha ho. So in those terms, it's very novel. You can get very restricted in the space of love stories. Ladka-ladki milenge shuru ke 40 minute mein jo film ka sabse entertaining portion hoga. Uske baad wohi separation hoga and all that. So in those terms, it's a new format.

FS: And what's the duration of the film?

SK: 2 hours

SK: I am listening to the song, I am talking and I am also driving. Do you know that this is an achievement?

PC: Shak, but where's the car?

SK: I really don't know.

PC: Shit! Apne phone se phone lagao zara…

SK: Haan, gaadi chalate mujhe phone lagana chahiye…that's a great plan!

PC: (To Faridoon Shahryar) You have Parull (Gossain)'s number?

SK: No no we'll figure it out…chalte raho…I know the basic direction. We can continue.

PC: Me and directions? You cannot depend on me for directions!

SK: No No, I'll never depend on you in terms of directions. Don't worry.

FS: We're still in Andheri East.

PC: Aise to hum log Worli pahuch jaayenge!

SK: Aap gaadi chala rahi hoti to aisa ho jaata. Woh dekho aapki gaadi.

PC: Main acche se gaadi chalaati hoon.

SK: Bahut. Kamaal ki!

PC: Shak…

SK: Scooter aur bhi acchi chalati ho aap!

PC: Stop it! I can drive well, ok? I DO drive well. Say it!

SK: I DO drive well!

PC: Ha ha! I drive well…I just don't know where to go!

FS: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has sung 'Allah Jaane' beautifully…

PC: I love the song. It's magical! It's so youthful and yet so passionate.

FS: Shahid Kapoor is doing really well off late. How do you rate him as an actor and which are the best films of Shahid according to you?

PC: Well…

FS:..Apart from 'Teri Meri Kahaani' and 'Kaminey'!

PC: Damn it (laughs)! Damn it damn it damn it! It's not fair!

FS: Accha, 'Kaminey' aap bol sakte ho…

PC: 'Kaminey' I think was Shahid's best work ever. But I really loved Shahid in 'Jab We Met' as well. In fact, I even liked him a lot in 'Ishq Vishk'! And I remember hum logon ka debut saath-saath ho raha tha aur hum log competition ko scope out kar rahe the. To isliye maine 'Ishq Vishk' dekhi thi and I really liked him in it. Shahid's anyways a good actor. If you are working with him, you don't have to make an effort to make the scene happen. I would rate him…I don't know…11 on 10!

FS: Kya baat hai! What is it that you think he can improve in his acting?

PC: Nothing much. Everybody has scope for improvement…

SK: If you had asked not in terms of my acting but personally, then she would have had a long list! And we could have a Bollywood Hungama special on it!

PC: Hahaha! Tum kyon information de rahe ho jab woh puch nahi rahe!

SK: I can't handle so much praise. I needed something to break it.

PC: I am praising na. Why are you getting bothered by it?!

FS: Talking about competition, what all can you do for competition?

PC: I can be the best that I can be. Main kisi ke baal-waal thodi kaat doongi jab log so rahe honge!

SK: Apne kaat dijiye, for once!

PC: Yeah, apne kaat doongi! Competitiveness does not mean walking over people. Rather, it means trying the best you can be, raising your levels and making sure you have high expectations of yourself. And that way, I am very competitive and compete with everybody in my films. I want to be everything that the director wants me to be.

FS: Priyanka Chopra as an actor and a person? Your views, Shahid?

SK: I discovered what professionalism can be and for that, I have huge respect for Priyanka. There's a lot that I learnt from her during 'Kaminey'. She's the one who is very inspiring when she is on the sets. She makes sure that the whole team is positive and that every day is enjoyable. I think that's a huge quality for any actor. I always used to be an actor who used to be very focused about my work. After working with Priyanka, I realized that there's lot more than that which one cannot ignore and one must acknowledge. Everybody depends on actors, director and technicians of the film to understand how to take the film forward and get the best work done. For that's its very important to set the right atmosphere. In those terms, Priyanka has always excelled brilliantly. That's something I have learnt from her and even tried to inculcate in myself. As an actor, she's the most intelligent actress we have in this industry and applies her intelligence in what she does. And because of that, you are able to see a much wider range of performances from Priyanka than her contemporaries.

FS: Best work of Priyanka?

SK: I really think she was phenomenal in 'Kaminey'. She had only 8 scenes in the film and we were very worried whether she would agree to do the role. She did make Vishal Bhardwaj fly all the way to Miami (US) for narration. So she did throw a little bit of the 'diva attitude'!

I didn't! I was in Miami for 3 months, shooting 'Dostana'!

SK: Vishal used to call me from there saying 'Yaar, yahaan US aana pad raha hai. I hope Priyanka haan bol de'! But that's the thing I really respect about her is that she recognized that this is a special film. Even though it's not a film that's just about her, it's a film that anybody should be a part of. And she did a have a part which, if understood and approached correctly, would find a lot of popularity and appreciation. And she did the film. I think 9 out of 10 actresses would have not recognized that and done the film. And it would have been their loss. 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara', for instance, is not about any one actor. Everybody has a vital role to play in the film. It was the intelligence of those actors to recognize the same.

FS: Apart from Kaminey, which is the other best work of Priyanka?

SK: I haven't seen '7 Khoon Maaf' unfortunately but I have heard she was phenomenal in it. Even 'Fashion' was good. And I really liked her in 'Dostana' man! With that film, she found a space in which every 12-year-old boy would love her! And the 12-year boy in me was very excited when he saw 'Dostana'!

"I'm Very Proud Of Don 2 And Agneepath": Priyanka Chopra

FS: Your last two films, 'Don 2' and 'Agneepath' were big blockbusters but your fans missed seeing you in a full-fledged role in both the films. 'Teri Meri Kahaani' however seems like a performance-oriented role and you are getting a chance to play 3 different roles based in 3 different eras. Is it something you are looking forward to?

PC: It's very tragic. When you do a big blockbuster film, people say that 'iska to role kam tha'. But then both the films were boy-oriented action films, after all. If I do a female-oriented role, people argue that these are small films and not 100-crore-grossers. So you see, hum dono taraf se phanste hain. But that's not how should see it. I am very proud of 'Don 2' and 'Agneepath'. I am indeed the kind of actress who takes films with big parts and does all of that. I mix-up my films. I'll do big blockbuster films and I'll even do a film for the actor in me. And 'Teri Meri Kahaani' is both for me. It has 3 incredible roles ifor me and the film certainly has the potential to be a huge grosser. What I love about 'Teri Meri Kahaani' is its simplicity. Its three simple love stories about two people who are absolutely crazy about each other.

FS: Shahid, when you read articles in newspapers regarding you and Priyanka…

SK: What makes you think I read the papers at all anymore?!

FS: But I am sure you must be knowing about it, in today's times through Twitter…

SK: …Aaj kal possible hi nahi hai ki khabar mujh tak na pahuche!

FS: At times, the articles are kind of below the belt. How do you guys react to it? Do you discuss and empathize with each other?

SK: What is there to discuss yaar? I think you respect the other person, the decisions they make and the things they do in life would be good and the best in their circumstance. And you give them that much credit for taking the right decision for themselves. Beyond that, everybody has their own life and personal space. I don't think anybody would appreciate intrusion. I think if somebody wants to talk about something, they would bring it up. And if they don't want to bring it up, then you have to learn to give them their private space. Beyond that, all of us are actors and we do understand what the other person is going through because it happens to everybody at some point of time.

FS: What are you guys doing next? There have been speculations about you, Shahid, that you are doing Maneesh Sharma's film…

SK: I am indeed doing Maneesh's film.

FS: Is Parineeti Chopra opposite you?

SK: I am not sure about that. But I am doing Maneesh's next and we'll start shooting in July end or first week of August. So after I am done with the promotions of 'Teri Meri Kahaani', I'll rest for a few days and then start shooting for it.

FS: And are you doing Siddharth Anand's next?

SK: Me and Siddharth are really good buddies, yaar. There's a lot of stuff that we've been talking about. I think people are jumping to conclusions because we regularly hang out and spend a lot of time together. Obviously, there is a lot of work that is discussed. But no concrete plans as of now.

FS: And what about Punit Malhotra's film?

SK: No I am not doing it.

FS: What is the latest on 'Vettai' remake?

SK: I really liked the original version and I feel that it has a lot of potential. They need to come back to me with a Hindi dialogue draft and once I go through it, I'll be able to understand whether it works for me or not. But I did like the original one a lot.

FS: Anything else apart from that in the pipeline?

SK: There's a film that I am doing with Bejoy Nambiar which is very edgy, dark film in the league of 'Kaminey'. It would be produced by Mubina Rattoney, who was the executive producer of 'Kaminey'.

FS: And Priyanka, you are doing 'Zanjeer' remake, right?

PC: (Nods) I do all of Bachchan's remakes – 'Don', 'Agneepath' and now 'Zanjeer'!

SK: She thinks she's playing Amitji's character!

PC: Haha! I don't think Ram Charan (Teja) would like it. So don't say it!

FS: And when are you coming up with your single?

PC: The second half of the year is gonna be pretty interesting. It kicks off with 'Teri Meri Kahaani' that releases on June 22. Then 'Barfi!' releases on August 31. While I shoot for 'Krrish 3' and start 'Zanjeer', I am also working on my music and hopefully we should be able to drop a single by August-September. Also, I am reading a bunch of scripts to see what I want to do next year.

FS: You must be looking forward to 'Barfi!'…

PC: Yes, I am really excited about it. I am actually shooting for it right now. It's a completely different part for me and I don't even know if half of the people would even recognize me. But if I managed to do it right, it'll be something I'll be very proud of.

FS: Most special memory of 'Teri Meri Kahaani' for both of you?

PC: 'Teri Meri Kahaani' itself was very special to me. All of us enjoyed a lot at the places where we shot, be it London, Nottingham and all the schedules held in Mumbai for the 1910 and 1960 portions. If you see the making, you'll know how we were always joking and laughing. It was a fun environment that reflects upon the film. And I am probably going to miss the film now that it's almost done.

SK: As Priyanka said, all schedules were a lot of fun. I always have fun working with Priyanka. Kunal is very relaxed and an easy director to work with. Because it's a fun film, that's the reason we had fun while shooting. Even with 'Kaminey', there was a lot of fun but I think it was more demanding. In 'Teri Meri Kahaani', everybody was a lot more relaxed and it was easier and hence a lot of fun. Probably it's one of the most fun films that I have done and I am gonna miss it too!

FS: Thank you very much for being on Bollywood Hungama and all the best wishes for the film! We really hope that it does exceedingly well!

SK and PC: Thank you Faridoon!