ETA: I found a couple of other great articles and wanted to add them in. Although I appear to messed up my formatting a bit... sorry!
Or consider this. According to media reports, a song for the Salman Khan flop Veer cost Rs 3.5 crore, took 11 days and 600 extras to shoot. Meanwhile, the entire production budget of Phas Gaye Re Obama was Rs 3 crore. The movie was shot in one month with a cast and crew of 100 people. Re Obama has made about Rs 5 crore so far, while Veer barely recovered half its cost of Rs 50 crore. But no one in Bollywood calls Re Obama a superhit.
Parineeta made her, but for years she suspected that it unmade her. From the beginning the very vain, very conservative world of Bollywood found Vidya a bit of an oddball. Her unusual debut and her own personality had fused together in public perception. “People would keep saying: ‘you are so different, you are like a breath of fresh air’ and I would only hear: ‘you are so different’.” She was unable to decide whether this was a description or a warning, given the rain of other advice. “There is constant pressure to not be an individual. A heroine is supposed to sing songs, dance, do four scenes, not ask questions about the character. For the first time in my life, there were people telling me how I should behave all the time. And I buckled under the pressure. I was not acting anymore. I was trying to be another Vidya Balan. And the lack of conviction showed in everything. In the movies, in my life. On top of everything else, there were fashion bloggers reporting if the nailpaint on the second toe of my left foot was chipped.”
* The Western media is still all riled up about Dhobi Ghat.
Historically, Hindi cinema has had two schools — mainstream Bollywood and Satyajit Ray-style art house cinema, which flourished in the 1970s and '80s. The Indian new wave threw up notable filmmakers such as Shyam Benegal and Govind Nihalani but eventually, the lack of financing, viewers and theaters caused it to collapse. The new, new wave seems to be stronger on all fronts. Earlier art house films were largely government-funded. In contrast, the current crop of filmmakers has the backing and muscle of mainstream Bollywood. Khan's marketing clout propelled Peepli Live into a hit. His presence has generated tremendous interest in Dhobi Ghat, and he has a third "Hindie" production coming in July: Delhi Belly — a wacky comedy about three friends who get mixed up with the mob. "I produce films that I like," he says, "scripts that move me and touch me and that I know nobody else will produce."
The article is actually fairly thoughtful - much more so than some of the others I've read.
Meanwhile, the Indian media is still all riled up about Udaan, as in this interview with Amol Palekar.
Shubhra Gupta: Given your whole arc, do you think Hindi cinema did not give you your due? Looking at the success of films like Udaan, are we ready for middle-of-the-road films that were the hallmark of the 70s?
I sincerely hope that this will bring back that kind of parallel cinema movement. There is a definite change but we have to see whether the audiences are going to support this as they did in the 70s and 80s. Coming to your earlier question, I think I got my due,whether they gave it reluctantly or happily. I have to my credit so many films which are talked about fondly even today after having stopped acting for 22 years.
It's interesting to me that both Westerners and Bollywood insiders are grabbing on to these films as if Mumbai is finally producing "quality" cinema but where Westerners see them as something completely new, the Bollywood insiders see it as a continuation of parallel cinema - just with better funding.
Maybe it's like that old saw about how it takes a lot of work to be an overnight success...
* The Hindu crowns Ranveer Singh the next superstar hero.
Currently, generation next in the form of a Ranbir Kapoor and Imran Khan has queued up for their turn. But the baton may well belong to an upstart who arrived recently with Band, Baaja, Baarat and delivered a sleeper hit. Ranveer Singh's street-smart demeanour reflects Delhi brashness and sleaziness in equal measure and as such he may be the best candidate to hold a mirror to these angst ridden trying times when everyone and everything comes with a price.
Um... except I believe Ranveer is from Mumbai and is he really all that sleazy? I would say that Bittoo (his character) had a nice combination of Delhi brashness and hustle, not sleaze.
* Do all music directors work like this? I really hope not.
Today, the music composer, at any given time, is ready with a ‘bank’ of tunes in his computer. In most cases, it is the producer (not the director, mind you) who meets the composer, and explains to him what kind of film he is making. He then hands him a list, which could be something like: two racy numbers, two romantic numbers, one item number, and one number for the music video.
The composer then quickly dives into his ‘bank,’ picks the appropriate set of tunes, and sends them to the filmmaker on email. The process of sending tunes back and forth continues till the filmmakers are satisfied with the songs, which then goes into production.
* Salman Khan was met by protests at the Jaipur marathon - fallout from when he was caught killing black bucks.
* A warrant has been issued for Shotgun Sinha's arrest for violating the moral code of conduct.
* Ruskin Bond, who wrote the short the film was based on, has a cameo in 7 Khoon Maaf.
* Ajay Devgn has walked back into Power.
* Rani Mukerji! Never leave us again! She talks about her next move.
What lessons did you learn?
I've come to the conclusion that people like to see me in powerful roles. They like me doing masti on screen, not crying.
So do you admit your choice of roles was at fault? Too many crying roles?
It's tough to answer in a yes or a no. When I cried, my audience cried with me. But maybe, I should have avoided too many crying roles in a row. Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna and Baabul came at the same time.
Oh, Rani! Masti or crying, I will be at the theater. I think I've seen all of her films from 2007 on in the theater.