Reelstories's Blog
A dream it's true, but I'd see it through…

Jan
28

It was only the other day I was discussing the spate of Bollywood’s new age films like Aamir, A Wednesday, Mumbai Meri Jaan, Firaaq et al and why more and more people are falling for such films despite being made on shoe-string budgets and dished out on deglam platters. I realized the best part about these films are its screenplays which hits you instantly and compels you to think, ponder about facts of lives which we otherwise ignore. One needn’t be prudent or preachy all the time to communicate in the simplest possible way, isn’t it?

Amit Rai’s Road to Sangam is yet another addition to the marquee that talks about the age-old bitterness etched in the hearts of several Hindus and Muslims during the 1947 partition.

Raju Hirani’s Munnabhai did instill in us a new hope with his ‘Gandhigiri’. He made us respect the man all over again, the man who got us independence. Amit Rai’s film too has the powerful message of humanity and non-violence practiced by the great Mahatma.

Road to Sangam is a simple story of a devout Muslim car mechanic, Hasmatullah (Paresh Rawal). He runs a workshop in one of the prominent Muslim localities of Allahabad. He is also the secretary of the local mosque committee but doesn’t share a cordial rapport with the president Nawab Kasuri (Om Puri). Life goes on until one day he is entrusted with the job of restoring an old V8 Ford Engine within a week’s time.

Hasmatullah is elated to take on the vintage machine, completely oblivious to the fact that it was the same engine that carried the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi to be immersed at the Sangam (the point where the rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati meet).

As Hasmat works on his new assignment, a powerful bomb explodes in his town leading to the arrest of many innocent Muslim youths.

President Kasuri along with Maulana Qureshi (Pawan Malhotra) calls for a strike and orders the shopkeepers to shut shop as a mode of protest against the government. Hasmat joins the boycott only to realize the importance of work at hand.

Hasmat is in a fix. Will he support the protest and abandon the repair of the engine or go against the wishes of his community. Thus begins the journey of a true Muslim with a real Gandhian spirit.

Paresh Rawal is excellent in the film with his fiery spirit masked with a calm demeanor. The way he approaches the issue by subtly adapting non-violence is too good.

Pawan Malhotra as the Maulavi who keeps provoking the committee men in the name of religion deserves a special mention. Boy! With his voice modulation, kohl eyes and beard, he definitely looked the part.

Om Puri is good, but this is certainly not one of his best performances.

The film also sees Tushar Gandhi, the great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, debuting on the silver screen. Tushar plays himself in the film.

First timer Amit Rai does an admirable job in making a thought provoking film that drones the message of equality and humanity without getting clichéd.

The story is gripping but the pace is extremely slow giving the film the feel of a docu-feature, which somehow evaporates the tremendous impact it made at the interval.

Although the director insisted to keep the visuals exactly the way he wanted, I suggest he should have done away with the prolonged clippings of pre and post independence period which for some reason didn’t get merged with the film seamlessly. The special effect used in the last scene to create a ‘mob sequence’ looked exactly as a cut-copy-paste job. Tighter editing was the need of the hour.

Coming back to histrionics, if you have actors like Paresh Rawal, Om Puri and Pawan Malhotra shouldering the onus of the film with a reasonably good storyline, something good is sure to come out, right?

Well written dialogues mouthed by Paresh Rawal like: Hamare liye uske apno ne uski jaan li or Main mahan kam nahin ek mahan aatma ka kam kar raha hoon, supports the film and its cause.

The music by Sandesh Shandilya, Vijay Mishra, Nitin Kumar Gupta and Prem Hariya is soothing.

VERDICT: No doubt the film got the best film award at MAMI and rave reviews at the International Film Fest of South Africa, Los Angeles Reel Film Fest and so on. And what better time to release the film when we are so close to commemorate Gandhiji’s 31st death anniversary on Jan 30. It’s a journey worth exploring.


RATING:
2.5/ 5

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Jan
28

With all the publicity and hype around Veer, debutante Zarine Khan surely can’t contain her happiness. The girl was all smiles when I met her the other day. I realised Zarine has already picked up the tricks of the trade. For example, not to open her mouth about her future projects.

Buzz is that the newbie is galloping her way up and has already bagged her second film with David Dhawan. Last heard Dhawan was planning to take Katrina in the lead. But after he watched her in Veer, Dhawan is giving it a second thought.

If by sticking to Salman she can climb the ladders of success, Katrina too should stick to Akki. What say?

Jan
27

Two years ago, director Ram Gopal Varma worked wonders at the box-office with the Big B and his baby in Sarkar Raj. Seems like the bond the three share is still very strong and evidently so during the making of Rann.

It so happened that Abhishek Bachchan was shooting for Paa in the compound of the studio that Rann was also being shot in. As soon as AB Jr got a break from the shoot, he rushed over to the sets of Rann to take a quick look at his Pa’s progress and watch the film on the monitor. He even mingled with Varma on the sets and discussed the film at length.

A source on the sets confirmed that Abhishek walked away rather impressed with the gritty and hard-hitting look of Rann.

Jan
27

Now what do I hear… our Chance Pe Dance girl seems to have taken her film title rather seriously.

A little birdie tells me Genny baby is not leaving a single opportunity to copy Priyanka Chopra. Poor thing didn’t realise people around her do have eyes.

It so happened Genelia turned up for a party wearing the same outfit that Piggy Chops was featured in on a magazine cover.

To top it all, the colour too was the exact same. The little girl was obviously unaware of the faux pas. When someone pointed this out to Genelia, the actress was highly embarrassed.

Next thing we know, Genelia has started flipping through every fashion magazine before attending any party. Poor thing!

Jan
22

Salman Khan in a period film?!! I won’t deny I was a bit apprehensive about how Veer would turn up to be. Yes, from the look and feel it did look like a period film, but fifteen minutes into the film, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself enjoying the plot as we saw cannons roar, swords clash and men on galloping horses slaying one another on the battlefield.

Set in the times when the British were colonising India, Veer is a tale of bravery, treachery and love rolled into one. As the British enslave India with their shrewd ‘Divide and Rule’ policy, kings and nawabs fall to their guile and entrust their kingdom to them, one of them being Jackie Shroff, the Raja of Madhavgarh. He cheats the Pindaris, a fighter tribe from Rajputana, to please the British and loses his right hand to Prithvi Singh (Mithun Chakraborty).

Prithvi, one of the proud heads of the Pindaris, swears to return and kill every white man and the Raja to avenge the deception that cost his tribe, their land and their reputation. The vile Raja of Madhavpur too harbours a similar intention behind his cool demeanour. But as fate would have it, little did he realise that one day his daughter Jashodhara (Zarine Khan) would fall in love with the bravest of them all, Veer.

Now Veer not only takes on the British rulers, he also has to fight the cunning Raja of Madhavgarh. But then he has fallen head-over-heels in love Jasho and has killed her brother (Puru Raj Kumar) too. Will he succeed or won’t he is for you to figure out.

Salman seemed to be back in form. He has lost more weight this time and looked better than in Wanted. It felt good to see him dancing gracefully and emoting right at the same time, maybe because Salman himself has invested a lot in terms of story as well.

The discussion would be incomplete if we don’t talk about his action sequences and his dialogues. Like in Wanted, here too he has a few punch lines kept aside for his fans. Sample this: Ek bar leta hoon toh paanch ser gosht le ke hi chhodta hoon. If this was not all he goes on to prove it by actually killing a rebel Pindari with his bare hands by scooping out his flesh. And guess what he comes up with? ‘Tol lena, paanch ser se zyada hi hoga.” Woof!!

Salman even tries to do a Phool Aur Kaante stunt a la Ajay Devgan but of course on horses instead of two bikes. It wouldn’t be wrong to say it’s Salman’s film all the way but one person who actually stole the thunder with his fantastic support was Mithun Chakraborty. Expectations grew and sparks flew every time Mithun appeared on screen. Watching him was sheer delight. Also the chemistry the two of them portray as father and son is commendable.

Sadly, Sohail Khan as Punya was no different than in any of his other films. He simply tries to be funny. Loyal to the core, he plays Veer’s younger brother who follows him around like a shadow and he loves to flirt, that is when he is not fighting enemies. The scene where he romances a firang girl on the branch of a tree is hilarious.

As for the female counterparts, Neena Gupta as Mithun’s wife looked the part. The heroine, Zarine Khan, who allegedly is a Katrina lookalike, is far from resembling Kat with her chubby features. No doubt she has a pretty face with a sweet smile but wears the same expression throughout the film (boring!). She urgently needs to shed those extra pounds to bag another film.

Anil Sharma’s contribution as a director was probably till the time he brought the actors together. Though there was no dearth of grandeur, the cinematography is decent – especially the scenes shot in the palaces and forts – the special effects look tacky. Sharma has paid no attention to maintain the continuity in Salman’s hairstyle, which keeps changing every now and then. One may argue it was required for the different getups he seeks to befool his enemies, but then the locks can’t grow back so fast. Can they?

The saving grace of the film is its pace. And the action scenes that make you watch the film till the end.

VERDICT: The film may open very well at single screens because of Salman’s popularity.

I would go with 2/5 for the film and 1 for Sallu-Mithun chemistry. RATING: 3/5

Jan
19

Director Gaurav Pandey has pulled off a casting coup of sorts. For the very first time one can see the father-son duo, Mithun Chakraborty and Mimoh Chakraborty feature together in a Hindi film titled Spaghetti 24/7. And this is not all. Spaghetti 24/7 also sees Mimoh’s younger brother Rimoh as an assistant to the director as well. The film is scheduled to hit the theatres sometime in May, 2010.

EXCERPTS:

What is Spaghetti 24/7 all about?

It is a story about a group of people who work in the same bar, called Spaghetti 24/7. It is all about how everyone at some point or the other tries to deceive and upstage the rest of them.

Your brother Rimoh is also assisting Gaurav, the director of the film. How does it feel?

Oh, it feels great. I am eagerly waiting for the day when he would cast me in his films too (smile).

You will also be sharing the screen space with your dad, Mithun Chakraborty. Did you ever get intimidated while shooting with him?

Yes, of course. I was really nervous. Although we have only a few scenes together, it was scary till we shot the first scene. After that, it was great.

But don’t you think there is a chance of getting overshadowed by Mithun? Being his son is an advantage or a drawback?

I agree, there is a chance of me getting overshadowed, but he’s my dad after all. It has been more of a drawback being Mithun Chakraborty’s son, because audience has a lot of expectations from me and they keep comparing me with him. I think every star kid has to go through that phase and accept it gracefully.

We hear you are playing a negative character in Spaghetti 24/7. Is it true? How did you prepare yourself for the role?

It’ll be wrong to say I’m playing a negative character. But yes, my character has grey shades. And I simply enjoyed performing it, thanks to my director, Gaurav Pandey. He managed to bring out the best in me.

You have undergone a makeover after Jimmy. Has there been a conscious effort?

Yes, it truly was. After Jimmy released, I realised I had many drawbacks and therefore took a year-long-gap to rectify those flaws and make myself close to perfect for for Spaghetti 24/7. One must always try to reinvent yourself, isn’t it?

What do you think you are best at – acting or dancing?

I love to dance and I love to act as well. I have been dancing since I was a Kid and I have just started acting. So I suppose you understand what I mean.

How has your rapport with your co-star Amruta Subhash been?

She is a mind-blowing actress and an excellent human being. She was always chilled out on the sets and we had become the best of friends. Am sure audience will love our chemistry.

Did it dampen your spirits when Jimmy didn’t fare well at the box office?

Of course, it did. But I have learnt a lot from Jimmy and it will always be my first. I have many beautiful memories of it.

Who is your worst critic when it comes to acting – dad or mum?

Dad, any day! He is brutally honest about everything he says which actually scares me. But it is only because of him I have come this far and made myself strong enough to take on any adversity in life.

Who is your favourite heroine in Bollywood you’d fancy working with?

It will certainly be Celina Jaitley. I think she is too beautiful to be true and she is super talented.

Future Projects?

Loot is coming out soon. Besides that, I’m working in three other films. I will tell you only at the right time.

Jan
18

If we can have Deepa Mehta’s  woman-on woman action in Fire, why can’t we have gay lovemaking scenes?!

Precisely so… In a rather bold move, Anil Sharma has decided to produce a bilingual film Dunno Y… Na Jaane Kyun. Apparently, it will be India’s answer to Brokeback Mountain. To be directed by Sanjay Sharma, the film dwells on the subject of homosexuality.

Sanjay promises to do full justice to the subject. The portrayal will be emotional and sensitive. The film sees debutant Kapil Sharma as one of the homosexual protagonists. Kapil has even done some kissing and love-making scenes since it’s all part of the job. The boy has real guts, we see.

Well, the director and the producer have a lot of faith in Indian audience, which has matured after the amendment in Section 377. So, this will be well-timed we guess!

Jan
12

Agar tumhare paas MAA hai ….

Toh mere paas PAA hai…..

HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA

Jan
11

Oh dahlings, you know how I hate to be disturbed during my afternoon siesta. What if the dark circles get visible again?! But then how can I resist lending my ears to the little birdie chirping on my window. Can I?

Guess what I heard latest. After the super success of Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, Love Aaj Kal director Imtiaz Ali has decided to rope them together for his next, Rock Star. He simply loved the chemistry the couple shared on screen.

Apparently, the role has passed through the hands of many potential rock stars. Imtiaz first offered it to John Abraham. John had even begun to learn the guitar in 2008, but the project couldn’t take off.

Then came Saif Ali Khan, who seemed perfect for a rock star as he was almost one in real life. However, Saif and Imtiaz did Love Aaj Kal instead. During the making of the film, Rishi Kapoor, who also starred in it, was so impressed by Imtiaz that he swore he would make the director work with his son Ranbir. And how could Imtiaz baby refuse the senior actor?!

Buzz is that Ranbir has even decided to play the guitar for the role as soon as he finishes with Siddharth Anand’s Anjaana Anjaani. He was heard telling a friend, “Who wouldn’t be excited about playing rock star?”

Sure Ranbir, go for it 🙂

Jan
11

Shahid Kapoor seems to be on a roll. No doubt he is one of the most eligible bachelors in the tinsel town, girls seems to be just falling on him wherever he goes. Not that I’ve a problem, the more the better. Now lemme enlightened you about the new girl in Shahid’s life, after Vidya and Priyanka.

Patience, my dahlings! Here it goes…

The other day my hair stylist friend who was present at the recently held Apsara Awards was on her way to her seat, of course in the VIP section, when her eyes caught Deepika in action. The pretty girl, clad in a dazzling sari was tip-toeing towards Shahid Kapoor who seemed little taken aback a didn’t know how to react. Well, it happens at times, boy! So, Deepika dahling found a place just next to our loverboy, after chitchatting with a few other industry friends.

It was then someone told her that Ahmed Khan, the choreographer-turned-director (FOOL & FINAL), is apparently planning his second directorial. And no points for guessing, it would not only star his buddy Shahid, but Deepika as well. Buzz is that Ahmed had thought of casting Katrina before, but finally zeroed in on Deepika.

Now that Ranbir is busy with Katrina (Shooting for Rajniti and Imtiaz Ali’s Rock Star) Deepika can have her share of fun too. Wink wink 😉