Friday 26 December 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 507

Ugly is Interesting

Anurag Kashyap likhi/ produced aur directed Ugly ek pariwarik ghatna ki kahani hain.

Ek aisi samasya jiska samadhan saat dinon tak nahi milta.

Aur ye saat dinon mein, bohat kuch badalta hain –aapsi rishtey aur sab ki apni khwaishein.

Film ka plus film ka plot aur kamaal ka narrative.

Director Anurag Kashyap, apne characters aur unke bahtareen performances dwaara ordinary situations ko extra-ordinary banate hain.

Tejaswini Kolhapure aur Ronit Roy ke saath, chotte se chotte role mein, har kalakar gair-mamuli hain.
Wo hume hasaate hain, darrate hain, chintit karte hain.

Ugly zindagi ki badsoorti ke baare mein hain isliye dark hain- depressing hain- violent hain- negative hain.

Agar aap mein aisi filmein jhelne ki shammta nahi hain, toh Ugly aap ke liye nahi hain.

Magar agar aap Anurag Kashyap ka temperament aur cinema pasand hain toh Ugly zaroor dekhiyein.

Realistic cinema ko ek aur oochain par le jaane ke liye Ugly ko Big Entertainment Ratings milte hain 3.5 stars

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Thursday 25 December 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 506

Ben Stiller ready to impress on Christmas.

Ben Stiller has certainly tackled some difficult challenges throughout his acclaimed career as an actor, producer and director but none, he says, was quite like the task that faced him on Night of the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.

Stiller was delighted to return as Larry Daley in the third, eagerly anticipated installment of the hugely successful franchise and this time, he takes on an extra role – as a caveman named Laaa who is Larry’s Neanderthal doppelganger.  

‘It was surreal but a lot of fun as well. When Director Shawn Levy pitched the idea to me I thought this could be really funny because there’s innocence to Laaa, he is like a little kid who just wants Larry’s attention and love, but then he also has this very visceral caveman thing going on but when I started shooting I discovered it was going to be tough. I had to do a bunch of scenes with myself as two characters. I’d never done that before, and that’s where that motion control stuff comes in. Shawn and I would rehearse, and he would play whichever role I wasn’t. Then I would do both sides of it with him, and we would figure out which side of the character to do first—so I could then react’ revealed Stiller.

Well, we will be able to figure that out when we watch Secret of the Tomb when it releases on Christmas day.

Bhawana Somaaya@bhawanasomaaya

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 505

Sonam in mood for celebration.

It is just a few days for the newyear and Sonam Kapoor is in a mood for celebration

While shooting for the song ‘Phatte tak nachna…’ for her forthcoming film  Doli Ki Doli  Sonam  required to be drunk for a scene, there were so many takes that Sonam pretended to behave drunk on the sets and scare the unit.

They were wondering whether they should cancel the schedule when Sonam burst out laughing and everyone heaved a sigh of relief.

Filmmaker Arbaaz Khan agreed Sonam had scared them but added that she had set the mood for Christmas party in advance and now everyone looked forward to celebration on the sets.

Bhawana Somaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

Monday 22 December 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 504

Jacqueline Fernandez is in demand

The first time a junior assistant told me that coming years belong to Jacqueline Fernandez. I thought he  was joking but later I realized that he was probably right because she was signing all the projects that top heroines declined due to lack of dates.

Slowly the coming events cast their shadows and in a few years  Jacqueline emerged as a major player both in the item numbers as well as mega projects in mainstream cinema.

In the olden days such a candidate was called a dark horse. Jacqueline Fernandez will be seen romancing both Ranbir Kapoor and Arjun Rampal in the upcoming Arijit Singh song Sooraj Dooba Hai in Vikramjit Singh's upcoming romantic thriller Roy.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 503

Vikram comes together with Amy Jackson

Filmmaker Shankar has always come up with something new in every film and this time his film has an unusual name I. Produced by V Ravichandran & D Ramesh Babu. Music has been given by the legendary AR Rahman.

The film stars Superstar Vikram and and the beautiful Amy Jackson. Most of Shankar films are the same kind but surprisingly they make good money and grab the headlines.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Friday 19 December 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 502

PK is Right Number

Vinod Chopra produced aur Rajkumar Hirani likhi/directed PK ek alag planet ke waasi ki kahani hain. Jo sitaron ki duniya se dharti par aata hain.

Film ka nayak vichitra hain magar film ka vishay hum aur aap hain – humare vichar, humara darr, humara samaj, humari sanskriti,vagaira vagaira.

Aamir Khan ne PK ke promotion dauran apne kirdaar ke baare mein baat nahi ki, kyon ki, kuch filmein dekhne ke baad hi perspective mein aati hain.

As a critic main bhi pehli baar mehsoos karti hoon, ki kuch filmon par review ke bajay vivaad aur charcha behtar ho sakti hain.

Wo isliye kyon ki jab film ka khayal itna umdda, neeyat nek aur muddein aham ho, tab film ke baaki drawbacks, jaise pace, production values aur music ko nazar andaaz karte hain.

Director Rajkumar Hirani apni har film mein kuch naya pesh karte hain.

Saal 2003 ki Munnabhai MBBs mein unhone hume jadu ki jhappi ki ahmiyat samjhayin.

Saal 2006 ki Lage Raho Munnabhai mein unhone hume Gandhigiri seekhayin.

Saal 2009 ki 3 Idiots mein unhone humare sapnon ko udaan di.

Aur ab 2014 ki PK mein Raj Kumar Hirani humara apne aap se parichay karaate hain, right aur wrong number ka connection samjhaahte hain!

Hirani iss baar, ek aisi adhbhoot kahani aur aisa anokha kirdaar laayein hain jo aap ke kalpana ke bahar hain.

Aamir Khan ko aapne ab tak kayi roop mein dekha hain magar aisa roop kabhi nahi dekha!

PK mein sachai hain, saadgi hain, aaj ke halaat ke liye PK umeed hain aur iss iliye PK right number hain.

PK ko Big Entertainment Ratings milte hain 3.5 stars.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Thursday 18 December 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 501

One more biopic
I said it earlier that it is raining biopic and among the first biopic to release in 2015 will be Main Aur Charles starring the versatile actor Randeep Hooda.

After playing the painter Raja Ravi Verma in the controversial Rangg Rassiya in 2014 Randeep Hooda will play the role of conman Charles Sobhraj. 

Written and directed by Prawaal Raman Main aur Charles is presented by Wave Cinemas Ponty Chadha and produced by Cynozure Networkz.  What is amazing is how Randeep Hooda like a chameleon fits into new roles and films.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 500

Sonam Kapoor plays bride 16 times in Dolly Ki Doli

The debut poster of Dolly ki Doli where Sonam Kapoor is dressed in a lehenga with a leather jacket and liquor glass in hand has created a buzz.

Sonam Kapoor it seems dons sixteen different bridal looks just for one particular scene in the film because her character Dolly is someone who cons men into marrying her and then duping them.

Shooting the sequence was a long and tiring but Sonam says she enjoyed the process thoroughly. The last time I heard an actor say this was Vidya Balan when she played many disguises in Bobby Jasoos.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Tuesday 16 December 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 499

Lingaa releases in 4000 screens

Eros International's magnum-opus Rajinikanth-Sonakshi Sinha Starrer Lingaa to have 4000+ screens release worldwide for just Tamil Telugu audience.This is the first time a film has released on superstar Rajinikanth's Birthday/ 12 December and people have been flocking to theaters to catch a glimpse of Thalaivar in live action on screen after a gap of four years.

All the shows have been booked way in advance and are running to packed houses. Huge cut-outs of the superstar have been put across major streets of South India. In Mumbai the renowned Aurora Theater in Matunga had people visiting the cinema hall in large numbers and the priests performing puja of the cut out and the film poster.

Thalaivar has broken all records set by any Bollywood/Tollywood film so far. Lingaa is Sonakshi Sinha Tamil debut and the lucky star has not stopped smiling since the release of the film.Apparently some theatres down South are running as many as 72 shows daily. Rajnikant’s fans say it is their God’s birthday gift to them. Directed by KS Ravikumar and Produced by Rockline Venkatesh.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya 

Monday 15 December 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 498

Finally a love story ends.

Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol came together yesterday at YRF Studios to celebrate the longest running film in the history of Indian cinema - Yash Raj Films’ iconic Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge directed by Aditya Chopra. "It's been 20 years for this film and I feel honoured that I was part of this film. It's been 100 years of Indian cinema and I would say one-fifth of it belongs to DDLJ”, Shah Rukh Khan said. 

The DDLJ pair recreated the ‘DDLJ magic’ as they effortlessly recalled all their fond memories from the film, enacted scenes and recounted dialogues.  The duo released a book on the film where director Aditya Chopra tells the making of the film to author Nasreen Kabir. A spontaneous request to Pam Chopra, who was in the audience, to sing the still popular ‘Tujhe dekha toh yeh jaana sana…’The revelry continued at Mumbai’s iconic theatre Maratha Mandir where SRK and Kajol interacted with a full house of DDLJ lovers who had come to fall in love again and again…!

A memento of appreciation from the producer was presented to the theatre. The movie released on 20 October 1995 and completed 1000 shows and 20 years of uninterrupted run in a single theatre of a single city.

Bhawana Somaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 497

Deepika shines River to River

The River to River festival will open with a smile on Saturday, December 6 with the Italian premiere of the on-the-road comedy Finding Fanny by Homi Adajana, a box-office hit in India, with a stellar cast including Nasseruddin Shah, Arjun Kapoor, Pankaj Kapur, Dimple Kapadia and Deepika Padukone.

Finding Fanny is an interesting film about an unsent love letter found thirty years later and five friends going on a journey to try to find the addressee thereby discovering things about themselves and each other.

Finding Fanny will be introduced by Arunima Sharma, associate director of the film. Interestingly, Deepika Padukone will star in the closing film too, on Friday, December 12 at the Italian premiere of the colossal Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Like all Bhansalai films Ram Leela is a gripping Bollywood take on the classic Romeo and Juliet story, with fairy-tale music, opulence and drama.

Not sure if Deepike Padukone will be attending the festival though as she is shooting for two films simultaneously Bhansali’s next Bajirao Mastani and Shoojit Sarkar’s Pikku.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Monday 8 December 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 496


Amsterdam, 1 December 2014

EXHIBITION: Jean Desmet’s Dream Factory – The Adventurous Years of Film (1907- 1916)
This winter EYE is devoting an exhibition to one of the most interesting periods in film history, which explores the collection of Jean Desmet (1875-1956). A significant archive of material at EYE, the collection was inscribed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register in 2011 and is a unique representation of the film industry in the second decade of the last century. The early years of cinema were an exciting time when film matured through experiments with the possibilities of the new medium. The exhibition, accompanied by film and activity programmes, and a lavishly illustrated publication, brings this exceptionally adventurous period back to life.

Jean Desmet’s Dream Factory – The Adventurous Years of Film (1907- 1916); 13 December 2014 to 12 April 2015 in EYE, IJpromenade 1, Amsterdam,

In the years 1907-1916 Jean Desmet was one of the biggest Dutch names in the field of theatrical film screening and distribution. In addition to his company archive — which offers unique insight into the commercial side of cinema culture — he left behind a remarkable collection of films, posters and publicity material. In 1957 it was donated to the Nederlands Filmmuseum, the precursor of today’s EYE.

Both film and the film industry developed in the years that Desmet was active. Pioneers conducted all sorts of experiments with the wonderful new medium, turning the 1910s into a veritable creative hotbed.

The beginning of the 20th century was an era of new technology, artistic ingenuity and creative entrepreneurship — comparable to today’s world where developments in the field of digital imagery succeed one another rapidly.

The exhibition includes a number of films from the Desmet Collection on big screens that demonstrate the modern and adventurous nature of early cinema internationally. They bear witness to a sense of wonder and pleasure — wonder at the (artistic) potential of cinema, the various narrative styles, and the possibilities of the camera, in the form of special effects, colouring, staging and framing. The films also testify to the pleasure offered by the new medium: pleasure in seducing the viewer and expressing the power of imagination. The exhibition reveals the evolution of film culture from fairground attraction and travelling cinema to screenings at permanent venues. It also includes posters and a selection of documents and publicity material.

Film and events
Every week the auditoriums host a special Desmet programme. Guest speakers reflect on films from the Desmet Collection made during the years when modernity heralded its arrival with great intensity. The film selection and commentaries point to parallels and contrasts between the imagery of early cinema and the present day. Among the themes addressed are the ‘Grand Tour’, ‘madness and science’ and ‘old new media’. All performances are accompanied by live music.

Twice a month (on Sunday afternoon at 4 pm), a Cinema Concert features a film from the 1910s with live music after an introduction to the film’s history. Also programmed are lectures, guided tours, family tours and children’s workshops.

Publication Accompanying the exhibition is a lavishly illustrated publication in Dutch and English editions: Jean Desmets droomfabriek – De avontuurlijke jaren van de film (1907- 1916) / Jean Desmet’s Dream Factory – The Adventurous Years of Film (1907- 1916). Publisher: EYE, with nai010 publishers, 192 pages, € 29.50.

Bhawana Somaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 495

Shooting an epic - EXODUS

Friday 5 December 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 494

Action Jackson migraine guaranteed!

EROS produced aur Prabu Deva directed Action Jackson wohi mafia- police nexus ki kahani hain.

Mafia Xavier ko AJ chahiye aur AJ kaun hain wo kissi ko nahi pata, kyon ki film ke writer interval tak hero-heroine ki prem kahanni mein vyast hain.

Aisa kyon, pata nahi!

Xavier ke aadmi laal suit pehankar khulle aam goliyan chalaate hain magar kabhi bhi des vides mein koi bhi police unko arrest nahi karte.

Aisa kyon, pata nahin!

Ek dozen gunde milkar beech sadak Ajay Devgan ko ghayal karte hain magar ascharya ke audience ke sivay kissi ko bhi shor sunaii nahi deta!

Aisa kyon, pata nahi!

Film ka romantic track vulgar hain, comedy track stupid hain aur action track mindless violence hain!

Kaun/ kisko/ kab/ kyon milta aur bichadta hain samajh ke bahar hain.

Aisa kyon, pata nahi!

Kaun/ kisko/ kab/ kya kehta hain sunaii nahi deta kyon har pal background score shor machata  hain!!

Aisa kyon, pata nahi!

Film mein Jackson toh bilkul nahi hain aur Action aisa hain ki aap ko Migrane guaranteed hain!

Action Jackson ko Big Entertainment Ratings milte hain 1 star.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Thursday 4 December 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 493

Similar titles different stories.

As long as we had paucity of ideas in making films it was understandable but now it seems there is paucity of ideas in even titles of our new releases. Don’t believe me just sample these: Shah Rukh Khan made Happy New Year and a few weeks later Saif Ali Khan made Happy Ending. Last week renowned filmmaker Chandraprakash Dwivedi released Zed Plus and in the same week another filmmaker released Z and a third released Zid. If the common alphabets and similar sounding names are not confusing enough think about more to come like Shoojit Sarkar’s Amitabh Deepika starrer is titled Piku and Raju Hirani’s Aamir Khan’s film is titled PK.  Shriram Raghavan’s Varun Dhawan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui film produced by Eros International and releasing in February 2015 is called Badlapur while another film Badlapur Boys has been the topic of discussion at the NFDC Bazaar at the recently concluded IFFI festival in Goa.

Bhawana Somaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 492

Lose your mind use your body.

Curious to know what this beautiful girl is doing in this image: 

Come and attend her workshop at the address below and find a new meaning to expression.

Tuesday 2 December 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 491

Actor turns Author

Remember Smita Jaykar the beautiful actor who played Aishwarya Rai’s mother in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Hum Dil de Chuke Sanam.  Smita has over the years flirted with many mediums be it theatre, television or films. For a long time now she has awakened on the path of spirituality and writes a weekly column on soul stirring issues in The Speaking Tree.

One afternoon I was surprised to get a call from Smita inviting me to be on a panel discussion on the occasion of her debut book release Before Tomorrow.  In a step by step account Smita explains what motivated her to the path she has chosen, what attracted her to write her memories and the need for a guru in the life of an individual.

It was a packed house at South Mumbai’s popular joint and the invitees to the event included guests from all walks of life.  Lawyers and judges dominated of course with Smita’s husband Mohan and younger son in the legal field.  There were writers, artistes, spiritual seekers, leaders and family friends.  I was privileged to share the dais with Justice BN Srikrishna and explore questions on meditation, chakras and salvation.

Smita’s guru Dadashri was to bless the audience with a discourse and we were all eager to meet him but there was another guest, Sachin Tendulkar all of us were happy to see that evening. Tendulkar came quietly and settled in his chair.  It was the precise moment we were discussing superstition and I said most celebrities, particularly actors and cricketers are superstitious. Tendulkar smiled and when it was time for him to speak on stage, he turned to me and agreed that he was indeed superstitious, “When so much is at stake it is only natural to feel that way”.

Normally book events are not combined with a mediation discourse or dinner but this was an exception.   Smita and Mohan Jaykar played excellent hosts making each and every guest feel special.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Monday 1 December 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 489

An art director and a gentleman

There has been one more goodbye this week. Chhel Vayeda, 79, veteran Art-director (of 'Chhel-Paresh' duo), father of writer director Sanjay Chel, Vayeda breathed his last with his working shoes on.

Vayedya started his career as a set designer in 1963-64 and has over the decades designed more than 700 plays in almost all languages that span from the mainstream Khubsurat (1999) to international Train to Pakistan(1996), from the middle of the road Sagar Sarhadi's Lorie (1984) to Amol Palekar's artistic Ankahi (1986). He worked with the best talent on stage and cinema be it AK  Bir's Udiya film Aadi  Mimansa or Ashwini Chaudhary's National award winning film Laado.

His admirers still remember his path breaking Runway Set in Aatam ne ojhal ma rakh Maan/1968 or the flood sequence in Mutthi Unchero Maanvi/1978 when the duo Chel Paresh teamed up with the legendary Light Designer Tapas Sen from Kolkatta. A pioneer of the musical-cultural events besides theatre and films, Vaeda was the first to initiate the trend of theme weddings.

On the night before he breathed his last, Chhel Vayeda was giving final touch to the Set Design of Vipul Mehta and Sanjay Goradia's new Gujarati play My Wife, Meri Kom andthe sketch of his last set was discovered by his bedside! His partner Paresh Daru will be as incomplete without Vayeda as music composer Pyarelal is without Laxmikant of Laxmikant Pyarelal team.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya