Friday, January 29, 2016

Top 5 most expensive South Indian films ever made!

South Indian film industry is abuzz with the news of South Superstar Mahesh Babu aka Prince joining hands with South Indian cinema’s most distinguished filmmaker director AR Murugadoss and making Telegu Cinema’s most expensive film! The untitled film’s budget is expected to be between Rs 85-90 crore. 

Raaga.Com takes a looks at Top 5 most expensive movie’s made down South!


Directed by S. S. Rajamouli and Produced by Shobu Yarlagadda and Prasad Devineni Baahubali: The Beginning is perhaps South Indian cinema’s most expensive movie to be made on a budget of 250 crore. Interestingly the movie was a huge hit and collected more than Rs 600 Crore worldwide 

2.0 (Sequel of Enthiran/Robot (2016)- (Rs 350 crore) 

Starring superstar Rajinikanth and Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar with Amy Jackson this Shanker directed film has crossed the budget of BAAHUBALI: THE BEGINNING and is being made on a whopping budget of Rs 350 crore. It may be noted earlier 'Enthiran' was made at a budget of Rs 132 crore. 

PULI (2015) – Rs 118 crore 

South Superstar Vijay and Bollywood Ex Flame Sridevi starrer Tamil movie PULI, was another adventure costume drama on lines of BAAHUBALI: THE BEGINNING. Directed by Chimbu Deven the movie had Hansika Motwane and Shruti Haasan the movie’s trailer took everybody by storm but the film failed to appeal. Made on budget of Rs 118 Crore the film also put the producers and its lead actors in IT soup! 

KOCHADAIIYAAN (2014) – Rs 125 crore 

Directed by Rajinikanth's younger daughter Soundarya, KOCHADAIIYAAN was made in 3-D staring Rajinikanth and Deepika Padukone. Produced at a whopping cost of Rs 125 crore, this innovative Motion Capture Computer Animated adventure film failed miserably at the box office, despite music by Oscar winning AR Rahman and background narration by Amitabh Bachchan in the Hindi version.

I (2014) – Rs 100 crore

South Superstar Vikram and Amy Jackson starrer I directed by Shanker was indeed an exceptional romantic thriller made in Tamil. V. Srinivas Mohan’s excellent visual effects took the audience by their seats and the movie proved a big hit! 

Thus the South Indian film industry is no less than Bollywood and has proved its competence time and again!

If Akshay Kumar’s AIRLIFT has irked Ministry of External Affairs, it has succeeded in serving its purpose!

Akshay Kumar’s recent film AIRLIFT has not only set the box office register ringing by becoming biggest grosser of one week (Rs 83.50 crore) but has also succeeded in awakening the Ministry of External Affairs, who failed to perform their duties seriously during the 1990 evacuation of Indian, who were trapped in Kuwait during the Iraq invasion of Kuwait. 

The movie not only salutes the brave Indian who stood by the side of one another in the time of crises on humanitarian ground, in the world’s largest evacuation, but also on the other hand takes a dig at lethargic attitude of the officials at the Ministry of External Affairs of India and the delayed help they provided to evacuate Indian citizens from Kuwait.

According to reports the movie has created ripples in the Ministry of External Affairs, who are fuming about their negative portrayal in the film during the crisis. Ms Nirupama Rao, former ambassador of India to the United States of America, has blasted the filmmaker Raja Menon and alleged for not doing a thorough research before making the film.

In a statement attacking filmmaker Raja Menon, Ms Rao said, “I can understand filmmakers taking liberties for cinematic excellence but I kindly don't make a "biased" and "ludicrous" projection of the government's role.”

“Our diplomats are by and large extremely dedicated and conscientious. I can give several example of competent India's Ambassador to Baghdad like Kamal Bakshi, foreign minister IK Gujral and India's Ambassador to Kuwait in 1990-91. They all had worked to ensure safety of suffering Indians in Kuwait.” She added. 

It feels good that Indian Cinema is going great guns and is moving far ahead from its ‘mission entertainment’ to ‘mission awareness’. 

Recently Meghna Gulzar’s TALVAR stirred a debate in the society about the authenticity of the 14-year-old Aarushi Talwar Murder case and now Raja Menon’s AIRLIFT has raised questions about the efficiency of the Ministry of External Affairs. 

Thus it’s great that if films like AIRLIFT or TALVAR can start a debate in society than the filmmaker can heave a sigh of relief as he/she has succeeded in serving his purpose!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Aamir Khan announces sequel of 3 IDIOTS!

Aamir Khan’s fans and movie buffs who have appreciated Aamir Khan and Rajkumar Hirani directed film 3 IDIOTS (2009) have reasons to cheer as Mr. Perfectionist aka Aamir Khan has announced the sequel of 3 IDIOTS!!! 

Speaking at the promotion of Rajkumar Hirani’s latest production SAALA KHADOOS staring Madhvan in the lead role, Aamir Khan, in the presence of Rajkumar Hirani said, “Raju Hirani has been silently working on the script of 3 IDIOTS and has given me a hint about the sequel. I have been bowled over by the idea. So film buffs keep your figures crossed for another dose of family entertainer 3 IDIOTS- 2!”

On being quizzed about the details about the sequel of 3 IDIOTS, Aamir Khan said, “Right now I am engaged in the shooting of DANGAL in which I play an aged wrestler weighing 98 kg, who encourages his daughter to make a career in wrestling, a sports regarded as the male sport.”

He added, “I have completed shooting for the aged father and now I am shedding weight to come back into my original shape as in the first half of the movie I play a young wrestler. I will have to lose 25 kilos to play the younger version of my character. I have already started working out on that. After DANGAL is complete I may focus my attention Hirani’s 3 IDIOTS!”

Confirming the news Rajkumar Hirani said, “Few months’ back I came up with an idea for the sequel of 3 IDIOTS. I discussed it with my co-writer Abhijat Joshi, who jumped over it and we began developing the plot. Later when we discussed the plot with Aamir Khan, he was really excited.”

“Though till now we are in the initial stages of writing I cannot reveal much about the sequel, but I can promise that film buffs can anticipate a sequel to 3 IDIOTS!” he quipped. 

Truly, if there is any sequel of any movie that is most awaited by film buffs is that of Aamir Khan’s film 3 IDIOTS! One hope the filmmakers come up with the sequel soon!!!

“40 years have passed since KABHIE KABHIE was released and still my fans insist me to the recite the same poem!” Amitabh Bachchan

Kabhi kabhi mere dil main khayal aata hain

Ki zindagi teri zulfon ki narm chhaon main guzarne pati

to shadab ho bhi sakti thi…..

More than the title track Kabhi kabhi mere dil main khayal aata hain …sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh, I think it is the above mentioned poignant poem narrated so touching by Mr. Amitabh Bachchan that has become a hot favorite among the audience. Frequently Mr. Bachchan is seen fulfilling the demand of his fans to recite the poem and he does oblige with the same panache.

Recently Mr. Bachchan got nostalgic recollecting the completion of 40 years of his mega hit film KABHIE KABHIE that was released on January 27, 1976. Overwhelmed by the movie’s excellent poetry and bewitching locales of Kashmir he tweeted, "It is strange that 40 years have passed since KABHIE KABHIE was released and still my fans insist me to the recite the same poem..!! Strength of cinema!”

What further mesmerized Bachchan was that when he was shooting for KABHIE KABHIE, simultaneously, he was also shooting for DEEWAAR and both the films were being directed by movie mogul Yash Chopra. 

It may be remembered that both the films KABHIE KABHIE and DEEWAAR were of two separate genres. While KABHIE KABHIE was a tender and poignant love story, DEEWAAR was an action thriller depicting the angry young image of Amitabh Bachchan, yet in both the films Amitabh Bachchan and Yash Chopra excelled at their best! 

Himself amazed at both the films being made simultaneously Bachchan tweeted, “We started shooting for KABHIE KABHIE when we were half way shooting for DEEWAAR. Nobody could imagine the makers and the artists involved in both the projects, could be so diverse in such short a time but he did it.” 

Truly magnificent! That’s the reason Mr. Bachchan Indian Cinema can never get another Amitabh Bachchan, neither a film wizard as competent as Yash Chopra!

When music legend O.P.Nayyar had tiff with singer Mohd Rafi

Yoon to humne laakh haseen dekhen hain, Tumsa Nahi Dekha… 

This song justifies to define ‘King of Rhythm’ O.P.Nayyar because certainly he was a music composer with a difference and truly the world of Indian music has not seen a music director like O.P.Nayar because he was the only one music director who dared to compose songs without the service of either Lata Mangeshkar or Mohd Rafi! 

Yet such was his mastery in composing melodious songs that within a short span he shot to stardom like a phoenix in the Hindi Film Industry giving a run for money to successful music directors like Naushad, Shanker Jaikishen, S.D. Burman etc.

While the other music directors banked on the Melody Queen Lata Mangeshkar, O.P.Nayyar, never ever took the service of Lata Mangeshkar instead he gave hits after hits with Asha Bhosle, Lata’s younger sister. Thus making a point that good music is not depended on the any particular voice. 

Unlike Lata Mangeshkar, O.P.Nayyar shared a very good rapport with Mohd Rafi and even admitted that his music was nothing without the voice of Rafi. The duo have a chain of hits and a look at O.P.Nayyar’s career reveal that Mohd Rafi’s voice has been a saving grace of O.P’s music. 

Just take a look at some of the hit songs Taarif Karoon Kya Uski ….. Dil ki aawaz bhi sun mere fasaane pe na ja ….Aapke haseen rukh pe aaj naya noor hai….

However readers would be surprised to know that in the early 60’s there was a short tiff between O.P.Nayyar and Mohd Rafi too! 

“If I can give hits without Lata Mangeshkar, I can also give hit songs without Mohd Rafi!” roared the stubborn O.P.Nayar and believe it or not O.P. lived up to his words and replacing Rafi with Mahendra Kapoor he proved his point! 

Remember the hits songs of O.P.Nayyar and Mahendra Kapoor…. Mera pyar wo hai ke markar bhi tumko….; Tumhara chahnewala khuda ki duniya mein....; . Laakhon hain yahaan dilwaale….; Badal jaaye agar maali…..

On the death anniversary of O.P.Nayar that falls on January 28; Raaga.Com remembers the legend!!!

Is astrologer’s predication of 2016 for Rajinikanth True? Will KABALI break the jinx?

With Thalaivar Rajinikanth being bestowed with the prestigious Padma Vibhushan Award, second highest civilian award in the country, it seems the astrologer’s predication for the actor in 2016 is perfect. 

If readers could recollect, IndiaGlitz had carried a story - What the future holds for film stars in 2016, in our New Year issue dated January 2, 2016. In the story we had mentioned that according to astrologers the year 2016 is going to be a great year for Rajinikanth. What’s amazing is that the astrologers had even mentioned that Rajinikanth would also fetch an important award! 

The award part of the prediction, initially looked uncertainty because none of Rajinikanth’s movie had done great business to boost him of an award but with the ‘unexpected’ Padma Vibhushan Award the prediction now looks ideal.

According to the astrologers Rajinkanth who has been going through a lean phase in his career due to his past failures KOCHADAIIYAAN and LINGAA; the year 2016 is set to change the wind as the influence of sub period of Jupiter and exalted Mars which is Yogakaraka in his Chart, is bound shower success for Rajinikanth at the box office. 

Once again the predications look authentic because according to KABALI producer Kalaipuli S. Thanu the film is already a success as it has been sold in USA for a gigantic record price! 

Briefing media about the USA distribution rights of KABALI, Thanu said, “KABALI has been sold in the USA territory for a record Rs 8.5 Cr. Till date no South Indian film star has been able to achieve this landmark.”

Taking a dig at the IT department, Kalaipuli S. Thanu said, “I know my revelation will alert the Income Tax officials but I just want to prove that Rajinikanth is a Superstar even today and not only in India but at the overseas box-office. Even today the new generation audiences go gaga over his style and mannerism.” 

One hopes the year 2016 continues to shower success on Rajinikanth and KABALI break the jinx when it releases in the Tamil New Year on April 2016!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

“South Indian Cinema and Bollywood should join hands” : Ramesh Sippy

Marveling at the mega success of S.S. Rajamouli’s BAAHUBALI, brilliant filmmaker Ramesh Sippy at the recent IIFA-FICCI Media and Entertainment Business Conclave said that if South Indian cinema and Bollywood come together the two can bring a great revolution in filmmaking. 

Citing example of BAAHUBAL’s success he said, “It’s heartening to see a South Indian film BAAHUBALI joining the highest ranks. It’s a pat on the southern cinema.”

Incidentally sharing a similar view with Ramesh Sippy, Oscar award winning sound designer Resul Pookutty at the first edition of IIFA Utsavam too confided that South Indian cinema is doing a great work and 45 percent of the total revenue of Indian cinema is generated from the southern filmdom.

In fact if we look back during the 50’s and the 60’s it was the South Indian Cinema that ruled the roost. Film production houses like AVM, Prasad Production, Gemini studio, B. Nagi Reddy etc hired Bollywood top stars and remade their hit south films in Bollywood and minted money. 

What’s more the South film production companies maintained a kind of discipline that was not visible in Bollywood as a result many Bollywood movies would fail at box office but movies produced by South film companies were generally hit. 

Top stars like Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Jetendra, Sunil Dutt etc considered it a privilege to work in South Banners. The popularity of South Banner could be gauged from the fact that cine buffs thronged cinema halls not by the allure of top stars but the stamp of South Banners was enough to pull in audience. 

People had a trust in ‘Madras’ Movies. Movies like BHABHI, KHANDAAN, RAM AUR SHYAM, CHORI CHORI, PREM NAGAR, DIL EK MANDIR, HATHI MERE SATHI etc. are example of top South Banners ruling Bollywod

Hence it would be great if South Indian Cinema and Bollywood once again come together and reap rich dividends! 

A trend of this has been initiated by South filmmaker Shanker by casting Rajinikanth (South superstar) and Akshay Kumar (Bollywood superstar) in the upcoming film ENTHIRAN 2.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Rajinikanth is above Padma Vibhushan, he deserves Bharat Ratna!

What Lata Mangeshkar is to music and Sachin Tendulkar is to cricket, likewise Rajinikanth is to Indian Cinema, particularly South Indian Cinema. Rajinikath’s mass popularity is such maniac that he is literally worshipped as a Demi God down South. 

Yet it is tragic while Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar have been bestowed by Bharat Ratna Award, Rajinikanth has been awarded Padma Vibhushan, when the truth is he should be decorated with Bharat Ratna! 

Nevertheless down to earth, humble and simple Rajinikanth has no complaints. When the government officials called Rajinikanth’s residence at Poes Garden, Chennai, to convey about the Padma Vibhushan award, the ‘Thalaivar’ was not at home. He was busy shooting for his upcoming film KABALI and the call was received by his daughter Aishwarya Dhanush.

Briefing media about the honor, Aishwarya Dhanush, said, “We are all elated and really thankful for this honour. We got a call this morning and interestingly, all of us, including my sister Soundarya, were at Appa's residence.”

“Ever since the news came out, we have been getting so many calls... He is not at home right now and is busy shooting in the city. So, we are all busy attending all the calls on his behalf," she laughed.

His younger daughter, Soundarya also tweeted, "Proud daughter!!!!! Appa is now Padma Vibhushan shri Rajinikanth." 

Though Rajinikath and his family has expressed delight and made no resentment but Rajinikanth fans feel the pinch. 

Looking at the enormous contribution of Rajinikanth to South Indian Cinema, bringing it out from the shamble of regional cinema and taking it to international heights, both in terms of quality and commercial success, the Padma Vibhushan award looks pigmy and the only award that does justify to ‘Thalaivar’s gigantic contribution is none but India’s ultimate award –The Bharat Ratna!

Monday, January 25, 2016

After Kamal Haasan, South sensation Dhanush set for Hollywood debut?

Indian films may be ignored at the Oscar Awards but Indian actors are revered by the west.

Many Indian actors have been approached in the past for Hollywood films like Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan etc from Bollywood and down South both legends Rajinikanth and Kamal Hassan but most of our actors have declined these offers due to either puny character or not the lead role. 

Recently rumor mills are abuzz that National Film Award-winning Indian actor Dhanush has been approached by Iranian filmmaker Marjane Satrapi for his upcoming film THE EXTRAORDINARY JOURNEY OF THE FAKIR WHO GOT TRAPPED IN AN IKEA CUPBOARD that deals with Indian magician, who is on a secret mission in Paris.

Marjane Satrapi briefing about his choice of Dhanush said, “The script demands an actor from Indian origin hence I watched many Indian actors but eventually zeroed upon Dhanush for his intelligence, his killer smile, his ability to enter fully into the skin of the character he played (and I can go on and on forever) made me confident that he was the one.”

Dhanush will be seen playing the lead role opposite KILL BILL star Uma Thurman. The shooting of the film is scheduled to start by mid 2016 and will take place in parts of India, France, Italy and Morocco. 

From Bollywood many actors like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Om Puri, Sayeed Jaffery, Amrish Puri, Shashi Kapoor, Gulshan Grover, Irrfan Khan, Gaurav Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, Anil Kapoor, Nimrat Kaur, Mallika Sherawat Sonu Sood etc have acted in Hollywood films but from South Indian cinema none of the actors have made their debut in Hollywood. 

Kamal Haasan was in talks with THE LORD OF THE RINGS producer Barrie Osborne and was planning an Indian story in Hollywood style but things did not materialized.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Mahesh Bhat to reprise his classic film DADDY; Pooja Bhatt to play female protagonist!

Ace filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, who introduced his daughter Pooja Bhatt, in a heart wrenching sob tale DADDY is all set to reprise the same old classic film with a slight alteration. Briefing media, Pooja Bhatt said, “Yes, the new film is very much similar to our old classic DADDY but with a difference.” 

Informing about the change in the film she said, “The original film depicted a story of an alcoholic father (Anupam Kher) who is brought up by his daughter. In the new film it is tale of a mother, played by me, who is supported by his child, when the society declines her.” 

It may be noted that Pooja Bhatt would be seen on silver screen after 15 years. She was last seen in Rahul Bose’s film EVERYBODY SAYS I’M FINE (2001).

“It’s my father, Mahesh Bhatt, who has brought me out of the cocoon,” confides Pooja Bhatt. See informs, “One fine day my papa looked deep into my eyes and said, ‘I’ve got a story for you.’ It’s a gift from a father to his daughter and will celebrate my insanity.”

“Truly when I heard the story I was left thunderstruck. The heart melting tale gave me goose pimples and I embraced my papa with open arms for the fantastic script,” she smiles. 

Giving details about the yet untitled film Pooja said, “The story depicts the emotional conflict of an aging actress and her poignant relationship with her abandoned illegitimate child.”

She adds, “The film tells the tale of a popular film actress who in her prime days delivers an illegitimate child. However to escape responsibility of a mother as it would ruin her successful filmy career she dumps her baby to a caretaker.”

“Years later she is hunted by the guilt and depression and takes to alcoholism. Later how her same illegitimate child helps her to restore dignity forms a spellbinding and moving climax,” quips Pooja Bhatt.

14 years later Mumbai rocked by another Salman Khan kind of hit and run case!

On the horrifying night of September 28, 2002 Bollywood actor Salman Khan’s white Toyata Land Cruiser crashed into the pavements near American Express Bakery at Hill Road at Bandra, killing one person and injuring four others. 

Salman Khan was arrested and released on bail. The case run for over 13 years and eventually the honorable Mumbai High Court on December 10, 2015 gave clean chit to Bollywood actor Salman Khan over-ruling Session’s Court’s May 2015’s order sentencing him to a five-year imprisonment. 

14 years later… 

The scene shifts to Mumbai’s yet another popular business hub, Masjid Bhandar, with a similar backdrop. On the chilling winter night of January 22, 2016, a millionaire driving his posh Mercedes car mercilessly runs over some people sleeping on the pavement of Mohammed Ali Road.

Four women and a child are inured and admitted to the nearby JJ Hospital. Two of the injured are reportedly critical. The brutal killer once again, like in the case of Salman Khan, flees away from the scene of crime. He is later arrested and released on bail…. 

The question is how long can cases of rash driving be ignored as ‘minor’ crimes? A study of few lethal cases of rash driving like the Alistair Pereira case, who killed seven people by running over a group of construction workers who were sleeping on the road in 2006 or Sanjeev Nanda, son of indurstrialist Suresh Nanda, crushing his BMW through a police checkpoint, killing six people in 1999 show that the culprits have never been given harsh punishment more than five years!

In both the above cases the culprits have either been in jail for three years (Alistair Pereira) and two years (Sanjeev Nanda).

The Salman Khan case too made mockery of the law as the Mumbai High Court acquitted Salman Khan of all charges in the 2002 hit-and-run case and instead slapped the Mumbai Police for poor investigation of the case!!! 

Thus until and unless the law of the land tightens screws on the culprits of rash driving with severe punishments and early judgments there is little hope to control the raise of rash driving in India!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Break-ups among long-term married couples on rise in Bollywood!

It seems Bollywood celebrities are fast adopting the Hollywood style of marriage i.e. ‘date and ditch’! After the year 2015 was rocked by multiple marriages ending into divorce the year 2016 has started on the same unfortunate note! 

What is most unfortunate is that unlike Hollywood where the couple separate with the change of a seasons Bollywood is witnessing a strange phenomena where celebrities, who have been into healthy marriage for over a decade and more are separating and this is indeed painful!

The year began with the ill-fated separation news about popular TV Show Roadies’s anchor and Bollywood actor Raghu Ram announcing his 10 years marriage break up with his wife Sugandha Garg. 

And now comes the shocking news about Bollywood’s most cherished couple filmmaker and actor Farhan Akhtar parting with his beautiful wife Adhuna after a long and healthy marriage of 16 years! 

Farhan and Adhuna dated each other for three years before tying the knot in 2000. They have two children named Shakya and Akira.

The regrettable trend of couple calling it quite after decades of marriage was initiated by sensible actor Aamir Khan. He married his girlfriend Reena after years of dating and had a happy marriage. They were married on the 18th April, 1986 and had two children Junaid and Aira. But in 2001 Aamir came close to assistant filmmaker Kiran Rao and eventually divorced his first wife Reena on 9th December, 2002. The reason for the divorce, as given to the court was ‘temperamental difference’ 

Other prominent break up among long term marriage include Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh (1991 to 2004), Kamal Haasan and Sarika (1988–2004), Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia (1973 – 1984) and of course the most shocking of all the separation is the divorce of lovely couple (2000 -2014). 

It may sound strange but it is true that according to a study by the Australian Institute of Family Studies there is a fast raise among couple been together for 10 - 20 years and more are splitting up in record numbers while divorce rate amongst young couples is falling!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

SAALA KHADOOS could be another success like CHAK DE INDIA and MARY KOM

R Madhavan is certainly the only South based actor to have made his presence felt in Bollywood and now he is doubling himself as a film producer with his upcoming film SAALA KHADOOS.

Further with name of popular filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani associated with film, the movie is attracting huge publicity but the major problem facing both R Madhavan and Rajkumar Hirani is that the movie, even before its release, is being compared to Shah Rukh Khan’s CHAK DE INDIA and Priyanka Chopra's boxing film MARY KOM! 

On the surface yes like CHAK DE INDIA (2007) and MARY KOM (2014), R.Madhavan’s SAALA KHADOOS is an emotional tale of determination and perseverance inculcated by a coach into his student to achieve her goal.

Well if we look back in 2005, national award winner filmmaker Nagesh Kukunoor’s film IQBAL had a same similar script depicting a wrecked ex-cricketer battling his energies to give a place of pride to a handicapped talented youth, which he could attain in his hey days due to dirty politics. 

The movie though made on a shoe string budget was a runaway hit. Thus proving that the subject may be the same but what makes a movie successful is the treatment both by a competent script writer and an accomplished film director. 

To illustrate my point more clearly, I take my readers back to the 70’s when not one but four films were made on a same subject about a handful of criminals encouraging villagers to take upon the atrocities of a dreaded dacoit. Interestingly all the four movies viz. MERA GAON MERA DESH (1971), KHOTE SIKKAY (1974), CHOR MACHAYE SHOR (1974) and PRATIGYA (1975) were hits. 

However what may stun readers is that popular writer pair Salim Javed too took the same ‘oft repeated’ subject and brilliantly re-wrote it into Indian’s biggest commercial blockbuster SHOLAY! 

Credits must be given to brilliant filmmaker Ramesh Sippy to deftly tackle the run of the mill subject!!! 

Hence I think there is no reason for R.Madhavan and Rajkumar Hirani to worry because if the director and screenplay writer have competently handled the film, SAALA KHADOOS could be another success like CHAK DE INDIA (2007) and MARY KOM (2014),

So who is the 'SAALA KHADOOS’ of superstars Hrithik Roshan, Ranveer Singh and Anushka Sharma?

Mumbai is known for its typical slangs popularly known as the ‘Tapori or Bambaiya (Mumbaiya) Language’ which may not sound quite polite but is generally heard among the locals. 

Bollywood has seen many actors replicating these Tapori characters remember Amitabh Bachchan as Anthony bhai in AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY, Aamir Khan in RANGEELA or Shah Rukh playing the role of a tapori Max in JOSH. 

Among the famous Mumbai slangs include Ek Dum Jhakaas Bidu (You Going Perfect), Waat Lag gayi… (Being in a problem), Locha Hogaya or Lafda Hogaya(Messed up Or There is some problem) and many more.

Among these umpteen Tapori slangs of Mumbai, one is Saala Khadoos, which literally means our mentor or a strict teacher who plays a lion’s share in the success of his student. 

Thus in a unique style of promoting his upcoming film SAALA KHADOOS, Raj Kumar Hirani, who has produced the movie, posted the picture of his mentor, Vidhu Vinod Chopra on social media and tweeted: “Here is Mera Saala Khadoos who inspired and pushed me to the limits.”

To give momentum to his exceptional style of publicity Hirani asked other actors on social media to reveal their life's Saala Khadoos. Soon the social media was flooded with a chain of film celebrities revealing their life’s Saala Khadoos.

The first to initiate Hirani’s innovative campaign was none other but R. Madhavan, the hero and the producer of SAALA KHADOOS. Opening his heart out Madhvan put the image of his mentor Kamal Haasan and wrote: Here is Mera Saala Khadoos who pushes me to give my best? Who is yours?"

Among the others celebrities who revealed their mentors included superstar Hrithik Roshan naming his father Rakesh Roshan, BAJIRAO MASTANI actor Ranveer Singh declaring director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Anushka Sharma calling Raj Kumar Hirani and Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. actor Boman Irani too naming Raj Kumar Hirani for changing his career!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A.R. Rahman: “The lessons my Gurus taught me were like a drug… a good drug!”

Bin guru gyan kaha se pau, dijo dan hari gun gau…

(Without a teacher where will I get knowledge, if you give me alms I will be blessed) 

Remember this super hit song sung by singing legend Mohd Rafi in the film BAIJU BAWRA, where Baiju, a music enthusiast is begging to his teacher to give him his blessing. 

Written by eminent lyricist Shakeel Badayuni and composed by music wizard Naushad the song is still a hit and so are its apt words that beautifully capture the significance of a teacher in our life.

True a teacher plays a pivotal role in refining the talent of his students and it is his meticulous nuances that make the student greater than his Guru! However it is a tragedy that in today’s jet age world there are hardly any students who revere their teachers with such esteem and admiration! 

But all are not the same there are few gifted souls who never fails to esteem their Gurus and despite reaching the peak of popularity and stardom they bow to their Gurus as they did when they met them the first time. 

Recently distinguished music director and Oscar award winner A.R. Rahman paid his ode to his gurus while receiving the prestigious Global Living Legend Award from the Adding Smiles Foundation.

Going memory down lane Rahman reminisced that his first Guru as a music teacher was none other but his father R.K. Shekhar, who was a popular music composer and used to help out many musicians. 

He said, “I owe my success to my Gurus. Beginning from my father, who was loving, to my strict teacher Mrs YGP, who once slapped due to my lack of concentration in the class.” 

He added, “I am also obliged to my teacher who used to beat severely on my knuckles and of course my spiritual teachers; the lessons they taught me were like a drug… a good drug.”

Asin and Rahul Sharma wed; Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar, the matchmaker, played the Best Man!

Bold and beautiful South Indian film actress Asin Thottumkal tied the auspicious nuptial knot with her long time boy friend tall and handsome Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma in New Delhi on January 19, 2016. 

The marriage ceremony was performed both according to Christian rituals in the morning at a makeshift Church and later with the typical Hindu customs in the evening. 

According to reports the wedding ceremony in the morning was an exclusive private affair with only handful relatives attending the wedding. The hotel management had erected a makeshift church in the hotel premises itself. It was followed by a strict vegetarian lunch at the hotel’s Chinese restaurant. A special 10-tier vanilla-flavoured cake was designed for the occasion.

Asin was dressed in a white gown in the typical attire of a Christian bride designed by Vera Wang and looked fabulous while Rahul Sharma wore a black suit with western style bow. 

The evening ceremony was a typical North Indian type Hindu shadi with band and barati at Dusit Devarana, a resort hotel, on NH-8 near Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi.

A mandap was erected on a water body for the Hindu ceremony at night. Asin wore a gown by designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s for the evening’s ceremony. The groom arrived in an open car for the baarat. Both the functions were kept private with tight security arranged at the hotel entrance.

Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar, who was instrumental in introducing Asin to Rahul played the Best Man during the Christian style wedding. 

Delhi-based music group Elohim Worship performed at the wedding. While the Delhi functions were meant for the close family and friends, the couple will host a reception in Mumbai on January 23, which will be attended by who’s who of both Bollywood and South Indian film industry!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Shatrughan Sinha goes candid about his clandestine affairs with female stars in his biography

Shatrughan Sinha the mega star of the 70’s who gave a tough time to his contemporary stars like the ruling superstar of the 70’s Rajesh Khanna to the upcoming superstar Amitabh Bachchan has been a self made star and his rise from rags to riches is truly inspirational. 

In fact the South super Rajinikanth too owes his stardom to Shatrughan Sinha, whose style and dynamic mannerism Rajinikanth aped bluntly and even today acknowledges openly. 

Shatrughan Sinha’s biography written by famous journalist Bharathi S Pradhan is aptly titled 'Anything But Khamosh because the biography daringly exposes the darker side of the actor turned politician.

Briefing media about his biographies which boldly exposes his clandestine affairs with his female co-stars like Reena Roy, with whom he even continued his affair after marriage, Sinha said, “I have been honest in speaking the truth and I believe it is the truth that makes my biography fascinating and spellbinding tale.”

However he adds, “Though I have mentioned about my various love affairs in my biography with many actresses but I have taken care not to hurt anybody's self-esteem. Also I have avoided that there is no offensiveness in the book. They are settled, have children. It’s not the right thing to identify them.” 

Another highlight of the biography is that it includes nasty comments from his critics because during his hey days Shatrughan Sinha was known for his arrogance, egotism, late schedules, flirting and pompous behavior. 

Speaking about the negative strides of his personality in the biography Sinha said, "Grey areas must be covered. If you don't do that then it becomes sycophancy. If I wanted I could edit comments by people who spoke against me but I didn't. It's a democracy so let them say whatever they have to say."

The mantra of box office success is uncertain like Time!

With the failure of superstar Amitabh Bachchan’s WAZIR and competent actresses Shabana Azmi and Juhi Chawla starrer CHALK N DUSTER at the box-office one really goes crazy at the choice of cine viewers because both the movies despite satisfying the basic parameters of a hit film viz. good script and salable stars have failed miserably to appeal the audience. 

According to trade reports Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s WAZIR which boosted a excellent script by top notch writer of Bollywood Abhijat Joshi, known for writing super hit films like MUNNABHAI SERIES, 3 IDIOTS (2009), PK (2014) has been an utter failure at the box-office as it has managed to collect just Rs 36.59 crore in ten days and a mere Rs 17.30 crore worldwide!

As far as the script of WAZIR is considered it is indeed an out of the box idea and Abhijat Joshi must be congratulated for the same. The utterly innovative plot of a handicap and an elderly person cunningly utilizing an ATS officer to avenge the murder of his daughter is truly awesome. And what makes the movie gripping is the director Bejoy Nambiar’s edge of the seat and razor sharp climax that leaves the viewers wonderstruck! 

Of course both Amitabh Bachchan and Farhan Akhtar play their roles superbly. As a film critic I found the film outstanding and so did the movie receive rave reviews but what is surprising when the movie opened at the box office it was booted out!!! 

Likewise Shabana Azmi and Juhi Chawla starrer CHALK N DUSTER deals with a powerful subject how the Indian education system is being rotted by modern day educationist who are more interested in turning the school into profit making institution than imparting true knowledge. 

The movie has won good reviews but once again has failed to live up to the expectation of the audience. 

It is not that the audience does not appreciate innovations. In the past we have seen many movies without star attraction but with impressive scripts doing great box office business remember - TANU WEDS MANU (2011), VICKY DONOR (2012),ABCD: ANYBODY CAN DANCE (2013), QUEEN (2014), DUM LAGA KE HAISHA (2015) etc. 

Thus it’s really difficult to gauge the mantra of success at box-office which is uncertain like ‘Time’. 

Eminent poet Sahir Ludhianvi has beautifully described it in the song from the film WAQT…..

Aadmi ko chaahiye, Waqt se dar kar rahe

Man must make it a point, to be afraid of time,

Kaun jaane kis ghadi, Waqt ka badle mizaaj,

Who knows at what moment, time will change its temperament! 

In terms of Bollywood it can be said filmmakers must be cautious of the taste of cine viewers, who knows at what moment, they will change their temperament!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Eminent Bollywood script writer turn lyricist Javed Akhtar turns 71!

Remember the hits songs “Ae dil-e-nadaan…’ (RAZIA SULTAN), “Yeh dil unki aur nigahon ke saaye” (PREM PARBAT), Piya Piya Piya Meraa Jiya Pukare (BAAP RE BAAP) etc. Any guess who has written these songs? 

Well they are all penned by eminent Urdu poet and film lyricist Jan Nisar Akhtar, father of renowned contemporary lyricist Javed Akhtar, who got his early lesson in poetry from his father.

In a candid interview Javed said, “When I was growing and was in my teens my father recognized the poet in me and encouraged me to write. He would recite what he wrote to me and we’d discuss his poetry. He took my criticism seriously. And we spoke poetry like equals.”

Going down memory lane he recalls, “Thus under his guidance I learnt the form of writing lucid poetry but since my father was of Communist ideology he was always away from house.”

“Many a times he would go underground for his hard-hitting neo realistic poetry attacking the capitalists and the government for the rights of the deprived. As a result I and my sibling had to stay alone with my mother in penury,” he informs. 

He adds, “Since my father was too versatile and never bowed before producers diktats he could not make a name for himself but I decided to change the equation. Hence when I began writing along with Salim Khan (Salman Khan’s father) we decided to demand remuneration at par with the superstars. We delivered the best of the scripts like ZANJEER, DEEWAAR, SHOLAY, DON, MR.INDIA and charged remuneration that changed the image of writers I India.” 

Truly indeed! In fact after the spit of Salim Javed, Javed Akhtar continued his father’s legacy of penning poetry which of course was at par with the writing genius of his father remember his soulful lyrics like Panchhi Nadiyan Pawan Ke...; Radha Kaisa Na Jale....;Sandese aate hain.... Ek ladki ko dekha..; Kal ho na ho....

Interestingly while Javed’s father never obliged to film producers for writing cheap lyrics, Javed did compromise and wrote raunchy lyrics like Ek Do Teen… (TEZAAB), Kaate nahi kat te…(MR.INDIA) etc. 

Defending himself he says, “One has to change with times and accept harsh realities to survive but I have never gone below the belt or written suggestive double meaning lyrics.” 

True, Javed Sahab! Raaga.Com wishes you Birthday greeting on your 71th birthday and hope you keep the tradition of genuine poetry alive!!!

Rishi Kapoor’s irresponsible remark to the demolition of his grandfather’s ancestral home in Pakistan! It may send wrong signal!

The trio Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand are Bollywood’s first recognized Superstars of the 50’s. While both Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor were born in their ancestral home in Peshawar, Dev Anand was born in Shakargarh, Gurdaspur in Punjab (Present day Pakistan).

Interestingly just as the trio Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand were hailed by the masses in India likewise the trio was a darling in Pakistan too. In fact the Pakistan government had even revered Dilip Kumar with the Pakistan's highest civilian award, Nishan-e-Imtiaz in 1998. 

Also as mark of respect Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government in Pakistan had declared the houses of actors Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar as National heritage and had plans to convert it into museums featuring archives and memorials of the legendary actors but no coherent step were taken to preserve it.

As a result the ancestral house of Raj Kapoor’s father, the legendary actor Prithviraj Kapoor, who played the majestic role of Akbar in the 60’s classic film MUGHAL-E-AZAM, was recently partially damaged by its owner but thanks to the alert intervention of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Archives department that help to restore the entire demolition of the historic house. 

According to reports Prithviraj Kapoor had constructed this house at Dhaki Munawar Shah Area in Peshawar in 1920 but had sold the property when in migrated to India. Since the property was declared heritage hence when the Archives department came to know about its demolition they rushed to the local court and brought a stay but alas by the time the owner had razed the first storey of the building for construction of a commercial plaza on it. 

Kudos to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Archives department for their sentiments for our actor Raj Kapoor but what is painful is that while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Archives department and millions of fans of Raj Kapoor have been hurt by the nasty step of the owner of Raj Kaoopor’s ancestral house the reaction of Rishi Kapoor, son of Raj Kapoor is bizarre! 

Reacting to the demolition of his grandfather’s ancestral house he bluntly said, “We don’t have any emotional connect to that house since we haven’t seen it. We came to India even before the partition happened and never did see the house. Let the Pakistan government demolish it!” 

Rubbish! How can one be so emotionless about his ancestors, who are the roots of our family! Further Mr. Rishi Kapoor, many of the Indian who are deprived have not seen the majestic Taj Mahal! 

Does this mean tomorrow someone threatens to demolish the grandeur structure which is the Pride of India, than should these Indian just keep quite on the pretext they have not seen it??? 

Mr. Rishi Kapoor, your irresponsible remark has send wrong signal and this may even give boost to the owner to challenge and get the historic structure razed!!!

Friday, January 15, 2016

First half of January ends on a bad note for Bollywood

It seems the first half of January has ended on a bad note for Bollywood. First Amitabh Bachchan and Farhan Akthar’s much anticipate film WAZIR has failed to set the box office ringing. 

The movie that comes from the house of Vidhu Vinod Chopra and brilliant writer Abhijat Joshi, the combination that has given hit films like 3 IDIOTS, MUNNABHAI SERIES, PK has failed to live up to the film buffs expectation. The movie has managed to collect under Rs 40 crore – a major setback for the film industry given that it was a big budget film with writer Abhijat Joshi alone charging Rs 2 crore! 

Besides financial loss at the box office Bollywood also lost two of its prominent veteran film personalities.

On January 14, popular character actor Rajesh Vivek, recognized for his role of the astrologer Guran in Aamir Khan-starrer LAGAAN and as the postman in Shah Rukh Khan's SWADES expired in Hyderabad due to heart attack while shooting a South Indian film. He was 66. 

A student of National School of Drama, Rajesh Vivek came into prominence with his act as Ved Vyas on iconic TV show Mahabharata. 

Paying tribute to the actor Aamir Khan in his tweet said, “Yesterday we lost someone from the LAGAAN family.... Rajesh Vivek. You will always remain in our hearts Baba. Your spirit, your energy and your love for humanity will always inspire us. Love.” 

On January 15, eminent filmmaker Anil Ganguly, famous for making family social dramas like Jaya Bachchan’s KORA KAGAZ, Rakhee’s TAPASYA, Anial Kapoor’s SAAHEB etc passed away on Friday at his residence after a brief illness. He was 82.

Anil Ganguly was in the league of brilliant filmmakers like Gulzar, Basu Chatterjee, Sai Paranjape etc who were experts in dealing with the emotions of common man. 

Anil Ganguly’s both KORA KAGAZ and TAPASYA focused on women issue and both fetched National Awards as Best Film.