Faridoon Shahryar's Blog

Friday, September 28, 2012

"Got A Lovely Email From Vidya": Ileana D'cruz

Faridoon Shahryar
How are you?

Illena D'Cruz 
I am all right. I am so sorry, its been a mad day 

Faridoon Shahryar 
Your fans have been literally approaching us because your performance was fantastic and somehow your interview on Bollywood Hungama was appreciated like big time and they wanted more of you and they wanted a full interview with you. 

Illeana D'Cruz 
That's so lovely.

Faridoon Shahryar
Congratulations for the, I think wonderful performance in Barfi! I think you definitely held your own. In fact if you remember I had asked you this question, a fan of yours had asked this question that Priyanka and Ranbir, they are having those specially abled characters but are you sure that you will be able to hold yourself. But I think you did perfectly well, you had some wonderful performance over there. 

Illeana D'Cruz 
Thank you.

Faridoon Shahryar 
What sort of responses have you got?

Illeana D'Cruz 
Well actually I have got quite a few responses, pretty much on the same lines as that and that has been pretty much the biggest compliment for me. For me I think the fact that I have had actors in the industry appreciating my work has been fantastic. 

Faridoon Shahryar 
Mr. Bachchan tweeted about you yesterday.

Illeana D'Cruz
Yes I was completely blown away with that and there have been few other actresses who have messaged me as well. They have taken their time out you know to actually to tell me that they really liked my work so its been humbling and I am still in state of disbelief. 

Faridoon Shahryar 
So who are the actors, who have messaged you and congratulated you on your work?

Illeana D'Cruz
I got a lovely Email from Vidya. 

Faridoon Shahryar 
Vidya Balan. Ok. 

Illeana D'Cruz 
Yes, which is good because I completely love her work, she's a fabulous actress and I have had a lot more people, even certain directors from the film industry who have messaged, I know it wouldn't be right to mention everybody's name, but its been lovely. 

Faridoon Shahryar 
You had 3, I think time zones as well, you know a very young age and then once you getting married and the older one as well. Older one the voice was dubbed by yourself or someone else dubbed it for you?

Illeana D'Cruz 
No. It was mine. 

Faridoon Shahryar
You know if that has been dubbed by you, that is brilliant because to get that nuance of you know an older performance is wonderful. That was brilliant in fact that the entire nuances, the way you just got hold of it. So tell me about these entire time zones that you just worked on. What were the instructions given by Anurag Basu and how did you deal with it?

Illeana D'Cruz 
I think Anurag was very sort of you know clear about certain things. He didn't want something specific or something that was really forced. He just I guess wanted the entire thing  slow down, you know us playing old, all he said was 'don't push it, don't push it and do voice. Don't try and sound old. Slow it down, that's all.' That's what I took from him. He is not the sorts really giving you know any kind of instructions, but very sort of clear, gives you one liners and we go ahead with that.  

Faridoon Shahryar 
There are many scenes where even you are not having dialogues, but you are still communicating through your face or facial expressions. I will give you one example, when you just go to the Muskaan house and when you guys are just finally coming out and Priyanka's character just says 'Barfi' from her window and you've heard it and for a moment you would want that may be you shouldn't tell Ranbir about it. You know that entire transformation of, the entire what is going through your mind, you know the negative shades which are there in all the human beings and how you just turn positive and the entire thing. I think that was beautifully done, so without saying a word and just communicating and this is your first Hindi film, I am sure that you must have got compliments for those scenes as well, that scene particularly. 

Illeana D'Cruz
Yes, I did, I did. There were a lot of people who really loved that scene. I have had some very unusual sort of comments for that scene. While there were some people who were like you know 'why did you turn, you should have moved on'. But I think that was one of the toughest scenes, because I had certain doubts, I think you know as every sort of heroine so do you want to play a positive shade, and the minute you feel, you didn't realize that as human beings we do have this natural tendency, that we want our own happiness. I came to terms with that later on because Anurag and Me talked about it, and I appreciated the fact that you were doing a film which was so real. He didn't want to make it all candyfloss and you know and all 
fantasy-like and it was real. We are all human beings and you know for one point the thought does cross her mind like you know what if I turn around, that's it, I am letting go of this man and I love him and I have left my entire family, my life behind for him, and really want to let go of everything now, and you know I could have easily walked away with him and not worried about it, but the fact that she loves him so much but she wants to see him happy and she knows that he will be happier with her. In a way, you know just the fact that she's got those tears in her eyes everything came so naturally, so every compliment that's been coming my way all the credit goes to Anurag, he's formulated a story that's so beautiful , and created a scene that's so unbelievably magical. You will not help but fall in love with all of them because they are real, they are human and you can relate to them. 

Faridoon Shahryar 
We met you in the week of your release and the day I think we met you on Tuesday, a day before the press show was supposed to happen and you know there were apprehensions in the minds of lot of people because its not a regular masala entertainer that is coming your way, and it came with a limited number of prints. Did you guys have any apprehensions, did you have any butterflies because you know a film like this, the way it has performed at the box-office is brilliant you know, it will give a breath of fresh air. I was speaking to Anurag Kashyap yesterday and he said that this will open up a lot of avenues for a lot of good films within the industry. But there were apprehensions, you know that how will people react to it. 

Illeana D'Cruz 
I can't speak for Ranbir and Priyanka, they have been in the industry a lot longer than I have. I mean I have had my share of the South film industry. For me this was a huge, huge risk because you know like I mentioned in our earlier interview, a lot of people have this sort of notion of how they would like to see a new girl come onscreen, basically a new face. I wouldn't consider myself a new face, because I have been acting for the past 5 years. But I think, you know for a newer audience to see me, rather would have them see me you know in a glamorous avatar, you know with lovely costumes, with a more pleasant kind of and you know fun loving something like that is very real and very normal and very sort of modern. 

Faridoon Shahryar 
That's how Ranbir Kapoor came  to know about you because he googled 'Illeana hot' when he had to just find out about you. 

Illeana D'Cruz 
That's just a thing you know, but I guess that's probably the beauty of Anurag, that's why I keep mentioning, why I keep going on about Anurag is that I mean when you see the film you realize it. Its a film that a lot of people have said is magical and that's exactly what I felt when he told me the story, it was magical. You think about the fact that this is such a beautiful film, the bond between the 3 of them, sure she loves him, she's in love with Barfi no doubt at the same time she would do anything to keep him happy and it's not about just self-sacrificing things but its just that she's human and she knows how she feels and how he feels as well and, its just lovely, its got this lovely warm feeling. Coming back to your question, yeah I would have taken the risk but I wanted to be a part of this film no matter what. A lot of people in fact even told me that why are you doing this but I decided I was like you know what I guess let me give it my best and hope that people will see it. 

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Dev Anand On Suraiyya, Guru Dutt, Music, His Great Films

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Why Yash Chopra Considers Shahrukh Special?

Yash Chopra while talking about his association with Shahrukh Khan at the 'Yash Chopra In Conversation With Shahrukh Khan' event today, said that what he likes about Khan is that he has never asked him for a script, never discussed remuneration and never asked him to shift shoot because of date issues. In fact Khan cancelled his shoot for Main Hoon Na once because Chopra wanted him for Veera Zaara.

SRK praised Chopra for always choosing different subjects like Darr and then opting for Shiamal Davar's dance form in Dil To Paagal Hai or making a film on the perils of partition and the cross border love.

Yash Chopra said that he is very happy that Jab Tak Hai Jaan is his last film. He called this film as a gift from his son Aditya Chopra who wrote the film. He praised the best technicians who are part of his last film.
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SRK Sings A Song From 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan'

Yash Chopra along with Shahrukh Khan sang the famous number 'O Meri Zohra Jabin' from Chopra's classic film 'Waqt' at the 'Yash Chopra In Conversation With Shahrukh Khan' event. This song is also part of 'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge' in a notable scene.

Shahrukh and Yashi Ji also sang a line of one of the songs from Jab Tak Hai Jaan. The song is called 'Challa'. It has been sung by Rabbi Shergill and as everyone knows the music of the film has been given by A R Rahman and the lyrics have been written by Gulzar sahab. The song seems to be primarily in Punjabi.
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Yash Chopra Announces Retirement; JTHJ His Last Film As A Director

The evening of 'Yash Chopra In Conversation With Shahrukh Khan' came to a close with Shahrukh Khan asking Yashi ji about his next directorial venture. Yash ji said that 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan' is his last film as a director. He said that he has achieved a lot as a director and now he wants to concentrate on giving back to the film industry by guiding talented people and spending time with his wife Pamela and doing things that he likes. Shahrukh almost cried. Parineeti Chopra was sitting behind me and she was crying inconsolably. It was an emotion packed climax to the two hour long 'Conversation'. Yash Chopra did most of the talking and one got to know why he is called a master story teller. He held everyone spellbound with his grasp of human emotions, his sense of humour and his romantic outlook towards life that is smeared with earthy pragmatism.
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Yash Chopra In Conversation With Shahrukh Khan

Yash Chopra in conversation with Shahrukh Khan on the occasion of the 80th birthday of Yash Chopra was a truly momentous occasion. Shahrukh took Yash ji down the memory lane through his films like Dhool Ka Phool to the first multi starrer Waqt (that turned out to be the recipe for lost and found theme in Bollywood). Yash ji had been told by someone that he should take Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor for this film. Someone close to Yash ji told him not to make this mistake that even in the dark once can realise that Raj, Shammi and Shashi are brothers so the entire idea of lost brothers will go for a toss.

They discussed the songless thriller Ittefaaq and then in 1971, Yash Raj Films came into existence. The first film under his production was called Joshila which was incidentally the first film that Shahrukh ever saw in a cinema hall in Delhi. Yash ji called Deewar as the most complete and interesting script that he ever got and credited Salim Javed for the same. Deewar was a film that he was directing while Kabhi Kabhi was a film that he was both producing and directing. And both the films were being made at the same time. Yash Chopra complimented Mr Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor as both were very punctual and this helped in both the films getting made simultaniously.

Trishul and Kala Pathar were made at the same time as well. SRK and Yash ji had a long discussion on the casting of Silsila. Chopra disclosed that the original choice of the two heroines was Smita Patil and Parveen Babi. Both had been signed as well. It was right before the shooting was about to start that Yash ji expressed his desire to make the film with Rekha, Jaya Bachchan and him. Mr Bachchan had taken a long pause and told Yash ji to convince the two actresses and that he is fine with the decision. Chopra narrated that Parvin was fine with it but Smilta Patil was hurt especially because Chopra had asked Shashi Kapoor to pass the bad news to her.

Mashaal was the only film that Yash Chopra and Dilip Kumar ever made together. Chopra narrated their common bonding on food. After delivering a few flops in the 1980s, he went on to make Chandni with 9 songs and the film was a big hit. The recipe for the typical Yash Chopra romance thus came into existence.
Shahrukh said that even though Yash ji comes across as such a simple guy. He had always chosen bold subjects for his films. For ecample Lamhe had Anil Kapoor falling in love with the mother and daughter (both played by Sridevi).

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Rani Mukerji To Act In Vaibhavi Merchant's Directorial Venture?

In an interview with me a short while back Rani Mukerji said that choreographer Vaibhavi Merchant should turn a director soon. Merchant on her part expressed her approach towards cinema and yes she does have aspirations of turning a director. And will Rani act in it?

We were shown the full video of Rani's next item song from 'Aiyya'. It's called 'Agabai' where Rani is showcasing her belly dancing prowess. The crackling chemistry with Prithvi is enough to set the temperature soaring. Rani sang the song for us in full glory. She also sang 'Dreamum Wakeuppum' in a bindaas style. Rani was in a great fun mood and so was Vaibhavi (they call each other conjoined sisters).

The duo spoke about the progressive concept of a woman lusting for a man. Rani said, every woman has these thoughts, its just that they are conditioned to present a different picture. It was meant to be a short interview but we ended up having a twenty eight minute long byte. It is a fun interview with some really heartfelt moments.
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Monday, September 24, 2012

Akshay And Salman To Clash On Eid 2013?

The sequel to Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai is all set to release on Eid 2013. But according to reliable sources close to Salman Khan, he too will be having a film up for release on Eid 2013. The name of the film has not been divulged. OUATIM 2 is aiming to release with 2500+ screens nationwide. This will be an interesting situation for sure. Let's wait and watch. 

Teaser: Bollywood Hungama Celebrates Big B's 70th Birthday

"Ranbir Is Absolutely Doing Besharam": Anurag Kashayp

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Multiple Releases, An Impending Strike....Bizarre Times Ahead For Bollywood

S Rajamouli's 'Eega' will release all over India in its Hindi version 'Makkhi' on October 12th. Now, Rani Mukerji's 'Aiyya' and Ram Gopal Varma's 'Bhoot Returns' will also be releasing on the same day. All the three films will surely eat into each other's collections. On October 5th, three films 'KLPD', 'Ishq In Paris' and 'English Vinglish' are releasing. In a span of two weeks, six films are relasing, which is surely not a good precedent.

A film like 'English Vinglish' has received a great response at the Toronto Film Festival and is carrying a positive buzz. It will be interesting how the Exhibitors shall be distributing screens amongst these films and hopefully a good film wouldn't have to vacate screens to accomodate new releases. Moreover, 'Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal' and Akshay Kumar's "OMG Oh My God' are releasing on September 28 and if either of them works then the woes of the exhibitors will be multiplied by manifolds. Also, single screen theatres have announced a strike from October 11. It is going to be a bizarre time in Bollywood in the next few weeks.
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Vicky Donor Director Lashes Out At Producers For The Oscar Faux Pas

Shoojit Sircar, in an official press release has congratulated the team of Barfi! on being the official entry from India for the Best Foreign Language Film category in Oscars, 2013 but has lashed out at the producers of his film Vicky Donor by stating, "I'm very disheartened, disappointed and angry that one of this year's most original high concept story was not even considered by the producers of the film to be sent for Jury's consideration. I was in complete shock when the Jury told us that they have not received  the film from Eros for consideration....This purely shows their disregard for a film that brought them commercial success as well as critical acclaim. I would also like all the directors to beware of producers and watch out for their films at every stage. For somebody like me and the kind of films I make, what makes me happiest is the critical acclaim much more than the commercial gains. I sincerely hope that Eros in future does not repeat this mistake with any other film."

It is debatable whether Vicky Donor, as claimed by the director was "the year's most original high concept story." The entire premise of sperm donation and the manner in which big money was shown attached to this practice in the film had come in for sharp criticism from the experts. As for Barfi!, then  the film has many inspirations from several Hollywood films and it is debatable whether such a film as this, will pass the litmus test at the hands of the Oscar jury. In fact, the 'inspirations' of many scenes are so verbatim that the film may bring a bad name to India. 

Many felt that a film like Gangs of Wasseypur would have been a good choice considering that Anurag Kashyap has developed a solid clout in the West. But then, even this film had come in for criticism for its long length and a documentary like narrative. I feel Tigmanshu Dhulia's Paan Singh Tomar could have been the best bet as it is based on a real story, has Irfan Khan in the lead (he is a relatively known face in the West because of Spiderman and a few of his other works), showcases India's heartland and most importantly is a gritty story of an athlete turned dacoit which is novel in itself. 

Kajol At 5th Anniv Bash Of Vogue India

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Barfi! Is India's Entry To The Oscars, 2013

Barfi! has been selected as the official entry of India to the Oscars for the year 2013 in the Best Foreign Language film category. It has beaten films like Gangs of Wasseypur Part 1 and 2, Paan Singh Tomar and Kahani.
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Friday, September 21, 2012

Heroine: A Half Hearted Entertainer

'Heroine' is a looooooong story often told before either by the same director or others. Yes it does give you an insider's perspective on the gossip-n-games played within the film industry but when you keep coming across supers stating '2 months later', '2 years later' and the crowd in the cinema hall starts jeering for the film to get over sooner-rather-than-'later' then you know it is not a positive news for any film whatsoever.

Like most of Madhur Bhandarkar movies, the production values are shoddy-n-tacky and it is a put off especially since one is talking about the world of glamour-n-make-believe. The sets of a film award show or a hurriedly put together press conference and at many other instances, the look-n-design of the film is substandard.

If you've seen 'Page 3', 'Fashion', 'Corporate', 'Traffic Signal', 'Jail' then you can easily predict the trajectory of 'Heroine'. The Nobodies who gossip at parties, professional rivalries-n-jealousies, the rise-n-fall and then the redemption of the protagonist, the awkward looking Gay fashion designers and Love that was never Meant to be. The manner in which in-film advertising has been blatantly forced in the film, is putting off. Too many products and too much of in-the-face 'selling'.

Divya Dutta as the smart-ass film publicist is superb. She is clear, focussed and ruthless in meeting her objective of getting publicity (good, bad or ugly) for her client Mahi (Kareena). Mahi and cricketer friend Angad (Randeep Hooda) make an exit out of a restaurant just-at-the-right moment for the media to get an 'opportunity' to hound them. Now, many a times, the pictures clicked at odd hours of a superstar and an actress with a film release on hand or a star coming out of his rumoured girl friend's home (right after his film's release) are not merely scoops. They are manufactured by the publicity machinery of the stars or for creating the buzz around an upcoming film.

There are several references to real life events that have happened with Bollywood celebrities in the recent times and it is interesting. Mahi exposes the forged date of birth of Rhea (Mugdha Godse) in her passport. Reference to context: Deepika Padukone wishing to see Katrina's passport in Koffee with Karan or the controversy surrounding Mallika Sherawat's 'real' age. An item song is added in superstar Danish Khan's (Sanjay Suri) film and the actress who performs the song is promoted more than Mahi, the film's heroine. Reference to context: Chikni Chameli promos hammered all across and thus becoming the mainstay of the promotions of Agneepath. The media is shown in a poor light in the film. But yes, many of the film journalists, in reality, are bad ambassadors of their profession. But the cheap cardboard boom mike covers are such a put off. Not done.

Kareena's tryst with realistic cinema where she wants to gain critical acclaim instead of merely being a showpiece within the film has poignant moments. Her lesbian fling with Shahana Goswami is organic and it doesn't evoke cheap thrills. Shahana is competent and shines even in a small role. Kareena's relationship with character artiste Helen is a noteworthy one. Madhur portrays the plight of lesser important stars-n-actors and the poor manner in which they are treated, in a sensitive way. The controversial leaked video meant for hyping up a thanda film up-for-release is a shocking ploy but such things do happen.

Randeep Hooda is wasted in a unidimensional role. Arjun displays various shades of grey and white but even he is unable to do much beyond a point. Many actors who've done bit roles, look untrained and unprepared. Kareena has delivered a very fine performance. The vulnerability, the edginess, the nervous energy, childlike innocence and a fiery temper are combined superbly in a performance of a lifetime. Music by Salim-Sulaiman is decent but not their very best. Editing is all over the place. The film needs to be chopped by at least half an hour. Niranjan Iyengar and Madhur Bhandarkar's dialogues are catchy in parts. "Producer ki biwi chai se lekar chapaati tak ka hisaab rakhti hai," says a production designer, making you crack up. There are several punchy dialogues but there are many that fall flat too.

'Heroine' is a watchable film if you have loads of free time and are willing to be generous enough to overlook several loopholes and the lack of novelty value.

Star Rating: ** 1/2 stars

Jab Tak Hai Jaan Promo Totals 5.7 Lac Video Views On Bollywood Hungama In 18 Hours

The theatrical trailer of 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan' has totalled over 5.7 lac video views in a span of 18 hours on Bollywood Hungama. This huge response beats all the previous records by a BIG margin. There have been reports that in many of the countries where You Tube has been disabled, people watched JTHJ promo on Bollywood Hungama. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sridevi: Timeless Perfection

Sridevi is a picture of perfection and professionalism. She changed her clothes twice so that she doesn't repeat herself while doing interviews one after another. And we patiently waited. No complaints. Sincerely. For here is an actress who has delivered stunning performances in Sadma, Lamhe, Chaandni and Chaalbaaz. I've enjoyed her Himmatwala and Tohfa avatars too. And yes, Kaate nahin katti raat from Mr India is one of the most sensuous numbers you could ever see in an Indian movie. Also, the promos of her comeback vehicle 'English Vinglish' are extremely engaging.

Our turn came as the clock went past 10 pm. I knew I would have to silently sneak into my home late in the night so I decided that I might as well celebrate the occasion of meeting and interviewing Sridevi. She was joined by her captivating writer-director Gauri Shinde (She is far more younger than what I though she would be, and yes she is quite a stunner herself). Now, Sridevi ji speaks very very less. Before you are through with your question, she is done with her answer. Gauri proved to be a good catalyst. We discussed the intelligent sense of humour that's filtering out through the promo but the duo didn't let me probe deeper into the hint of an extra marital fling that Sridevi ji's character has in the promos of English Vinglish.

Four time Filmfare Award winning actress in Sridevi isn't thinking about the talks of a National Award winning performance in her comeback film. She is keen on doing another film provided a good script comes her way. I spoke to her about her memorable performances in Sadma, Lamhe, Chaalbaaz, Chaandni and the box office prowess with Nagina. She was self effacing and almost child like while answering. Lines like 'Why India and why The United States of America', according to the duo got a great response at the Toronto premiere.

As I came out of the hall after doing the interview, Boney Kapoor ji and R Balki were sitting outside. It was refreshing to see successful husbands supporting the aspirations of their talented wives. Now, I sincerely hope, I don't end waking up Aarefa and Insha as I shall tip-toe my way into the house (it's almost midnight). Fingers crossed.
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Yash Chopra, The Poetic Aura Lingers On

'Jab Tak Hai Jaan' first look promo is impressive. It carries a poetic aura that one can associate with Yash Chopra. He has been deeply attached to poetry since the beginning of his career. Watch his early films like 'Waqt' and you just can't miss the poetic charm even in the dialogues. Great Urdu poet Akhtar Ul Iman sahab wrote fabulous dialogues in 'Waqt' and even had a small role in the film. 'Kabhi Kabhi' had Sahir Ludhiyanvi at his very best. My father Professor Shahryar wrote lyrics for Yash ji's film 'Faasle'. The film didn't do well but one of the songs sung by Asha Bhosle ji continues to be my favourite...Ye khaafile yaadon ke, kahin kho gaye hote/ Ek pal bhi agar bhool se hum so gaye hote. 

Abba had a lot of respect for Yash ji. When he was in Bombay last year, Yash ji was kind enough to give him some time. Yash ji has a lot of regard for creative people, a rarity in Bollywood these days which is ruled by bloated egos and 100 crore aspirations.

According to a senior official in YRF, Yash ji is personally supervising the post production and is currently working with A R Rahman on (I guess) the background score. I am surely looking forward to this offering from Yash Chopra, a man I respect a lot. And yes, it's personal for me as well.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Rani Mukerji, Enjoying Herself Like Never Before

Rani Mukerji is enjoying herself and that's very apparent from the promos of Aiyya and when I met her for the interview today, it was very clear that she is upbeat. Anurag Kashyap was giving an interview to a production house and Rani stepped in and started singing Dreamum Wakeuppum. I had taken questions from her fans and she was really engrossed in answering but then the publicist requested to wind up soon. Rani intervened and asked me to take my time. Even though the interview lasted for around 23 minutes, I couldn't ask many questions. But I've given a printout of all the questions to Rani and she said that she would surely read all of them. BTW, to the hundreds of Ranians from Indonesia who had sent me their emails and requests, Rani has given a shoutout to you in my interview.

Rani would love to do a double role and a negative character provided she gets a good part. Prithviraj or Shahid, who's a better dancer? Vaibhavi or Shiamak Davar? I told Rani that many a times lesser talented actresses keep on hammering the public eye courtesy their PR machinery, why does Rani with all her wonderful talent, shy away from being in the media spotlight. Talking about the music of the film, Rani complimented Amit Trivedi and lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya for a great music score. She spoke about songs like the uptempo Lavni number 'Sava Dollar' and 'Agabai'. She also spoke about a soft ballad called 'Mehak'. She says that she would love to see Aiyya in a single screen theatre like Chandan or Gaiety Galaxy in Bombay as she feels the mass response will be positive for the film.

During the making of the film, Rani had spoken to Juhi Chawla, Madhuri Dixit and Sridevi, to whom she has given homage in the film. She says that to play her film loving part, she was inspired by films like Chaalbaaz, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. A fan had asked if she would like to do a sequel to any of her films, and Rani's answer was.....

Anurag Kashyap, A Passionate Director And A Reluctant Producer

I always look forward to doing an interview with Anurag Kashyap for I can ask the man anything under the sun and there won't be a publicist loitering around, ready to jump in the fray hypervenatillating on this-n-this question etc. Anurag says that he has had enough of producing movies and he would want to concentrate on directing films as that is his first love. He gave the example of Aditya Chopra, who in his quest for setting up his production house has ended up directing only three films in a span of 16 years.

Anurag also said that he supports good independent cinema but he is not an NGO for Independent cinema and shouldn't be expected to support substandard films that are projected in the name of the Indie cinema. Talking about the obsession with the 100 crore club, he said that the day he makes a 50 crore film, he would want his film to earn 100 crore as that will help the financial logistics of the film but apart from that he is not affected by the craze for the 100 crore club.

Anurag is happy with the Box Office success of Barfi! as it gives a fresh lease of life to good meaningful cinema. His production Aiyya is releasing on October 12 and the single screen theatres are planning to go on a strike protesting against the high entertainment tax levied by the Government. Anurag who had been away from the country wasn't aware of this development but strongly denounced the steep entertainment tax imposed by the Government. He also said that the Government doesn't look at the film industry with respect. Film stars are used by the politicians to draw in the crowds but the problems of the industry are never understood. He said that despite having permission during outdoor shoots, they still have to grease the palms of the policemen to let their shoots proceed peacefully.

Anurag told me off camera that he is having 17 completed scripts and also has offers from big production houses from abroad who are willing to back his projects. He is open to making a film in English provided it happens organically. On camera he had said that Bombay Velvet is in Hindi. He is also not perturbed by the usage of the word 'Bombay' in the title of his film and doesn't foresse any trouble from the regional political parties. A fan asked Anurag to choose between Gangs of Wasseypur part 1 and part 2 as a film that's closer to his heart. What was Anurag's selection? And yes, he did pick one.

Send Questions For Vivek Oberoi And Mallika Sherawat

Guys send in your questions for Vivek Oberoi and Mallika Sherawat to faridoonshahryar@gmail.com. You can post your questions in the comments section below as well. Also send whacky questions for a Rapid Fire with the duo as well. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Send Questions For Rani Mukherji And Anurag Kashyap

Guys send in your questions for Rani Mukherji and Anurag Kashyap at faridoonshahryar@gmail.com or post it in the comments section below. Also send in questions for Rapid Fire as well. Make it interesting and innovative.
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Priyanka Chopra At The Nokia Music Store To Launch 'In My City'

Karisma, Kareena, Sharmila Tagore At HT Brunch Dialogues

Sridevi At The Premiere Of 'English Vinglish' At The Toronto Film Festival

"In My City Is The Theme Song For NFL This Season": Priyanka Chopra

This One on One video with Priyanka Chopra on her single 'In My City' is getting a great response on the youtube hungama channel. I had spoken to Priyanka on the phone while she was in Los Angeles recently and this clip has been taken from that interview. Check it out.

Priyanka Chopra's Debut Single 'In My City'

Check out Priyanka Chopra's debut single 'In My City' featuring Will.I.Am. It is great that an Indian is making inroads in the international arena. The possibilities are immense.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Send Questions For Ranbir, Priyanka, Ileana

I am doing an interview with Team Barfi today evening...Ranbir, Priyanka, Ileana so send in your questions based on the experience of watching Barfi and what you think of it. Do share interesting and naughty Rapid Fire questions as well. You can send your questions to faridoonshahryar@gmail.com or post it in the comments section below. HURRY!!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Send Questions For Akshay Kumar And Paresh Rawal

I am doing an interview with Akshay Kumar and Paresh Rawal. Send in your questions at faridoonshahryar@gmail.com or post it in the comments section below. Would want questions for both as it balances things out. 

Send Questions For Preity Zinta

I shall be doing an interview with Preity Zinta. Send in your questions for Preity at faridoonshahryar@gmail.com or else post it in the comments section below. 

Link Of The Live Webcast Of The Launch Of Priyanka's Debut Single 'In My City'

Chalu 'Barfi!' Ranbir And Giggly-Gossipy Priyanka-Ileana's Fun Interview

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Barfi: Fall In Love For Life Is Beautiful

Anurag Basu has learnt his lesson well. Excessive usage of Spanish was the problem in 'Kites' and so were the sub titles. Barfi! doesn't have too many dialogues but the Communication through sign language is Spot On throughout the course of the film. The film entertains with its Charlie Chapline, Laurel Hardy brand of extraordinary humour, poignant situations and an unconventional-yet-touching romance. The narrative flow slows down at times but the over all impact is magnificent

The scenic magnificence of Darjeeling is a Character in itself and Ravi Varma's crafty camerawork augments the visual delight by many folds. The color tones change deftly as per the demands of the back-n-forth narrative and the cine watching experience is seamless. The film starts with a song exhorting you to get ready for 'the picture' and the mood is set for the joyous trip ahead.

Apart from Ranbir, Priyanka and Ileana, the actor who emerges triumphant is Saurabh Shukla. Most of the funny situations are created whenever Ranbir and Shukla are in each other's vicinity. The kids will love their Tom and Jerry shenanigans.

Barfi! touches an instant chord with its simplistic and an uncomplicated approach towards human relationships. There's a spurt of in-film advertising of brands like Avon Cycles, Prestige Pressure Cooker, Murphy Radio, Rupa, Canon etc but since they don't abruptly hamper the story flow, you'd ignore it. It is difficult to comprehend Barfi! without Ranbir Kapoor playing the lead part. Kapoor has Become the character. The manner in which this young actor is pushing the envelope of excellence is simply outstanding. He proposes with gusto, gets 'floored' on being kissed, loves without any hesitation, forgives as if nothing happened, cares for others for he understands what it means to suffer, mischief is his other name for fun is a way of life and most importantly Barfi finds Love in life which is meant for a rare few. Ranbir displays an amazingly wide gamut of emotions with a master's ease and the complete control over the body language is highly commendable. While most of the actors prefer taking the safer way out, this Kapoor scion pushes himself consistently.

Pritam's music is a big highlight of Barfi!. All the songs are superb but my personal favourites will be 'Aala Barfi', 'Main Kya Karoon' and 'Aashiyan'. Lyrics by Swanand Kirkire, Ashish Pandit, Sayeed Qadri and Neelesh Mishra are poetic and carry depth. The background score is another character in the film. When there are lesser number of dialogues, the background score is vital in conveying the message and Pritam is at his very best.

Priyanka Chopra is the surprise package of the film. She pulls up a restrained and an uncluttered performance. I am sure very few actresses in today's times would have dared to take up such a challenging and non glamorous role as this. Ileana D Cruz has a straight forward role but she adds spark with her charm and grace. Akiv Ali's editing chops are apt and simple. There's never a dull moment in the film though you will need to have some patience with the laidback narrative as pumping-up-the-pace would have spoilt the purpose.

After this film, Anurag Basu's name will be etched amongst the finest directors that Indian cinema can boast of today. The film holds a wide appeal not only for an Indian audience but the sky is open beyond language-n-cultural boundaries, for Barfi! is a universal story of love, hope and celebrating life under all circumstances and situations. Watch it!

Star Rating: ****

Live Webcast Of Priyanka's 'In My City' Launch/ Send Questions

Priyanka Chopra is launching her single 'In My City' in Bombay tomorrow at 8 pm (IST). Bollywood Hungama will be doing live webcast of the event. I shall be doing an interview with Priyanka post the event so send in your questions for Priyanka only on her album, singing, music etc at faridoonshahryar@gmail.com or post in the comments section below.

"I'd Take A Million People Endorsing My Film Than 10-12 Critics": Emraan Hashmi

Rani Plays Aamir's Wife In 'Talaash', Kareena Gets Intimate With...

"Ranbir Is The Best Actor Of This Generation": Anurag Basu

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

When Illeana Proposed To Ranbir With A Little Help From Priyanka

In a fun interview a short while back, Priyanka Chopra, Ranbir Kapoor and Illeana D cruz shared great vibes. I had taken a few fan questions. One fan had asked Illeana to propose to Ranbir in Barfi style. What happened thereafter has to be seen to be believed.

Ranbir and Illeana spoke about Priyanka's single 'In My City'. Both have seen the song and had wonderful things to say about it. A fan had asked Illeana that she is playing the normal character in the film while Ranbir and Priyanka play differenly abled characters so does she have any worries that her co stars may walk off with all the praise.

The press show of Barfi! Is happening tomorrow that is a wednesday. It definitely exudes confidence on the part of the team. I've been promised another interview on friday september 14 as today's interview was a short one and I haven't been able to take a lot of fan based questions. Hopefully I will get more time on friday. You guys keep sending me your reviews of Barfi! And I will try and put them across to Team Barfi! On Friday.
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Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron To Re Release On October 26

PVR Director's Rare in association with NFDC will re release a digitally restored version of Kundan Shah's Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron across all PVR cinemas in India on October 26, 2012.
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Kareena, Sharmila Tagore To Come Together For HT Brunch Dialogues

Kareena Kapoor and would-be-mom-in-law Sharmila Tagore will come face to face at the Hindustan Times Brunch Dialogues on September 14 at a hotel in Bombay. The topic of discussion will be 'The Changing Face Of Indian Heroine'. Joining them will be Karisma Kapoor, Madhur Bhandarkar, Raj Kumar Gupta (Director of No One Killed Jessica and Ghanchakkar), Helen and Siddharth Roy. Kapur of UTV.
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Ranbir, Priyanka, Illeana's Fun Interview

Kareena, Ranbir In Zoya Akhtar's Next?

New 'Talaash' Promo Coming With Barfi! On September 14

Monday, September 10, 2012

Emraan Hashmi Defends Criticism For Raaz 3

In an interview a short while back, Emraan Hashmi said that he hasn't given inputs on the music and other aspects of any of his films and that he will maintain that in future as well. Emraan defended the criticism for the music of Raaz 3. He also sportingly defended the criticism that has come the film's way. Raaz 3 has been his biggest opener and he is enjoying the moment.

Critics spoke about his performance in Shanghai in glowing terms, while a critic recently stated that after 'Shanghai', Emraan can sleep walk through a role like the one in Raaz 3. Emraan says that critics are important but one can't ignore the verdict of the millions of people as his latest film has gone from strength to strength with each passing day and is expected to have a great run at the Box Office especially the single screens.

With four back to back super hits and a critically acclaimed performance in Shanghai, is Emraan vary of 'Buri Nazar' and 'Kaala Jaadu'? Hashmi flaunted several rings on his fingers and said that its taken care of by these. There had been rumours of his alleged fallout with Bhatts. The interview was conducted in Vishesh Films' office. Emraan said that he is talks with Bhatt sahab for a few scripts. Doesn't he feel like asking Bhatt sahab to make films like 'Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke', 'Dil Hai Ki Maanta Nahin', 'Aashiqui'?

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"Aalochna Karne Par Film Patrakaron Ko Dhamki Bhi Milti Hai": Faridoon Shahryar

Saturday, September 8, 2012

An Item Song In 'Barfi' That Is Not Part Of The Album?

In an interview with me a short while back, Anurag Basu said that there's a song called 'Faatafaati' that they may introduce as a promotional music video before the release of 'Barfi'. He said that it could be, in a way, termed as an item number. No, it is not there in the film nor in the album. He has had suggestions for incorporating certain sections of the Background Score of Barfi in the Audio CD. The team may do so at some stage.

Producer Siddharth Roy Kapur of UTV disclosed that Barfi will be released in around 1500 screens in India and 400 screens overseas. Mr Kapur also disclosed that the shooting of 'Chennai Express' is starting on September 28. He refused to confirm Deepika Padukone as the lead actress opposite Shahrukh. The official announcement will be made soon. Himmatwala is going to be released on March 29, the day when the original Himmatwala had released 30 years back.
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Friday, September 7, 2012

Send Questions For Priyanka, Ranbir And Illeana

Guys send in your questions for Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Illeana Decruz. Its important that you send questions for all three as I won't be able to ask questions if only one or two guys are having most of the questions. You can send your questions at faridoonshahryar@gmail.com or post it in the comments section below.
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Raaz 3: Worth A Scare But The Script Be Damned

The basic premise of Raaz 3 is silly. To add insult to absurdity, a doctor himself facilitates the mahabharat between the noble and the evil 'spirits'. The core task of a Horror film is the ability to scare the audience in abundance. Raaz 3 succeeds in doing so, effectively aided by the 3D effect. Ganpati plays his part too in a formulaic filmy manner right in the heat of the climax.

Raaz 3 will undoubtedly prove to be a turning point for Bipasha Basu. She plays the ruthless villain possessed with jealousy to a great deal of perfection. Her love making scene with Emraan is uninhibited and there's no element of hesitation. The much hyped 20 minute kissing scene between Emraan and Esha Gupta is a lie. It lasts barely for a few moments. In fact, Emraan and Bipasha's kiss is far more intense than the one with Esha. The sad part is that a fine mind like Mahesh Bhatt has to resort to such cheaptricks to sell his film. The overtly publicized Cockroach scene where Esha runs out naked is exploitative and results in repulsive titillation.

Music is a big let down. None of the songs rise above their average quotient. Vikram Bhatt's direction is gripping whenever he wants to scare you or create a spooky feeling but how silly it is to conjecture that Sanjana (Esha) wouldn't be aware that Aditya (Emraan) and Shayana (Bipasha Basu) were in a longstanding relationship. The entire screenplay is riddled with loopholes so there's no point in elaborating further.

The fact remains that Raaz 3 is targetted at a certain audience that will lap it up for what it's worth. I heard a group of boys passing lewd comments at almost every scene. There's no dearth of such groups. And that's where the film's success will come from. A good story or script be damned.

Star Rating: **
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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Jab We Met House In Patiala And Not Bhatinda

I am back in Bombay after covering the on location of a film in Patiala, Punjab. The Production team of the film has requested not to disclose any details about the film. I gorged on Punjabi delicacies. The weather was extremely hot and humid and the sweat poured even during the interviews. I also visited Kareena's house in Jab We Met. In the film it says that the house is located in Bhatinda but actually it's in Patiala.

I finished reading Tuhin A Sinha's novel 'The Edge Of Desire' during the trip. The narrative flows in a Filmi way but it's gripping for sure. The English usage is predictable and the political ideology displays a limited understanding of Indian history. It's good fun nevertheless.

Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana Promo With 'Barfi'

The first look promo of Sameer Sharma's 'Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana' is coming with 'Barfi' on September 14. The film is releasing on November 2. The film stars Kunal Kapoor and Huma Qureshi. I have seen the promo. It looks great fun and I am looking forward to this film for sure. I can't say the same about a lot of other films after watching their first look promo.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ayya Promo To Be Launched At A Single Screen Theatre In Bombay

The first look promo of Rani Mukherji's 'Ayya' will be launched at a single screen theatre in Bombay tomorrow September 6. Producer Anurag Kashyap will be present along with Rani for the event.
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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Kareena Flies Into Dubai In Style

Kareena Kapoor Confirmed In 'Satyagrah'

Kareena Kapoor in the second part of her interview with me has confirmed that she will be paired with Ajay Devgn in Prakash Jha's next film 'Satyagrah'. Kareena also said that Zoya Akhtar is writing a film but the script is yet to be complete. There were rumours that Ranbir is also part of Zoya's film, to which Kareena said that she is not aware of it but she would love to work with Ranbir.
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Priyanka Chopra's Big Star Young Entertainment Awards