Thursday, December 24, 2009
Once again, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan seems to be used wonderfully and the lines & threadlets are quite Gulzar-esque.
(Via Ajay on the Gulzar fans group)
Friday, December 18, 2009
The Abhishek Chaubey directed Ishqiya is likely to release in Jan, which could mean a music release this month. A look at the first song to make it out on the airwaves (like Dhan Te Nan, more onomatopoeia & Sukhwinder - couldn't figure out the other voice)
Found via the 'Fight Club' blog
And even the trailer seems to have hit censorship roadblocks for Arshad Warsi's killer (and rather tragic) line.
Is the movie's title to be pronounced as "ishqaa.n" (the way it is said in the trailer)
Monday, November 23, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
One clear sign of an increasing corporate hold over the film industry is the instillment of test screening. Good, bad? Well, definitely good for producers who want the film not to bomb for the lack of UAT and appeal to the widest audience possible. By the same token, bad for audiences with a keener palate.
Take the case of Ishqiya. During focus group screening, women squirmed and shifted in their seats. Indeed, they found it uncomfortable to watch. (give them cushions I say!)
Now, I wonder if Satya had been shown to such a focus group. Would Bhiku Mhatre saying "paagal" instead of "chutiya" conveyed the same nuance?
Ishqiya seems to be of a milieu where people swear to punctuate their sentences (the male protagonists are thieves, you ar*3$0735!). Indeed in my opinion, expletives qualify and elaborate the exclamation mark oh so wonderfully.
Why, oh, why, should we then curb the beauty of the rustic lingo?
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
The news item here.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Some weeks ago, I was sitting in the evening bus back home when it began to rain. The conditions were sufficiently heavy for condensation to appear on the window panes. As is inevitable when presented with a damp canvas, doodles began to materialise, literally out of thick air.
This reminded me of two movie sequences that used the drawing board of the window-pane (not considering shower doors or other glass panes merely providing 'steamy' vistas). One is in Kill Bill: Vol. 1, where a suddenly serious Hattori Hanzo, confronted by 'The Bride', writes the name of their arch-enemy. The condensation doesn't drip, perhaps suggesting a fog created by means other than water or just multiple takes. It's a little too perfectly etched, though.
The second, however, is more naturally crooked. This is the opening scene of a film. The first shot opens on a blurred background, bluish in colour. A dull noise accompanies the frame, which you realise is the sound of rain. The Bombay rain. A hand reaches out behind what turns out to be glass, and there is cackling.
The hand proceeds to draw a scraggly line to our left, and begins to fill out a rectangle. Followed by diagonals and two more. lines. It's a horoscope. Of Mumbai's. This a police van, and inside it are Sadik Chikna and the Inspectors Pandit & Purohit.
Thus brilliantly, in a haze of condensed air, in the jungle of Mumbai, does "Maqbool" unveil.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Says Vishal, “I want to explore silences and calmness the way he does, I have yet to find the Kieslowski expression in my cinema”.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Quoting from the interview:
“Dhan te nan was not designed specially for Kaminey. I had first used it in a telefilm called Dhan Te Nan. I had used that catchphrase and the tune in that telefilm.
Dhan te nan is a phrase that belongs to our film and music culture. For us Indians cinema is the biggest cultural entity. We often borrow illustrations and speech patterns from our films. Dhan te nan is used during bedtime stories for dramatic effect.
Whenever I used to tell mey son Aasman stories I’d go ‘Dhan te nan’ to create drama. This phrase remained with me.”
I have always wondered how Vishal's baby steps in film making would have been. Here's an example. Thankfully, he's become much better :-)
Here's the video (sung by Suresh Wadkar & Roop Kumar Rathod, and humming by Rekha Bhardwaj):
Friday, August 14, 2009
Shemaroo has made available the first trailer. The images & dialogues are in the Omkara-mould, and the content is more NC-17 than PG-13. There's a nice guitar theme running along. Enjoy.
And the early notes are promising. Nay! They are extremely encouraging in an eerie way. Raja Sen ends his enthusiastic take with Awefome!; Another positive review ends with praise for the director; Nikhat Kazmi gives it a full-star rating before gushing about it as does the Indian Express and Vasan Bala is drooling over at PFC. Anupama Chopra, writing for NDTV, starts by calling it the best Bollywood film she's seen this year. Taran Adarsh, the reviewer from hell, who pretends to be a critic while looking at films like a baniyaa, also has good things to say, ending with four stars out of five. Lisa Tsering (reportedly "the first Western journalist to write about Bollywood and Indian pop culture for the Indian press") calls it a smart vivid thriller. Baradwaj appreciates Vishal's respect for the audience's intelligence as he unfurls a favourable review. Rajeev Masand gives "this imaginative and original film" four stars out of five. Over at The Hindu, Sudhish Kamath is "dying to watch it again." Minty Tejpal loves the film (adding a disclaimer that he worked with Vishal on the screenplay of The Blue Umbrella) and can't get the tune out of his head.
And if you thought I was just looking at the good notes, allow me to offer Khalid Mohamed's take (the guy can't even spell "Bhardwaj" right, though).
Monday, August 3, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Vishal Bharadwaj’s Kaminey has run into trouble with the censors and even after the revising committee saw the film, they refused to give it the U/A certificate that he was hoping for. The options available to Vishal are that he can to go to the tribunal or seek legal help for his film. Apparently, the film has been given an A certificate due to its heavy dose of violence.Hmmm, doesn't bode well for the box office colections of the film, if Vishal accepts the censor board decision. Not sure what Vishal will do - in the world where Bollywood megastars are ready to make concessions and apologize at the drop of a tantrum in order to avoid suffering the slightest pecuniary repercussions, it's become much more acceptable to make compromises with your craft.
The question is - How far back (or forward) can you bend?
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I was at the airport and a couple with their little boy recognised me and started talking to me. The boy asked me “Uncle, what is the name of your movie?” and the father immediately said, “I will tell you later. Not now.” I said, “Why will you tell him later? It’s not a maa-behan ki gaali.” And I told the boy that the name was Kaminey. That kid laughed aloud.
Plus more on his other films.
(H/T: Mohit Kataria on the Gulzar Fans group)
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Apparently, a big production house has bought the copyright of Martin Scorsese’s 2002 American crime drama The Departed and has approached Vishal to direct it. Having directed dark gangster films like Omkara, Maqbool earlier, they have chosen Vishal to handle the desi Departed.
Considering that The Departed was a remake of Infernal Affairs, shouldn't they have brought the right from the makers of the original? Beats me.
Certainly, the Hindi version by Vishal would be something to look forward to. Wondering if Saif will be the vitriol spewing Det. Sgt. Dignam, played with a vile ferocity by Mark Walhberg. And will the censors allow Hindi versions of anything close to these dialogues?
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
“Dhan te nan was not especially designed for Kaminey. I had first used the catch phrase and tune in a telefilm also titled Dhan te nan in 1998. It is a phrase that belongs to our film and music culture. For us Indians, cinema is the biggest cultural entity. We often borrow illustrations and speech patterns from our films. Dhan te nan is used during bedtime stories for dramatic effect. Whenever I used to tell my son, Aasman, stories, I’d go ‘Dhan te nan’ to create drama. The phrase remained with me.”
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Kaminey, Bhardwaj's latest, marks a departure from both Bard and bachchas for the auteur, which is phenomenal news for music lovers as it lets the man really get into an edgy, whimsical and inflammable space. For this is a soundtrack ticking like a bundle of dynamite.
He heaps superlative praise on the wordsmith, Gulzar.
Trust Gulzar to artfully craft a really long fuse for the Kaminey bomb, making sure the tracks stay afire long before and after they actually go boom.
Go read and then listen. Add to global warming.
Monday, July 6, 2009
The music is different from Vishal albums of the past, with an emphasis on electronica and remixes. However, there a couple of ballad-like songs and the social message song is well orchestrated.
The poetry of some of the songs is very good, as you'd expect.
Don't go in looking for an Omkara or No Smoking, though.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
The entire song sequence talks about the importance of using condoms, and playing it safe. Our source said, “Sukhwinder Singh lent his voice to this song and the lyrics go: Bhawra aaya aayaa re, gun gun karta aayaa re ... Yeh ishq nahih aasan, AIDS ka khatra hai ... pathwar pehen kar jaana- yeh aag ka dariya hai."
The absence of this song in the listing previously reported may well mean this could just be a little aside in the film. If this is yet another film hat of Vishal's, then he's on his way to opening a hat boutique.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
1. Dhan Te Nan (Sukhwinder Singh, Vishal Dadlani, Robert Bob Omulo)
2. Fatak (Sukhwinder Singh, Kailash Kher)
3. Go Charlie Go
4. Kaminey (Vishal Bhardwaj)
5. Raat Ke Dhai Baje (Suresh Wadkar, Rekha Bhardwaj, Sunidhi Chauhan, Kunal Ganjawala, Earl D'Souza)
6. Thode Bheege (Mohit Chauhan)
Lyrics by Gulzar of course.
The usual crop of Vishal favourites (even Suresh Wadkar) are here, with a couple of new features: Vishal Dadlani & Mohit Chauhan.
The hard-to-name & boisterous "Dhan Te Nan" is out on radio stations, and an online version can be heard here. It's very catchy and the mukhDaa is very easy to fit into your head. The Big G seems in top form.
Looks like the music will release soon.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Hrithik will star in Bharadwaj's next. The project in question is a deeply emotional romantic film, which will have two heroines. None of the leading ladies has been finalised.
Earlier, speculation was that such an alliance would be for Hamlet, but hard to tell.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Here's one of the commercials:
Courtesy: this post on the Gulzarfans Y!group
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Supratik Sen, one of the writers of the film and also Bhardwaj’s associate director, says, :At the outset, there wasn’t any specific reason for using Bengali characters in the film. We just wanted colourful characters, not your trademark Maharashtrian dons who were the staple of standard Hindi fare. Debu Mukerji, Rajatava Dutta and Chandan Sanyal play three Bengali book-keepers, involved in shady businesses with a screwball streak to them."
Given that this is supposed to partly be a 'caper' film, one wonders if this is similar to the Hasidic Jew angle in Snatch.
August 14 is less than two months away.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Sadly, this is gleaned from speculation from the Kaminey Facebook group - UTV needs to realise that creating social network spaces for promotion isn't enough - got to keep communicate to maintain the buzz & momentum around their product on the said space.
Meanwhile, this is the official UTV page for the film.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Only half decent piece of info is that Kaminey seems to have an official Facebook page (I might be slow in catching this one as I still dont have a Facebook page. Yes, and I still live in a cave.)
But that's not why I wanted to write this post. It mentions an Urdu verse Vishal has used (composed?)
“Raat din giley (Day and night I have complaints)
Meri aarzoo kamini (My wish is a worthless)
Mere khwab bhi kaminey (My dreams are a cheat)
dosti dil se thi (My friendship was from the heart)
Yeh hazoor bhi kaminey (But that you too were a rascal)"
I cant access the page, so don't know if the translation is embedded on the page or is thanks to Bollyspice, but I read it thus -
(Agree to the first 3 lines - I have complaints because my wishes and dreams are traitors)
dosti dil se thi (My friendship was with the heart)
Yeh hazoor bhi kaminey (But the heart too was a rascal)" .
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
"Whenever Arshad arrives on the film’s sets every morning, hours are spent painting Arshad Warsi’s torso black".
Why, you ask? Do you people not get it. To win awards, maan, samman etc. etc. - why should every other actor get the Padmashri?
I wonder why they are painting just the torso black. There is no mention of the rest of the body. Hmmmm.
The film is slated to release late 2009. That would be two movies closely associated with Vishal Bharadwaj - Kaminey which he directs and Ishqiya which he produces. Lets all collectively rub our hands in glee.
Monday, March 30, 2009
In the film Kaminay Shahid plays a double role — Charlie and Guddu. The role of their childhood sweetheart is enacted by Priyanka Chopra. Three of them grow up in Dharavi, with dreams of making it big in life. Guddu aims to make it big in the right way, while Charlie is hooked [on to do all bad boys’ things] to betting horse race. But both shall pass a crossroad to reach their destination.
It says the movie was shot in real life locations like VT Railway station, Dharavi and Gateway of India.
and I guess, Mahalaxmi Race Course as well, considering the horse racing bit.
One thing I won't be betting on - VB's films releasing here in the UK. Unless they have SRK. Won't bet on that either.
Friday, March 27, 2009
* (24 Mar) Kaminey is scheduled to release on 5th June says this news item.
*(23 Mar) Vishal says Kaminey is a caper film and confirms that he has sung for the film.
Last week, I attended a seminar on Cinema and Literature jointly organised by the Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune and the Film Writers Association. Here's the precursor post about that.
Which brings us back to the titular figure of this post. The last time I'd seen Vishal, he was much less celebrated as a film-maker and chose to remain silent. Here, he began with expressing his trepidation at speaking in front of legends such as Mani Kaul and Prof. U.R.Ananthamurthy, and didn't even want to look in the direction of his 'gardener' Gulzar. He then proceeded to shake off his nervousness with a couple of 'shers' and spoke of how Maqbool came about. He began by describing the days before Maachis in the land where 'mediocrity is worshipped', and how he tried gaining producers' attention by trying to pass of his original songs as copies of Pakistani songs (incredulous laughter sweeps the auditorium).
Heeding Gulzar's prophesy that Vishal would be a film-maker someday, he decided to try his hand at making films, partly with a view to employing himself as a music director (since his career seemed to be ending!). After Makdee (a story that was partly inspired from childhood memories of Enid Blyton), he wanted to make a film on the underworld ("because I like guns, crimes, and chases"), but felt most films ended in a gangwar, and lacked depth. Plus, what do you do that Ram Gopal Varma hadn't? Serendipitously, Anurag Kashyap had pointed him to Kurosawa's "Throne of Blood" and Alaap Mazgaonkar (who plays 'Mughal-e-Azam' in Makdee) had given him a book of stories containing Macbeth. Until then, he subscribed to the common view that 'literature' was high-brow and had no pulp or entertainment to offer. But here was a drama that gripped him.
He then read the full Macbeth ("Shakespeare language ek taraf, English duusri taraf") cover to cover. He and Abbas Tyrewala began to write, not encumbered by convention of what was allowed and what wasn't ("we were blessed with ignorance"). Making the witches into cops or turning Lady Macbeth into Abbaji's mistress happened. Naseeruddin Shah loved the script and gave him the confidence this would work, volunteering to play one of the cops instead of Abbaji as originally intended.
There was also a reference to an earlier FWA seminar where Javed Akhtar said: "In Maqbool, Shakespeare failed you; in Omkara, you failed Shakespeare" (according to this account, JA and others had torn into Omkara). Vishal ended by quoting Prof. U.R.Ananthamurthy's speech on the 1st day where the Jnanpith awardee talked about the difference in adapting just the 'structure' as opposed to 'texture'. Vishal said he had been paying more attention to structure than texture (though this blogger finds texture and ambience to be Vishal's key strength) and now had the confidence to write his own originals.
After reciting a parting couplet, he sat down. Govind Nihalani, chairing the session, said Vishal was off to catch a flight, so may be we had time for just one question. No one stirred (most sessions had gone question-less, a pity), so he was about to wish Vishal goodbye, when I decided to shoot my hand up.
There were many things to ask (that after disregarding Yasho's suggestion to yell "Kaminey!" out loud) but I settled for one on Vishal's other main writing source. "Could you tell us a little about your work with Ruskin Bond, and we've heard you're working with him again". Nihalani was about to brush me off for being a tad too late, but Vishal was kind enough to answer. He spoke of how he liked the story for The Blue Umbrella, but couldn't see how it would make a film of more than 30 minutes. He then hit upon the idea of the red umbrella, met Ruskin Bond who seemed to like the idea, and made the film. And yes, he was working on a few ideas with Bond (he mentioned a couple of names, but sadly, I couldn't quite figure them out - did he say "A Season of Ghosts"?).
And that was that.
A Times of India interview on the sidelines.
Update: 5 Apr 2009
Ajay Bhramatmaj has a transcript of Vishal's speech here (the previous link is in Devanaagarii, here's a Roman script version).
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
And to underftand why he replafes the phoneme "f" by "f" (;-)), you'll juft have to read thif, won't you?
Abhishek Toraskar points to more evidence of Gulzar's association with the film in this link.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
While this article says the film is going to release only in June. That's a long way off.
Tehelka offers this little tidbit about Ishqiyaa, produced by Vishal and featuring the debut as director of his close associate Abhishek Chaubey:
THE RETURNING GOOD GIRL
We had kind of given up on Vidya Balan. Always a mistake. The moment you wash your hands off someone in Bollywood they embarrass you by making a brilliant recovery. Balan, for instance, is finally doing something human. She will be seen next in Vishal Bharadwaj’s Ishqiyaan in which she reportedly plays a woman in rural UP. Her character seduces an uncle (Naseeruddin Shah) and nephew (Arshad Warsi) pair and is generally rumoured to be juicy. Here is to hoping that the girl finds her second wind in villainy. The good girl number hasn’t got her very far.
A similar article here.
Other stories related to this film here.
(As with Kaminey, the exact/preferred transliteration of the title is unclear.)
Friday, February 20, 2009
According to PhoenixNu, a PFC author:
KAMINEY (promo)…..looks KILLER!!!!! The Master is back and its dhan tarang dhan tarang…..coming FOON….how FOON ??? the wait begins!!
The "coming FOON" is because the characters played by Shahid Kapur have speech defects.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Now, about 7 years later (aka saat saal baad), Rai-Bachchan and Vishal seem all set to team up on what appears to be the same project. Mrs. Rai-Bachchan notes that they had wanted to work with each other "ever since he was the music composer on a project that got shelved." One wonders if this was Hum Panchi Ek Daal Ke starring Sunil Shetty and Ashutosh Rana (in which Vishal reportedly gave KK his first solo song).
There's more about what happened all those years ago here.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Without ever tresspassing on 'preach'-ery, the film works both as a piece of socially relevant material as well as pure story-telling. If all this wasn't enough, perhaps you may be interested in the facts that the film was shot by Guillermo Navarro (Pan's Labyrinth among others) and is based (partly) on a story idea by screenwriter Matthew Robbins.
The film can be viewed online. While you are at it, have a look at the others in this pack of four (Mira Nair, Farhan Akhtar and Santosh Sivan completing the quadruple).