Friday 24 April 2015

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 573

Nawazuddin Siddiqui shines

It all started with Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur and since then there has been no looking back for actor. Whether it is the mainstream Kick with Salman Khan or The Lunch Box with Irfaan Khan or Badlapur with Varun Dhawana Nawaz has been rising and shining in every film.

In his forthcoming release Lateef he plays a simple man trapped in a system and raises important issues that concern society today. In short Lateef is a role one looks forward to from Nawaz.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Thursday 23 April 2015

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 572


We The Actors appeals to all the CINTAA members to exercise their voting right





An Updated & Valid CINTAA CARD is a MUST

We are a team of committed, honest and responsible actors whose sole aim is to Protect the Rights of Artistes and to bring Transparency and Strength to CINTAA; to achieve this aim, we propose:

1.      Pension and Gratuity to Members;

2.    To hold our own CINTAA Annual Awards to recognise excellence in Films and TV;

3.     To make the present Life and Medical Group Insurance Schemes more beneficial and effective.

4.    To limit the maximum number of terms any member can serve on CINTAA Managing Committee to 3;

5.     To conduct Acting Workshops by senior members for New Members to hone their professional skills;

 6.    To fix a Minimum Daily Remuneration for CINTAA Members;

7.     To create and strictly enforce a Model uniform contract, each for TV and Films, which is fair and equitable;

8.    To enforce strictly the 12 hour shift rule for TV, with a double payment to CINTAA MEMBERS beyond 12 hours, on a pro-rata basis;

9.    To enforce the Supreme Court direction to provide a pick up and drop to and from Home for women CINTAA members between 10pm and 5am;

10. To provide a signing amount to artistes contracting for more than 15 days a month for a TV show; to also provide for a minimum guarantee based upon 50% of blocked dates amount to actors, agreeing to block dates.

11.  To enforce strictly payment of dues for TV actors:

A.   Where their engagement has been for 5 or less days in a month - one week credit.

B.   Where their engagement period is 6 to 10 days in a month-Three week credit.

C.   For all other actors – six weeks credit.

12. To enforce strictly and effectively, all welfare measures which have been hitherto agreed between CINTAA and other relevant associations but are appearing merely on paper, or observed more in breach than in action;

13. To commission a CINTAA Mobile App, so that all members can promptly and effectively interact with the Managing Committee, instead of waiting for the AGM to do so.

14. To engage continuously with FWICA and other Government Agencies to secure all other benefits and welfare schemes that the Government may announce from time to time for Members.

PANEL MEMBERS of We The Actors are:

  1. Om Puri
  2. Manoj Joshi
  3. Himani Shivpuri
  4. Pallavi Joshi
  5. Darshan Jariwala
  6. Deepak Qazar Kejriwal
  7. Ravi Jhankal
  8. Sushant Singh
  9. Amit Behl
  10. Shubhangi Mohan Gokhale
  11. Sanjay Bhatia
  12. Sanjay Kumar
  13. Harish Kumar

Wednesday 22 April 2015

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 571

AmeeTrivedi and Nimesh Dileeprai flirt on cyberspace!

Technology redefines human life specially man-woman relationships. When this happened Hollywood made a film called You’ve Got Mail later made in Hindi as Mitra My Friend. On stage the concept has been experimented in Marathi and Hindi and now Alexander Jariwala ne Cleopatra Desai where a man and a woman under pseudo names chat on the cyber space. Starring Amee Trivedi and Neemesh Dileeprai who have also produced the play, the screenplay has been adapted from the original by Hiten Anandpara and directed by Dheeraj Palshetka

The premier night is 26th April Tejpal Gwalia Tank.

Bhawana Somaaya - @bhawanasomaaya

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 570

Om Puri Ghayal Again

OmPuri who was an integral part of 1990’s super hit film Ghayal starring Sunny Deol, has been roped in for the sequel Gayal Once Again.

It is believed that when Sunny Deol contacted Om Puri with the idea of the sequel the senior actor said if you are in it I’m in it with you and that was it. He neither asked for a narration of the role nor did he ask about his remuneration. Puri had faith that Dharam ka putar will do full justice to him as an actor and as a person and Deol, like his father has proved a gentleman.

There is just one issue. Director RajKumar Santoshi created a milestone with Ghayal. Let us hope that with Ghayal Once Again Sunny Deol as a director will take the sequel one step ahead.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Monday 20 April 2015

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 569

Special gift for Varun

Putting an end to his millions of fans' curiosity, Varun confirmed on Twitter that the 3D theatrical trailer of his upcoming dance film ABCD2 will be attached to Marvel's much awaited superhero action fest Avengers: Age of Ultron on his birthday aka 24 April.

Starring Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, and Samuel Jackson, the biggest summer blockbuster is scheduled to hit screens on 24 April. And Varun Dhawan is going to get the sweetest birthday gift ever. His first 3D film trailer will also hit screens on the same day.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Friday 17 April 2015

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 568

This Friday its all about performances!

Shonali Bose directed Margarita with a Straw 19 saal ki differently challenged ladki, Laila, yaane Kalki Kochelin ki kahani hain.

Laila honhaar musician hain aur apne group ke liye gaane bhi likhti hai.

Wo ek aam zindagi jeena chahti hain aur Shubhangi, Laila ki maa, yaane Revathy, uski ye koshish mein  madad karti hain.

Film ka sandesh ye hain ki disabled ke bhi wohi armaan aur jasbaad hote hain, jaise humare aur aap ke, aur ye hi film ka contradiction hain.

Laila university mein sangit ki taalim le rahi hain magar kahani sirf aur sirf, Laila ke sexual preoccupations par focus karti hain!!

Film privacy ka mudda uthati hain magar Laila ko hum bathroom, bedroom, personal shopping aur private website par bhi  dekhte hain.

Sach toh ye hain, ki hum kirdaar  se heroism ki apeksha karte hain, magar afsos, filmmaker hume voyeurist ka anubhav karaati hain.

Ye Kalki Kochelin ke career ka best performance hain aur usse bhi behtar hain maa-beti Revathy- Kalki ka rishta.

Margarita with a Straw ko bahtarteen performances ke liye Big Entertainment Ratings milte hain 2.5 stars.


Vishesh Films produced aur Vikram Bhatt directed Mr X kahani hain ek invisible officer ki jo adrashya rehkar apna badla leta hain aur sab ko nyay dilate hain.

1987 mein Shekhar Kapoor ne issi vishay par ek film banayi thi Mr India.

Mr India mein Anil Kapoor ke paas ek magic bracelet tha, jiska button on/off kar ke, wo visible/ invisible ban jaate thee.

Vikram Bhatt ka hero, Raghu, yaane Mr X, ke problems aur paristhitiyaan zyaada complicated hain.

Film ka plus, film ka music, production values, action, special effects aur Emraan Hashmi jo koi bhi role mein fit ho jaate hain.

Film ka minus na isme dil hain, na jaan, toh 3D chashme pehno aur popcrn khao.

Mr X  ko Big Entertainment Ratings milte hain 2.5 stars

Thursday 16 April 2015

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 567

Soul Consciousness

Time and again I keep meeting enlightened people who explain the difference between body and Soul consciousness to me.

While most of us are content with the knowledge that Soul is eternal, timeless and ageless and cannot be burnt or damaged, what is equally important is the knowledge to understand its form and place.

The soul resides in the upper most....the most satvik portion of the body i.e. in the centre of the forehead within the brain. That is why we apply the bindi / tilak in the centre of the forehead and nowhere else.

The soul has no’s an energy... a divine light....We cannot see it with our body but if we are evolved we can experience it and for that to happen we have to have to be soul conscious. If we can accomplish that even for a minute, we will find peace. That is infact the first step in meditation - identifying our self as soul. One has to feel, experience that one is a soul...a shining star...a divine light placed in the centre of the forehead. I am an embodiment of peace within and have all the virtues within.

I the all my karmas through my body and the various organs of the body help the soul in doing what it thinks is right. Next time you do something right or wrong be aware of both body and soul consciousness.

Bhawana Somaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

Wednesday 15 April 2015

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 566

Akshay Kumar crusades for safety of women

Akshay Kumar is a professional martial arts trainer before he started acting. Sometime ago, Kumar launched an initiative to train women free-of-cost martial arts classes to become aware of self-defence. More than 300 girls are already part of these classes in Maharashtra and now Akshay Kumar plans to extend a helping hand to launch more of these classes.

Though busy with the promotion of his forthcoming film Gabbar is Back, the story of a common man waging war against corruption, Akshay’s character in the film a parallel army to fight against corruption and that has inspired him to conduct more of these classes to control crime.
As a trained 10 Black Belt Martial Artists, he feels it is his duty to provide for the welfare of Indian women and therefore this initiative.

“I teach Martial Arts to 300 girls every week and they comprise women from corporate and media to house maids. I would like to do this on a bigger canvass but don’t have appropriate space, but once I organize that I will reach to a wider section for sure and soon” says Akshay Kumar.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 565

Understanding Critics Part 2

What according to you are the reasons for what it is?
The reason is our epics, our mythology and folk tales. We have a rich culture and tradition of narrating stories – both oral and supported with images, whether on stage or on cinema. After so many years we still relish enacting of Ram Leela. Actually we like watching films about families and conflict like those in Mahabharata and stories of good and bad like Ramayana.

How does this compare with the audiences of other parts of the world, especially from Europe and America?
I don’t know I was born there but better sense tells me that human beings more all around the world are the same but react differently depending on how and where they were brought up. In Hollywood they react according to their culture and sensibilities but the underlying emotions I repeat are the same everywhere.

What according to you are the important tools to evaluate cinema? Mention at least two points. 
Listen to your heart, observe, absorb, have the courage to speak what you feel not what everybody says. Cinema is subjective no film can trigger the same emotion in all people. Different people appreciate the same film for different reasons related to their exposure and memories.

Can cinema criticism be taught?
Sure there are so many schools providing and short and long courses both in India and abroad but I believe that cinema has to be experienced and self taught. If you like a film ask yourself what you liked/ write down why you liked it/ watch the film again to check if it evokes the same emotions again. Same when you dislike/ hate a film, write it down systematically.

Do you feel there has been a consummate change amongst the general film-going mass regarding their mindset, taste, film literacy and the way they evaluate and watch films?
People are changing, society is changing and cinema is changing. Today with technology the world has become a small place and language is no more a barrier. Today all cinemas globally are connected and inadvertently, the audience too.


Bhawana Somaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

Monday 13 April 2015

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 564

Understanding critics

Dhrubananda Pathak, a student of a leading university, sent me the following questions to be used as a college assignment. Excerpts of the interview:

How would you describe our film going audiences of Bollywood, in terms of the way they watch and evaluate films?
I think they are very clued in about the trends and the changing times. The public always knows the pulse of the film and decides beforehand which films are good/bad/ average/ worth watching and 90% of the time they are right.

Do you feel our audiences watch films passively, and do not engage themselves in evaluating and reading films critically?
I disagree, they are very analytical, very critical and dare to disagree with the best of critics and prove them wrong by endorsing the film. We have innumerable examples when the critics have panned a film and it has been a super hit because the film/ the story/ performance touched a chord with the audience.

How would you describe the state of film literacy in India?
Film literacy is not about studying cinema in expensive schools and colleges; it is not about writing expert comments in widely read magazines or participating in panel discussions on television. It is about feeling and relating to cinema, feeling and relating to the story and the characters, connecting to the lyrics and music of the film and t carrying all these memories home. And our audience does that week after week, month after month and year after year.

(To be continued)

Bhawana Somaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

Friday 10 April 2015

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 563

Dharam Sankat mein: Watch it for message and performances

Sajjad Chunawala produced aur Fuwad Khan directed Dharam Sankat Mein kahani hain Dharampal aur uske chotte pariwar ki.

Dharampal catering business mein hain aur sangit ke shaukeen bhi. 

Dharampal ke bĂȘte Neelanand Baba ke bhakt hain aur wo chahte hain ki pura pariwar Neelanand ke aashram se jud jaayein.

Ek din, Dharampal ko pata chalta hain ki wo Hindu nahi balke Musalman hain aur uski zindagi bada sawaal ban jaati hain.

Film ka sabse bada plus film ka humour aur light hearted treatment hain.

Aam taurpar aise vishay ko lekar bohat serious filmein bani gayi hain jaise 50 ke dashak mein Dharamputra.

Dharam Sankat Mein, pehli film hain, jahan protagonist apne prejudices ka saamna karta hain aur sachai se hume bhi wakif karwata hain.

Writer Sanjay Sharma dharam/ vichar/ vyavhar aur manyataaon ko lekar aham muddein uthate hain.

Film ka production value low hai aur climax mein bhashan baazi bhi zyaada hain phir bhi Dharam Sankat Mein dekhni chahiye, Naseerudin Shah, Annu Kapoor aur khaas taur pe Paresh Rawal ke performances ke liye.

Aur sab se badkar, film ke sandesh ke liye – jo humare aaj ke samaj ke liye zaroori hain!!

Dharam Sankat Mein ko Big Entertainment Ratings milte hain 3 stars.

Bhawana Somaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

Thursday 9 April 2015

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 562

Party time for Marathi films

The debate has been going on for a long time to make Marathi films a must at the multiplexes and now it has turned a reality. As per the new rule Maharashtra government has announced that Marathi films will now be screened at primetime at all multiplexes.

While the Marathi filmmakers and artistes who have been complaining of tough competition from Hindi films are overjoyed with the news, the guideline is bad news for Hindi filmmakers who feel that reservation of this kind on the basis of region is unfair.

The debate raises a number of issues. Issue number one, should Marathi films be mandatory at multiplexes? In my opinion yes, because all states promote their region films and there is no harm if Maharashtra does it to preserve and promote their language and culture.

Issue number two, must the films be allotted prime time? In my opinion this can only be decided by the exhibitor – and it will change from film to film and time to time. Cinema is business and functions on demand and supply so if the ticket sales are promising then the film gets prime time or else the morning slot. This is what happens even with Hindi/ English films so why must Marathi films be different?

Issue number three, which everybody seems to have over looked is relationships. Over the years the exhibitor has an equation with the producer and it is his call how many screens/ shows and at what price he wants to grant it to his client. This gets particularly sensitive in case of either very big banners like YashRaj Films, superstars like Aamir or Shah Rukh Khan or festival time like Idd/ Christmas/ Diwali when the business is as its best. In times like these to reserve screens on basis of language is unacceptable.

Issue number four, it is not  as if Marathi films have been ignored by Mumbai city infact the community dominated locations like Bharatmata Theatre in Lower Parel have only screened Marathi films just as Aurora Theatre in Matunga has screened predominantly Tamil films.

In my opinion the completion should be on the basis of merit. If your film is good irrespective of the banner/ cast/ language people will come to watch it no matter where the location or the show timing, but if it not good to deprive a more deserving film of that space just because you have the government backing you is not just unfair but downright selfish.

Bhawana Somaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 561

Who is in who is out?

It was a week of happening. Priyanka Chopra completed the pilot shooting of Quantico which features her as a tough cop. She is most likely to star in Reema Kagti’s Mr Chalu because Reema is delighted with Chopra’s work in Dil Dhadakne Do for Excel Productions. Salman Khan juggled between his visits to Mumbai court for his pending case and Kashmir for the shooting of Bajrang Bhaijaan.

There are strong rumours that Shah Rukh Khan is buying the rights of Boyhood to launch his older son Aryan Khan into films. Nawazudin Siddiqui who is the hot favorite of all the top banners these days shot for Sujoy Ghosh’s The Devotion of Suspect X. Filmmaker Vipul Shah announced the sequel of Commando as Commando 2. Anurag Kashyap announced a film on Chacha Chaudhary and Naseerudin Shan announced his second book.

Vidhu Vinod Chopra held a premier of his international film Broken Horses for his friends in Mumbai and for Lal Krishna Advani in Delhi.  Subhash Ghai opened his music and meditation school, a part of Whistling Woods. Abhishek Bachchan denied he was doing a special appearance in wife Aishwarya Bachchan’s film Jazbaa.

Katrina confirmed she would be seen with Ranbir Kapoor in Rajneeti 2 and Kareena Kapoor revealed her look in Gabbar is Back and Anushka Sharma in the planning stage of her sequel to NH 10 took up another project to help a friend.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 560

Remembering India’s James Bond

Jetendra started in films as a body double/ Navrang then a chorus dancer /Sehra till finally, his godfather V Shantaram launched him as a hero opposite his daughter Rajshree in Geet Gaaya Patharo Ne followed by another film as a hero with then a newcomer Mumtaaz.

Over the next three decades Jeetendra did all genre of films be it racy thriller/ Farz, romantic musical/ Humjoli, road film/ Carvaan, melodrama/JudaiMaang Bharo Sajna, action / Jyoti Bane Jwaala, Muslim socials/Mere Huzoor. He turned producer with Deedar-e-Yaar and later a TV tycoon launching Balaji Telefilms.

It is difficult to associate Jeetendra with parallel cinema but in his long, multifaceted career the actor starred in a number of parallel films as well. Unknowingly perhaps but the journey began for him with Prasad Productions’ Khilona/ 1970 a story about a courtesan brought home by an affluent family to attend to their differently challenged son, Sanjeev Kumar. Mumtaaz becomes his caretaker and his victim when Sanjeev Kumar rapes her and when the family discovers the prostitute is pregnant nobody wants her in the house.

In the climax it is the younger son of the family who resolves the crisis, reasons with the family and grants justice to the courtesan by getting her married to his brother. It is said that no big hero was willing to play a subordinate role to Sanjeev Kumar but Jeetendra agreed without arguments and was so effective that became the star attraction of the film.

In 1972 when Jeetendra was singing and dancing down the Kashmir slopes in white shoes writer director Gulzar had the courage to cast him in the Indian version of The Sound of Music with Jaya Bhaduri and four children. The film was super hit and Gulzar in a strange way got hooked on to his actor. People were surprised because Jeetendra was considered more of a star and Gulzar a director of actors but the two shared a distinctly professional relationship with healthy respect for each other’s sensibility.

In his forthcoming films Gulzar dressed Jeetendra in shawl, spectacles and moustache and critics joked that he played Gulzar’s alter ego, the fact is Jeetendra was effective in all these films. 

In Khushboo/ 1975 a story about child marriage and separate destinies he played a doctor. Sharmila Tagore did a guest appearance in the film and Hema Malini, his wife who he takes home only in the final scene of the film. Shot on real locations and without any makeup the film had haunting music by RD Burman.

In 1977 Gulzar- Jeetendra completed a trilogy Kinara, the story of a dancer who turns blind after an accident and Jeetendra helps her to get back to performing on stage. Dharmendra played a cameo in the film as Hema Malini’s beloved knocked down in accident by Jeetendra and guilt driving Jeetendra to restore Hema’s career and in the process falling in love with the danseuse.

There is one more film where he played a challenging role but which is never talked about Pramod Chakravorty’s Jyoti in 1981. The film was a remake of Bahurani starring Guru Dutt as the mentally challenged heir of the zamindar family drugged by his step mother so that he can never claim to the property. Ashok Kumar witnesses a courageous mala Sinha taking a bull by the horns and asks her hand for his son. He is convinced she can cure her son and she does. In Jyoti it is Hema Malini nursing a retarded Jeetendra to normalcy with love and compassion.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya