Friday, August 28, 2009

Kind of Krzysztof?

In a couple of interviews, Vishal has cited the seminal influence of Krzystof Kieslowski's Decalogue. In this interview with Outlook, he talks about following the footsteps of the acclaimed director, and trying out his style of film-making.

Says Vishal, “I want to explore silences and calmness the way he does, I have yet to find the Kieslowski expression in my cinema”.
That would be as far away from the mind-bendingly frenetic Kaminey as possible. Interesting to see how that one turns out.
For me, Vishal's take on Tarantino style didn't completely work, though Kaminey continues to be a must watch for all the laugh out loud scenes, whacky characters, and a tremendous ensemble cast.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The original "Dhan Te Nan" (Gubbare) version

In an earlier interview (also posted on this blog before by Abhishek), Vishal had mentioned that "Dhan Te Nan" was reworked from an episode of the same name dfor "Gubbare" (Zee TV, 90s). The episode was one of the early directorial forays by Vishal and by most accounts was quite badly made :-). The video of the opening has surfaced now (Gaurav & Salil pointed to it), and features some bad choreography, a rocking train, and an even more juvenile Sharman Joshi.

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

Ishqiya - trailer

Long time Vishal associate Abhishek Chaubey's directorial debut is Ishqiya (see posts from this blog on the topic). The film is co-produced & co-written by Vishal. After the musical lean patch of the last couple of years, 2009 will see another Vishal soundtrack, with lyrics by Gulzar.

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.

kaminey: early praise

Vishal Bhardwaj seems destined to be the guinea pig for all sorts of strange SNAFUs associated with film releases. Anurag Kashyap's problems were limited to censor bans. But the creative and talented Mr. Bhardwaj has had to deal with obscurity (Maqbool seems to have gained its admirers and fans almost completely by word of mouth and the occasional articles lavishing praise), hype dying with a whimper (a lot more was written about The Blue Umbrella before it finally hit the marquee, at which point it seemed to slide all the way out), strangely disappointing initial collections followed by a backlash of prudery (Omkara). And now it's the H1N1 wave that has prevented it from hitting the marquee back home in Bombay and Pune. The film has hit the marquee overseas and, as with Omkara, seems destined to get most of its early reviews from abroad (local limited screenings for critics notwithstanding).

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

Blow by blow account

What can one say apart from "Publicity stunt"?
The release is imminent, so I wont be surprised if some phantom punches get exchanged.