Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Gossip!

Is it really Monday already? Where does the weekend go so quickly? At least I have my London trip to look forward to - and if you would like to meet up with some Bollywood fans to talk Bollywood and drink tea in Southall on Saturday February 12th, do get in touch!

Now, time for gossip!

First look at Mallika Sherawat's item song from
Thank You - possibly the ONLY thing that could get me into the theater for a Sonam Kapoor starrer.

* Read a nice piece on Brand Aamir Khan and
Dhobi Ghat.

Frankly, Dhobi Ghat has been one of the very few films featuring Aamir Khan in last five years at the least which has actually got mixed reviews coming its way. Not all critics were too pleased, the film by itself wasn't really hailed by many, there weren't glowing comments amongst the connoisseurs of art cinema either while 'aam junta' - which is truly concerned around the big bucks that it has to spend on watching a film in theatres - was least concerned around preserving Aamir's brand value once the word of mouth spread after the first weekend.

Well, I haven't seen the film so I can't weigh in on his performance but I thought it was an interesting piece. Either way, Brand Aamir has been invited to the
Berlin Film Festival as a jury member. I can't think of a better choice from Bollywood!

* A new book on
Deewar is kind of awful - according to this review, anyways.

I still want to get my hands on Anuvab Pal's
Disco Dancer book! I should just break down and order it from India - it can't be that expensive and, oh, will the content be worth the effort!

* You know, I think I was on to something when I said that a
heroine's career ends at 30 but sex bombs can keep ticking for many more years. Masala films may feature the virginal young heroine but unlike those silly romantic comedies being churned out, there is room for a mature lady. Case in point, Pooja Bedi is playing a sultry Egyptian princess in Junior NTR-Ileana D'Cruz starrer Shakti.

* Of course, some actresses think that they are too good to star in South Indian films, even if the last film that they made in Bollywood was
Shortkut: The Con is On... in 2009. (*cough cough* Amrita Rao - like you are too good to star opposite Siddharth!)

* Deepika is out and Asin is in for
Housefull 2 - and honestly, I think bubbly Asin is a better fit for the broad humor required in Housefull. I like that Dippy decided on Heer aur Ranjha instead - which was promptly shelved. Talk about somebody else who can't afford to be picky after her last three bombs. Housefull was the only hit she had in 2010.

* Mahi Gill has a few
interesting projects lined up.

She will soon be seen in films like Utt Patang with Vinay Pathak, Paan Singh Tomar with Irrfaan Khan, Sahib, Biwi or Gangster with Jimmy Shergill. In Utt Patang, Mahi dons a glamorous avatar, playing the character of a con woman.

* Katrina and Priyanka have yet to
escape the tax man. Allegedly it's 11 crores found between the two of them.

* Catch up with
Karan Johar!

Are you going to continue doing the chat show?

Not when I am directing. But Koffee With Karan will always be a part of my life. It's a part of me I love and I enjoy. I am probably known more for my chat show than my films. On some level that's flattering. But on another level it's shocking.

I think that's ridiculous

You've no idea. Kids call me 'Koffee Uncle'. Have I started looking like a beverage?

* Hrithik ducked out of the Filmfares early when he found out he wasn't
winning anything. I know I've said this before but even having only met Hrithik once, I can tell that he takes his profession very seriously. And if Hrithik was upset that his performance in Guzaarish was going to be overlooked, I don't think there is anything wrong with going home early - at least he turned up.

* Delays for
Billa 2?! NAHIIIIIIIN! I'm looking forward to this way more than Don 2.

And a new song promo for
Patiala House featuring RISHI KAPOOR!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Gossip!

Good morning, folks! I am still enjoying having electricity and have brewed an economy sized pot of coffee and toasted some bread.

Also, anybody interested in doing a Bolly-blog meet up Saturday Feb 12th in London, do get in touch!

Now, I posted the Filmfare winners yesterday and can I just say... KARAN JOHAR FOR BEST DIRECTOR?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

With that out of the way... gossip!

* Different industry folk give their
prescription for reinvigorating Bollywood.

Give directors credit:

Someone has to be there to ask hard questions, someone who knows that you can’t tell a 5-minute story for two-and-a-half hours. Audiences do ask: Is this a new story? That answer is absolutely in the hands of the director. We’re now realizing that directors matter. Stars sell seats, but the directors keep people in them. If
3 Idiots wasn’t a good script, Aamir (Khan) wouldn’t have held the audience. They came for Aamir, they stayed for (director) Raju Hirani.

* Read a great article on the life of a
junior artiste!

The 2,000-plus members of JAA enjoy privileges such as assured work, preference over background models and no fixed retirement date. When they retire, they can transfer their membership to family members. Sitaram Devji Kadam has been part of the film industry since 1974. And though most of his income comes from assisting Lekraj in managing actors, the 57-year-old has not given up his JAA card yet “because you never know when it comes in handy”.

* Are we entering a new era of
Marathi films?

Ravi Jadhav's Natarang skilfully reinvents the ingredients of the Tamasha genre that had touched the nadir over the years. Atul Kulkarni plays a peasant who is a passionate devotee of folk theatre, dreams of forming his own troupe and writing his own plays where he would play the king. His search leads him to a dilemma: he has to recast himself as the effete nachya, adopting feminine wiles and emasculating his muscular masculinity. The emotional and social price he pays for his commitment is a saga of tragedy and triumph. Atul Kulkarni, one of the best actors of his generation, is vibrant, poignant and intense in the role of a lifetime.

* There is a new book coming out on

* Somebody was killed over an argument over
Sheila Ki Jaawani.

* Anushka Sharma was initially
scared of Rishi Kapoor.

"His (Rishi's) demeanor was such that he was very intimidating. But I realised that actually he is a very cool person. He cracks lots of jokes and used to keep pulling my leg all the time," Anushka told IANS in an interview.

"Later on, the ice was broken, but initially I was very scared because he comes across as a very strict person," she added.

* And read a nice piece about
her BBB character.

The Kakkarness that Band Baaja Baaraat’s Shruti exhibits is exactly what makes her so endearing, and one of the most alive young women in recent Hindi cinema. Kakkar’s college kid uniform is kurta-jeans-jhola-scarf, assembled more for function and casual comfort rather than scoring fashion points. She may well be brand-aware but has neither the time nor inclination to acquire a fake ElVee bag or accent: what she really, really wants is to start something of her own, make something of herself.

Burn on that accent line... referring to a certain Piggy Chops perhaps?

* Read a nice
interview with Shaan:

A person who shakes a leg to "Zor ka jhatka" at a disc doesn't care about its picturization in the film. He enjoys and downloads it because of the merit of the song. But producers don't want to part with the revenue that they earn from this. Composers and lyricists have to make do with pittance. I don't blame composers who are not natural performers but are now taking to doing stage shows because they need to earn money. Yahan par loot maar chal raha hai.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Filmfare Awards 2011!

I culled these results from the Times of India coverage, so if I got anything wrong please do comment and I'll correct it ASAP.

I'll also keep an eye out for more pictures as they trickle out.

And I'd also like to announce that the winner of my little nomination guessing contest is... Monica! She guessed 8 correct, including best director, which the category that nobody else got correct, for reasons that you will see.

Congratulations to Monica! (I'll be sending you an e-mail.)


Best Film: Dabangg

Best Director: Karan Johar for My Name is Khan [ARE YOU KIDDING ME?]
Best Debut Director: Manish Sharma for Band Baajaa Baaraat

Best Dialogue : Habib Faisal for Band Baajaa Baaraat
Best Screenplay: Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane for Udaan
Best Story: Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane for Udaan


Best Actor: Shah Rukh Khan for My Name is Khan
Best Actress: Kajol for My Name is Khan [Let me just say that almost EVERY person guessed Vidya Balan for this one.]

Best Supporting Actor: Ronit Roy for Udaan
Best Supporting Actress: Kareena Kapoor for We Are Family

Best Debut, Male: Ranveer Singh for Band Baajaa Baaraat
Best Debut, Female: Sonakshi Sinha for Dabangg


Best Music Director: Sajid-Wajid for Dabangg
Best Song Composer : Lalit Pandit for “Munni Badnam Hui” from Dabangg

Best Lyrics: Gulzar for “Dil To Bachcha Hai Ji” from Ishqiya
RD Burman Talent Award: Sneha Khanwalkar for Love Sex aur Dhokha

Best Playback Singer, Male: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan for “Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji” from Ishqiya
Best Playback Singer, Female: Mamta Sharma for “Munni Badnaam Hui” from Dabangg and Sunidhi Chauhan for “Sheila Ki Jawani” from Tees Maar Khan

Best Background Score: Amit Trivedi for Udaan

Best Choreography: Farah Khan for “Sheila Ki Jawani” from Tees Maar Khan


Best Film: Vikramaditya Motwane and Sanjay Singh for Udaan

Best Actor: Rishi Kapoor for Do Dooni Chaar
Best Actress: Vidya Balan for Ishqiya [And here is her award!]

Radio Mirchi Music Awards 2011

I know we all love Bollywood music and while, yes, awards shows are baloney, it is nice to see an evening celebrating just the songs - no films attached!

Here we go!

Best Song: "Munni Badnaam" (Dabangg) sung by Mamta Sharma and Aishwarya, music and lyrics by Lalit-Pandit

Best Album: Dabangg, lyrics by Faaiz Anwaar, Lalit Pandit and Jalees Sherwani; music by Sajid-Wajid and Lalit-Pandit

Best Item Song: "Munni Badnaam" (Dabangg) sung by Mamta Sharma and Aishwarya, music and lyrics by Lalit-Pandit

Best Raag Inspired Song: "Kaare Kaare Badra" (Mirch) sung by Shankar Mahadevan; lyrics by Javed Akhtar; music by Monty Sharma

Best Song in the Sufi Tradition: "Sajdaa" (My Name Is Khan) sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan; lyrics by Niranjan Iyengar; music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy

Best Indiepop Song: "Thumri" (Kohram) sung by Amanat Ali; lyrics by Traditional (Folk); music by Kami

Best Vocalist, Male: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan for "Tere Mast Mast Do Nain" from Dabangg
Best Vocalist, Female: Mamta Sharma for "Munni Badnaam" from Dabangg

Best New Vocal Talent, Male: Mustafa Kutoane and Kirta Sagathia for "Beera" from Raavan
Best New Vocal Talent, Female: Mamta Sharma for "Munni Badnaam" from Dabangg

Best Music Director: Sajid-Wajid for "Tere Mast Mast Do Nain" from Dabangg
Best Lyricist: Gulzar for "Dil To Bachcha Hai" from Ishqiya

Best New Talent, Music Director: Shiraz Uppal for "Rabba" from Aashayein
Best New Talent, Lyricist: Bhadwai Village Mandali for "Mehngai Dayain" from Peepli [Live]

Best Background Score: Sandeep Shirodkar for Dabangg

Best Programmer and Arranger: Shankaar-Ehsaan-Loy for "Noor E Khuda" from My Name is Khan
Best Song Recording: Salman Khan Afridi and Farhad K Dadyburjor for "Dil To Bachcha Hai" from Ishqiya


Favorite Song: "Sheila KI Jawaani" (Tees Maar Khan) sung by Sunidhi Chauhan and Vishal Dadlani; lyrics by Vishal Dadlani; music by Vishal-Shekhar

Favorite Album: Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai lyrics by Irshad Kamil, Neelesh Mishra and Amitabh Bhattacharya; music by Pritam


Lifetime Achievement Award: Ravi
Outstanding Contribution to Hindi Film Music: Charanjit Singh


Patiala House Crew!!! Hi, guys!

Anushka Sharma! I like her dress.

Rishi Kapoor!

Lovely Rani Mukerji!

I don't know about that color on Priyanka...

Arshad Warsi looking very dapper!

Kailash Kher! I'm so sad I missed him on his last tour.



Sanjay Leela Bhansali!

The be-yooooooooo-ti-ful Shreya Ghosal!

Alka Yagnik!

Oh, Hard Kaur... what is this outfit?



Vishal and Rekha Bhardwaj!

Shankar Alka-Ehsaan-Loy!

Shankar Javed Akhtar-Ehsaan-Loy!

Saturday Gossip: EPIC EDITION!

Oh, the weather outside is frightful... but having electricity back is so delightfullllll!

Good morning, all! This is the best morning I've had in all week and I'm using it to play catch up, so this might be an epic post.

Let's go!


* Take a look at all the
The Khans in Bollywood.

Khans have been in the Hindi film industry since its beginning, according to Shahab Ahmed, who is currently writing an ambitious book documenting all the Khans in the Hindi film industry. He cites the example of Mohammed Wazir Khan, who sang the popular De de Khuda ke naam pe in India’s very first talkie, Alam Ara, released in 1941. Despite his humble role of a fakir in the film, the song got him everyone’s attention, and he acted in all the three Alam Aras. “Although the Khans in the 1940s were proficient actors and music composers, they weren’t influential,” says Ahmed. “The invasion of Khans in the Hindi film industry began in the next decade, with Dilip Kumar, Madhubala and Ajit.”

* Then read about what
Madhuri Dixit is up to.

In a country where people grow up on pop culture encouraging them to wear emotions on their sleeve, such adulation is not shocking. What is unusual is that in a hero-centric and youthobsessed industry, the object of this adulation is a 43-year-old woman who lives in Denver, US, who last achieved Bollywood success eight years ago (in Devdas). A monitor outside relays the audience’s wild cheering — actor Rani Mukherjee is lying on the ground, her hands folded in a gesture of genuflection in front of Madhuri Dixit Nene. Vidya Balan breathlessly explains that watching Madhuri dancing to "Ek Do Teen" from Tezaab was when she decided to become an actor. Right then, Madhuri walks out of the studio flanked by bodyguards — cameramen and fans alike forget about Balan, swarming around Dixit instead.

* This article actually made me kind of
ill. So, apparently Sick City, written and directed by an Englishman, is more Nepali than actual Nepali films.

This film has no hero who can beat a dozen goons, no rape scene to titillate the viewers and no villain who rules the streets of Kathmandu. But it is a Nepali film all the same and more Nepali than the ones that are released every week in the cinema halls across Nepal. It is Sick City, scripted, directed, edited and produced by England-born Murray Kerr.

I'm sure
Sick City is a fine piece of world cinema but why does praising it have to involve bashing the films made for Nepali people to see at the theater?

* And along those same lines, the white folk over at
The Independent now think Bollywood is finally getting serious about disabilities. These articles always kill me because HOW DO THEY KNOW that Bollywood is getting serious? These aren't industry watchers.

Speaking to The Independent, Roshan, who suffered a stammer as a child, said he still had to spend an hour every day on speech exercises in order to get through ordinary conversations, never mind film scripts. "In the greed of entertainment, we use people's disabilities to garner a cheap laugh, which is completely wrong," he said of films that still portrayed disability for comic effect. "My stammer was always a cross [to bear] in my life. I remember the first time somebody asked me what I wanted to do in life and I tried to say I wanted to be an actor, but I couldn't get the words out. I got stuck on the word 'actor'. I could feel a loss of breath as my stammer came and my facial expression stuck. The more anxious I felt, the worse it got."

There are some interesting bits to the article - like Hrithik talking about his stammer - but the overarching tone of condescension from the writer is annoying. I mean, if (according to the article) Bollywood only got "serious" about disabilities with
Black, where are all the Hollywood films about people with disabilities that Bollywood is supposed to be living up to? I recall films about chronically ill characters and characters who lose limbs and characters who have other physical and mental disabilities - may have been melodramatic but that doesn't mean that we weren't supposed to feel real empathy for characters like Hrithik in Koi... Mil Gaya! or Shahrukh in Koyla.

* And one more -
The Washington Times feels that No One Killed Jessica signals some new roles for women in Bollywood. Look, I'll make the same complaint here, too, - how does the author know? Did he not see Page 3? And what about Umrao Jaan? Pakeezah? Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam? Strong female leads are not a new phenomenon. Why do everybody's "the new Bollywood" stories seem to use 2009 as a starting point?

* Have the Filmfare Awards lost their
sparkle over the years?

Over the years, award ceremonies have multiplied. The award events no doubt pull large crowds but while doing so, have diluted the standards that adjudicate winners. Apparently, the award ceremonies no longer felicitate those who deserve, but reward personalities who represent the award committee. And with immensely talented actors like Aamir Khan and Ajay Devgn boycotting them, it only confirms the loss of its authenticity.

* It's still worth tuning in for
Madhuri Dixit and Shahrukh Khan's performance.

* It seems like Shahrukh Khan is always in trouble for something or other - well, he can breathe a sigh of relief that at least one case has
been dismissed.

* Aamir Khan prefers Ranbir Kapoor to
nephew Imran.

* The
Bodyguard shoot got busted for working illegally long hours.

* Rajinikanth's next film will be called

* Vijay is
back in 3 Idiots.

* Luscious Jacqueline Fernandez is playing up the Mallika Sherawat connections in
Murder 2.

* It's nice to see Amisha Patel in the news for something other than B&E -
she has a new film coming out.

* Deepika Padukone has been invited to
Davos... for some reason. Glamor, I suppose. Bringing a Bollywood star to add sparkle to your economic summit doesn't seem like a great idea when there is rioting and people accusing you of being unconcerned with the poor people around the world.

* Shahrukh is playing a teacher in
Student of the Year!

* Akshay is fighting crocodiles for a new
cola advertisement.

* There were allegedly
6 crores of unaccounted money in Katrina Kaif's house.

* It's Rishi and Randhir for
Housefull 2!

* No plans for the
7 am Arivu Hindi remake... boo!

* Sonu Sood will be seen as a
police officer in Buddha!

* Ajay Devgn tells Saifeena
not to get married.

* Ranbir postpones his
world tour!

* Hrithik Roshan explains that the new
Agneepath is going to be completely different. Right, it has a "glamorous" prostitute in it!

Your next role is Agneepath, done to National award winning perfection by Mr. Bachchan.

A lot of people think I am foolish to attempt a role that's been done by Mr. Bachchan. But I am not here to fill the God's shoes. It's a script and character which have been considerably re-worked. How can I even dream of replicating what Mr. Bachchan has done? It's a completely different script from the original
Agneepath. I reacted positively to it. I've started preparation.

Maybe I'm just being stupid here, but if it's a completely different story then why call it a remake of
Agneepath except for the press attent... wait, I just answered my own question.

* And a sequel for
Tere Bin Laden.


Friday, January 28, 2011


My deepest apologies for the unexpected hiatus! Washington, DC was hit by a nasty snowstorm and our power was knocked out for 36 hours.

It is now back (yahoooo!) and I should have some new posts up for you this weekend.

In the meantime, enjoy a snowy song to set the mood!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday Gossip!

Good morning, world!

Why not go and cast your vote for the
GOLDEN KELA AWARDS! I'm sure you can guess who I'm voting for... (although I take some issue with the Worst Supporting Actress Category - WHY WASN'T MAMA JENNY ON THERE?)

Some odds and ends for you today:

Padma Shri Awards for Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Kajol, and a Padma Bushan for Waheeda Rehman, Khayyam, and Shashi Kapoor.

* Bad plastic surgery alert - the uber annoying Shahzahn Padamsee (
Rocket Singh, Orange, Dil To Baccha Hai Ji) has been spotted with a bad lip job. I've been trying to ignore her so I didn't notice in the promo pics but yes, it's bad.

* Katrina Kaif says the reports of unaccounted income are

* Shahid Kapoor admits he didn't always pick
the greatest films.

* Priyadarshan is filming with Mohanlal in
Abu Dhabi. The film is to be called The Arabian, the Camel and Madhavan Nair.

* Bebo is going traditional for

* Maneesh Sharma discusses
shooting on location.

* The
Dabangg remake rights are pricy! (And Kajal Aggarwal is rumored to be finalized for Power Star Pawan's Gabbar Singh.

"We did lots of candid shooting. For instance, let's say Bittu and Shruti (Anushka Sharma) are on a bike and thankfully Ranveer not being very known actor by then, we would just ask them to ride the bike behind an Innova. My director of photography and I were sitting in the back seat with a camera and shooting them. We just rode along wherever we wanted."

* Let's catch up with
A.R. Rahman!

For the Mozart of Madras, 2010 was a mixed year. His CWG anthem, Swagatham…, was panned while ‘I will rise…’ has won him accolades. Rahman takes both acceptance and rejection in his stride, philosophising that if you enjoy people clapping for you then you have to be prepared for criticism too.

“Everyday is about choices, and in my case, these choices involve the public. So they have the right to express their delight and their discontentment. I give every song my best but destiny… the vibration of fate… sometimes fails me. Still, I am a believer in the Almighty, I leave it to Him to carry me along,” he asserts.

He also discusses the "Monkeys of Bollywood" title and says that a) he doesn't like it and b) Dreamworks insisted on shoehorning Bollywood in the title.
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