Shekhar Kapur’s “Paani”


Shekhar Kapur

Paani means Water, which many of us take for granted, our most precious resource worth more than gold and diamonds together, takes center-stage in the utopian tale of “Paani”, Shekhar Kapur’s new cinematic (ad)venture. We heard about it way back in 2010. Rumors had it that Hrithik Roshan was playing the lead role. But we hear now it has been assigned to Sushant Singh Rajput, tant bien.

Wars have been and are being fought over water since centuries. Ever since we started dividing fertile lands. Cities are built around bodies of water. Colonizing any part of the world had to do with retaining and maximizing water resources. Our bodies are made of mainly water. Without water there wouldn’t be any human history, period.

Why are we so wasteful and careless with this greatest of all resources? Polluting industries, household chemicals,  farming practices are all culprits; the toxic chemicals, we pollute our earth with,  sooner or later will backfire, either through natural progression and their cumulative effects or acts of terrorism and war that are going to target water supplies directly or indirectly. It looks like we are doomed.Deep inside us lives that fear, even though we carry on in blissful denial.

Of all our bills, our water bill is the most modest monthly deduction. I consider myself very lucky having unlimited access. Do you?  You probably will, too, after watching Shekhar Kapur’s upcoming movie, which takes place in the future in a world doomed by water shortages. A war is triggered – in good archaic style, by two young lovers.

I hope with this movie, ShekharKapur is going to rattle our consciousness as he did 1994 with Bandit Queen, a movie etched into the memory of anyone who has seen it. Paani is going to be a movie opening on a grand scheme for sure, set to be released in IMAX theaters across the country, promising us to feel its heartbeat like we haven’t experienced it before in Indian film.

Please, Mr. Shekhar, don’t relegate the water issue into a background score, though. I am already glad, in a way,  to hear Hrithik Roshan is not going to be the main lead, cuz this would turn Paani into just another Hrithik-movie and its message would probably get ‘lost in romance’, or action or both. By signing a younger, less famous actor the focus will hopefully be the story itself, its focus on What IF….

 

 

Read up on Shekhar Kapur’s extraordinary filmography:

Shekhar Kapur bio and filmography

 

Advertisements

Countdown to November 15th: Ram Leela


 

Unconfirmed news of Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone’s dating popping up at every corner. The boy keeps busy, eh? That’s good news. The better and more important thing is, after watching the trailer we are all hyped up over Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s new film “Ram Leela”, which promises to score high on every Bollywood entertainment value. A hot hero, a cool heroine, a grand masala of action and romance: YES. That’s what we Bollywood aficionados are waiting for all year long. And it’s coming to hit us November 15th.

How do we know it’s going to be a spectacular movie? Easy. Sanjay Bhansali is a seasoned director/writer and producer. Whatever this magician touches starts to glow. His sets are lavish, exuberant, his actors inspired and becoming bigger versions of themselves.

Khamoshi: The Musical 1996

Straight From the Heart 1999

Devdas 2002

Black 2005

Saawariya 2007

Guzaarish 2010

 

 

 

 

 

PS, Dear Mr. Sanjay Leela Bansali

I could never forgive you  though the tremendous faux pas in Straight From the Heart. Filming in Budapest, using famous landmarks, whatsmore, and pretending it’s Italy… where we see mostly blond people strolling around in Lederhosen!!! supposed to be Milano? sorry but yeh Italy main nahi hai….  nor do we wear Lederhosen. Try Armani.

 

 

Okay, I got it finally off my chest :-) it’s been bothering me for years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shruti Haasan’s day in the sun


Shruti Haasan is finally back in Bollywood, and with two releases! I saw her last in the movie Luck (2009). The movies wasn’t  impressive, but Shruti had touched me. It was her first major role, and I thought to myself what a pity her debut was overshadowed by a mess of a movie, poorly written and executed. She showed promise tho, I thought,  and then I hadn’t heard about her anymore. Not that she hadn’t been active.  She is also a singer and a composer, and she appeared in a few South Indian movies, (those that hardly ever get shown here in the US).She had a small role in Bhandarkar’s movie Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji. But nothing commensurate with her talent.

Shruti had some corrective cosmetic surgery done, more plainly: a nose-job, but surely the size of a nose doesn’t determine if one can act or not. And acting she can! She is sublime. There is an ethereal quality to her. Her eyes are magnetic. She has a wonderful screen presence. I haven’t seen Ramaiya Vastavaiya but I saw D-Day yesterday. And again, she stood out and left a mark as Suraiya, victim of abuse, turned prostitute. There is some stillness in her amongst the turmoil of the unfolding story. Again, it’s her performance that touched me. The eloquence of her eyes, her voice. I love this girl. I am almost tempted to watch Ramayia Vastavaiya, in spite of the negative reviews.  I would watch it just for her.

Born into an elite acting household, daughter of legendary South Indian actor Kamal Hassan and Sarika Thakur,actress in her own rights, she must have eaten filmi rootis for breakfast every day. She was probably immersed in all aspects of film from an early age on. As a matter of fact, I learned, she started out as a singer.

Read up more about her on her Wiki page..wiki/ Shruti Haasan

 

I hope we are going to see more of her in the future!

Srk’s bundle of joy, AbRam.


Shahrukh-surrogate-child-is-baby-boy--1519

 

Amidst all the noise that has been going around, the sweetest is the one made by our new-born baby, AbRam.

He was born prematurely by several months but has finally come home.

Gauri and our whole family have been dealing with his health issues for a long time now.

As a family our silence on this subject has been because of the personal nature of emotional strife that we have been going through due to his health.

We wish to make a special mention and thank Dr. Jatin Shah for his expertise and contribution. We also wish to thank all the other doctors, nurses and medical staff who have made his life possible. As trying were the times, we never lost hope that life always brings with it.

Just to put the record straight there was no sex determination for our child. The baby was born much before the speculations of ‘sex determination’ and other ‘issues’ pertaining to the same were being raised in the media by some organisations.

Suffice to say his coming home puts to rest completely false and at times insensitive claims of sex determination and alleged illegalities.

We also apologise to all those other doctors and hospitals who had to face unwanted scrutiny and questioning by some parties.

Our son is a surrogate baby and the entire process is bound by strict confidentiality. We would appeal to all, to allow us to cherish this private moment as a family.

It seems unfortunate that I have to explain/clarify so many aspects for our new-born baby. Wish it were just a simple message of happiness on behalf of the family.

They say a baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on. Post this statement, I hope we all move on too.

 

 

I have been too busy apparently watching the movies  to keep check on sensational Bollywood news, such as this. Shahrukh and Gauri welcoming a surrogate baby.

When did THAT happen? how? is the birth mother related to either of them? did they have to shop for a surrogate? is the baby half Srk’s or half Gauri’s? Where have I been, on Mars?

However that may be, I understand the longing for a baby when you start hitting middle age. Young children keep you young in spirit, mind and physically fit (running after them 24/7) Babies rock. They are symbols of hope, of future, testaments of love, sharing, giving.

Mubarak to Shahrukh and Gauri, welcoming baby joy AbRam after much worries into their home and hearts. At the end of the day all DNA questions are irrelevant. A new life emerged and a boy is going to be loved and cherished in one of India’s most illustrious families. May AbRam grow up healthy and happy! The road ahead of him is already shining in the limelight.

And the kids must be ecstatic too.

 

Lootera, enchanted.


Get ready for some arresting, beautifully filmed images and songs that will melt your heart away.

Sonakshi Sinha has never been more charming and Ranveer Singh makes us fall in love with him all over again in Lootera.

Not only does the movie take place in 1953, it gives you the feeling  you are watching a movie of that era. It flows easy and gently through the first half, a romantic lullaby. It picks up drama and temporarily pace, only to level out again. The last quarter is quiet and introspective. No great Dabanggs here. Inner turmoils. A tale of redemption, of love conquers all and makes wrongs right.

The movie is set in West Bengal and captures the essence of Bengali films. It reminded my of the quietness of deep mountain lakes. You jolt a stone and it will create gentle ripples on the surface whilst it cuts through the deep waters, never to touch bottom.

Sonakshi Sinha graces each frame with her quintessentially Indian beauty. She conjures images of goddesses. As if somebody rubbed an oil-lamp, releasing a genie. She is greeting you from old paintings of a bygone era.  Sonaskhi is so beautiful you want to freeze time to keep her that way forever. I will always want to see her draped in colorful saris, not in skimpy Kareena outfits. The role of Pakhi was written for her.  I was glad to hear that she quit her agent over the refusal to take part in “Welcome.”  She is a character actress like Vidya Balan, a powerhouse, wasted on dumbed down movies. She should be weighing carefully her roles and remain true to herself.

Ranveer Singh plays his character Varun with depth and complexity.  Not to say I was surprised. I loved his nonchalance, energy and charisma  in Band Baaja Barat. This role as Varun,brings out a new side to him, the turmoiled, torn, emotionally charged.  Ranveer reminded me of Ralph Fiennes in The English patient, when he opened the door of his room to Pakhi. Or Ruldolfo Valentino in The Sheik. I bet every woman’s heart stood still for a moment.  This movie is heartbreakingly beautiful. I savored each minutet. Maybe it’s also the nostalgia of going back in time, before computers, before cell phones. A movie without the gadgets of our time felt so good all for sudden. Life seemed so different then.

If you want to spoil it for yourself, read all the reviews and storyline upfront. Or don’t ready anything about it and let the movie do its magic.

In a nutshell, a young archeologist, Varun Shrivastav (Ranveer Singh), comes with a friend  to excavate a temple site situated on grounds of a local Zamindar. He gains his trust and confidence of the kind Zamindar’s , whose most valuable asset is his daughter Pakhi (Sonakshi Sinha). Her feeble health is of great concern to him. From the first encounter  Pakhi feels increasingly drawn to  Varun and falls under his spell.  He is not what he seems to be though and things take an ugly turn.

If you are a guy, who loves action movies, don’t watch this movie. If you suffer from attention deficit disorder, don’t watch this movie. If you haven’t slept in days, bring a comfort pillow.

It’s a good date movie, if you want to reach out to the woman of your dreams. You might get lucky.

Writer/director Vikramaditya Motwane is a filmmaker after my heart. He has shown his talent with Udaan and DevD. He has worked on Devdas (2002) as associate director, as the choreographer in Water (2005)  and it must have inspired him. This movie is ripe with the tone and color of those two films, but Lootera is his masterwork.

I hope the movie makes it to the Oscar’s.

Jiah Khan’s suicide comes as a warning to all heartbroken lovers.


I am looking at pictures of Suraj Pancholi and want to pull out my every single hair. I want to call out to Jiah and shake her: “Look at him!!! Is this man worth a suicide, when you have everything going for yourself?” The pain she causes her parents, her friends, her nation, all over some loose canon of a boyfriend.

Upsetting.

of course, there must have been an underlying depression, because you just don’t end your life cuz you are blue and things don’t go your way. But even people who are not clinically depressed, can touch rock bottom and have thoughts of suicide. I don’t know how thin the line has to be, for someone to take the actual steps. From time to time we are all depressed, so it’s really something that concerns us all.

My heart broke on several occasions. I spent years crying over some love sorrow nonsense. At the end you look back and realize the futility of it all. What a waste of time and energy!  There is so much to live for, to enjoy There are so many other forms of love that surround us. So even if we got burned, promises were broken or romantic love is unrequited, take a deep breath, shake off your insecurities and look at all the other areas of your life. Make it a point to see the good around you, ESPECIALLY when love sorrow knocked at your door. Life is larger than the notion of romantic love, sentimental love, or whatever love. We need to experience every facet of life, including pain and loss, to live life at its fullest.

It never feels okay to get burned, but we have to accept it and walk through the ring of fire from time to time. It’s not a big deal, afterall, with everything around us and within us in constant evolution.. And here is my tip of the day, throw your love sorrows into a bucket and out of the window. Keep that open until the sun rises. And rising it will.

 

 

Suraj Pancholi arrested in Jiah Khan suicide case

Suraj Pancholi arrested in Jiah Khan suicide case
Jiah and Suraj Pancholi reportedly dated for a year
Actress Jiah Khan’s friend Suraj Pancholi has been arrested by Mumbai police in connection with the 25-year-old’s suicide. (Read: In letter, Jiah wrote: If I stay here, I will crave you)

Suraj, son of actors Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab, has been charged with abetment of suicide, a non-bailable charge, based on a complaint filed by Jiah’s mother Rabiya Amin Khan, the police said. He is likely to be produced in court today. (Also read: Once Bollywood’s brightest young thing)

The 23 year old Suraj reportedly dated Jiah for nearly a year. He was the last person she spoke to on the phone, police said, before hanging herself in her Mumbai home on June 3.

Suraj and his father Aditya Pancholi were questioned by Mumbai police for three hours on June 4.

Jiah left no suicide note. However, a six-page letter addressed to an unnamed person has been found and handed over to the police by her family.

In the letter, which appears to be written to a former or present boyfriend, Jiah says, “If you’re reading this I might have already left or about to leave. I am broken inside.”

Jiah talks about “kissing goodbye” her film career and claims that a promise of an engagement after a year of dating was broken.

“Your life was about partying and women. Mine was you and my work. If I stay here I will crave you and miss you,” says Jiah, accusing the boyfriend of cheating on her, in the poignant letter. (Also read: Actor Jiah Khan commits suicide in Mumbai home)

Jiah’s mother Rabiya told the press, “The letter does not have a name, so who it is addressed to is something you can only ask Jiah. But because of the incidents in the past and what she told me, all of these things point out to Suraj Pancholi.” She also said that she had urged her daughter to end the relationship.

http://movies.ndtv.com/bollywood/suraj-pancholi-arrested-in-jiah-khan-suicide-case-377781?pfrom=home-latest