Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Richard Attenborough, Who Immortalized ‘Gandhi’ On Screen, No More!

Oscar-winning British film director, actor and producer Richard Attenborough, who reinvented Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, in his Hollywood movie GANDHI, died in London at the ripe age of 90. 

Though Sir Richard Attenborough has an immense contribution to Hollywood but he shall always remain a darling of India for his intimate biopic GANDHI (1982), which played a vital role in bringing Mahatma Gandhi close to the lives of millions of the young Indian, who have been born after Independence. 

Among the film celebrities’ actor and filmmaker Anil Kapoor paying tribute to the great filmmaker rightly said, “I learnt more about the Mahatma from Attenborough's GANDHI than the history lessons in school. The movie is truly unforgettable, honest and inspirational!”

Renowned author, Shobhaa De in her condolence said, “Richard Attenborough convinced the world that a Mahatma did indeed walk the earth.” 

Milap Zaveri, an Indian young film writer and director in his tribute aptly says, “Sir Richard Attenborough...Now the "Mahatma" can personally congratulate you in heaven for telling his story so brilliantly.”

True indeed! Because Sir Richard Attenborough’s GANDHI, is regarded as the best ever film made on the life of the great Indian freedom fighter. Readers would be rather surprised to know that it took Richard Attenborough 20 years to make the film. Though the movie was released in 1982 but it was conceived more than 20 years ago as it was the dream project of India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. In fact Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru himself had met filmmaker Richard Attenborough and briefed him about Mahatma and the quality of biopic.

The movie was an Indo-British production. India’s NFDC had financed the film and from Britain, Hollywood producers were reluctant to finance as they felt there would be no audience for “a little brown man in a sheet carrying a beanstalk. Hence Sir Attenborough ended up producing it himself. It is said Attenborough had mortgaged his house in a London suburb, sold works of art and invested everything but made no compromise in making the film. 

The result was GANDHI was not only a blockbuster in India but was globally declared money grosser. The movie was nominated in 11 categories for Oscar Award and won 8 awards including best picture, best director, best cinematography, best original screenplay and best actor. 

Raaga.Com pays homage to the legendary filmmaker and prays his soul rest in peace.

Has Underworld Returned To Bollywood?

The news of underworld don Ravi Pujari’s shooters entering film producer Ali Morani's house in Juhu, Mumbai’s western suburbs and firing five rounds has sent shock waves among Bollywood celebs and raised a debate - Has ‘Underworld returned to Bollywood’?

According to reports Ravi Pujari, a hoodlum and close of aid of the infamous don Chhota Rajan, had been calling Ali Moorani for extortion money but Morani paid no heed. Hence in fury Pujari sent his shooters to Morani's house and fired shots to make the producer realize that the calls were not bogus. Fortunately Morani was unhurt. 

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Morani brothers (Ali and Karim) have produced successful films like `RAJA HINDUSTANI`, `DAMINI`, `DUSHMANI`, `HUMKO TUMSE PYAAR HAI` among many others.

The attack on Morani has brought the back the memories of Bollywood and underworld nexus to fore. 

Famous producer Boney Kapoor, who had received death threats from Ravi Pujari’s gang earlier in an interview, condemned the security agencies for such attacks. He had said, “I feel that the security forces are incompetent as a result these gangsters become strong and feel they are fully capable of nipping anything right in the bud.”

Eminent film producer Rakesh Roshan, who was shot at in January 2000 when he was leaving his office, believes, “I think there is some nexus between underworld and few contemptible producers, who make films using the black money of the underworld and when they are unable to return profits, the underworld hits back at them and in their clash, even clean film producers like me became targets.” 

Pritish Nandy of Pritish Nandy Communications Ltd warns, “If these threats spread like an epidemic then it will become a big problem to film industry hence the whole industry should come together and take a strong stand.” 

It may be remembered filmmaker Rajiv Rai, who has made several blockbuster hits like TRIDEV, MOHRA and GUPT, had left India after an attempt was made on his life by the underworld in 1997. 

However, this is not the first time that a high-profile celebrity has got threats by the Underworld. Several B-Town biggies like Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Govinda and Karan Johar too have got threats from the dons.