Bitter reality check for Karan!

31 01 2010

Now he needs an anti-depressant. “I need a break from grim happenings. I’m going to do another season of Koffee With Karan before I direct another film. Of course, I can’t go back to the gossipy, bitchy format. This time Koffee …will be more probing, sober, more about a reality check than the pay cheque.”

Like Ranbir Kapoor’s Wake Up Sid, Karan Johar has finally woken up. Hurt, wounded and for the first time openly resentful about the lack of solidarity, affability and a basic compassion in the film industry, Karan for the first time says he won’t go out of his way to praise his colleagues’ films.

This, coming from a filmmaker who has constantly gone out of his way to heap lavish praise on his contemporaries’ creations, is a tragic comment on Karan’s disenchantment with his fraternity.

“Why should I praise other people’s films when nobody praises mine? Maybe my films aren’t worth praising. Maybe others are dream directors and I’m just a director who dreams?” says Karan bitterly, directly referring to the way colleagues bitched about his films Wake Up Sid and Kurbaan released last year, so much that both his directors Ayan Mukerjee and Rensil D’Silva have gone underground.

Says Karan, “I’ve realised in our industry people can’t tolerate their own unhappiness and other people’s happiness. It’s useless to go out of my way to be good to people when they don’t reciprocate.”

Karan is dismayed by the way it is being insinuated that he is drifting apart from his friend and mentor Shah Rukh Khan. “That’s a laugh. Professionally, I can’t see myself ever making films with anyone else. When I close my eyes, Shah Rukh’s image is imposed on all my creativity. He has been integral to my cinema from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai to My Name Is Khan. On a personal level, he is family, a friend and that elder brother I never had. I need him more than he needs me. So, where’s the question of moving on?”

Apparently, Karan was very disturbed by the rift between Shah Rukh and director-choreographer Farah Khan and even tried to mend the bridge between them. Says Karan, “Whatever has transpired between Shah Rukh and Farah is none of my business. I’ve enough worries of my own. I’ve got a release coming up which has taken a lot out of me.”

So troubled is Karan by the theme and the execution of My Name Is Khan that he wants to make a lighter film now. “My Name Is Khan wasn’t easy. It’s the socio-political journey of Shah Rukh’s character Rizwan from the age of 4 to 40. In his journey, Shah Rukh encounters major political upheavals from a communal riot in India to 9/11 in the US. But my film is not about any specific political event. Nor is it about the Asperger’s Syndrome. My hero is autistic. He couldn’t be neuro-typical because he had to see l ife with a direct honesty and clarity denied to normal people.”

The buzz is that Karan is taking his passion for fashion designing to another level by designing clothes for actors other than Shah Rukh. Karan shoots back, “Are you referring to the outfit I’ve supposedly designed for Imran Khan’s engagement? It was not actually designed for the occasion. It was something Imran liked and selected from my collection with Varun Bahl.”

Karan is starting his new film with Shah Rukh, though not immediately after the release of My Name Is Khan. “But I want to direct another film this year. At 37, I fear for my future. I see people much younger than me acting really batty. Who knows what would happen to my mental faculties tomorrow given the crazy ways of this industry? No, it’s not wisdom, it’s age. I’ve woken up like Sid, not woken up with Sid!”


‘Kurbaan’ a disappointment! Karan Johar’s 1st flop??

24 11 2009

It is probably the first ever Karan Johar movie which failed to set the Box Office on fire. Kurbaan, which stars Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Vivek Oberoi in lead roles, barely managed 40 per cent occupancy on the day of its release, 20 November. 

In the film industry, any film that does below 70 per cent on the opening day is considered a dud. Trade experts expect the film to do 50 to 60 per cent business over the weekend, good reviews from film critics notwithstanding. 

“On Friday, we had 40 per cent occupancy. The weekend may pick up marginally but Monday onwards it will be a challenging week,” said Fun Cinemas Chief Operating Officer Vishal Kapur. Fun Cinemas runs around 74 screens across India. A source in Fame India added that the multiplex’s occupancy on release day was a dismal 25 per cent. 

Theatre chains said that the movie did better business in certain territories like Delhi, Lucknow, Bangalore and Hyderabad with around 50 to 60 per cent occupancy. “The A (adult) certificate from the Censor Board has also limited the audiences,” said PVR Chief Marketing Officer Gautam Dutta. “It is an intense film, and has therefore done well only in some pockets.” PVR runs over 100 screens all over the country. 

Kurbaan deals with the sensitive issue of world terrorism and the fight against it. Some critics have said that the plot resembles that of New York which came out a few months ago. 

The film was made with a budget of Rs 50 crore, and was released across 1,700 screens by UTV Motion Pictures. The paid previews of the film earned UTV Motion Pictures over Rs 1 crore from 500 shows, according to the company. 

Aside Kurbaan, Karan Johar has had an enviable record of delivering hit films. Some of the blockbusters from Dharma Productions have been Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, Dostana and Wake Up Sid. These movies together have earned around Rs 500 crore worldwide. 

This year hasn’t been great for Bollywood with many big ticket flicks bombing at the Box Office. Kambaqht Ishq, Blue, What’s Your Rashee and London Dreams all failed to live up the hype, though the first three had a decent opening. The Salman Khan- and Ajay Devgan-starrer London Dreams too had a poor opening with around 40 per cent occupancy.

Mom has no bias against Shahid:Saif

19 11 2009
“It is ridiculous to state that anyone had any personal bias against ‘Kaminey’,” Saif told IANS even as his own movie “Kurbaan” is about to release Friday with an A certificate.But Saif said: “Any talk of personal enmity are completely fictional. I don’t even know the actual people involved who spread such rumours and frankly I don’t care. Such things don’t even enter my radar.”

“It’s really rubbish if some people feel so. ‘Kurbaan’ getting an ‘A’ certificate is hardly a fitting reply. It’s a sad state of affairs when people start speculating about everything and anything. As someone who has been part of the industry for long, I don’t take such things seriously,” Saif told IANS.

As for “Kaminey”, he said: “I think Vishal (Bharadwaj) is a wonderful filmmaker and I liked everyone’s performance in the film.” Saif himself came up with an award-winning act of Langda Tyagi in Bharadwaj’s “Omkara”.

Is it really easy to be oblivious to all talk that his mother may have shown bias?

“I hear a lot of things in the 24 hours that I have in a day. This is why I just chuck out whatever is irrelevant. I don’t quite get into the ‘why’ and ‘where’ of affairs till it is absolutely warranted.

“I know one has to live with all the negativity around; after all it’s human nature to gossip and speculate. Guess what? Some people think that even Elvis (Presley) is alive today. So conspiracy theories will always remain,” he said.

“Kurbaan” has been given an ‘A’ certificate owing to its violent content and also because of erotic scenes picturised on Saif and Kareena. “Kurbaan”, about global terrorism, stars Saif, Kareena and Vivek Oberoi in lead roles.

“Kaminey” also got an ‘A’ certificate because of its dark and violent content.

Has he ever spoken to Sharmila about the A certificates for “Kurbaan” or “Kaminey”?

“No, I don’t talk about any particular movie per se but I do know of her general views and opinions when it comes to censoring a film,” said Saif.

“She doesn’t have any problems with anything shown on screen. But, yes, she has problems with things that are shown to children. She will ban something if there is something which is inflammatory.

“Of course, she is the right judge of things and may be I don’t know everything that she looks at in a movie during censoring. What I know for sure is that she is a good mother and follows the same caring attitude when it comes to censorship as well,” said Saif.

“I know for sure that my mother is a great authority when it comes to the censors. My own ‘Kurbaan’ has got an ‘A’ certificate and I know where she is coming from.”

It was insinuated that Vishal Bharadwaj’s “Kaminey” was given an A rating – restricting viewership – as its lead actor Shahid was once in a relationship with Saif’s girlfriend

Kareena Kapoor.


Mommy don’t look: Kareena Kapoor!

18 11 2009

Kareena Kapoor has asked Karan Johar to edit out the reel which has her love making scene from the Kurbaan print which will be shown to her mother, Babita, and Babita’s friends

Kareena Kapoor’s love-making scene in Kurbaan with her boyfriend Saif Ali Khan has been the talking point for months on end.

Even on their recent show Date with Kurbaan on national television, Karan Johar who is the producer of the film asked Kareena point-blank whether she would have done such an intimate scene with any of her other male co-stars. And Kareena replied that she may have done it but it wouldn’t be quite as explicit as it is now.

She also said that the reason why she agreed to do it was because it was integral to the script and that she was happy that director Rensil D’Silva had done it so aesthetically. She added that knowing Saif in real life made things just a wee bit easy. “But at the end of day, Saif and I are professional actors and would do whatever a script demands from us,” she said.

Having said all this, one would have thought that the reigning Bollywood diva would be blas� about the whole affair. However, news has it that after watching the cast and crew trial of Kurbaan at Yash Raj Studios on November 12, Kareena, who was very nervous about the bare-back scene, actually put in a request to her friend and film-maker Karan Johar asking him to delete the love-making scene in just the one show which would be attended by her mother Babita and her friends.

A nervous Bebo wasn’t sure how her mother would react to seeing her do something so bold on-screen. She admitted that she was indeed nervous of her mother’s reaction. “I asked Karan if he could hide that one reel only from mom’s trial,” said the young actress.

However, Karan is said to have pacified his lead actor and told her she has no reason to be afraid.

Karan is also said to have told her in jest, “Shut up Bebo, and go take a walk. I’m doing no such thing.”

Kareena is of course in Sydney at this point shooting for Karan’s Step Mom with Kajol. But those close to her say that right till the time she boarded her flight, the thing that topped her mind was how her immediate family would react to this one scene in Kurbaan.

Guess the physical distance between Mumbai and Sydney will help ease Bebo’s nervousness.

I love Kareena to death: Karan Johar

18 11 2009

These young directors today, Tarun, Ayaan, Rensil, Siddharth and others directing for Dharma, they’re geniuses,” says the stylish producer. “They’re steps ahead of the way we thought earlier. They’ve taken cinema to another level. Look at the themes — comedy (Dostana), adolescence (Wake Up Sid), terror-sensitivity (Kurbaan), poignancy (MNIK) … it’s incredible. I only wish dad was with us today. To see us take his legacy of honesty and credibility forward. Yes, hits help us financially, but we’re not greedy. We also want to give back quality cinema with conviction and good viewing. Otherwise, right now I have only Kurbaan on my mind. I’m very excited about it because it has been a subject close to my heart for a while now and I’d been tossing it around in my head. Then I asked Rensil (D’Silva) to write it and develop it for me. And I was so taken by his passion for the subject, that I asked him to direct it himself. And the result is crackling.”

Elaborating on the November 20th release, Karan says, “The story addresses the perpetually looming threat of terrorism, the film lends emotion into that graph. It has a point of view. That’s the path. Of presenting this threat in a logically, emotionally, sensitively cinematic manner. I’m quite delighted with the final product.” But there had been a thought in Karan’s mind, some time ago, to cast SRK in the lead role in this subject? “Maybe it was a thought a long time ago. Simply because SRK is emotionally a part of everything I do. Even before I wake up to box office figures, Shah Rukh calls asking, ‘How’re the collections dude? … How’s it going?’ He’s part of Dharma. However, that said, after the way the film has shaped out, Saif and Kareena are ideal casting,” smiles KJo.

And how dissimilar is My Name Is Khan from this subject? Isn’t that Karan-directed venture also a ‘terrorism’ subject?

“Not at all. My Name Is Khan is totally different inasmuch it doesn’t deal with terrorism at all. That’s all media conjecture. Wait for that one as well.” What we couldn’t wait for was his response to Kareena’s recent joke that KJo was like a ‘witch’, that everything he said was almost prophetic. Karan couldn’t stop laughing: “We have this strange Karmic Connection and I feel the need to be as protective about her as ever. I love Kareena to death. We fight too. We didn’t speak for a year. I hurt her and she hurt me. But one only fights with those one loves. Now that we’re past the initial hurdles, we’re the best of friends. And you have to see her in the film to believe what she’s capable of. As for the ‘witch’ part, I wish I could prophesize the success of Kurbaan for starters … that’s all I pray!”

Is Shiv Sena listening? Kareena wants a saree!

14 11 2009

I think Kareena has got the saree concept down! Get a life Sena!!

New Delhi, Nov 14 (PTI) Bollywood starlet Kareena Kapoor, known for her devil-may-care attitude, has shot back at Shiv Sena who recently targeted the actress’ bare back shots in her upcoming film ‘Kurbaan’.

Shiv Sena workers expressed their anger over a poster of Karan Johar’s latest production ‘Kurbaan’ in Mumbai yesterday, where the actress is shown flashing her bare back.

“We will soon visit Kareena’s residence and present her a saree,” party’s area Vibhagpramukh Jitendra Janawale had said.

While the actress has not received any gift from the party as yet, Kareena insisted that if they do send a saree it better be good.

“I have not received any saree yet but I hope it will be beautiful one,” Kareena said on the sidelines of a promotional event of ‘Kurbaan’ in the capital.

Kurbaan get’s an ‘A’ certificate (it’s bad!)

14 11 2009

Sizzling scenes between actors Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor and extreme violence in their forthcoming Kurbaan will now restrict its viewing to adults only.

The Censor Board has given an A (adult) certificate to the Rensil De Silva’s maiden directorial venture as he made the actors – Saif and Kareena – write their love story with blood on 70mm screen.

The love story is set at the backdrop of terrorism and according to the Censor Board its violent scenes were meant for adult viewing only. Kurbaan releases on Novemeber 20.

Although Kurbaan is getting a lot of attention for the lovemaking scenes in the film, Bebo explained there was certainly more to story than just Saifeena.

“The film has a lot more to offer than just intimate scenes. It’s a gritty and emotionally rich film. The shot of me posing backless and Saif with a wound on his chest tells so much about the film’s theme. But people are talking about the scene because it’s Saif and me,” she explains.