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!

Khiladi786’s genius soundtrack


I am going to watch Khiladi this weekend, and I am excited. Not so much because I love bodies flying through the air, car collisions and firecracker-Kung-Fu. Well, I do love Akki, but that’s besides the point.

My autistic and predominantly non-verbal student LOVES Bollywood music, so whenever a new movie comes out I am showing him the trailer and the songs. I show him Stardust magazines with all its glamorous Bollywood stars. When I point and ask him “who is this?” he will identify the star with 100% accuracy. On our frequent walks I may start humming a BW tune and lo and behold he will know one or two lines of the lyrics -without understanding a word. Point in case I was humming after a very long hiatus Chammak Challo and he knew the title and who’s acting in the movie.

Today I was telling him about the upcoming Khiladi and I went on Youtube to show him the trailer and then the songs. I had seen the trailer but I had no idea how many beautiful tunes it had!

From my student’s point of view here are the songs he liked best: (with passionate repeat-listening..)

Hookah Bar

music and lyrics  and vocals by Himesh Reshammiya

in second place came The Lonely Song, credits go again to  Himesh and Yo Yo Honey Singh & Hamsika Iyer
Lyrics by: Shabbir Ahmed

followed by Saari Saari Raat also by the ultra-talented Himeshji, GEE!!

and we liked Long Drive, music Himesh.  sing sing: Mika Singh

for some reason Balmo came last in our favorite countdown:

music Himesh, singers  Shreya Ghoshal and Sreeram

I mean, this movie is a musical treasure chest

and off I go to buy the CD :-)

can’t wait to see these beautiful songs on the big screen!!

– which makes me laugh because before my Bollywood mania days  I DESPISED music and dance in movies. Go figure.  What a turnaround.

Thank you Youtube, Eros Entertainment and T-series for all these great Bollywood video clips

And thanks Bollywood for adding another dimension to my life. With its colors, its music, its stars, it just brings so much joy, not just to me but all the peeps I can share this passion with. Like my wonderful student.

Aiyyaa, and I am back in love with Rani Mukherji


This movie is truly pagal. But I loved EVERY MOMENT of it.

The cinematography by Amal Chaudhary is outstanding and makes me want to see his other movies.

The premise is simple enough:  Meenakshi (Rani), a Marathi girl, needs to get married as her family insists, preferibly to a nice Brahmin bouy, an ad is put in the paper. While Meenakshi daydreams through her life, seeing herself as a famous Bollywood actress, her nutty parents are pushing harder to line up candidates. she wants to find a way to become independent financially and goes  looking for work. She lands a job as a librarian at a college, where she and her nose fall head over heel for the withdrawn and taciturn Surya (Prithviraj), an aspiring artist, who seems oblivious to her infatuation.

The music in her head stops every time he stands in front of her without really seeing her (what a wonderful little cinematic touch!). Another great detail: the paintings Surya works on are actually WONDERFUL. Usually I am disappointed when film tries to portray a painter, the art is usually yucky, here its GREAT! you can smell the colors, you are almost drawn into the moment of creation. I LOVED that about this movie. The mania of the true artist, the artist who can’t be contained, shines through.

The colors used for the set, the costumes, the wardrobes, it’s all so beautifully choreographed. This whole movie is a visual feast. Rani Mukherji has never beguiled me more than as the daydreaming somnambulant Meenakshi, who follows the seemingly divine smell of her desired man, regardless of how many foul things are being said about him. She follows him whenever he turns up not finding the courage to talk to him, (one of the mysteries when we fall in love..) even on the verge of being married off.

Unfortunately way too many crazy characters are flooding the film, from her ga(r)ga-ntuan-ly annoying colleague (Anita Date), her mom to gold-toothed and bewheelchaired, hysterically laughing grandma, there is not one character in the movie that makes you take a deep breath of calm. and that’s the biggest downfall of the movie. The nutty characters are floating around without much connection and integration.

But other than that, the cinematography, the music, Rani’s acting and Prithviraj, the Tamilian eye-candy, the surrealism pervading the movie, the sets, choreographies,  the locations are just magnificent.

It’s a film on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but it’s highly “intertaining”. Rollercoaster me anytime again soon, Satish Kundalkar-ji!

 

 

I think I am going to buy the DVD.

 

 

Cast:Rani Mukherjee, Prithviraj, Anita Date, Nirmiti Sawant, Satish Alekar, Subodh Bhave, Ameya Wagh

Director: Satish Kundalkar : nm2590202

Cinematograhpy: Amal Chaudhar:   nm2226885

 

 

 

 

 

High honors for Santosh Sivan


The extraordinarily talented South Asian cinematographer and director Santosh Sivan, who brought us movies of the caliber of  Asoka, Dil Se, The Terrorist, Meenaxi: tale of 3 cities, Raavan (photography), Fiza, Before the Rains,  Mistress of Spices, was honored by being awarded membership to the prestigious American Society of Cinematographers. Well-deserved!  He creates sheer magic.

Asoka

 

Dil Se

 

The Terrorist

 

Meenaxi: tale of 3 cities

gurls, if your heart stops at the beat of the 40th sec, that’s Kunal Kapoor…:-)

 

Before The Rains

 

Raavan

 

Mistress of Spices

 

 

 

Santosh Sivan first South Asian to get ASC membership

Indo-Asian News Service

Saturday, April 28, 2012 (Thiruvananthapuram)            

Ace cinematographer Santosh Sivan became the first South Asian to be given the prestigious membership of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) for his outstanding work. The ASC membership is extended to individuals through invitations from existing members. “I was first invited by American cinematographer Michael Chapman, who shot Taxi Driver and Raging Bull. Subsequently, two other members sponsored me. Then there was an interview that was reviewed by all ASC members,” Sivan said. Sivan said he was informed about his selection last week and it would be announced in the next issue of the ASC journal American Cinematographer. Multi-talented Sivan, who graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, is an actor, producer, director and a cinematographer who has worked in Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi and English cinema in a career spanning more than two decades. A four-time National Award-winning cinematographer, Sivan has worked on 45 feature films and 41 documentaries till now. “I want to dedicate this honour to my father who was a regular reader of the American Cinematographer,” said Sivan. His father, also popularly known as Sivan, is an award-winning producer and director. The young cinematographer added that he was deeply moved by a note send out by Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Beristain who was present at the ASC meeting on behalf of Sivan’s sponsors, Theo Van de Sande and Michael Chapman.

“Everybody thanked us for proposing such an interesting and original mind to our organisation. Santosh Sivan was a big star at the membership meeting of the ASC last Saturday. He blew everybody away with his wit and phenomenal vision,” read the note by Beristain. “Just before his meeting, the committee had interviewed another prospective candidate whose main strength is in the stereoscopic (3D) world, the well attended meeting had a good deal of technical information, so they found – in their words – very refreshing to hear Sivan.”

Currently, there are 302 cinematographers from 20 countries as ASC members. The society also has more than 150 associate members working in ancillary sectors of the motion picture industry.

Imdb filmography
Cinematographer(46 titles)

2010 Tatvä: Nature’s Elements(video short)

2010 Raavan(director of photography)

2010 Raavanan(director of photography)

2008 Tahaan

2008 Prarambha(short)

2007 Before the Rains(director of photography)

2005 Navarasa

2005 Silsiilay

2003 Tehzeeb

2000 Fiza

2000 Pukar

1998 Dil Se..

1997 The Duo

1996 Halo(photographed by)

1996 Kala Pani

1995 Barsaat

1995 Nirnnayam

1994 Pavithram

1993 Gardish

1993 Rudaali

1992 Roja

1992 Yodha

1991 Thalapathi(as Shantosh Sivan)

1991 Dilli – A few Images(documentary short)

1990 Midhya

1990 Vyooham

1989 Raakh

Hide HideDirector (10 titles)
2008 Tahaan

2008 Prarambha(short)

2005 Navarasa

1998 Malli

1996 Halo

Ok, we won’t call you Ram Charan Teja…


but OMBhagvan, you are a HOTTIE, Ram Charan! So, Ram Charan is asking his fans and the press not to call him Ram Charan Teja. We politely comply with the request.

 

Ram Charan @Alwayscharan

My dad named me ram charan not ram charan teja.so i feel good wen people call me just”ram charan”I also request the media to note this.

 

In the country of numerology, some say that hopefully it won’t have a negative impact on his stardom trajectory which started blossoming in 2007 when the Chennai-born Ram Charan (b.1985) made his debut as the lead in the movie Chirutha, which earned him a Filmfare award for Best South Debutant Award.

 

My psychic fingers are tingling. I smell a big Telegu/Bollywood crossover here, which is as big as an Australian or British actor making it big in Hollywood.

Ram Charan was born into an illustrious filmi family. Son of the huge Telegu star Chiranjeevi. From Grandpa to uncles everyone in his family was involved in film and entertainment. So it probably didn’t surprise anyone that he would follow into filmi footsteps, but as I always say, that’s not enough to make it.

 

His next movie, Magadheera became a blockbuster and garnered him another Filmfare award

 

His subsequent film Orange wasn’t as grand of a success but his performance was lauded.

 

His next and the last movie he made became again a super-hit: Rachcha.

 

looks great, hai na? He has covered magazines, appeared in Pepsi, Airtel, and regional Tata DoCoMo ads. And he owns a Polo team. How cool is that?

What’s most interesting to Bollywood fans is what’s coming next! He will be in the remake of  legendary Amitabh Bachchan’s movie Zanjeer, next to Mahie Gill and Arjun Rampal. Should that tank, which we hope it won’t, we’ll know it’s because he dropped the Teja out of his name. But then he could  just re-instate it :-)

Good Luck, Ram Charan! – in Bollywood & Tollywood and everywhere in between!

Salman Khan, Jackie Chan and Kamal Hassan joining forces?


 

Whoever ropes in Jackie Chan for a Bollywood production will hit the jackpot and it will be finally a movie shown in US mainstream theaters so I welcome it with open arms.

and for the numerology fans out there: Aascar covers the whole nine yards between Oscar (prestigious) and Nascar (popular) – What could possibly go wrong there? :-)

quite an ambitious project. i wonder if multi-lingual means a movie shot in three languages, dubbed in three languages or mixing them happily all together?

Indians don’t like their movies dubbed. I figured that much out. But I think it would be beneficial in promoting Bollywood productions here in the US. Dub them and then show them on cable. I don’t understand why this isn’t happening already?

Salman Khan making history with Rs 300 crores movie?

With his back to back success in films like Dabangg, Bodyguard, Wanted, superstar Salman Khan is all set to make a history now. If reports are to be believed, Salman Khan was approached by producer Aascar Ravichandran to star in a multi-lingual epic opposite to Jackie Chan and Kamal Haasan.

Reportedly the film will be made in Hindi, Tamil and English with a whopping budget of Rs. 300 crores. Ravichandran informed a leading website, that he has been in talks with Jackie Chang about the film since last few years as the actor had earlier expressed his desire to star in a Bollywood film.

He further disclosed that the movie would have a different setup. If all goes well, this will turn out to be be the most expensive film in the history of Indian film industry.

salman-khan-making-history-rs-400-crores-movie-260312.html

http://entertainment.oneindia.in/bollywood/gupshup/2012/salman-khan-making-history-rs-400-crores-movie-260312.html

First look at Mani Rathnam’s new movie Kadal


Mani Rathnam, who gave us movies of the caliber Dil Se, Kannathil Muthamittal,  Guru,  Raavan,  Bombay  is going to enchant us with  a new film:  Kadal

Rathnam is the Terrence Malick of Indian cinema.  He is political, he is lyrical. He creates not just cinema, but paintings, indelible images,  which will stay in your memory forever.  His collaboration with the worldwide renowned composer A R Rahman goes back to 1994 when they worked together on Thiruda Thiruda, which was followed by Bombay in 1995 and since then they have created movie magic together. 

 

nm0711745

 

Mani Ratnam’s Kadal first look unleashed

The first look of Mani Ratnam’s Kadal is out on internet. Several posters of the film set against the sea are doing rounds on the net.

Now, we are bringing you one of the posters, which shows a boy and a woman playing on the beach side. The first look clearly indicates that the story of Kadal, as the title suggests, is set at the backdrop of a sea.

Mani Ratnam's Kadal first look unleashed

 

Mani Ratnam’s romantic tale, which has started the shooting of film in Manapad, a fishery coast between Tuticorin and Tiruchendur, stars veteran actor Karthik’s son Gautham and hot and happening Samantha to play the leads. Arjun Sarja, Arvind Swamy and Lakshmi Manchu are also doing some important roles in the forthcoming Tamil movie.

Mani Ratnam’s trusted men AR Rahman and Rajeev Menon are handling the music and cinematography department respectively in Kadal.

source:   http://entertainment.oneindia.in/tamil/news/2012/mani-ratnam-kadal-first-look-060312.html