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509 Responses to “Shanghai, Rowdy Rathore (ongoing), the rest of the box office”
Satyam, OT but i have put the right link for the Flight Trailer on “Django trailers” thread
Rowdy Rathore may turn out to be first choice this week as well despite a major release like Shanghai releasing. It will be interesting to see which film collects better on Friday as Shanghai is not looking at a strong opening.
The weekend should come out on top for Rowdy Rathore as its an accepted film all across India. Shanghai will have to carry strong word of mouth to compete with Rowdy Rathore on Saturday and Sunday especially Sunday when the families will come flocking to see Rowdy Rathore like the Sunday gone by.
Shanghai at best can get a decent response at multiplexes as Rowdy Rathore is playing at the best single screens and the single screen chain that Shanghai is got is not quality single screens and that coupled with its content there will be very limited business at single screens.
The amount of credit u intellectual guys (Ami, Tony and Blissy) r giving to Dibakar is astonishing- he has not even made an Udaan save Pyaasa. i was earlier cheering for Shanghai but now after seeing the chorus, i hope RR thrashes Shanghai
i think he’s one of the best bollywood directors today. so far, he has never made a movie i disliked. “shanghai” is one of the best films of the year. people who haven’t seen it yet are really missing out.
Ha! that can only happen in neverland. I have a feeling Ami is hugely excited abt RR(but is not showing it) . Btw Emraan seems to be getting all the acclaim for Shanghai. I hope ‘some people’ will change their impression of him now. so when r u planning to see shanghai and prometheus?
Ami, the above sentence regarding changing impressions abt Hashmi was a joke ( i am not as prolific as u in putting emoticons). But don’t u thing if Hashmi is trying to break free from his ‘sleazy image’, we should give him a chance without being biased abt him?
“But don’t u thing if Hashmi is trying to break free from his ‘sleazy image’, we should give him a chance without being biased abt him?”
No He’s an actor not a martyr! We don’t have to ‘give him a chance’ and completely change our previous perceptions of him just becuase he puts in one good performance.
He made a lot of sleazy films in the past and as a result that is what I instantly associate him with- he just seems sleazy to me- and he had a hand in creating this common perception of him- if he suddenly wants ‘prestige’- he now has to earn it by delivering a string of excellent performances.
One good performance alone says more about the filmmaker’s calibre to direct his actors than about the actor’s claibre- especially when the actor has a string of not-so-great perofrmances behind him.
Hashmi is still finding his feet in Bollywood, but what is your take on Akshay KUmar & Salman Khan dishing out nonsensical movies like Rowdy, Wanted etc which have apparently become the highest grossers..Hashmi is finally in a position to chose his moves..but what about these veterans
Ok, let’s go by ur model then. BTw sleaze has got nothing to do with performance. A person can turn in a brilliant performance even in an extremely sleazy film. Also just curious, has Imran Khan given a single good performance?
I’m not some blind fan of Imran Khan nor is he my favourite actor- so it gets a little redundant when you bring either him or his films up in EVERY discussion where we disagree on some other actor of film-despite my having said on countless occasions that I do not find him to be an excellent actor at all nor do I find his films to be masterpieces.
I think that he is very cute and that he is one of the more appealing rom-com leads in Bollywood today- and that’s it. I haven’t even seen Luck or Kidnap because I know that he will be a terrible action hero and I don’t want to watch those films.
And yes a sleazy aura does not have anything to do with talent/ performance- but it does have a lot to do with my perception and preferences. I don’t claim to be some perfectly objective person who only chooses favourites depending on how talented they are and disregarding everything else- and I do not think that ayone is capable of that either. I’m sure that your own personal preferences of actresses are also affected by other factors like how attractive you find them and you don’t simply like or dislike actresses based on their talent alone.
Ok got ur point Ami, u don’t have to get angry everytime i disagree with u . by bringing Imran’s name i didn’t mean to piss u off (it was just a coincidence). but one thing people should agree with, now that Shanghai has released, is that Hasmi has arrived in a big way
Actually I do not get angry everytime we disagree- you are the one who is always demanding reasons when I don’t like those whom you support be it Ajay or Sanjay or Hashmi- or talking about how you are absolutely against certain terms I use- or how you’ve started cheering for RR becuase solely you couldn’t stand our pro-Shangai chorus.😉 I don’t really mind this at all- but I don’t know why you would say that I alone get upset everytime we disgaree when you are just as opinionated as I am!😛
And I know you do not bring Imran up to piss me off- but you do it every time and every time I explain that I do not think he is a great actor- just pointing out the redundance of having this dialouge so many times over. Again- I’m not pissed off at all.
LOL Ami, Hashmi is not at all my fav,far from it (my taste is not that bad). As to why i ask u (demand is a wrong word) for reasons when u say u don’t like any of my favs, i do that bcos u r someone whose opinion matters to me and u always have sensible and well thought-out opinions which is a rarity- so i am interested in knowing why u would dislike/like sumthing(if u remember i was very curious why u did not like AV)- but from now on, i will take care not to ‘demand’ any reasons from u
No- I have no problem with you asking/ demanding why I don’t like Sanjay or Ajay- just pointing out that I am not the only one who is opinionated in arguements- you are as well! I’m not saying that it is a bad thing.
On a candid note, Shanghai is a story that one has witnessed several times before in cinema. What makes it a decent watch then is Dibakar Banerjee’s offbeat take on the subject and impeccable understanding of the milieu.
Adapted from Vasilis Vasilikos’s novel ‘Z’ (which was even made into a French film by the same name in 1969), Shanghai is the story of a socialist professor and activist Ahmedi (Prosenjit Chatterjee) who is opposing an upcoming infrastructure project in Bharat Nagar that is backed by the ruling political party.
At a rally, Ahmedi is run over by a speeding van. While the police pass off the episode as a drunken accident, Ahmedi’s adherent Shalini (Kalki Koechlin) knows it was a premeditated murder. A high ranking bureaucrat Krishnan (Abhay Deol) is appointed to investigate the case. And a local videographer Jogi (Emraan Hashmi) claims to have evidence on the mishap.
There is too less that you know about Ahmedi so his impetus behind the activism seems half-baked. There is too much that you are informed about Shalini including her father’s 40-crore scam but nothing of that adds to the narrative. The two male leads are more convincing characters comparatively. Jogi, in the past, had the option of fighting with his folks or running away from home and he chose the latter. He doesn’t want to do the same this time. Krishnan dreams of a secure future in Stockholm which depends on his choice between conscience and corruption.
At the outset, Shanghai is essentially not designed as a murder mystery. Right from the opening scene, the audience is aware of the killer, and the identity of the perpetrator is as much predictable. So the film primarily works as a social drama over a thriller with the three protagonists trying to fight against the system in their own possible ways. Krishnan’s investigation takes the bureaucratic route and gets confusing at times with the complex state-of-affairs and the intricate hierarchy of the system. On the other hand, Jogi and Shalini explore the matter on a layman level and have a relatively easy connect with the viewer.
But after playing as a straightforward drama throughout, it’s somewhat surprising that the film aspires to build on some (foreseeable) suspense in the concluding reels. Beyond the predictability, Dibakar does try to perk up the staid climax where Krishnan shrewdly arm-twists a politician (Farooq Sheikh) which results into falling of the government. And despite the potential for a melodramatic and mass-appealing confrontation, the director keeps this face-off subtle and skillful.
Dibakar Banerjee aptly adapts to the grammar of the bureaucratic background that strengthens the political drama. Whether it’s the uncouth city, unruly party-men or Emraan Hashmi’s untamed street dance – every scene in the dirty narrative is just picture perfect. The random cuts and extreme facial close-ups disturb you at times until you get accustomed to them.
Shanghai almost redefines Emraan Hashmi from his typical Bhatt-camp lover-boy image. From his mannerisms, attitude to wild dance – there’s a new Emraan that you get to see in Shanghai. Abhay Deol, as the South Indian, doesn’t fall prey of the usual tendency to overdo the accent. He’s just perfect and is skillfully restrained in his act. Kalki Koechlin shows the right measure of intensity in her impressive act. Prosenjit Chatterjee is good but doesn’t get much scope in a short-lived character. How one wishes to see more of the talented actor. Pitobash’s character is precisely an extension to what he played in Shor in the City and the actor is getting typecast. Anant Jog is retrained as compared to his recent over-the-top acts in Singham and Rowdy Rathore. Farooq Sheikh is splendid as the scheming politician. Tillotama Shome and Kiran Karmarkar are good in their respective roles.
“How one wishes to see more of talented Prosenjit”. Just go and watch him in Sunny Deol’s Veerta, i am sure u would want to see him again and again…LOL. on a serious note i saw his Autograph and he was terrific. One huge qualm is that when everyone knows that Shanghai is a remake/adaptation of Z, why r all the reviewers scared to compare it with Z?!
This is fair but also a bit of a cop out. Soderbergh said something similar years ago when he was adapting Lem’s Solaris which of course was previously and masterfully done by Tarkovsky in Russia. I’m a big fan of Soderbergh’s vision and do find it a very different and interesting take on the same source material. But I don’t buy that you can make a film based on the source material of a seminal genre work and still cry foul when comparisons are made. Some of the best pieces on Solaris did this and not always to the detriment of Soderbergh’s version. The key thing to remember is that comparisons needn’t be an avenue for discrediting a work. Ideally it can illuminate both films especially if the “remake” is worthy of such. Z is too important a film for Banerjee’s work not to invite comparison and he probably knows this more than anyone else.
“But I don’t buy that you can make a film based on the source material of a seminal genre work and still cry foul when comparisons are made. Some of the best pieces on Solaris did this and not always to the detriment of Soderbergh’s version. The key thing to remember is that comparisons needn’t be an avenue for discrediting a work. Ideally it can illuminate both films especially if the “remake” is worthy of such. Z is too important film for Banerjee not to invite comparison and he probably knows this more than anyone else.”
Great points GF- but it’s entirely possible that neither Taran Adarsh nor the TOI critic have seen the movie-version of Z.
On your last bit that must qualify as an understatement! Ha! But more seriously this is part of the problem. Reviewers talking about films where they’re not very familiar with the source material if at all.
The Solaris analogy is exactly on the money. And of course the whole book/movie split is also a way of avoiding this debate head-on. As if somehow one is making a stronger film relative to the book compared to the previous one. This could of course be true but it often seems like an excuse.
I should also add something here as delicately as I can. When Kashyap says he prefers Shanghai to Z I probably believe him. First of all because I suspect that he’s the kind of guy who gets rather too excited about what he likes in the heat of the moment and then moves onto something else. But the more important reason here is that we access foreign films as great narratives and/or great camerawork. We are not as bothered about the specific contexts of those films. I suspect that Kashyap is not as informed on Z’s contexts as obviously Shanghai’s. If you recall Z was made in the late 60s and the most immediate point of reference was the Greek Junta which had taken over at the time. It wasn’t just about that obviously, an entire post-WWII order of things where the US was often on the side of facisct military dictatorships was perhaps implicated but in any case there were lots of references here. The film for all this is not ‘great’ the way say Seven Samurai or Pather Panchali are perhaps great as ‘world’ films because it’s a lot more tied to the immediacy of its narrative. But it’s certainly a supreme example of its wider genre. In any case Kashyap is unlikely to be as keyed in here.
In the same way Sholay is a phenomenal film but it’s not seven Samurai, not because Kurosawa’s aesthetic registers are of course infinitely greater but also for the enormous body of socio-cultural codes he embeds in the film, most of which I was unaware of till I read an extraordinary essay (and book) on Kurosawa. Saying all this leads to the ‘intellectual’ charge but of course for a Japanese audience all this can be absorbed non-intellectually the way SHolay can be understood by audiences in India.
I’m not at all suggesting that everyone should read up on every foreign film one watches. That’s not a practical aspiration. But the films contain these discourses and one cannot complete fathom their meaning without having at least an inkling of some of this stuff.
Incidentally, and on a related note, not sure if you’ve had the chance but I saw Norwegian wood recently and loved it. Think it’s a strong adaptation but also has some gorgeous camerawork in more ways than one. Plus it also pays homage to a whole tradition of Japanese cinema. So for example you have shots of those human-height reeds (or whatever they’re called!) swaying in the wind like Sanshiro Sugata. You have some classic Ozu moments and so on. But the camera moves quite a bit even in enclosed spaces and some of it is done very well. Then there’s the use of color. Was really impressed with this work at all levels.
Todd Field Was Set To Write & Direct An Adaptation Of Aravind Adiga’s ‘The White Tiger’ Before Legal Troubles Halted Its Progress
News . by Simon Dang | June 7, 2012 8:59 AM
We’ve often wondered about long absences from some of our favorite helmers, and pondered when and how they might return in our “What Happened To These Directors” pieces. While many of the talent highlighted in both our 2008 feature and the 2011 update have since gone on to make successful returns (Lynne Ramsey, Alexander Payne, among others), one of the finest American filmmakers included in both pieces remains away from the spotlight: “In The Bedroom” and “Little Children” helmer Todd Field.
News came last month that his period Mexico-set actioner “The Creed Of Violence” was gaining momentum, but THR have now detailed a legal power struggle that has halted development on another project Field was working on as recently as June last year. The writer-director was evidently adapting Aravind Adiga’s Booker Prize-winning novel “The White Tiger,” with an eye on helming an Indian production at some stage. The project’s progress looks to be truly halted now as the two American production shingles (Smuggler Films and Ohio Films) behind it are locked in legal battle with India-based financier Watchtower Media Ventures.
So, what’s causing all this trouble? It’s a fairly convoluted tale but, from what we gather, Watchtower are claiming that — after telling all involved they weren’t happy with the screenplay Field handed in — the two U.S. shingles were going behind their back, trying push them out by authorizing Field to set up shop in India. Discussions were apparently had about changes to Field’s script but the producers advised Watchtower that no more scripting would be done unless a greenlight was given — which Watchtower claim would see it “forgo all of its rights of approval,” unable to pre-sell the picture’s rights and be left with a ballooning budget.
On the other hand, Smuggler Films are claiming that Field was a pre-approved writer, that Watchtower were to have no involvement with the script and that, in disapproving of what was delivered, Watchtower had waived rights to finance the pic. In reaction to all that, the financiers are now looking to foreclose on the film adaptation rights to Adigo’s novel, with things getting even more complicated as Smuggler Films and Ohio Films are claiming that the rights are owned by a new shingle, Rooster Coop, an entity set up to make the film, instead. Good luck getting out of that mess.
The most disappointing part is that the project’s premise sounds wholly intriguing. The award-winning novel Field has adapted, which is described as “a brutal view of India’s class struggles [centering on] a racist, homicidal chauffeur,” sounds like a fascinating tale that we would have loved to see Field tackle. Here’s the full synopsis, courtesy of Amazon:
Balram Halwai is from the Darkness, born where India’s downtrodden and unlucky are destined to rot. Balram manages to escape his village and move to Delhi after being hired as a driver for a rich landlord. Telling his story in retrospect, the novel is a piecemeal correspondence from Balram to the premier of China, who is expected to visit India and whom Balram believes could learn a lesson or two about India’s entrepreneurial underbelly.
Adiga’s existential and crude prose animates the battle between India’s wealthy and poor as Balram suffers degrading treatment at the hands of his employers (or, more appropriately, masters). His personal fortunes and luck improve dramatically after he kills his boss and decamps for Bangalore. Balram is a clever and resourceful narrator with a witty and sarcastic edge that endears him to readers, even as he rails about corruption, allows himself to be defiled by his bosses, spews coarse invective and eventually profits from moral ambiguity and outright criminality. It’s the perfect antidote to lyrical India.
The legal woes sound quite twisted, so who knows if ‘White Tiger’ will see the light of day anytime soon. The failures of the project, though, just may be what initiated the revival of “Creed Of Violence,” which, seemingly out of nowhere, saw Cross Creek Pictures and producer Michael De Luca (“Moneyball,” “The Social Network”) come on board last month with an eye on a early 2013 start. Hopefully, for Field’s and our sake, that project has a less problematic path to production from here on in. The writer-director also has gangster heist tale “Hubris” in the works, which is being scripted by Bobby Moresco, but for now it looks like Field’s attention has well and truly turned to ‘Violence.’
The way dibakar has ‘underplayed’ and ‘undersold’ shanghai is more than interesting
It should be an outstanding film
My concern is that I’ve seen rowdy and as I mentioned after the first few sec peek, it is not likely to be anything less than a monster,..
Dont want this worthwhile effort get ‘eclipsed’ in the box office sense
(it won’t be eclipsed in the ‘critical’ sense anyways)
French open has entered the business end
Like other things, have been forcing myself to look away till now..
But hope to catch the semifinals today…
ESP the sharapova vs kvitova match ( where some mates have more than average interest as well…)
After all these injuries, bile sharapova does well…
As for the guys–
It’s the same bunch- djoko, nadal and Federer-well it’s too mechanically competent and rogue-ish now…
Anyhow-am glad to see sharapova back…( fed up of the william sisters !!)
Well, Rafa is the ‘King of Clay’ (apart from being my fav) but Djoko has been on a roll for sometime so he has a strong chance.btw another of my former favs was Gustavo ‘Guga’ Kuerten- the brazilian loved Roland Garros
Maria Sharapova–the long, arduous return to no1!
Now this is no ordinary comeback…
competitive tennis is big money and is cut-throat.
After an injury that threatened her career, she claws her way back after 6-7 years damn it..wow.
Can really celebrate here..
When u see the match with a die-hard ukrainian colleague & a czech m8 in a match between maria vs kvitova–u cant really take sides….
Guess maria withstood the ‘winds’ better..
HAd given up on her ever winning another grand slam but shes back n how….
well, after my sharapova boyish rant…
something for indian/pak fans…
Sania Mirza wins french open with bhupathi!!!
guess its the season for mixed doubles tennis–restarting tomorrow myself….
ps–impressed by sania somewhat..
had never seen her play–was told she was little more than ‘assets’
instead of getting pregnant, she won a grand slam..saw bits of her game–she played well
satyam— time to applaud her m8
“My films have had no precedents to go by, no A-list stars, but they have bucked the trend and I have found funding each time without me selling my car or house.”
Another key challenge for the Indian market, says Neerja Narayanan, who heads creative development at Fox star studios which was behind Slumdog Millionaire, is that the lion’s share of revenue is made through cinema sales.
This means independent films in India cannot rely as heavily on DVD and video on demand profits as they do in the US or other Western markets. So it’s still about convincing more cinemas to show these films.
“While Bollywood is changing, the masses still prefer to see a big budget film, with big names,” says Ms Narayanan.
“Films that have been most successful in 2012 are still the mainstream A-list starrers. Mainly comedies or action films which are larger than life and include a good music soundtrack. But studios like ours are balancing that by working on films with upcoming talent,” she adds.
Shanghai draws much of its strength from a taut screenplay (Urmi Juvekar and Dibakar Banerjee) that never overplays its hand and leaves a lot to the imagination of the audience. It is an immeasurable pleasure to watch a Mumbai film that hinges as much on the unstated or barely suggested as it does on what is uttered and spelt out.
Lensed with great sense of place and occasion by cinematographer Nikos Andritsakis (who was behind the sleazy, shot-on-the-sly video feel of LSD), Shanghai projects the dark, dank, redolent-with-danger innards of small-town India to absolute perfection.
The most striking aspect of Shanghai is its marvelous use of sound, both ambient and otherwise, to build up dramatic tension.
Nobody shrieks blue murder here, but just about everybody in this moral nether world seems to have some amount of blood on his or her hands.
natalie p is what u call ‘talent oozing out’
forget her recent biggies..
even in ‘closer’ she makes the role and setup look a bit ‘inadequate’ for her–she paradoxically needs maturity and restraint to sometimes hold off her ‘talent’ somewhat..
Saw RR couple of days ago. On the whole one of Akshays best recent efforts in terms of genre change and entertainment. Catchy soundtrack, one liners and fun. Worth a watch though would put Dabangg ahead of this by some distance.
Okay I believe I’m the first person on this blog to have watched Shanghai, unless one stays in UAE where films release on Thursday. Here are my thoughts on the film.
Leaving aside the fact that the film moves at an arguable pace, the film is a brilliant and subtle political drama. Even if the shock value that the film builds up to towards the end portions is predictable and you could smell it from a distance, it does make one sit up and notice, and does something that very few films of modern cinema can claim – making one think. Every character is etched out with panache, the attention to detail is exemplary, and Dibakar is in top form.
Really, I mean the director deserves an ovation just because he strictly sticks to the kind of cinema he believes in, instead of being swayed away by commercial aspects after being at the helm of three acclaimed films in a row. It is crystal clear the man knows his art well. And considering his ambitions with this venture, he has not only succeeded in showing what he intended to, but at several junctures he surpasses himself in how he executes certain sequences.
This is a film that employs minimal background score; the sounds that one hears constantly throughout are of the rallies and of the party workers, running water in a distant background in a dilapidated office building, high-decibel sounds of a microphone gone wrong and the like. When the background score is employed, it complements majestically with slow-mo scenes, lending the sequence a poetic sleight of hand. Banerjee’s unique and deft touches are evident in every frame, and it is remarkable to see how he doesn’t give in to dramatization just for the sake of commercial reasons. He knows what effect the film should carry, and on that note, it doesn’t, even for a moment, has an inconsistent tone that does injustice to its overall feel.
This, quite simply, is a film every film follower should watch, because even if its political undertones reflect incoherence on certain levels, that may well be discussed in length by those who consider cinema to be a powerful medium in representing sociopolitical issues. (One can smirk at how Dibakar is clever enough to name the city under question ‘Bharat Nagar’, an aptly titled one, even if the sarcasm is a little too obvious).
Thanks Saket. The cast was definitely impressive if you take aside Kalki. More than the leads, its the supporting actors (Pitobhash, Farooque and other very good ut relatively unknown actors) who deserve special mention
Tony Montana- Thank you for your review of Shangai- I’m looking forward to the film even more now. Do you think that the criticism of ‘India Shining’ in the film might prove to be unpalatable for the more jingoistic section of the audience? Or do you think that the content will get a very positive WOM and help the film do well?
Ami, I dont think the jingoistic section will even bother themselves with the film, but all said n done, its a tight slap; a strongly ironic take on the ‘India Shining’ notion with its implied humour.
As far as positive WOM is concerned, I dont expect this one to register any major impact at the BO.. People may find it too slow with lack of enough dramatic moments as I mentioned in review. But its brilliance and Dibakar’s skills as a filmmaker are unquestioanble
not surprised Tony.. I’ve forever said this. Many different films can succeed at different levels in India but not those that are truly critical of ‘new India’. There simply isn’t such an example to my mind. But the way note what would have happened had Abhishek done this film (assuming it doesn’t do well which I certainly hope isn’t the case). The usual stuff about he let the film down or that he wasn’t star enough and someone else would have worked better and so on. This is why I keep repeating this point. there are tons of such films that fail all the time anyway with or without great reviews. And by the way this was the problem if you will with DMD. Now it would definitely have opened a lot bigger with Abhishek in better box office shape but it wouldn’t have maintained that pace. Why? Because this film too (leaving aside the obvious death scene which disappointed many people) paints a very dark portrait of contemporary India, that too in one of its tourist heartlands. No story ends happily here, whether you’re on the right side of the law or the wrong one, whether you’re a person with integrity or not, whether you have important aspirations or not, it doesn’t matter. It all ends badly (it’s a classic noir scenario in some ways). And some aspirations here are specifically ‘new Indian’ ones and those don’t work out either! Given all of these headwinds including Abhishek’s weak box office form I think the film deserves credit for getting wherever it did. Made roughly what D6 or Raavan did but starting off weaker than those. Today if Shanghai got to such a total everyone would celebrate. And since many thing Hashmi is a huge star at the moment the comparison isn’t unfair!
Some of the anecdotal stuff I’m hearing on Shanghai in terms of the box office doesn’t sound too promising. I certainly hope this isn’t the case and that the film does very well. However I’ve always had a thesis here that for all the celebration of alternative ‘different’ films in the Bombay media and among industry figures and of course segments of the audience there is not one film that had succeeded in any very significant way over the last decade or so, not one that succeeds after questioning the ‘India shining’ values or the hegemonic ideologies of ‘new India’. Which is to say a post-liberalization reacts very badly when it’s basic assumptions are questioned. The examples are legion. One film that did relatively better or even ‘well’ at a lower level, all things considered, was Dum Maaro Dum. Because this film too (leaving aside the obvious death scene which disappointed many people) paints a very dark portrait of contemporary India, that too in one of its tourist heartlands. No story ends happily here, whether you’re on the right side of the law or the wrong one, whether you’re a person with integrity or not, whether you have important aspirations or not, it doesn’t matter. It all ends badly (it’s a classic noir scenario in some ways). Under other circumstances this film would have had a stronger initial but it wouldn’t have maintained that pace. Of course is Shanghai got to this film’s number it would be considered a huge success and everyone associated with it would be popping champagne! I haven’t yet seen Shanghai but hope to soon. I hope it does double of what DMD did or whatever. I say this even without having seen the film. Why? Because keeping alive the larger project of such cinema is far more important to me that one film or the other.
In recent years Raavan was the big commercial film that went even further in many ways in questioning those very new Indian ideologies. from the Ramayana subversion to the Maoist specter to the elliptical storytelling, this film did everything. Sadly not one auteurist ‘champion’ came out for it. Not one. And we’re talking about Mani Rathnam here! No one has to like the film but couldn’t one have said something about it when the media was getting all hysteric about it? If one didn’t side with rathnam here or that larger project of promoting meaningful cinema one automatically put oneself on the side of reactionary hysterics! There are no two ways about it. There are points in life when one has to choose. There is no middle path! Because whatever nuanced discussion one might want to have on such a work that has to come about in addition to one’s position in this sense. One must first have that healthy environment for that discussion to take place. And one is either contributing to it or not!
By the way (and since I get this charge from many quarters) my contemporary examples often seem to involve an Abhishek film. Why? One can leave aside the fact that I consider him a fine actor (I am in agreement with RGV, Ratnam, Mehra, and other luminaries on this). But it’s not my fault if he does films with many of these esteemed talents! I praise their works elsewhere too. I loved RGV’s Rakta Charitra double for example.
But I should also make a larger point here. I am never simply impressed by a certain technical formalism. Sure, some directors are very impressive on this score but I think no important film at any level is simply about this. It is also about something more than this. Unfortunately this is also the film festival disease around the world. Lots of interesting little films, inevitably impressive on formalistic grounds, even have interesting things to say but do so in completely banal or predictable ways. I’m glad that in a structural sense all these people have opportunities to showcase their talents (even if I am not as sanguine about the meaning of film festivals with all the corporate sponsors and so on) but one must get beyond the obvious. The film must not just look great, it must also say something interesting. or the technological resources deployed by the director must be commensurate with a larger vision. This doesn’t often happen, not just in India but elsewhere around the world too. very few directors today even internationally make truly interesting films as they once did. as Jack Nicholson once said a lot of “clever” films are made today but it’s not like the kind of stuff that was once celebrated. I think there’s a distinction between ‘clever’ and ‘interesting’. Nicholson used exactly the right word. There’s a celebration of ‘cleverness’ in our global film culture. very few directors buck this trend (Haneke is one such example.. he won the Palme d’Or this time.. there are others).
And so some of the films I sometimes exclude are those that even though impressive at a certain level are just not provocative enough efforts for me. If you make Shanghai the real model of comparison is Z and not the rest of Bollywood! Again not making a judgment on Shanghai either way here since I haven’t seen it. In closing I’d like to champion Thakshak once again as one of the best and most interesting mainstream efforts (for all its screenplay problems in the second half) of Hindi cinema over the last twenty years. This is also a strategic choice on my part. Chesterton famously said that “the lost causes were the only ones worth fighting for.” Films celebrated by everyone else don’t need extra support. We need to highlight (where we can) forgotten or less remembered films or else those that everyone is aware of but that were needlessly attacked for one reason or another. Godard’s Contempt was booed on initial release. Today it’s regarded as one of his greatest. It’s often ironic to see those who rail against the bankruptcies of Bollywood often feed into the very same ‘presentist’ structures and the very same media frenzy when it’s their turn!
Once again wish the Shanghai team all the very best and hope it does hugely well.
Thanks for your views Tony- it’s very discouraging that people were leaving the theatre mid-way- but I suppose that it’s not too surprising since many people find any intelligent criticism of the ‘India Shining’ dream to be deeply unpalatable.😦
satyam: brilliants comments as dark movies have never done well in india anyways and most of the commercial stars have not yet have the balls to attempt those
btw on your point about dmd have to say recent crackdown on rave parties and drugs (particularly during ipl)have shown how it was relevent in modern time and ya on the similar subject even naseer’s jalwa is a must watch
satyam btw with songs like door nahin hai dilli message was clearly evident it was anti establishment and inversion of ramayana in climax confirmed to it and here again in shanghai the backdrop of story bharat nagar is just 2 hours from capital a battle ground of power phenomenon simply and may be you won’t agree to it but it shows both directors left leaning….
Not disagreeing they were (and including Shanghai based on whatever I’ve heard here) left-leaning. But that’s a ‘good’ in my book!
The thing is that ‘left’ and ‘right’ shouldn’t be self-evident labels. In each case one must follow through on the consequences of these ideologies. Incidentally I don’t really associate myself as on the left in any easy sort of way. The fact that I’d vote with the left in any of these democracies just shows how ‘blackmailed’ the voter is in any two party system.
Really good review Tony…you have made keen observations (water running in bkgrd) etc. And Satyam HAD to bring DMD, Ravaan into the picture…increasingly sounding more and more like OG’s obsession with some stuff😦
Oh Tony, i did not read before. Beautiful review- even better than ur AV one. though i did not like the film half as much as u liked it (and had gargantuan problems with the leftist inclined politics of the film which i detested but that’s another matter) . I hope u can expand and make it a proper write-up (even if it’s short)
Oh I am and note how it disturbs some people every time I do so!
On that score, since some people have problems following basic English, I wouldn’t have a problem with Kashyap celebrating DB in every sentence if he illuminated us on what his larger framework. I also might have less problems with his DB statements if he at least did not go nuts over LAK and Rockstar as well!
I found both DmD and Bluffmaster better than anything Bannerjee has made. Actually somehow find Bluffmaster a more compact film than DmD. But what did Rohan do in Kuchh Na Kaho? – apart from the sublime “Achhi Lagti Ho” number, the film was unbearable
I must also reflect and change my comment on the leads not registering a strong impact. The acting in fact is uniformly superb – its hard to pick one actor (apart from Kalki I mean) who doesnt register a strong impact. My pick – Pittobhash, Prosenjit, Abhay, Emraan, and Farooque. even the guy who plays the truck driver is unique and surprisingly efficient.
B.O. update: ‘Shanghai’ opens to dull response
By Taran Adarsh, June 8, 2012 – 16:34 IST
SHANGHAI had a lukewarm start at the ticket window. The response at plexes was in 15% to 25% range, while the single screens, which have always embraced Emraan Hashmi’s warmly, weren’t gung ho this time, partly because one could gauge from the promos that this wasn’t the regular masala film. Nonetheless, it would be interesting to see how the multiplexes react to the film over the weekend. Meanwhile, SHANGHAI has received incredible reviews from critics who matter.
Rowdy Rathore Easily Scores Over New Release Shanghai
Friday 8th June 2012 14.00 IST
Boxofficeindia.Com Trade Network
Rowdy Rathore is a one horse race at the box office as it easily scores over new release Shanghai. The collections of mornings shows of Rowdy Rathore on its 8th day were better than Shanghai on its first week.
Even at premium multiplexes of metros there is not much difference while at other multiplexes Rowdy Rathore is better with twice the collections of Shanghai at places. Single screens have seen awful collections for Shanghai at around 5-10% so its not even competition for Rowdy Rathore.
The reports of Shanghai are not encouraging and so Rowdy Rathore to set to dominate the box office in its second week. From the reports of Shanghai it looks like that it will showere less growth than Rowdy Rathore over the weekend.
Shanghai opened to a poor response at multiplexes all over India with collections around the 25-30% mark. The collections where Emraan Hashmi films normally open well like CI, CP Berar and Nizam were also dull.
The high end multiplexes which might have opened well as that seems to be the likely target audience saw low collections. The DT and PVR chains in Delhi which mainly consist of premium multiplexes were only around 30%.
The expectations will not be much from single screens so the film will need good improvement throughout the day at multiplexes and Saturday being the make or break day.
Rowdy Rathore Has Second Highest Regular First Week
Friday 8th June 2012 09.30 IST
Boxofficeindia.Com Trade Network
Rowdy Rathore has collected around 77 crore nett plus in its first week and this makes it the second highest collections ever for a regular Friday-Thursday week behind Dabangg which collected 81 crore nett.
If we take the first seven days for all films then Bodyguard, Ra.One and Agneepath are also ahead as they were released on major holidays and collected huge on these days though the collections of these films are lower than Rowdy Rathore for the Friday- Thursday period.
In terms of first seven days it is the fifth highest collection of all time after Bodyguard, Ra.One, Agneepath and Dabangg.
Rowdy Rathore has set new all time highs for the Friday-Thursday period in CI and Rajasthan.
What’s to be sad about though? Shanghai was clearly never vying for box office glory! At least not by any accounts of the film I’ve read or even judging by its promos. I don’t find it all that surprising or sad to be honest. These two films are not in the same “game” and I’m sure Shanghai’s strong reviews will translate into it finding precisely the audience it sought.
TZP opened very well even with the Welcome competition. This stuff is just nonsense the trade throws around. Who gets up one morning and says ‘I’m really confused.. should I watch Shanghai or RR’?! You either watch both for very different reasons or you just watch the one you’re interested in. Now on the margins obviously the competition does make an impact but it’s never the difference between success and failure. It’s not as if RR and Singham are releasing the same day where you have two stars on the same terrain! The Shanghai audience was always going to be relatively small. In the best case scenario it could have surprised with a sizable or even impressive total. This might still happen. The idea that it’s opening poorly in morning shows is patently absurd. As if people are going to rush out like D2 for morning shows here! It might do very well in the later shows. I don’t know. But either way it’s not about RR at all. How much do any of DB’s films make with or without competition?! Again the trade just distorts everything absurdly in India. No one says in Hollywood that Che didn’t do as much as expected because Spiderman (or whatever) was also playing!
Meanwhile BOI have their ridiculous commentary about how unlike Hashmi’s previous films in certain circuits this hasn’t opened well. Yeah! This ain’t Jannat or Murder buddy! And they weren’t flocking in for Hashmi! Much as Vidya Balan doing Silk was enticement enough for most of the audience without the added ‘excitement’ of Hashmi!
simple this time there was expectatation from dibakar unlike his unexpected hits on a bigger canvas and hasmi without sleaze and bhatt platform is no entity and that has not happened for first time
real stars are those who have the ability to open different genre ( that to which are totally different from regular commercial fare)
sucess of rowdy rathore is even more baffling when the original remake(which itself is inspired from shatrughan sinha’s kalicharan and ironically the movie has his daughter in lead) is a part of sex max or colours regularly in satelite tv
just goes on to show single screen audiences which where totally left out for last decade and half are back in business
“Who gets up one morning and says ‘I’m really confused.. should I watch Shanghai or RR’?!
Yeah! This ain’t Jannat or Murder buddy! And they weren’t flocking in for Hashmi! Much as Vidya Balan doing Silk was enticement enough for most of the audience without the added ‘excitement’ of Hashmi!”
LOL! Great points Satyam!😛
GF- Ofcourse I do not expect Shangai to put up intials that compare to RR- but RR overtaking it so easily even in the second week was not something that I expected.
Weren’t DB’s previous films very profitable hits relative to the small budget they were made on? The box office reports for Shangai sound extremely negative like it could end up being a flop- which wasn’t the case with LSD or OLLO- and those films weren’t crowd-pleasing masala movies either.
Oh I didn’t think you said or suggested that Shanghai would put up initials on RR’s level. If you did I would have merely advised you to check into the nearest asylum!
The point is these films aren’t catering to the same audience in any sense. Satyam’s already said this but RR’s success doesn’t preclude the audience that was already going to patronize a movie like Shanghai. I’m ultimately not surprised by any of this. Wouldn’t even be all that surprised if Shanghai opened on RR’s third week and the latter still overtook it!
according to IBOS its adjusted gross would be 5.6 crores in today’s money. It might well have recovered its costs but it’s not significant otherwise. On the other hand Dev D some months later did an adjusted net of close to 18 crores, also according to the same source. And in the same way LSD did 8.5 crores (adjusted).
The promos may have “hinted” at commercial expectations but they really “sold” anything but a standard commercial film. Aside from this not all commercial films are equally commercial. Shanghai’s definitely not a Benegal film from the 80s but it’s also not a Sholay-like crowd pleaser!
And before anyone misunderstands that’s not a qualitative assessment. In other words I’m not saying RR is as good as Sholay (!) but it’s certainly a vastly more populist film than something like Shanghai.
Me too! He is easily the most intelligent/ articulate person of his generation in Bollywood.
BTW- not the biggest fan of his films- but Rohan Sippy is another director who seems intelligent- he has a pretty eclectic twitter feed for a Bollywood personality. Anyone have links to interesting interviews of his? I haven’t come across any…
Quite right on Rohan Sippy. His twitter feed is simply the most curious one around and shows he’s a person of truly varied interests. But the most fascinating thing about him is that he just wears all of this very lightly. He’s obviously not in the Johar camp (in terms of having that sort of worldview) but he’s also not with the Kashyaps of the industry, the look-at-me-I’m-an-auteur group! Admittedly he doesn’t face the structural disadvantages that Kashyap does because of his institutional privileges and one shouldn’t underestimate this but he doesn’t have any kind of self-importance attached to him. Actually in this sense he and Abhishek are most alike, they’re fundamentally chilled out guys who are interested in lots of things (Rohan is truly eclectic), and they’re also not that bothered about the whole Bollywood and/or media frenzy about various things. Of course Abhishek as a commercial star has a heavier burden in some ways but nonetheless there are key similarities. Also in terms of how they deal with their respective legacies. But getting back to Rohan I don’t think he invests very much in the media or what the trade says and so on. Here there is an important distinction with Abhishek. The latter is ‘pal’ to most of the industry in various ways, and certainly very comfortable in the industry setup. Here people underestimate the degree to which he really is ‘Prince’ in the industry in terms of being part of various inner circles, transcending camps and genuinely being liked by many and so on. I invoke the lineage here because only someone who has that kind of almost royal privilege can afford to be less ‘mortal’ in terms of all the power games and so on. In fact the quality of being chilled-out is something that probably invites more resentment in many other quarters. With some justification I should add. He’s a nice guy but you can only be that nice and above-it-all if you have a very unique privilege. In other words the structure probably only allows Abhishek to be Abhishek. Anyway Rohan is quite the opposite on this score. Simply not interested in the industry scene and so forth. He’s often seen as too aloof, even arrogantly so by many for this reason. And not surprisingly he doesn’t get the puff pieces because he isn’t cued in anywhere in any sense. I also suspect Rohan, precisely because he has all those other interests, doesn’t operate in world where films are the beginning and end of all things. I have criticized him in the past for not being more prolific and so on but I was perhaps wrong. He’s just a guy for whom there are other horizons. A guy who’s interested in how the flight of an owl is captured on film using some extraordinary technology clearly isn’t worried about what taran writes about him or whether Kashyap celebrates him on twitter!
chilled out guys never make gr8 cinema.one needs anger and conceit…..to be an artist.
all the great artists i hv heard about were men who were fundamentally flawed.vain and outrageous.look at kishore kumar man…..
Satyam- do you watch Beautiful People with Anuradha Sengupta? She conducts the most intelligent interviews (with Bollywood stars) IMO. Somehow she makes even the most vapid celebrities sound less shallow.
Actually a lot of Beautiful People segments have been posted on the blog over the last couple years. Sengupta isn’t a particularly challenging interviewer but she does have her insightful moments. The thing is there isn’t an interviewer in the country barring Rangan who knows enough about film to really engage in a meaningful discussion with anyone in the industry.
Well i have read the Hindi original- brilliant but the show was even better. Is the English one a very thin book having a foreward by Prasoon Joshi and belongs to Penguin/Puffin publication-if it is, avoid it. But anyway even if it’s not, much of the joy of reading will be lost in translation
It might be the Penguin. On the rest here’s the thing about Hindi. First off I don’t quite have the facility in it to read literature at ease so when I do attempt it it has to be something that truly inspires me. Secondly I’m not fond of the language at all in the formal sense of the word (I’m also not very fond of Urdu in the same sense). For some reason neither language quite does it for me. Just a personal thing. I do like the ‘Hindustani’ lingua franca though. That’s about it. The whole Sanksritized Hindi thing (by the way Sanskrit is something I find quite grand and magnificent the little bit I’m acquainted with it) just bores me (I’ve even told Bachchan this on his own similar usage!). The same for Persianized Urdu. In each case I think there is the attempt to move away from the vitality of a language into an unnecessarily artificial and imagined literary ideal. Now ironically, and from what I’ve been led to believe, contemporary literature doesn’t really follow this model in Hindi but it seems to have permeated a great deal of popular discourse. In Tamil for example things have moved in exactly the opposite direction. here the vernacular has been more influential for literature than the other way around (not that I’m an expert in these matters either). In Hindi cinema for example the equivalent phase is once again the 70s where a semi-literary Hindustani is often evidenced in the best dialog. Before this, especially in the 50s you get a much purer Urdu-like deal (the film certificates said as much for many years), which seems more artificial and much more about certain upscale ideals than reflecting the larger reality of any ‘lived in’ language (though these films were on the whole not exactly mass-films either). Again don’t know where Chandrakanta falls on this spectrum. Just saying I’m not much of a Hindi person though it could all be chalked up to my ignorance. It’s entirely possible.
Satyam, Chandrakanta is neither written in Sanscritised Hindi nor in Urdu- it’s written in Hindustani. But yes the Hindi original is herculean in size.Chandrakata, to my mind, remains the only true-blue Hindi fantasy novel. Anyway if u have the thin Penguin version, u should seriously avoid- it is the worst kind of translation i have ever come across of any book. It would be much better if u go to youtube and watch an episode or 2 of the show- highly entertaining and was very popular in my childhood
Satyam, it’s not exactly in vernacular but is certainly not in that Sanskrit kind of mould. i read it in class IV but that’s bcos my mother tongue is Hindi. But if ur Hindi is even half as good as ur English (which is amazing) u should not be having too much of a problem. But the hindi one is a tome. And i will still suggest to check out the episodes- u will find them entertaining. Also wasn’t the Bachchan- VVC film “talisman” supposed to be based on the book?sad the film never happened,promo was great
It was Talismaan only. wiki- Taaalismaan is an upcoming Hindi romantic fantasy adventure film, directed by Ram Madhwani, produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and written by Vidhu Vinod Chopra , Ram Madhvani and Swanand Kirkire . Starring Amitabh Bachchan in the leading role. It is based on the epic novel Chandrakanta written by Devaki Nandan Khatri in1892.- actually bachchan was supposed to play an ‘aiyaar’ (a sort of a spy who knows magic) here. this word was invented by khatri in the novel
Thank Shubh. Loved this and quoting D.B
“All arts are basically a handle or key for us to strive for that perfect life, that perfect society, that perfection of beauty and ideas. All our arts try to show us the ideals of life. If you take cinema as an art form, probably in the current environment—the last decade or so—there is something in our cinema that disturbs me. Sentiments pass off as true emotions, prettiness as true beauty and abstraction as depth; everything is too slick, too packaged. You have to tell the audience that ‘Now there is violence and you need to feel sad’, ‘Now drums are playing so the thrill starts’. We are giving a very McDonaldised version of what truth is and what ideal life is. This is not a complaint; it’s a slight sense of discomfort that in a country of billions where you have so many films being made, you can count on your fingers ones that are actually trying to grapple with the issues of our lives. My grouse is not against people who make films. The bigger comment is on society. We are so stressed and so caught up in that traffic jam from home to office, so engrossed in the dream of owning a four BHK flat on the 25th floor that we don’t have time to reflect on the truth”
All is not lost for Shanghai as it could still pick up at the plexes.
Like Vicky donor.
One thing it does with certainty is slay the myth that Hashmi is a crowd puller. His films have pulled in crowds because of the associated things but he DOES NOT have any significant following Probably Reshamiya has a bigger following. He still could have performed well here ( going by the reviews) and there might be hope for him as an actor but those who wanted to build him up as a star need a major rethink.
Wow. No credit where it’s due on here huh? Nevermind that people seem to think this is Hashmi’s breakthrough performance, never mind that he appears to be getting most of the accolades in a film that the critics love. It’s still the same old “Emraan Hashmi” is not a star, Emraan Hashmi is a loser” rhetoric that is chanted like a mantra around here. I generally enjoy this blog and the conversations immensely. But have to confess the persistent bias against this guy with the regular commentators on here leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Shame.
Actually you’re not giving enough credit to what the argument is really about on him and what it has been about in the past.
Speaking for myself I’ve always found him somewhat offensive. I’ve never said he’s the worst actor around but I don’t like him at all. Perhaps Shanghai will change my mind. Perhaps it won’t even if I like his performance. If I were to make an educated guess I’d say there’s an overlap between why I don’t like him and why he’s been picked by DB! But in any case the debate about stardom is also a different. It’s all a question of how his ‘stardom’ is defined. Of course Abhay Deol too is some kind of star. He clearly isn’t Kay Kay. But how is this sort of stardom to be understood? That is what the debate is about. so far many of the claims about Hashmi regarding his stardom or even his potential are foolish in my view where they’re not dishonest. He might become the star many of his supporters say he already is. I doubt it but that’s in any case a different debate.
So I think there must be some precision to these things. Saying vaguely someone is a star or whatever doesn’t mean very much because in a relative sense they’re all stars. John Abraham is a star too. But what does the stardom mean in each case? I have nothing against Hashmi otherwise in the sense that though I find him offensive as a persona I am hardly rooting for his failure on anything. don’t particularly care one way or the other. In terms of his performance again I’m willing to be surprised but I suspect I’ll agree with the reviewers more on the film than him. Would be genuinely amazed to discover a great thespian in him here as some of the reviews seem to suggest.
Emraan hashmi-the modus operandi
Actually that’s a very good point anya…Must admit that have been critical and dismissive of him myself, but lately do admit that he has something atleast…
Indian audiences want to see their ‘heroes’ do almost everything..
Anya and other hashme fans–u do have to admit though that for most of his career, his majority clientele (male) used to go and see which new heroine has he smooched (& more…)
The average joe sitting in the dark theatre just enjoyed how he would ‘break a glass with his hand’ to pick something for his girl or follow the girl to inside the ‘female loo’ to complete the ‘pending job’ and so on…
But to give him credit –instead of being ‘defensive’ or ‘apologetic’, he seems to have ‘built up’ on it ie gave what the audience needed form him, FOLLOWING the cues given by them..
C’mon if the ‘simple decent’ audiences would’ve dumped his films, who would’ve continued this stuff…
Unlike some others who after more than a decade are clueless about what the audience wants from them, what are they capable of giving and so on ..
Plus he seems to have been a bit ‘streetsmart’ and worked on ‘catchy ableit disposable’ tunes and ACTIVELY looked for musicians/ tunes which would give good music sales (inspite of ‘beg borrow steal’)
So although it was humble, street smart , there WAS a method to the modus operandi
This is where some others like abhishrek , who is a better actor, is better looking (though not by much) and as for the background – there’s no comparison…
Plus lately, he seems to have developed this ‘seething’ persona which he injects into most roles (@ least appears form the ppromos) that he is ‘intense’…
So all in all, the reaction of hashme fans like anya isn’t completely inappropriate either…
Saurabh- what exactly are your views on Hashmi?
So far, I have seen one and a half expressions and success in films dominated by sleaze and catchy music. He was just about OK in OUATIM. He might have dome significantly better in Shanghai. Am willing to consider that possibility but my point was is certainly not a crowd puller by himself.
BTW, no one called him a loser. Have no idea if he is one or not.
Rajen Sir, i don’t consider Hashmi much of an actor.But i find him better than some others like Imran Khan and Harman Baweja.Also sum of his films have ended up entertaining me- Awarapan, Kalyug, Gangster, Jannat, OUATIM. But whatever the reason may be,he has been giving hits since quite some time now.- his track record is much better than a lot of other actors.And today when i saw Shanghai,he surprised. he was the show-stealer, no 2 ways abt it. I like Abhay much more than him but here Hashmi was better
Actually Hashmi was clearly the lead in Gangster (Shiney was the supporting one). He had a hit in Jannat (he calls the film a turning point for him) which was without any sleaze. Kalyug, i liked bcos of Kunal Khemu- find him a very talented actor who can go places with right kind of projects
I never spoke abt who got accolades in Gangster? yes Shiney did. Certainly not his best performance. His best performance remains Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi- that is the only role he is known for. I never mentioned Jannat 2- i mentioned Jannat. And yes Naam and Kabzaa r my fav Dutt performances- Hashmi can never even cum near them
That is actually such a baseless rumour being spread by these websites that it’s hard not to laugh at it. They r saying that Hooda is replacing in Murder 3 when the sequel itself hasn’t been confirmed. Anyway Hashmi has got too many films on his hand. And just to kill this rumours entirely, Hashmi’s Raaz 3, under Mahesh Bhatt’s production, releases this yr (also has Bips and Esha Gupta)
Read the stardust interview- But Bhatt nowhere said that he has disowned Hashmi, he simply said that Hashmi has becum a big enough entity to handle his career completely by himself. And as i said, Raaz 3 releases this yr, so should put every rumour to rest
Thanx for the succinct review on shanghai, tonymontana
Well, the box office state of this film is not a happy sign really…
Whatever one may say that this was expected or par for the course and so on…
Really like dibakar banerjees films and as a person
Infact he is one of the v few male celebrities I shall like to meet and chat over a drink or something..
Loved all his films till now and have no doubt over this one…
Guys like kashyap and dibakar need decent box office success irrespective of ‘party lines’ or ‘affiliations’ or ‘stated positions,
C’mon guys -let’s have a heart
If given a choice -which type of cinema should flourish–the David dhawan-sajid khan brand or the kashyap-banerjee brand..
My choice is clearly the latter
And I suspect many of those here will prefer the same..
So let’s not let ‘personal/behavioural issues’ come in the way…
i really hope for dibakar’s sake this one works, emraan or no emraan.
This guy deserves success and all four films he’s made are brilliant – i doubt if any other contemporary hindi film director has managed such consistency .. its sad that BO success has eluded him barring KKG. he has strictly stuck to the kind of cinema he’s believed in without ever being pretentious.
this man, apart from being a class director, is an intellectua. we use this term frequently but he’s a bona fide one. it reflects in his work. n he hardly talks or brags about in the media – a no-nonsense guy who lets his work speak.
I do find DB very talented- luved both KKG and OLLO- haven’t seen LSD, found Shanghai his weakest film(and Kalki was cumpletely clueless in the film). the fact is i don’t find him one of the best/ nor do i have a very big personal liking for DB- i don’t find Abbas Mustan very good directors but i do like their films a lot. DB sumhow doesn’t do it for me either way
Well both of them r directors so they can be compared irrespective of the film they make. I never said Abbas Mustan r better than DB. even then i atleast can name 10 directors whom i find better than DB. not saying my taste is good but that’s the way it is. To be true i am not even a fan of Rathnam even though he is possibly one of india’s finest directors currently. I find Rahul Rawail a very good filmmaker- probably no one here will agree with me on this. I found Baazigar and Race brilliant films
I did know that. Buddha Mar gaya was incidentally the worst film of the yr (even his kajol starrer ‘kuchh kuchh khaatti kuchh kuchh meethi’ was bad too). Now do u know Abbas Mustan’s debut film was Jeetendra starrer Agnikaal? anyway it’s all abt taste- now u once said that u don’t like Nolan’s films. that’s perfectly alright. i too don’t like Terence Malick’s films. I much prefer Tony Scott to Ridley Scott
“Shanghai title is misleading though attractive.”
Actually that’s exactly what I felt after hearing this title
Haven’t seen this film but apparently the point is about bombay becoming (aiming to become) a shanghai …
Have been to shanghai briefly and the rapid growth is truly outstanding..
But how many of the average viewer is aware of this background ( or even cares for it)
That’s where poor dibaker seems to have got caught up…
Ps– till it was the ‘middle class set up’ and low expenses, it was ok..
But when the ‘game gets bigger’, that’s when a few lessons are learnt (or ought to be learnt !)
Well, could sense dibakers brainwave and had doubts about iphownit shall be perceived by the audience
Haven’t seen it bit hashme seems to be placed there to ‘compensate’ for this and attract more audience from his space ..
But as clear from the opening, it’s not that easy…
Ps-have u seen OLLO, KKG, LSD…
“Ohh I thought it was the name of Satyam’s wife”
ROFL @ tonymontana
Not sure what to say to Satyam -lest he takes ‘offence’ lol
Ps–I’m off to watch the French open female finals with some ‘mates’
Russian Maria sharapova vs the Italian newcomer
Will get the ‘updates’
All the best maria …..
just came back from seeing it. a bit of a letdown in terms of scares and charlize theron’s role. really didn’t expect noomi rapace to upstage her so badly. then again, rapace has the meatier role. overall, good movie, not great.
It seems Kalki was miscast based on the comments on Twitter from people who have seen the movie. Emraan is getting the most praise for his performance. The consensus seems to be good but not great movie and that the critics are overhyping the movie.
I haven’t seen Shanghai and somehow I am not terribly excited about seeing it. As of now I have mixed feelings. Here are some if my thoughts.
1. Dibakr seems to be trying too hard to make a hard-hitting serious film. It does not appear to be a spontaneous effort.
2. The character of Klaki and Kalki herself, whom I do not particularly like as an actress, sticks out like a sore thumb, making the film look even less spontaneous and contrived.
3. songs like Bharat Mata Ki jay and Imported Kamariya or even the sufi song seems to have been added as concession to the box office. Such compromises don’t generally work. You have to be confident about your film. Look at Rajneeti. No romantic songs. No item number. Just plain story telling. If you are folowinga realistic mode of story telling, stick to it. Bharat Mata ki jay would be okay if youwere telling your story i the language of a Hirani or Shankar.
4. The subject does not appeal to me. I dont want to see a film that tells me that politicians are corrupt. Who wants to see a film about political corruption in a thriller format. That’s so 70’s.
5. To tell the truth, political thrillers are my least favourite genre. I think it is a bit of an Oxymoron. Political films should allow though and analysis. Thrillers move you in the opposite direction. I have never cared for the best o them. One time watch for sure. But they will not feature in my Top 10, Top 50, or Top 100 films. Not Ardh Satya, not A Wednesday, not Dev, not even Kurudipunal. Give me Shankar’s Indian or Mudalvan or Shyam Benhgak’s Welcome To Sajjanpur or Kundan Shah’s Jaane Bhi do Yaaron any day. ( Shankar’s films show how all of us are corrupt than just the politicians)
6. While I liked Dibakar’s Khoshla Ka Ghosla, I found something wanting in LSD. It was very smart and all that, but a little to cerebral and too little heart. And I haven’t sen Oye Lucky Oye.
So right now it is fifty-fifty for me. I will give it a chance. hopefully it can surprise me.
And by the way, all these 4 star ratings dont impress me. The last time all the critics gave 4 ( and even 5 ) star ratings unanimously was My Name is Khan and I could not even finish the film on DVD. Because I know how the critics’ minds work for films like this. Oh it;s a very high-minded subject handled very high-mindedly. It must be given 4 stars!
First Look at Idris Elba in Guillermo del Toro’s Monster Pic ‘Pacific Rim’
By: Brad Brevet
Published: Friday, June 8th 2012
Thanks to Total Film we have the above image of Idris Elba (Prometheus) in costume in Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming film Pacific Rim, which will serve as his first film in five years following Hellboy 2: The Golden Army after he made the decision to drop out of directing The Hobbit and watching his passion project, At the Mountains of Madness, die at Universal.
Pacific Rim is a monster feature starring Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Charlie Day, Rinko Kikuchi, Rob Kazinsky, Clifton Collins Jr. and Ron Perlman in which legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, igniting a war that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end.
To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes — a washed up former pilot (Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Kikuchi) — who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.
Along with the first look image above, del Toro was also quoted by the mag discussing its massive scale. “When we’re talking about the physicality of the fight, we ended up building several blocks of Hong Kong, and literally demolished them,” he said. “We built a building and then we took down the buildings. We built command centers of the robots that were the size of the house. We started them on hydraulic rigs that shoot and elevated them and moved them round so you could really get a sense of the physical nature driving a robot like this.”
Warner Bros. will release the film on July 12, 2013 and I expect they’ll be putting together a trailer very soon, probably to be released alongside The Dark Knight Rises. That, of course, is just a guess.
Utkal Uncle–do watch LSD..
yes– from his previous films, political thrillers didn’t appear his strength genre of dibakar
And with all due respect, Kalki as the main heroine or something..
That’s something too much for the audience
Btw just watched imported kamariya– who’s this new dancer..
Utkal uncle–don’t strain too hard -enjoy such songs lol
The grand revelation in the end is a tad underwhelming, and the big evidence far too conveniently acquired. Yet, Shanghai is consistently watchable despite these lapses. I’m going with three out of five for Dibakar Banerjee’s Shanghai. It’s a good film from one of Hindi cinema’s most exciting filmmakers, just not great.
Rowdy Rathore Easily Scores Over New Release Shanghai
Friday 8th June 2012 14.00 IST
Boxofficeindia.Com Trade Network
Rowdy Rathore is a one horse race at the box office as it easily scores over new release Shanghai. The collections of mornings shows of Rowdy Rathore on its 8th day were better than Shanghai on its first week.
Even at premium multiplexes of metros there is not much difference while at other multiplexes Rowdy Rathore is better with twice the collections of Shanghai at places. Single screens have seen awful collections for Shanghai at around 5-10% so its not even competition for Rowdy Rathore.
The reports of Shanghai are not encouraging and so Rowdy Rathore to set to dominate the box office in its second week. From the reports of Shanghai it looks like that it will showere less growth than Rowdy Rathore over the weekend.
No-Show For Shanghai
by Soumita Sengupta (June 8, 2012)
Emraan Hashmi, Abhay Deol and Kalki Koechlin starrer Shanghai has failed to evoke a positive response at the box office. The film opened to a poor reaction all over India, and, according to tradewallahs, the film has no chance of revival. It thus paves the way for last week’s release Rowdy Rathore, which opened to a stupendous response.
“There has been no improvement at all today,” says Rajesh Thadani of Mumbai’s Multimedia Combines. “The film opened poorly and collections, at 25 per cent, haven’t improved as the day wore on. It’s the same all over India. It’s clear that the audience has not liked the film. Rowdy Rathore is still going strong and will benefit from the poor reception to Shanghai.”
According to G D Mehta of Bobby Arts International in the Delhi-UP circuit, the opening of Shanghai was miserable, “I didn’t expect it to do this badly. The response on the first day has been 20-25 per cent in Delhi but elsewhere in the territory, it’s just 5 per cent. Whatever little business the film is doing is in multiplexes and it’s been a complete no-show in single-screen cinemas. In the meantime, Rowdy Rathore is doing good business but I doubt it will reach the Rs 100-crore mark this week.”
Manoj Desai of G7 multiplex agrees with Mehta, “Shanghai has tanked badly. There is no opening at all in spite of the film featuring Emraan Hashmi and Abhay Deol. The thing is, if Hashmi does not kiss in the film, it doesn’t work. The audience always expects massy films from Hashmi.”
In East Punjab, Jaspal Dhingra of Nanaksar Enterprises says, “Morning shows did not do well but the film picked up later in the day in Chandigarh and Gurgaon. Occupancy is 60-70 per cent but in the rest of Punjab, where there are only single screens, the film has no opening. Some are saying it’s a slow film while others are enjoying it.”
According to Sanjay Marudhar of Marudhar Enterprises in CI, Shanghai did not fare well on its opening day. “The morning shows were 25 per cent but from 3 o’clock onwards, collections improved and went up to 60 per cent. I am assuming the film will do well on the weekend as well as everyone here is appreciating the movie.”
In Orissa, Jeetu Khandelwal of Pioneers Movies adds, “It’s a very bad film and it took a 40-50 per cent opening. Films like this just don’t work. If you have watched the promos, you will realise they don’t highlight the story at all. They only promote the song Bharat Maata Ki. A promo has to suggest what the film is all about so that the audience is lured to watch it. In Orissa, Shanghai will only work in multiplexes. It is unlikely to sustain after the weekend.”
Shanghai had a poor first day as it collected around 3-3.25 crore nett on its first day. The opening was never expected to be big but with good promotion and a decent cast, a total towards 4 crore rather than 3 crore would have been expected.
The film has just managed average collections at some high end multiplexes of metros but in most places the audiences gave it a miss and preferred Rowdy Rathore which has tremendous appreciation all over.
The film is a disaster in places like CP Berar and Bihar where the film has been sold to independent distributors, even a miraculous turnaround will see heavy losses as first day is so low.
Shanghai has been released on nearly 1000 screens across India which is far too wide for a film like this as screens outside metros have hardly contributed to its business.
3.25 crore 1st day & a possible 9-10 crore weekend is “poor” for a film of this genre ??…considering the film’s costing which shows that just 4.5 crores need to be recovered for all India theatricals ! Here is the earlier link to the costing :
20 crores in print & publicity ?? Please read again ! Hope you haven’t miscalculated millions to crores conversion.
“Cost of production of Shanghai was Rs 125 million, while print and advertisement cost was Rs 80 million. He also confirmed that 20 per cent of the all India theatrical rights have been sold for Rs 40 million and music rights for Rs 27.6 million.”
“PVR Cinemas has sold the satellite rights of its soon-to-be released Dibakar Banerji-helmed film Shanghai for Rs 90 million. “
Boxoffice sort of demoralises by comparing oranges with apples. Same happened with many movies in the past and is going to happen in future too. They should change the way they use adjectives without thinking. By that parameter, a person who earns crores is a hit while an ordinary salaried worker is poor and a damp squib. I dont have problem if they praise the former but they should not compare him to the latter indiscriminately.
““The thing is, if Hashmi does not kiss in the film, it doesn’t work. The audience always expects massy films from Hashmi.”
What gutter idiotic reasoning-but actually
One can’t really negate it
Hashmis following DID seem to go to his films to get a certain voyeuristic kick about a new heroine(s) being smooched in every film..
An what does poor dibakar give em–
Takes away the smooch, stains the teeth, gives him a paunch and if that’s not enuf, adds Kalki in the mix..
Now the hashmi fan won’t take this ‘lying down’ and will take ‘things in their hands’ literally
Sounds it didn’t really ‘blow you away’!!
Hmm…was planning to watch it this weekend and now have second thoughts
Anyhow-some I was planning to watch with -had ‘mixed’ reviews
A gal who is a compulsive critic felt it is a bit too ‘sterile’ and lacks ’emotional depth’ and she was agitated at some ‘caesarean’ scene..
Ps–Maris sharapova final today….
“This is just opposite of what Sajid says Leave your brains at home.
Dibankar could have said Bring your brains with you.”
hahaha sanjana–im slowly becoming your ‘fan’
(oops–of your crisp one-liners and comments…)
sanjana–If u r hesitant to discuss such a ‘sensitive issue’ of fave actors here, lets take a ‘break’ from all these people here and discuss this (during audition)–may help u ‘open up’
cya shortly folks…😉
Ok Sanjana –forget about ‘acting’ or casting–just joking
A simple question–
Which part do u find better in general–purely as a viewer–just to get audience ‘feedback’–
Deepikas ‘flamboyant’ one or Diana’s ‘rooted/traditional’ one ?
We need restraining order against you!! About time for Sattu to restrain you some what for his blog is a serious blog mate. You are leading certain “newbie” imposters (Sachin) into unhealthy discussions, that too in a thread created for serious debate with serious movie makers like A.K!!!
Hope that makes di happy
All this fuss about ‘ego about comments’ -i have no such ego..
As if folks like me are writing Shakespeare ha
Ps-Di : don’t worry-I’m not replacing Sanjana instead of u –I’m writing a new role for her…maybe THATS what also made u angry lol
Since I’m the whole-soul, actor, director and writer, can add /change roles on the sets
But Alex shouldn’t be encouraging it either. The same applies to some other stuff. There’s no need to provoke people. One might think it’s in jest and I know where he comes from on this but the result is the same. The thread and forum get clogged up by completely useless comments and a whole stream of them.
Now that you watched it, what do you think of Manorama 6 feet under. I think it was almost blow by blow copy, slightly indianized. Somehow the villain and child abuse angle to indianise it, didn’t sit well with me. I think Faye was FANTABULOUS in this movie.
I’ve not yet seen the film, but this is a refreshingly different take on the film that has otherwise created such hysteria among the Indian critics that makes one afraid to even have an opinion that is anything less than hyperbolic for what they claim to be the best thing to have happened to Indian cinema in like, forever!
I wont deny the film’s political angle is a little inconsistent in its ambitions but that shouldnt mean the film in itself is superfluous.. The reviewer was a little too harsh on the film. and why should do trust this review instead of two dozen others that are positive on it, without even having watched it?
Shanghai Fails To Revive
by Shinjini Bose (June 9, 2012)
This week’s solo release Shanghai, directed by Dibakar Banerjee, is showing no sign of revival after a disastrous first day. What’s worse, the Emraan Hashmi, Abhay Deol and Kalki Koechlin starrer was expected to perform well, thus leaving distributors sorely disappointed. In the meantime, Prabhudheva’s Rowdy Rathore continues to do well across the country.
According to Hemant Shah of Tilak Enterprises in Mumbai, “Shanghai has a total occupancy of 15-20 per cent and that too only in some multiplexes. The film did next to no business in B and C class cities.”
Shanghai has not appealed to the Delhi audience either. G D Mehta of Bobby Arts International reveals, “Shanghai’s first-day collection was 30-35 per cent and South and Central Delhi multiplexes managed decent business. The subject of the film is vague, it targets a limited audience and therefore has no mass appeal.”
In East-Punjab, Surendra Saluja of Lakshya Movies says the first-day opening of Shanghai was a poor 20 per cent and collections dropped in the evening. “The film is doing all right in a handful of multiplexes and poorly at single-screens. Meanwhile, the first week collections of Rowdy Rathore are Rs 5.4 lakh. The film is going strong.”
Sunit Singh of Aum Movies in Kolkata comments, “The average opening collections of Shanghai were 25-30 per cent, which is well below expectations. It has barely managed to earn anything in some multiplexes. It’s a slow film and not the kind the general audience would go for. Movie-goers expect a different genre from Emraan Hashmi.”
Jeetu Khandelwal of Movie Pioneers in Orissa says that Shanghai took an opening of 50-60 per cent in the bigger cities and 20 per cent in the smaller ones. However, by evening, collections fell across the board. “The promos and title of the film were confusing and are not in sync with each other. Also, the song Bhaarat Maata Ki is not in sync with the context of the film. Even the film’s cast cannot salvage this film.”
Kind of disheartening to see Shanghai’s BO performance. Even if the film may not be as great as critics have suggested, am sure this is a sincere and a more of a main stream attempt.
Have no problem with auiences lionizing RR but atleast give a chance to such movies! Really disppointed in the mango people.
Incidentally DMD opened 30% higher than this just going by BOI’s numbers in each case and more than a year ago. Not an unfair comparison. DMD was hardly Players in terms of scale, edgy stuff even otherwise. Abhishek was coming off his worst box office run ever (Raavan, KHJJS, Game.. the last two here pretty much did 0). Even according to the BOI reporting at the time (usually as negative as possible on Abhishek when it’s not totally false) the film did very well in the South, W Bengal and was good in Bombay and Pune (within that territory), which is the major bit! Here they’re saying Shanghai is good in metros which was probably the DMD deal as well though they didn’t mention that at the time. because they kept obsessing over the North. But even with all this bias look at the numbers,
And the reason I bring this up is not to suggest there wasn’t weakness in the DMD box office, especially so on the initial. Or that Abhishek is comparable to Hashmi and Abhay Deol as a star (I don’t have that delusion yet!) and so on. But for people who do make such statements they have to look at some of this stuff as well. Not to mention those who also thing such films run better with others!
So often when these debates are done people just don’t remember or don’t care about these details once a film is done. And then they wonder why the industry keeps signing him on and so forth. Because there are often these distinctions.
Leaving this aside the basic dishonesty of this paradigm, no matter who indulges in it is that you either say Abhishek is a major star or he’s not. If he I can accept that the DMD result is a poor one. But if he’s even below Hashmi or at least very many others why this pretense at being so surprised that DMD or any other film didn’t open well? This is the old BOI trick but many partisans routinely practice it as well. So the argument is dishonest not my grounds but on their own grounds.
I am hardly pleased that Shanghai doesn’t seem to be that great but the partisans never come back and look at these bits of evidence. Of course not!
getting back to Shanghai I will say it’s not a particularly bad day 1 number. In fact I’d say it’s not bad at all. Why? Dev D, just about the most successful movie any of these guys have made, did a total of 17 crores. And that was a much more accessible story. Shanghai if it just keeps up this pace will do for LSD did in its entire run! OLLO’s total gross was 5 crores or so!
My point is once again something I’ve made in other contexts. You can change the expectations of film, maybe make it bigger with more high profile stars, maybe the director gets bigger with more prestige and so on but Bannerjee is still not for ‘everyone’. This isn’t a mainstream film by any stretch. Whether they budgeted it expecting a much bigger gross or whatever that was again a fault in expectations.
What’s the last political, hard-hitting film that anyone can think of that grossed really well? Was it ever reasonable to expect that Shanghai would open to say 7 crores or something? ZNMD opened to under 8 crores as did MBKD. 6 crores is considered good enough even for many commercial films if these can then grow over the weekend. Kahaani opened to 2.6 crores (also according to BOI)! Why is a 3.25 crore number for Shanghai looking at all the factors so bad?!
Now if it falls further or shows no growth maybe it hasn’t been liked even by a minority. But just looking at the day 1 number there is nothing out of the ordinary here!
Khakee when it release in Jan 2004 did well enough, especially so in smaller centers but never quite exploded the box office the way one might have expected given the quality of the film and the star case. Akshay Kumar had entered a much better period by then, Devgan had also been doing much better at the time. You had Aishwarya as well. All of this in addition to Bachchan who was coming off Baghban. In the final gross Khakee did probably 5-6 crores more than the latter. Now Baghbaan was incredibly stable at a lower level. It would keep adding a couple of crores every week. But this too wasn’t really a film for a younger audience so you could see why it would have a ceiling on a best possible gross. Khakee did about as well as MSK the same year. of course the latter wasn’t fantastic either. And again the caveat is that Khakee was super in many small centers. But Bombay and some of the other big metros were never massively on board at any point. Once again the same problem arose. You have a hard-hitting film with a strong political message and even if it’s a film as well-made as Khakee, with the thriller angle as well, some of the comedy and romance too, you still run into problems. ‘New India’ just isn’t on board!
Take Devgan’s supposed hits with Jha. Sure these films recovered their budgets and so on because these were low budget films. They did well in many parts of India and again the gross is better than the literal number because more tickets were sold in these parts. Nonetheless even accounting for all of this these were very moderate grosses to put it kindly. ‘Low’ would be a far more honest characterization.
Once again in a lot of these debates people argue abstractly about hits and flops of stars and so forth. But one has to look at the reality of the numbers. So if Ajay Devgan did 9 crores on a hard hitting political film no producer thinks he could pull in 40 crores on a 30 crore production. The market just isn’t there. And again this is another reason why Abhishek was doing fine for the longest time because his flops too showed some strength on the gross (after Raavan it’s another story barring DMD). Those in the business are not daft to compare grosses the way Taran and Nahta do. They might think a star is daft for constantly doing risk stuff or subjects that even if mainstream don’t sell. But they don’t start believing that other stars would do wonders in the same. Because they HAVE the results before them!
Again take Devgan’s Aakrosh. It’s not that this film did poorly. It did a KHJJS!
Am glad she finished a career grand slam and has been able to come back from her shoulder injury so well. For a while it seemed after the surgery her serve had lost the sting but seems back now.
She is also the new No1.
Hope Nadal-Djokovic give us something special tomorrow.
Rafa is the king of clay. he will demolish Djoko. btw the female tennis has reached such low standards that every yr a previously unheard-of player is coming and reaching/winning finals. i especially Bartoli and Safina very undeserving
Not a fan of Sharapova. Amongst that entire Russian brigade of female tennis players which entered during the middle of last decade, my fav would be Svetlana Kuznetsova. Btw Williams’ sisters, whenever they get serious, can demolish any other player currently playing. there is still a huge gulf between them and others. From the late 90s i liked Arantxa Sanchez Vicario. Later quite liked Justin Henin Hardenne
Talking of russian tennis brigade, will discuss ‘technique’ and ‘skillset’ maybe later..
lets restrict it to ‘celluloid appeal’ first on a cinema blog..
as of now–an ‘introduction’ to the ‘uninitiated'(if any)
Dont agree with this ‘ranking’ entirely though…
for eg kournikova won more prize money than many grand slam winners without winning any matches
“This type of advertisement would have evoked some interest.
This is just opposite of what Sajid says Leave your brains at home.”
— Sanjana, I agree with you. In fact Im sick of hearing this entire ‘leave your brains at home’ analogy that the likes of Sajid n Dhawan and their partisans come up with.
I dont really have any problem with their kind of cinema. I have enjoyed watching Rowdy Rathore, Singham and Golmaal in past but this entire condescending attitude towards the other kind of cinema gets on my nerves.. There should be a place for every kind of cinema.
That just reminded me of what Sajid Khan once said about Omkara – that it was a shitty film
Sajid Khan is a moron. not only does he make atrocious films but also bcos he is under this delusion that he is country’s biggest director. he even said some stupid stuff abt gowarikar and neeraj pandey.i have no idea why devgn is doing himmatwala remake with sajid. i am a fan of devgn but come on mr.devgn, is a 100 cr hit so important for u that u forget everything regarding quality.
Just back from Shanghai….man, it was terrific… a taut,biting & often scathing commentary on today’s India & its notorious bureaucracy…one of those rare Hindi mainstream films which demands the viewer’s undivided attention to its detailing & plot intricacies…terrific ensemble cast with brilliantly subtle performances & wonderfully layered real characters from everyday life…all in all an extremely rewarding viewing experience with every department in top form…Kudos to the director & the makers for bringing out this brave & gutsy film.
And yes, Hashmi in a career defining role is quite superb !
Thanks Shubh. that was a nice review. Agreed on the last bit on Hashmi. did not like the film much. found it a plodding bore (apart from its stupid political commentary) until the last sequence in the ‘party’ which was ‘awesome’- in this entire Abhay really showed his class when he acts like a chamaleon
Even I did like Abhay a lot in the film – a restrained act which is so unlike what is seen in Hindi cinema. His Tamil accent, though I dunno much abt how Tamilians speak, felt awkward n slightly inconsistent but that wasnt exaggerated at all.
Yes. but the film as a ‘thriller’ failed for me completely. even the identity of the culprit is very conveniently and easily revealed. Anyway Hashmi has benefitted the most from the film. Each and every review has called his the best act in the film. another feather in his cap. And he should not care abt shanghai flopping bcos he has Raaz 3 (in 3D) coming up this yr. And then he has a bhardwaj film, ‘ghanchakkar’ with balan and directed by raj kumar guptaand potential films under dharma productions and yrf
i have deep respect for kamal khan.his movie desh drohi was a subversive film consciously aiming to be bad.its latent theme was to make fun of the attempt to translate life into cinema.and he did that brilliantly.great film makers come up with shocking subversive films…..for example kaushik who made gaandu(a bengali film)…is making a film in which he subverts tagore,but no one goes so far as to subvert the act of film making itself.and i think kamal did a pioneering work in this direction through his film desh drohi.it is sad we go blindly by the popular perception of a man and dont try to look deep into his craft.
Just back from Shanghai. Actually I was back from it last night, but thought I will sleep over it before putting down my thoughts. And so? Disappointed. All my worst fears about the film came true. I would say it was watchable and the performances of both Emran and Abhay were good. And that’s about it.
To start with, at the story level it was very naïve. If an IAS officer could get at a CM so easily everyone would have been doing it. And if it was supposed to be fantasy, then why this pretence of naturalism? I would rather watch Shankar’s Mudalvan where at least some political philosophies are articulated.
Then there is the triteness of the story itself. This kind of political expose may have been new in the 70’s when Z came out. But today it is old hat and does not evoke any kind of disbelief and outrage.
So let’s come to the style and execution. The grammar of cutting scenes midway is novel, but gets irritating after a while. The idea might have been to give the whole proceedings a feel of naturalness , but it only ends up looking arty. Take the speech of Dr Ahmadi about ram asking for water ina mall. It is cut off after the first sentence and the story is completed later when Krishnan is watching the video footgae. But the story is so lame that the punch line has no punch. I so much prefer Salim-Javed’s story of the sone ki murgi in Deewar.
Also if the idea is to present things as they are without over-dramatizing where do songs like Imported Kamariya and Bharat Mata kI Jay come from? You expect me to believe they have dances like that performed at official government functions. Or that they have crowds singing songs like Bharat Mata on the streets. If these are supposed to be artistic liberties then go all the way and stage them properly. When a song like Al I izz well or Give me sunshine is used in 3 Idiots it is in tune with the general narrative style and the words in the songs articulate some thoughts very clearly. Another way of using a song is the Mahie Gill mujra in Gulall. It is witty, picturized with humour and not like a wanna-be item number.
And then there is Kalki. Why the hell she is cast in that role? She behaves like a zombie and looks like an alien. There is no nuance to her performance. She scarcely looks human. Her kiss with Dr Ahmadi is another art film cliché.
The worst part of the film is that it is neither satirical as some critics have commented or offers any new insights. Agreed Hindi films in general overexplain. But this one explains nothing. Shouldn’t the title of Shanghai been touched upon a little more somewhere I the film? There is much more to the idea of Shanghai that just corrupt politicians. If so called ‘ thinking’ directors can up with nothing more than the revelation that the CM herself is behind the land deals, I will take Prakash Jha or Shankar any day ( who at least has the sense to bring out show the middle –class who read the newspaper over a cup of tea and are unwilling to join the hurly-burly of politics are as much to blame as corrupt politicians…in Mudhlavan.) Characters like Dr Ahmadi are cardboard stereotypes and he does not even have anything interesting to say.
That brings me to my geberal low opinion of political thrillers. In my opinion they are so inadequate at throwing up any in-depth understanding. But at least the best of hem like te original Z act as very enjoyable thrillers. This one is just about average as an engaging thriller. The best that one can say about the film is that it is a time pass film. And the time for most part passes quite slowly.
Thanx for the views on shanghai utkal uncle
Sounds what I was expecting
Wanted this to work but seems dibakar has faltered
That’s what happens when the ‘game/ budget/ canvas gets bigger’ (as satyam also mentioned ) or the genre changes
Love dibakars films -haven’t seen this one
Hope it earns something decent
( Look at the biased reporting of BoI. Films like Jannat 2 or Rowdy Rathore with drop on Saturday are doing well. And 25-305 jump is not good enough. BoI you make me laugh)
Shanghai showed growth on Saturday of around 25-30% as it collected in the 4-4.25 crore nett region but the film needed much bigger growth as the starting level was so low. Shanghai has collected around 7.25-7.50 crore nett in two days which is not good.
The film will have to show similar or better growth on Sunday if it is to have ant worthwhile weekend numbers but the Saturday trending at key centres suggest that it may not be able to show as much growth on Sunday as Saturday.
There were many centres which did not show much improvement on Saturday and considering Friday was already low means and uphill task at the box office at these places.
Rowdy Rathore showed good growth on Saturday as it collected around 6.25-6.50 crore nett. The film has collected 11.25-11.50 crore nett on Friday and Saturday in its second weekend. The approx Saturday collections from a few circuits are as follows. Friday figures are in brackets.
initially some exhibitors and BOI suggested such terrible usiness for Shanghai that I was expecting a lower Saturday number for the film.. But there appears to be a good 30% jump.. Which indicates that though a majority of the section has reected the film, Dibakar’s goodwill has resulted in a decent two day total and that a portion of the audience has taken to it. Sunday will reveal a bigger picture
@baradwajrangan- Shanghai is full of memorable filmmaking but it isn’t a memorable film
“Shanghai”… The China syndrome
Posted on June 10, 2012
The “most progressive state in the country” has embarked on an ambitious redevelopment project that hints at the title of Dibakar Banerjee’s new film, Shanghai. It’s called International Business Park, and the acronym is reconfigured – on stage, during a celebratory dance performance by an “imported kamariya” (no lowly desi dancers, after all, will behoove these aspirations) – as India Bana Pardes. Naturally, there is a spoilsport, an activist named Dr. Ahmadi (Prosenjit Chatterjee), who urges the people being relocated (you may say dislocated) to hold on to their lands and not sign any papers. He will soon be assassinated, and this event will set in motion a lengthy, dry procedural that’s also a depiction of a pulsating microcosm of India, situated around a metaphorically named Bharat Nagar. Manmohan Desai, in Desh Premee, reached for a similar metaphor when he set his story in a Bharat Nagar – but had someone like Dr. Ahmadi existed in that film (made in the cinematic climate of those times), he’d have been a saint. Here, he’s something of a sinner.
In an early scene, as Dr. Ahmadi alights from his plane, he is preceded by a leggy starlet, the one with the imported kamariya. She is besieged by the media, whose members are predictably oblivious to Ahmadi’s presence. Do they even know that he’s written a timely book titled Kiski Pragati Kiska Desh?, attacking the development project, and that he’s here to speak out against it? But with Dr. Ahmadi, there’s no self-pity. There are no laments about the trivialisation of the fourth estate. He simply walks up to the starlet and engages in casual conversation, which directs the media’s attention towards him. He’s smart – perhaps even a bit of an opportunist. He’s cut off soon when they realise they have no use for his moralising, and they return to quizzing the starlet about her next film, but he’s snatched for himself a spot of limelight. Even later, before his big speech, he’s hit by a stone, and instead of fulminating with righteous fury, he goes inside and makes light of this incident.
“Victim nahin banna hai,” Dr. Ahmadi tells Shalini (a miscast Kalki Koechlin), a former student with whom he had an affair, and he even issues threats to intimidate a couple of goons harassing her. Dr. Ahmadi, in short, is far from the good-hearted, conservative Muslim we’d have found in the Manmohan Desai era. (Even his wife, a Hindu named Aruna, was a former student of his, and who can say there weren’t more students that he managed to seduce?) It is this sort of detailing that sets apart the films made these days from the ones we got earlier – we now have evasive characters instead of rock-solid archetypes, and Dibakar Banerjee is nothing if not an expert chronicler of character. This is why he gets such fine performances from actors (yes, even Emraan Hashmi) who do so much with so little. We aren’t given a lot of establishing detail about the oleaginous politician played by Farooq Sheikh – and in that sense, he’s certainly portraying an archetype of the corrupt man of power – but by the end, by the time he’s reduced to exquisite bafflement while staring at the skewer of paneer tikka in his fingers, he’s fleshed out as a completely one-of-a-kind character.
Banerjee’s finely honed sense of detailing extends beyond the people in his films to the places they inhabit. There is a delicious sense of the absurdity that surrounds us when Shalini raises her voice outside the room the bloodstained Dr. Ahmadi has been wheeled into and a nurse reprimands her to step outside: “Yeh hospital hai. Please jaake bahar fighting kijiye.” (The line is also an excellent example of how English and Hindi twine so easily in daily usage, unlike the dialogues in the upscale multiplex movies that creak and groan with the strain of being translated into Hindi from the original English.) And elsewhere, when Krishnan (Abhay Deol), who is overseeing the enquiry into Dr. Ahmadi’s assassination, presides over some sort of hearing, a ball rolls in from outside, where kids have been playing. A man’s death is being discussed, and an assistant has to break away to warn a child, “Yeh khelne ki jagah nahin hai,” that this is not a playground. Speaking of which, when was the last time, you saw a character engrossed in a game of badminton?
If God is in the details, then Banerjee’s films are certainly sky-scraping cathedrals. As if in cognizance of unspeakably dirty dealings, something is always being cleaned in the first half – a bookshelf is dusted, a floor is swept, a corridor is mopped (which only causes someone to skid). And when it comes to who really runs the country, we’re shown clearly that it’s not the power brokers who have minions standing by with bottles of mineral water when the taps in the bathrooms run dry, but the great unwashed masses who bring the cars carrying those powerful men to a grinding halt as they throng the streets – constantly – in celebration. Banerjee even manages to delineate, through Abhay Deol, a reasonably convincing Tamilian – a far cry from the caricatures we see in films like The Dirty Picture, which are all surface. With Krishnan, we see a neatly trimmed moustache, hints of talking to his amma, and a way of lapsing into owr (instead of aur) and bejna (instead of bhejna). He doesn’t do this always (in other words, he doesn’t overdo this) – just enough to betray his roots, his tongue, no matter how many postings he’s had in Hindi-speaking states.
But look past these dazzling details, and we get a hollow shell of a film that’s about as “timely” as yesterday’s newspaper. When Costa Gavras made Z (from the Vassilis Vassilikos novel that Shanghai is also adapted from; there are nods here in a permission denied to hold an event in a hall, and in a pickup truck that keeps hovering around menacingly), it was the late 1960s. It was the counterculture, when the Cold War (with its threat that the world would vanish in a mushroom cloud) was a frightening reality, and a peace-mongering politician who spoke of disarmament (the equivalent of the Dr. Ahmadi character) was a genuinely vital figure that people identified with. More importantly, that was an era of widespread mistrust. You couldn’t trust the parents who raised you, the politicians who governed you – and Z, along with the decade’s other political thrillers like The Manchurian Candidate, paved the way for the subsequent decade of mainstream Hollywood movies (Three Days of the Condor, The Parallax View, All the President’s Men) that played on audience’s fears about shadowy government conspiracies.
The fear of those times, that the System was corrupt and out to get you, is no longer a fear – it’s an institutionalized reality that we’ve become inured to. Whether this attitude is healthy in a democracy is a different question – but as drama, these stories simply don’t have the power to jolt us anymore. Banerjee is an admirably high-minded filmmaker, and he won’t resort to conventional dramatic devices. A “lesser” filmmaker would salivate at the prospect of milking the transition of Emraan Hashmi’s character (a pornographer named Jogi, whose most telling detail is that he’s a Rajput who’s a skin-saving coward) from uncaring onlooker to an active participant in the political drama that forms the film’s core, and Jogi’s rooftop escape from thugs out to get him might have become an action set piece. But Banerjee won’t go there. He drains the pulp elements of his story of all juice, as if following Hitchcock’s footsteps from Torn Curtain, where an assassin’s murder is presented not as a thrilling set piece but as a protracted and agonising portrait of how difficult killing someone can be.
That may be how things are in real life, but it cannot be the motivation to watch a movie whose trajectory is so numbingly familiar. People keep making Romeo and Juliet over and over, but the reason an Ishaqzaade works is because of the detailing as well as the drama. There is no shame in amusing an audience, as Banerjee himself proved in his masterful Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!, which was both a smart critique of the India we live in as well as a bloody entertaining movie. Even the big reveal here, at the end, carries no charge. Besides, if you’re no fan of conventional drama, why incorporate traditional dramatic moments like the Big Reveal? Why stage half-hearted songs like Bharat Mata ki Jai, which is shoehorned badly into the film in a moment that makes no sense? Shanghai is full of memorable filmmaking but it isn’t a memorable film. There’s a lingering sense here of wanting to rise above the material, which is fine, but then why pick this material in the first place? In a sense, the title could refer to Banerjee as well. Like the politicians in the film who want to sacrifice India for a shining simulacrum of China, he’s rejecting the inbuilt cravings of Indian audiences in favour of a low-key, Western kind of sophisticated filmmaking, easier to admire from a critical distance than be entertained by up close.
as always Rangan comes up with by far the most interesting read on the film. It’s not just what he says about the film but the much larger historical and cinematic contexts he fits things into. But also notice how he invokes Desh Premee. The reason this is important is when you fit things into boxes of ‘commercial’ and ‘alternative’ and so on, though these are useful upto a point pushing them too far incurs a different danger — one tries to keep separate brands of cinema that often bleed into each other in certain respects. The problem isn’t commercial cinema but ‘bad’ commercial cinema. Similarly the ‘alternative’ isn’t a good in itself. All this isn’t applicable to Shanghai except for generally. But the reason I point this out is that those who are too hostile to commercial cinema or who can never spot important distinctions within the offerings of the same and who insist ‘only’ on the alternative often throw out the baby with the bathwater. I certainly cannot think of any very significant auteur from anywhere in movie history who had anything but affection for a great deal of commercial cinema. My favorite anecdote here is always the Almodovar one where he once rued the fact that actors didn’t know how to walk on screen anymore! His example was Hollywood where he said once all the major stars had very distinctive walks! This point isn’t as trivial as it might appear because he was clearly alluding to an entire order of gesturality that was part of the cinematic domain. As cinema has lost transcendence it might be argued that this has happened at the very same time that ‘gesturality’ also vanished from the medium. To cast this in Almodovar’s terms once again, what is it that happens to cinema once there is no one who walks like John Wayne?
A Rangan review is always more pleasurable than the film in question..
“Even his wife, a Hindu named Aruna, was a former student of his, and who can say there weren’t more students that he managed to seduce?) It is this sort of detailing that sets apart the films made these days from the ones we got earlier”
BTW I will say again that I think Kalki is a bad actress with the same wide-eyed dopey expressions in all her movies. But she will not be dissed by the critics because she is married to Kashyap and keeps getting casted by his well respected director friends.
A LOT of the critics have dissed her performance in Shangai. They usually praise her (and I do think that the calibre of her performances in TGIYB and Shaitan were far above the industry average and deserving of praise) but in this case they were very lukewarm about her.
Haha full of ranganisms
“a “lesser” filmmaker would salivate at the prospect of milking the transition of Emraan Hashmi’s character (a pornographer named Jogi, whose most telling detail is that he’s a Rajput who’s a skin-saving coward) from uncaring onlooker to an active participant in the political drama that forms the film’s core, and Jogi’s rooftop escape from thugs out to get him might have become an action set piece..”
Satyam, Another south remake! Mammootty and Prithviraj starrer Superhit film “Pokkiri Raja” to be remade in Hindi with Akshay Kumar in the lead. Film is titled as “Naam Hai Boss” and will be helmed by director of Blue, Anthony D’Souza. the movie starts filming in August- http://www.sawfnews.com/Bollywood/68918.aspx
solid earnings for both movies with completely different audiences. Snow white took a huge hit…looks like itll be a failure. MIB 3 has made a huge 350mill wordwide to save it from being a failure also. meanwhile avengers is coming up on 1.4 billion wordwide. this is just amazing how well it has done worldwide.
“But for all its frustrations, this isn’t a film you easily forget, if only for its overreach. Where else, these days, will you find yourself transported into a simulacrum of the Middle Ages, with its curious conflation of the Christian and the pagan? (Throw in the revenge angle, and this begins to feel like Bergman’s The Virgin Spring reshaped for the digital era.) As Snow White entreats a higher power (“Our Father, who art in heaven…”), we realise we are in the presence of a fairy-tale heroine whose truck isn’t with her godmother but with God. It may be no accident that Ravenna, bearing the cross of womankind, is often sighted with a tiara that tapers into jagged spikes. That’s her crown of thorns.”
Read a few wonderful pieces by some America critics earlier- can’t seem to find them now- will try….
And a sequel to the film has been fast-tracked- so it must be doing well enough internationally to compensate for the sub-par performance in the US.
Sno white and huntsman is a complete action flick with chris hemsworth showing his beefcake body all around- quite excited abt it- seems much better than ‘mirror mirror’- Btw Hemsworth is going placing- He is playing the lead in Ron Howard’s biopic of F1 star Nicki Lauda titled “Rush”
Snow White is an action film- it’s also quite an intelligent one, and I think, an important one given the sort of topical commentary it contains about women in the media (and just womanhood in general).
But even leaving that aside- it’s an enjoyable and entertaining action film (but inconsistently so). You should watch it.
I liked it very much- Theron was sadly relegated to the sidlines as the movie progressed- but as long as she was the focus of the film she was excellent- I feel like she had a lot of fun with this role- her’s was certainly the movie’s most interesting character.
BTW- would LOVE to see a remake of this with Aishwarya in Theron’s role (this casting would lend an interesting meta-layer to the movie given the recent developments in Aishwarya’s life and the surrounding media coverage/ criticism) and Deepika in Stewart’s role. Vidyut Jamwal would do well in Chris Hemsworth’s part. I think that Bhansali would be a fitting director giving his visual sense but the scriptwriter would have to be somebody much smarter. I think that it would be commercially viable as well.
Thanks for ur views Amu, that’s great to hear.it will be great if u could do a short piece on the film. sadly for me the film is not playing anywhere in my town ( that’s one of the reasons i miss Lucknow so much). but will check it on a dvd as soon as i can
hmmm…Bhansali and Aish- interesting- yes u right on both of them and abt the screen writer- great point Ami. but i expected Mirror Mirro to be visually richer than Snow White bcos Tarsem Singh’s biggest strength’s r his visuals which was evident in both The Fall and Immortals (this was the most good looking shit film i saw in recent times)
Saw the film today. It’s a well-done work, with some very nicely executed character arcs, but Rangan’s review hits the nail on the head. Banerjee’s movie doesn’t tell us anything about India that several other films (even lesser ones) haven’t already told us. There’s tremendous political corruption, there’s incentive for institutions to protect the idea of progress and to silence opposition. One can look past the fact that there’s not much of a thriller here, as some have criticized. Because while the earlier Z has long been celebrated as a “pulsating thriller” and so on, I’d never seen that as the principle achievement of Gavras’ most well-known film.
Z was really an extremely well-constructed procedural in which all the “criminals” are laid bare from the beginning, and the “law” pulls out all the stops to bring them to justice. The point of the film, though, isn’t simply the harrowing picture of the nation Gavras presents, it isn’t even really found in the central events of the narrative alone. Gavras’ objective with Z is ultimately made clear in the film’s coda – where we see the rather bleak, “post-revolutionary” outcomes for the various characters involved. So the good guys are punished, the bad guys more or less go free. There’s a point just before this coda where a opposition party member tells the slain political leader’s wife that the various conspirators are being brought to justice, and it’s like “a real revolution”. There’s a glimmer of hope in the widow’s eyes that’s almost immediately extinguished. And the coda tells us why. It’s clear that the “revolution” the film’s plot represents–whereby justice is meted out to the wrongdoers–is, like all revolutions, a moment. The moment though is ephemeral, illusory even. Because when the drama, the “procedure” of the revolution is complete, one still has to face the existing, institutionalized problems.
And Banerjee must recognize that much of the central investigation that forms the narrative is indeed a “drama” because one of his most interesting moves in the film is to have the Judge character hold his inquiry in a space that’s open to a public audience. There’s rows of people watching the investigation unfold in a way that mirrors the movie audience on the other side of the screen. And in a moment that explicitly invalidates the empty “motions” of the investigation, a child’s football sputters into the inquiry hall from outside. It belongs there because it’s a plaything in what is ultimately a playground. There’s also the rather brilliant stroke of making the defiant photojournalist a pornographer with a nagging conscience. Because aside from making a more entertaining character, the latter is entrenched in the business of selling “illusion” to those interested, and he comes to see that this is the business that everyone around him is involved in–the good guys and bad guys both. Banerjee’s coda here tells us that this specific character goes “untraceable” which is perhaps the most tragic of all the outcomes we’re given here.
I will add that this film isn’t some wake up call. It’s a well-made remake that isn’t thoughtless and connects the source material’s ideas to a modern Indian context reasonably well. But it also doesn’t resonate as one would have liked and there are a number of reasons why this might be the case. Chiefly it might be because Banerjee has made this film at a time where the audience is just aching to see it – it validates their own sense of the universe rather than challenging it in some ways. Having said this, there is real critique at play here and that’s all too rare for a mainstream film.
Great analysis GF.. Muh of what I felt about the film.. Keeping the political angle aside (it doesnt exacty deliver the punch on that front IMO), this one has a lot of merits and deserves to be applauded
The review gives out what to expect from the movie. The movie can be enjoyed in this context instead of sitting in a moviehall clueless.
Murky politics is not confined to India alone as many are trying to point out. Politics has different hues according to the culture in which it makes it presence felt. We fight one tyranny with another tyranny in disguise. Thats why a sort of cynicism has kept in our outlook regarding revolutions. The greatest revolution that became the greatest tyrant is maoism and its bloody effects in the Southeast Asia. Not to forget French Revolution, the endless killings Indulgend in by so called revolutionaries. Even the recent Arab spring revolutionaries have their own murkiness.
The hype probably had more to do with Dibakar Banerjee than any true “controversy” contained here. I can say this with more confidence having seen the film. Banerjee is kind of a indie-filmmaking superstar right now, particularly for the media, and I think anything he made after LSD would have had people salivating. I prefer this film to LSD though I’d probably say that OLLO is still his best movie.
Dibakar Banerjee talks about his fascination with the 1969 film Z, the need to make a political movie like Shanghai and the unnerving response it has received
Vassilis Vassilikos’ Z is a book about a very specific Greek political assassination. What made you want to mine a true and fascinating story for plot and narrative, adding your own politics?
I told my writer Urmi (Javekar) that I wanted to make a political film, like All The President’s Men, or Z. She suggested I read Z. In the book I felt there was a lot more anguish. From Z, I took the idea of the investigation, but politically Z has a very different theme: Z is about the Left and the Right. In India we have the Rich and the Poor and the gap in between.
The Costa Gavras film made for an aware audience was stark and minimal. To try and reach a more politically apathetical Indian audience did have to make it more ‘entertaining’?
We are fundamentally Indian and somewhere there is a pulse shared by you, me and a taxi driver. So I made the film the way I felt the events would unfold here.
Were you tempted to dumb the plot down, make it more accessible?
We haven’t really done that. The big impact of the film – if there is an impact –lies in the fact that you watch the film and you feel the narrative. The dots aren’t joined for you.
Isn’t that a huge commercial risk, with our blockbusters becoming increasingly daft these days ?
Absolutely. But if you constantly underestimate the audience, you will never reach a place where the film becomes larger than the audience. And I feel if these films succeed, it’ll pave the way for filmmakers who spend more screentime on interesting things than spelling everything out.
Z has a band of crusaders, while here Kalki Koechlin initially fights the system alone. Was making her a lone crusader part of a Bollywood-friendliness, giving her more of a ‘heroine’ role?
Not at all. Shanghai is a film about outsiders. Kalki’s an outsider even to the activists, because she’s hyper and they think she’s damaging their cause. She’s also an outsider because of her skin colour. Similarly (Emraan’s) Jogi who isn’t a local, and (Abhay Deol’s) Krishnan who is trying to find the right balance. The first thing he asks for when he enters his makeshift chambers is All-Out. He’s not comfortable with the sweat and grime of Indian reality.
Every character in the film is grey and textured – the hoodlum who learns English and even your hero.
I really wanted to see if I could do it. (Prosenjit Chatterjee’s) Dr Ahmadi does the right thing, even lays down his life doing the right thing, and yet there are spots on this man’s character, spots that exist because people say they are spots. I wanted to see if he could still be a hero.
Finally, what sort of Shanghai reactions have you heard so far?
It’s unnerving. A lot of people have said they walked out of the hall quiet, slightly stunned. And everyone has their own favourites. Most like Emraan, some like Abhay, some like Farooque Shaikh. A woman’s favourite scene was the one between Kalki and Tilottama Shome. And I got a text message today saying ‘Anant Jog represents the silent India.’
“I will go out and watch Shanghai again. I will hope it picks up. Makes money. So that more people make more Shanghais. So that I get the weekly dose of entertainment I prefer.”
i think there is sort of an over hype that there aren’t enough good movies being made in india. for every bodyguard there is dum maaro dum, for every ready there is delhi belly, for every yamla pagla deewana there is no one killed jessica.
this year has been even better in terms of quality films finding success: vicky donor, kahaani, paan singh tomar, ishaqzaade, and now shanghai(slow but gradual increase).
then you have the biggest grosser of the all-time being a quality movie. yes a lot of trash becomes hits nowadays but i give the audience credit because a lot quality movies also become bona fide hits. i cannot explain ‘bodyguard’ being such a massive hit though. that is a total head scratcher…
When the highest grossers this year are films like Housefull 2 and RR- then you can’t make the case for quality entertainment triumphing. Even last year- well-made films like Shor in the City,
and Dhobi Ghat were not well-received but Ready and Bodyguard went on to be blockbusters and Don 2 and Murder 2 were hits- and the most celebrated film was one as mediocre as ZNMD.
As for Delhi Belly, NOKJ etc- they were not bad films by any means- but I do not think there was much merit to them either.
I was having some discussion with my college-mates over the merits of ZNMD last year. When I said it was not that great a film as it was being projected, they jumped upon me. I didnt argue with them coz I was left alone. and these are the sort who would like a Shanghai or a Dhobi Ghaat as much as RR / Dabangg or Singham. I think mass films have found accetance among the elite, who’d stay away from such films earlier. n now they’d flock to theatres every time a masala South-Indian remake hits the theaters.
and ami, yeh sab chaddo aur jaldi se Shanghai dekho.. kitne dukh ki aat hai ki itni badiya film ahi forum pe kam logon ne dekhi hai.. jahan tak mujhe yaad hai, alex ne housefull 2 aur rowdy ratjore dono pehle din hi dekh li thi.
you can’t expect a dhobi ghat and shor in the city to do what ready and bodyguard did. these movies didn’t provide enough entertainment or star power let alone a big enough release.
and this year you have vicky donor doing 40cr, ishaqzaade almost at 50cr…kahaani at 70cr? these kind of numbers would’ve never happened a decade ago for these kind of films. the audience is growing up and i am damn proud of them.
I don’t expect a Shor or a DG to make as much as a Salman masala film- but I do expect them to be accepted atleast on a lower level and I do not expect unbearably bad films like Bodyguard to make 150ish crores just because Salman stars in them.
“The point is, even though good films work in India many times, independent cinema is still not recognized and successful the way it should be..”
yeh toh saahi baat hai. but the ‘as it should be’ part i dont agree with. these films aren’t expected to reach big time numbers. they never get a proper release. that is not the indian audience’s fault.
in the past decade the quality level of indian cinema has risen so high…when you watch some films that were made in the 90’s, you just want to cringe. imo the audience has demanded better cinema by recognizing the quality and having them become a success.
of course im not saying all good films become successful…but the majority nowadays(if the movie is made right) becomes a ‘hit’.
and on DMD not being good, with all due respect, the consensus was that DMD was a good movie. so my point remains true.
Ami, now u will accuse me of demanding u for explanations but then ‘u have not seen RR and r commenting on its quality’. RR is a well-made film and is zillion times better than BG, Ready and even Hindi version of Singham (not the Tamil one). It deserves its blockbuster status
I’ve seen RR- went to watch Prometheus but arrived too late and the show had started so went for RR instead- walked out halfway through because I couldn’t stand it- I can understand that you were entertained by it and that it is a genre that you were partial to- but to say that it is well-made enough to be deserving of blockbuster status is not something that aligns with my opinion of the film in the least.
Did not sit through BG or Ready! Just skimmed through portions of the 2 films online with a few other windows open on my computer. Agree that RR was better than these two films- but that’s setting the bar for a good film far, far too low. If people can be happy at the success of these films- I do not understand how they can begrudge the success of a film like ZNMD or scorn at an EMAET. It’s like some kind of inverse snobbery.
Ghajini is the only other of these new masala film that I saw in the theatre- as I said it’s not a genre I like- but I can recognize that Ghajini is a well-made film and one deserving of success. Don’t think that any of the masala films that followed have matched up or deserved any serious accolades.
Agreed Ami. But Dabanng was a good film. BTW Ami if u want to see by far the best and most intelligent masala, definitely see Khaaki- someone like u will appreciate it. And i told u before, ZNMD is far better than RR, EMAET is not bad too (but ur piece was better than the film to be true)
Sanjana, could not have disagreed more with u. khakee is the last true-blue masala (ghajini and the likes r not true masala). it is definitely a thriller but who said masala can’t have thriller elements.Don was a thriller and masala. As Satyam says, Masala is a super-genre
I haven’t seen Ishaqzaade yet- but I’m really liking this trend of successful small films that are reasonably well-made + rooted in an authentic Indian milieu- like Vicky Donor and Kahaani. In my opinion it’s the most promising development at the Indian box office- far more so than the success of these masala films. And these small films seem to be much more respectful of their female characters than the big masala blockbusters as well- in addition to showing deglamourized middle class/ small town characters- so they are truly ‘inclusive’.
Hope this trend continues and the small films do not end up being crushed by the big films that are going to be releasing every few weeks for the rest of the year.
Ami, agreed on these small yet mainstream films. ishaqzaade was very watchable but nothing more. Vicky Donor was a very good film. But the best film abt moffusil and small towns remains Dhulia’s debut “Haasil” (his best film so far). And Ami since u like dark thrillers, if u can find it, do see Sudhir Mishra’s “Iss Raat Ki Subah Nahi”- have not seen a better thriller of this kind in India.
Ami, u r one of the few whom i know who have seen Iss Raat (loved Nirmal Pandey’s act). and i absolute loved YSZ. btw have u seen Mishra’s other great film ‘Dharavi’. what abt his ‘Calcutta Mail’? Haasil is easily available on Dvds and is there on youtube too (irrfan is in great form here- haven’t seen the film since it releases). yes, PST was one admirable film but it could have been a great one. And yes u r right there r common themes in Mishra’s Iss Raat, YSZ and Calcutta Mail
it wasn’t a good film i’ll agree. i’ll have to put it into the ‘sallu factor’ category. again i wasn’t saying all good films do well..and all bad films are being rejected…but the trajectory of quality films finding success has been a joy to see for the past decade. hence i strongly disagreed with that above article/opinion. its not as bad as that person made it out to be.
Tony glad that u liked Machete- i am quite a fan of the film. Apart from engaging violent scenes, it also has a nice political backdrop (just like in ‘once upon a time in mexico’). I esp like Mickey Rourke’s sedate turn here and Robert De Niro seemed to be having a lot of fun. The violent scenes have been filmed very creatively. Also scenes b/w Machete and Father r well-scripted.Btw they have used a double for Lindsey Lohan in the ‘threesome scene in the pool’.
Saw a great film and wud love to share my thoughts about it.the film gaandu is made by a bengali eccentric director called kaushik.i called him eccentric because apparently he calls himself “Q”….what could it stand for? a question mark? very much like the character K of kafka’s masterpiece Trial.another of his peculiarity is that he never makes a public appearance without wearing goggles(often his goggles have outrageous shades…green,orange,etc.)
saw a few of his interviews and he struck me as kind of odd.
now coming to the movie.the opening scene itself gives a glimpse of the kind of movie it is going to be.the eponymous character,gaandu is an adolescent lad of 16.his father is dead and he lives with her mom.he has left studies and is generally unfocused and aimless in life.the house they live in has been provided by a local cyber cafe owner,who is also the paramour of his mother.apparaently he only comes to have sex her,as he is married.now,the opening scene of this movie is the most shocking scene i have ever seen in my life on cinema.the camera is closely focused on the protagonist gaandu.and he is fuming with rage.in the background one hears the voices of furious love making.his mother is giving all the sound effect while her lover is piping her like a flute.Gaandu is very angry at this state of affairs.so he gets down on his knees..and quietly steals into the bedroom.the lovers r “at it on bed” and gaandu on his knees…..sneaks in and reaches the chair…where the pant of her mother’s lover lies.he fishes out the purse…with a very “mean”…”a man on purpose” look on his face..and takes out a few 100 rupee notes..and hurriedly shuffles out… as the title song breaks…gaanduuuuuu!
Off the topic. Nowadays dubbed telugu and tamil films are all over the tv channels.Who watches them and who can watch them? As the dubbed language is hindi and the faces are typical southindians, it is difficult to connect with them for the hindi audience. And even tamil and telugu people cant digest these dubbed versions which are atrocious. They are almost carttonish.
While all the others are natural in their natural colors, the heroines and also main ladies are very fair in color. If a male lead is dark, why cant his leading lady also be dark ?
Rowdy Rathore Records Third Biggest Second Weekend Ever
Monday 11th June 2012 10.00 IST
Boxofficeindia.Com Trade Network
Rowdy Rathore had the third biggest second weekend of all time as it collected 22 crore nett. The collections on Sunday were a huge 10.50 crore nett. This is the first time that any film apart from Three Idiots has seen a 10 crore plus day in its second week.
Three Idiots had collected over 10 crore nett on its second Friday (New Year’s Day Holiday) and second Sunday. The collections jumped a huge 40% on Sunday as families came out in a big way like the previous Sunday.
The appreciation for Rowdy Rathore is arcoss the board and in all circuits. It is universally the most appreciated film of 2012 till date and the biggest hit of 2012.
Three Idiots with 33 crore nett plus and Dabangg with 24 crore nett plus are the only second weekends that are bigger.
Satyam u r right. And as i had said before RR is simply much better than BG, ready and Hindi Singham (not Suriya one)- btw did u see the link on this thread which i had put which was regarding Akshay doing a remake of Mammootty’s “Pokkiri Raja”? what do u feel abt this project?
Rowdy Rathore has emerged the biggest hit of 2012 and the first BLOCKBUSTER film of the year. The film is heading for nett business of around 135 crore which would make it the fourth highest grossing film of all time.
The all India distributor share of the film will be near the 75 crore mark making it a Blockbuster, Agneepath was 65 crore plus and Housefull 2 around 58 crore, both were the Super Hit films of 2012 and biggest hits of the year prior to Rowdy Rathore.
In Mumbai circuit the film may become the second biggest film of all time, it is sure to cross the business of Bodyguard and Dabangg and should also beat Golmaal 3 which is at number two in Mumbai at the moment.
Ready, the first blockbuster of 2011 also released in the same week last year and that film grossed 121 crore nett.
If it can get to 135 crores it would have done very well of course but would still be short of the 150 crores it would need to double its initial and repeat the Ghajini trending. And actually the latter more than double its seven day number which was in the 55 crore range (eventually did 115). Of all the 100 crores grossers only Singham has double its week 1 number but this also started off much lower than all the others. Even a film like Dabanng did not match 3I in this sense. But what this also means is that adjusted for inflation RR isn’t ahead of Ghajini even in an absolute sense. Most of these movies aren’t for that matter. Of course it is also true that Ghajini’s numbers were well ahead of the competition at that time as were 3I’s a year later. None of these other films has quite done the same. My point here is that the numbers can be sliced and diced a number of ways but the Ghajini total just stands out as the most impressive one in every way. And my further thesis here is that you can get the initial going for a number of reasons but for the best trending you need a stronger narrative and something more than a ‘nothing’ film.
I too am very happy for Akshay, but did not like RR that much..Singham is way better than RR, The villains(cartoonish and crude) and the screenplay ( so all over the place) are very bad in RR but Akshay is pretty good in both the parts.. In short RR>Singham???really, Don’t Comedy ME!!!!!!!!!.
Shanghai fell flat on Sunday as collections could not grow as they did on Saturday and it grossed around 12 crore nett over the weekend.
The film had built a decent platform on Saturday to come out with a half decent weekend and good trending which would take the film into Monday on a good wicket but it was not to be.
The approx breakdown on the weekend are 3.25 crore nett on Friday, 4.25 crore nett on Saturday and 4.50 crore nett on Sunday.
Shanghai managed to get good reviews and with collections at low levels, this helped it put on growth on Saturday but eventually you need good word of mouth to keep going which the Sunday figures show is on the negative side for Shanghai.
For films like Shanghai it all boils down to word of mouth, these type of films can have the best reviews, the best marketing, even item songs but without good word of mouth they have no chance of succeeding.
am sad for Dibankar banerjee, I really like his films but am happy that AK’s ( and his chamchas) egos where he thinks his tweets can make or break a movie has been punctured…….Milap Zaveri was at the receiving end from AK’s chamchas for saying that Shanghai flopped becoz it was bsd …
There is a backlash in the comments against Kashyap and his cronies hyping movies.
“A coterie of people can declare this to be the movie-of-the-decade and celebrate among themselves. But for a majority, there is nothing in the movie which they have not seen before. Plus, in the name of going into the details, this is painfully slow. Seems DB is taking himself too seriously. Also, I think its high time I should stop trusting blindly what AK recommends. It has been a few times now that it has not worked for me, at-least. And saying that this is the best work than anything that AK/ DB has done so far is taking it too far. Of-course, people can always label that I don’t understand the movie and that is fine with me.”
“Now coming to the hype and the way it was generated is the thing that actually scares me because it leads to an amount of feeling cheated which leads to strong reactions after getting out of the hall…Wished neither Anurag and the coterie had not overhyped the film and the critics show some credibility in making fair judgements….Sad as Dibakar had a great material on hand and it is nowhere near OLLO/KKG.”
“Irony is that this could have been another kahaani (in terms of collection) but the biggest irony is that we may probably lose Dibakar of KKG unless people close to him start giving him an honest feedback. Somebody needs to tell him this is an average movie and definitely not as good as it has been made out”
“The “audience” liked LSD, Paan Singh Tomar, Vicky Donor and Khosla ka Ghosla , you cant bastardize the same “audience” if they reject any movie purely on content..just proves that you DONOT respect YOUR AUDIENCE in the first place..OR it proves that your real “audience” for movies like Shanghai is still very small…will help in keeping the budget in check next time..and in all this hullabaloo I still do not think Dibakar Banerjee would be worried at all.. he would have liked a weekend gross bigger than 12 Cr, but I don’t think this movie is a dud at all, it should make some profits, His cred and positive reviews have definitely helped though word of mouth is not there..His reputation as a good and important director is still intact(which I feel is more important), the movie has made a good impact by virtue of its theme which is unoriginal but honest in its portrayal.. rahi baat about commercial returns..you make a movie about money grabbing, corruption, greed, and socialism and then after release crib maaro ke “haye raam Rowdy Rathore ne meri picture se zyaada paisa banaya” .. be shameless like Sanjay Leela Bhansali, ke boss maine paise kamaane ke liye Rowdy Rathore banayi..
If movies became hits solely because of “good intent and social themes” then “Khele hum je jaan se” should have been a blockbuster..tab kisi ke conscience nahi jaaga.. but did I see the same critics shredding Ashutosh Gowariker to pieces cos he is not part of the brat pack..”
I don’t necessarily agree with some of these comments but this is nonetheless an example of part of my Kashyap critique. When you simply assert the value of a film and when you have that tone of absolute insistence that everyone ‘must’ like it this kind of commentary is one of the consequences. First off you have not really supported other films along the same lines. Secondly you have never really fostered a proper discussion on cinema. Now it is entirely one’s prerogative not to do so but if one then suddenly starts going crazy over one film it’s a bit hard to digest, whether one likes the film in question or not.
Shanghai Picks Up, Then Tanks
by Shabdita Shrivastav (June 11, 2012)
Last week’s release Shanghai featuring Emraan Hashmi, Abhay Deol and Kalki Koechlin opened to a dismal response of just 15 per cent on Friday. However, the film has slowly picked up over the weekend to clock 35 to 40 per cent in a few circuits. But Monday saw a sharp drop in collections, back to the 10-15 per cent mark.
In Mumbai, Rajesh Thadani of Multimedia Combines says, “Shanghai opened to 20 to 25 per cent on Friday and collections increased by 15 to 20 per cent over the weekend. On Sunday, occupancy was 35 to 40 per cent but today, the film has seen a drastic drop.”
There’s better news from South Delhi, where G D Mehta of Bobby Arts International says, “In the Delhi-UP circuit, the South Delhi belt drew a better response compared to other places. The weekend began with 20 to 25 per cent occupancy and improved on Saturday to 40 to 45 per cent. On Sunday, occupancy was higher, at 50 per cent. But today, collections are back to less than 25 per cent.”
However, Surendra Saluja of Lakshya Movies says the audience in the Delhi-UP circuit in general has not liked the film and collections are average. “On Friday, the film opened to 15-20 per cent, which dropped to 10 per cent on Saturday and rose to 30 per cent on Sunday. Today, occupancy is less than opening day.”
According to Sunit Singh of Aum Moviez in West Bengal, “Shanghai is doing well in select cinemas only. The film opened to 20 to 25 per cent collections, increased to 55-60 per cent over the weekend but dropped to 25 per cent today.”
The verdict in Rajasthan is unanimous: Shanghai has tanked. Vasudev Chachan of Sunny Films says, “The film’s response was 10 to 15 per cent from Friday to Sunday. It’s the same today too. Only a few single-screen cinemas are screening the film and even in these cinema halls, it is not faring well.”
Jeetu Khandelwal of Movie Pioneers in Orissa says, “The film opened with 30 per cent occupancy on Friday and went up to 45 per cent on Sunday. But collections have dropped to 20 per cent.”
Yes I liked this a lot. The book is even darker in some ways but this is definitely a film to be seen. Also liked along the same lines Tailor of Panama (same author) though this is a lighter watch and easily the ‘lesser’ film.
Satyam, on that note, here is the trailer of Fernando Meirelles’ (City of God and The Constant Gardener) upcoming psycho-sexual drama “360”- stars Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law, Rachel Weisz and Ben Foster-
Media is being a little unfair to Shanghai.
Certsainly the numbers are not very good but the commentary is pathetic. I dont think this film was going to put up huge numbers to begin. On table, it will certainly break even. It certainly is not a film that has been hugely accepted but it has found atleast a share of its audience.
I hope not and I dont think so.
I think he has ambitions beyond what he has been doing so far and has gotten considerable critical acclaim here. I would hope he can build on this. I am not convinced if he has a future outside the regular fare he had been churning out before but atleast people have liked his act here.
I do agree that the media is being unfair. But this is where they sometimes fall into their own trap. The trade for example has been peddling Hashmi for a while. Then the media makes it a much bigger film that it ought to be in terms of the expectations game. As I’ve said before OLLO made half the weekend gross of Shanghai over its entire run. Even allowing for some of the 26/11 issues and even being very generous and doubling it’s gross you still have not more than a 10 crore grosser. Shanghai might go upto 20 if it remains stable but it should certainly add another 5 crores or so. Again LSD too didn’t do more than 10-12 crores over its entire run. So once more the expectations were rather out of whack. It’s fair to say that the film doesn’t look to be holding on even within its limited segment if that indeed is the case. But otherwise if one just went by the usual expectations for a DB film one wouldn’t find this gross poor.
And to repeat my favorite point if in this sort of film you add a major star you might get a bigger initial and so on (D6 for example) but you can’t really change the fundamentals. And it’s not about this political subject. Anything that’s really different is more or less capped at 20 crores, 30-35 if a major star is part of it or a bit more allowing for inflation (Kaminey). Now there is the Rock On kind of film that can do 30 crores even without a major star but this is a much more accessible subject that satisfies its core multiplex audience.
The whole flaws argument also doesn’t work for films like Shanghai. These might exist but this is never a problem for more acceptable subjects. The different film has to be almost perfect in this sense.
Once more it’s also that everything from Shanghai to RR is graded along the same spectrum which is absurd. So it’s everyone from the trade/media to the fans and so on. You have silly questions like ‘how can it not work?’ (this time thrown around by Kashyap or maybe he retweeted someone’s comment) or ‘it must work!’.
The fact is that had it been so easy to get success doing different Abhishek in many esteemed projects would have had a lot more of it! Once again the issue is that these films have to be perfect. Aamir is the only guy who’s figured out how to thread the needle though of course this also means pushing the audience only so far. It’s a perfectly defensible ‘compromise’ position that he has but one of the consequences here is that he’s not likely to agree to either Shanghai or D6!
In his most recent interview (available in the SJ episode 6 thread) he interestingly talks about something that clearly applies to his film choices as well. He says that in a mass medium you have to use broader strokes and you can’t get into nuance too much. As a pragmatic matter he’s absolutely right. And this is certainly a very interesting window into how he approaches things and how his films have shaped up. MP was one film that had broader strokes but also enough nuance that complicated the latter. This is a mistake Aamir didn’t repeat. And the way to avoid it is to focus very much on the ‘human’ narrative element. Since this is commercial cinema and not exactly a literary medium by doing so you can eliminate a great deal of the ‘nuance’. So all of his films are really propelled by this very strong narrative focus. On the other hand DG wasn’t that sort of film. His prestige still took it to a remarkable number but clearly the film didn’t have many takers even in a limited sense. Again a much more ambiguous storyline here. Aamir was very aware of this which is why in the run-up to this film he talked about it in very different terms as an art-house film and so on. He was quite right.
Again all his choices are very defensible, I’ve of course been celebrating them for the longest time. But it’s important to be precise in these matters and keep these distinctions in mind. Aamir has tackled risky subjects, made successes out of almost all of them. But he’s not really doing a D6. There’s a difference. It’s not as if he appears in D6 and it’s a hit. But in fairness to him he clearly does not believe in such a course even in a larger sense. Because for him it betrays the ‘essence’ of what a mass medium is about. Now I happen to disagree with him on this but nonetheless there is an internal consistency to all his choices within this last decade and now including this show.
Many of his critics are therefore completely wrong about him on the blogosphere. They might be cynical partisans but the substance of their criticism is also totally misguided. On the other hand the fans also make the very same error in their own exuberance. They try to convert him into an auteur-like figure or even a Kamalahasan kind of presence. On this last there is some kind of correspondence but it’s not too exact. specially given Kamal’s directorial choices.
Also in the same interview Aamir says he finds it amusing when people see him as a cerebral figure or a thinker when he is not that way at all. Here too I actually think he’s sincere. Because he doesn’t have that kind of auteurist sensibility. He is more invested in ‘meaningful’ cinema one way or the other. His ideal cinema is quite likely the 70s and not anything before this. Every one of his choices could easily fit into a 70s spectrum from the commercial to the ‘middle cinema’ elements. So really even his supporters have exaggerated what he is about beyond measure for their own cynical reasons.
Part of it is the media culture we live in. There was that piece on Aamir which suggested that he’s done a lot of things which no one else did. Within his contexts a lot of this is true but then the writer goes too far with it by unfavorably comparing Bachchan to him. The problem is that Bachchan’s contexts were very different. For just the reason I’ve pointed out a lot of Aamir’s choices would have seemed much more normal in that period and of course Bachchan was doing all those films. The great middle cinema of that period is amply represented in his career. Similarly to say that the revolutionary Javed-Akhtar moments in his career were “mainstream” is a bit like suggesting De Niro was doing easy stuff with Scorsese in the 70s! So again some of these journalists simply don’t know what they’re talking about but the larger point from my perspective here is that both sides routinely misread Aamir. What he’s brought about this past decade is both more and less. It is a remarkable body of work where his gestures have been incredibly useful in very many ways. But he’s not been on a fast-track to Awara or Kaagaz ke Phool or Deewar and he’d be the first to say this!
ha–im getting roles everywhere–and that too lead roles–in cocktail, srk-yrf film and now here..
the catch it that in order to make it ‘financially viable’ after this poor box office show, certain ‘tweaks’ will be made
I dont want to spoil my box office record–and will add some ‘segments’ that the audience ‘expect’from my role..
ps–so certain roles will be added
and can only shudder to think of what amy(kalki), oldgolds roles will become for adding ‘glamour’ etc ….
There has been a lot of rant on the Internet on why our audience have got de-sensitized to good cinema. Amusing. Because not too long ago, we were saying the opposite when Paan Singh Tomar, Kahaani and Vicky Donor showed excellent box office performance despite all odds. Surely, we can’t decide to brand our audiences mature or immature according to our convenience.
So here’s what I think went wrong. Shanghai must take the discredit of being the worst marketed film of recent times. Unlike Paan Singh Tomar, where there was no attempt to market the film at all, Shanghai had a campaign being backed by respectable marketing moolah, but very poor messaging http://shaileshkapoor.com/2012/06/10/error-marketing-not-found/
this was just such a nice watch…..the audience were very honest ith their opnion about Abhay and Dibankar…
best part was Dibankar recounting – that he went to a party and guy said to him abot LSD- sir kya picture thee, na love tha na Sex tha, sirf dhoka hee dhoka tha …LOL!!
this was a very engaging watch and I like Bannerjee’s/Abhay’s demeanor(s) here but I must say I really dislike this whole ‘hey we’re Indians, we usually make over the top films’ line. It is peddled dogmatically again and again by a certain bourgeois mindset and not once have I ever heard a public figure describe it adequately for what is.
That’s for posting this Rocky- very enjoyable watch. I like how humble and down-to-earth Abhay is- and Dibarkar is hilariouslty witty! I loved his anecdotes about the reaction to LSD. I thought his reaction to the political thriller vs. drama question was a bit of a copout though- why not make a political procedural drama about the investigation? Why make a thriller that doesn’t thrill and then explain that you are more interested in how things happen and not whether people are surprised by the plot? I thought he was being pretty dismissive of the genre . But overall he came off as very entertaining and intelligent- as always.
I only wish that Anupama Chopra would choose a panel of viewers who are a little more intelligent and articulate- perhaphs Satyam, GF, Saket etc should volunteer to go on her show.
Thanks for the compliment..not sure how I’d fit into this sort of stuff (!). The real problem with all these shows is that the range of responses is always predictable. Obviously this is TV so you can only expect so much but it’s important to remember that one cannot just say ‘anything’ even on issues that would not seem that important. In other words expressing any sort of view on Shanghai is hardly like attacking Sonia Gandhi or something! But the same logic governs both. So here on Shanghai too it’s obviously scripted. You choose a certain kind of articulate viewer who even when critical is so in very mild ways. The director and star appear on the show knowing that they will not be subject to just ‘any’ criticism. I give them credit for being unassuming though, it’s not an act in that sense, but nonetheless it’s a very ‘controlled’ experiment. Again I’m not naive about how TV works, just that we tend to forget this from time to time.
In any discussion I am always interested in the questions that are ‘not’ being asked. Because these often tell us much more about the assumptions implicit in any such exchange than the ones that are raised. Similarly there is always a set of points that could be made that if you will ‘explode’ the existing framework. I’m not saying one should simply do this as a pyromaniac or something (!) but because this exercise serves a genuine function. And for example I criticized that exchange, moreso on the part of the ‘audience’ in that show, for once again invoking those tired cliches of how Indian cinema tends to be ‘over the top’ and what not. The wrong approach here is to highlight films like Shanghai as alternatives and so on. They are this of course but that’s not the crux of the point. The real issue, from my perspective, is this banal prejudice where people belonging to a certain class have historically (which is to say since the advent of masala and more specifically as a response to the Bachchan signature) constantly defined commercial cinema in such reductive ways. And so there is an ideological symptom thus displayed. Which by the way even those who then take the opposite view then reaffirm. So for example Abhishek when he’s at the BAFTA thing or wherever tends to simply flip things around when asked the same question. everything that is then considered ‘bad’ by the majority in this sense is defined by him as a ‘good’. But either way a thinking of what that ‘thing’ is does not come about. So if it is ‘bad’ why is it so? Being ‘over the top’ is just an abstraction that doesn’t mean anything. One could for example say that all opera is over the top! That’s not a critical category. Similarly if it ‘good’ what makes it so. Just the fact that the cinema has ‘song and dance’ (the usual trite shorthand for everyone) cannot be a good in-itself! One must explain what makes it so. So both sides really play on the same turf even if admittedly there are still very few willing to defend it in any sense. The Johars of the world are really only supporting cinema since the 90s, their own brand, which they then see as correcting the excesses of masala. For Abhishek on the other hand the defense comes about by an even greater level of abstraction where he does even differentiate between the two.
Nowhere in Bollywood are there people who can truly explain to us what the strengths of masala cinema were. When they do talk about it they’re usually referring to the great Salim-Javed scripts or something. But my question is a much larger one: what might there be about this peculiarly Indian tradition that offers first off a very interesting chapter in world cinema but more to the point what are the means of representation employed in this ‘super-genre’, what are the codes deployed at various levels to not just better represent ‘Indian experience’ better than the alternatives which in turn would make many of the aesthetic choices comprehensible?
This is another example where one misses ‘Western’ criticism. A John Wayne film is examined for what it is. Better still no one blames Douglas Sirk for being ‘melodramatic’ when this is very often the point of his cinema. The question is whether it works or not. No one is opposed to the very notion of melodrama though (even if there is even here something of a cultural bias… so Sirk can play the exception to he rule! this is a whole different debate).
This is why I have constantly argued for Ghajini more than any of the other attempts in this masala ‘resurgence’ evident in Bollywood. Because almost all the other efforts operate at the level of either straight comedy or ironic distance. There’s the whole wink and nod to the audience – hey don’t take it too seriously because we don’t either! But masala is precisely what always had to be taken seriously once upon a time. People got the comedy and there was a lot of tongue-in-cheek involved even at the genre’s peak (Desai for example) but ultimately no one was confused about the fact that there were real stakes involved. Even in films that ostensibly function like comedies, say AAA, the framing was often very serious. Contrary to the whole bourgeois stereotype of front-benchers patronizing these films for escapist reasons (a dishonest claim on purely factual grounds) I think it was just the opposite. These films worked on ‘cathartic’ grounds! In other words there always had to be a certain investment on the part of the viewer. In the current Telugu masala manifestations that we see in Bombay you can really sit back and watch the films in a certain mindless way. You couldn’t do that with older masala because there very often deeply unsettling or uncomfortable things in these films, either in terms of socio-political resonance or at the basic level of plot. And even when things ended happily ever after not all the misery incurred during the course of the story could be put back into the bag. very few films in the 70s were purely escapist in that sense. Even at a box office level if one goes down the list year by the year sheer escapism would very rarely be rewarded as much as the more involved kind of masala. But people are not aware of any of this today. The idea that AAA for example is just a comedy that one consumes much the same way that one watched say Dabanng today is absolutely false!
But Satyam- while what you say might have been very true for the 70s- most films made in Bollywood today are meant to be consumed in a mindless manner- be it the new breed of masala films or the multiplex rom-coms. And when a film cannot be consumed mindlessly- it most often tends to fail- be it Raavan or D6 or Shangai or LBC or whatever else.
I think that Dibarkar’s anecdote about the man who was frustrated that he couldn’t enjoy the pizza while watching LSD was brilliant because it illustrated exactly how disposable entertainment is today and how disturbed the general audience gets when a film refuses to be yet another consumer product and insists on being an experience by itself. I did not find his sentiments bourgeois in the least.
Sanjay leela Bhansali- Lataji (Lata Mangeshkar) sings the soft “Allah tero naam” and the massy “Bangle ke peeche” with equal flawlessness. I can’t claim to be as versatile. I will direct the films I am comfortable with. The films I direct will continue to reveal my aesthetics.
My father(Naveen Bhansali) produced a film called “Jahaaji Lootera”. Somewhere in my subconscious, “Jahaaji Lootere” has remained embedded. It has now surfaced in “Rowdy Rathore”. http://ibnlive.in.com/news/rowdy-opened-new-doors-in-my-vision-bhansali/265434-8-66.html
Dibakar Banerjee’s Shanghai had critics going gaga over it. Though, trade pundits had hinted that the film may not get a blockbuster opening that is expected from an Emraan Hashmi venture, the weekend collection of approximately Rs 12 crore may force them to change their minds. In fact, trade analyst Amod Mehra predicted, “Shanghai will break even. That is for sure.”
However, according to the makers, the film has already recovered its cost. Distributor Rajesh Thadani, for one says it is the satellite rights that have helped its cause. “Though theatrical response to the film is not up to the mark, the satellite rights have helped it sail through,” said Thadani.
TOI has learnt that the satellite rights of Shanghai have been sold for Rs 8 crore and the music rights for Rs 2.75 crore. Also, 20 per cent of theatrical rights have been sold for Rs 4 crore.
The producers claim that the film was made on a tight budget of Rs 19.5 crore. When asked how they managed to rope in Emraan Hashmi, Abhay Deol, Kalki Koechlin and Prosenjeet Chatterjee on such meagre monies, producer Priya Sreedharan explained, “It is not right to compare a small movie to a big budget film. They have all done it for us for a good price. We are glad to have recovered costs.”
Incidentally, Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahaani starring Vidya Balan, had a similar start earlier this year. The film that opened to a small audience, with effective word of mouth publicity, went on to pull bigger numbers in the second week. Shanghai too has a week before Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Ferrari Ki Sawaari takes over the theatres.
But that hasn’t managed to take away from director Dibakar’s happiness. “The film is doing great. In fact, today I was in a suburban multiplex with Emraan for the 3.30 pm show. There was 60 per cent occupancy,” he told TOI.
Co-producer Kamal Gyanchandani, CEO, PVR Pictures, says, “Made for Rs. 12.5 crore, it had earned Rs. 16.5 crore even before it released. This money, which is in addition to the weekend figures, came from the sale of television, music and theatrical rights (only 20 per cent) in India. The figures for the balance 80 per cent sale of all India theatrical, overseas rights and video rights are yet to come in.”
The filmmakers also spent Rs. 8 crore on the promotion of the film.
Trade pundit Taran Adarsh says, “Shanghai started slow, but showed decent growth at high-end multiplexes on Saturday and Sunday.”
Adds trade analyst Komal Nahta, “The film made Rs. 3.10 crore on Friday, Rs. 4.25 crore on Saturday and Rs. 5 crore on Sunday. It collected approximately Rs. 12.35 crore on the opening weekend.”
Dhobi Ghat is not the same deal though. Shanghai is an alternative film facing all the pitfalls that a ‘different’ film does. But it’s still not art-house the way DG was. Whether one likes the film or not is a different matter. I’m just talking about the pure categorization here. The equivalent of this film would do very modestly even in the US. This is the kind of work one routinely sees on the festival circuit. And it is not the kind of thing that usually even gets the foreign film Oscar.
yes you’re quite right on the budget.. no one is better at managing budgets than Aamir, something that doesn’t get talked about every often. irrespective of the scale of the production no one can get it done cheaper than Aamir. On this score Abhishek has learnt something from him because both Paa and Bbuddah were triumphs of budgeting. The former especially was a superhit on profitability margins, both for producers and distributors even if Nahta and Adarsh and so on pretended not to notice.
Well, I certainly do think Shanghai is comparable to DG.. Shanghai’s budget may be higher but strictly talking to the content and feel, they can be considered in the same ballpark. Also, Aamir was very much a part of the film, fresh from the overwhelming success of 3 idiots..
From what I see, Shanghai has been more liked than DG. and has trended better. that well explains the figure it has achieved. It is even the biggest grosser DB has directed, by a margin – even if one counts for inflation.
Tony, Satyam is right here. DG was a true-blue festival/art film (like Peddlers, Miss Lovely and Patang). Shanghai is a ‘different film’ but not an art film by any means (it’s not even in the category of say Udaan or PST- LSD on the other hand seemed more offbeat than Shanghai)- heck it even had an item number- yes it can be compared to Vicky Donor, Kahaani and SBAG etc
I get your point saurabh but if you talk about theatrical business then you also take into account what the audience feels for a film. They wont care if a film is an arthouse venture or a different film. they will view Shanghai with the same expectations they have for Dhobi Ghat..
No Tony actually they don’t. Hate to put it bluntly but half of the audience who came for Shanghai was due to Hashmi’s presence which gives it a massy look. Also the most publicized aspect of the film was the ‘thriller’ element (a political thriller is much more mass friendly subject than sumthing like DG). also ‘any’ film which has item number is definitely trying to break into mainstream (there r many other ways of showing satire than an item number)
They absolutely did but notice how the stars function differently in each case. In one instance a film that the director thinks can have somewhat wider appeal features certain stars (of course I do not at all agree with Saurabh’s sense of Hashmi’s ‘mass appeal’ or whatever but that’s another matter), at least for that terrain. With DG though Aamir walks into a film that is precisely not like TZP. In other words this is not an example of middle cinema where the presence of a star can enhance a film that potentially has a certain appeal in terms of the subject (a very human story and so on). Put differently still people normally don’t show up for a film like TZP but if they did they’d like it. Aamir then becomes that ‘bridge’ here. On the other hand DG is not the same deal. People wouldn’t like this film in any circumstance and here Aamir again gets the audience in but it’s a bridge to nowhere. So with certain subjects the star can add something or at least get the audience in for a subject with potential appeal. In the other instance he’s simply making the film safe because it could never have any appeal otherwise. Shanghai fits the former mold, not the latter one.
They did u r right. But DG had no other angle working for it si after the 1st day, it fizzled out. And before the release, Aamir truthfully said everywhere that this is a festival film. he, to an extent, even ‘negatively publicized’ the film by saying that it will be ‘without an intermission break’ and even that ‘he is not playing the true lead’ and so on. And so bcos of this honesty, no one was disappointed with the final gross. it only ended up being another feather in Aamir’s cap
Doga, the problem is that this very same logic is not applied to big budget productions. Shouldn’t Ra One be called a theatrical and trending disaster too? The proportions are more or less the same in every sense. It doesn’t matter that it did a 100 crores or whatever when 90% of it came because of an initial! And this film didn’t even recover it’s production costs, it entailed big losses (something I incidentally know for a fact). But such terms are never used for the film. People might call it a flop in instances but never more than this because the 100 crore tag supposedly covers up for a lot. But it doesn’t. if you lose money on a film do you really care whether the film made 20 crores or 100? In fact if you have to make losses you’d prefer these to be off a smaller investment than a bigger one. Hence rather the 20 crore flop than the 100 crore one!
Ra One is an extreme example but very many other big budget films that make 75-80% of their gross in week 1 and then essentially tank (or actually start tanking after the first 4-5 days) are somehow supposed to be ok even in the worst case scenario. 100 crores doesn’t mean anything. Because the laws of physics if you will (here math and accounting) don’t change because the films make that much money. Which is why in Hollywood many 100m or 200m grossers are considered flops or huge disappointing. Why? because they look at all the costs entailed. I know Bollywood has this magic accounting system peddled by the likes of Nahta and Adarsh and the rest of the trade and sites like BOI and frankly everyone buys into this nonsense but this is really the stuff of fiction (of course Nahta once he gets to his journal has dramatically different ratings for the films he glibly calls hits in the media).
So that whole DG thing can be accepted if the same logic is applied everywhere. Don’t tell me that a film becomes safe or profitable at 100 crores irrespective of costs incurred all round. Because if this is true some folks in India should be receiving Nobels for crossing those new frontiers in math and econ that Hollywood is not yet capable of. Where you spend anything on a film and the moment it touches 100 crores some combination of the gross and the satellite deals and so on supposedly make everything safe.
I hate to be so blunt about it but a lot of such claims, no matter who makes them, are nonsense.
Yes for me personally… DG is a Recovery + (though BO underperformed,Trending Bad)… and Ra.One is a Flop.(BO underperformed and ROI wise also losses and trending also Bad)…
Problem is media/trade projection esp for big movies and that also for big stars is more based on just Theatrical Business rather than taking ROI,Expectations etc into account…
And even i agree that theatrical is one of the 3 important figures of merit(along with ROI and Trending), infact as far as Stardom is concerned opening in theatrical business is single most important indicator(taking other packaging into account…)
Anyways, i wont say in general media or trade has been linient on Ra.One…
Yes majority of trade shyed away from saying its outright flop etc… but in general media, its perception is of a failure/disappointment if not a outright disaster..
Otherwise though.. even though i know 175-200+ cr was easily expected from Ra.one, and even taking into account the festive weekend it got its release and so on the 115 cr or so it did still is better than other major disasters of the past…
So, Ra.one is a disaster for SRK, perception wise , considering the oppurtunity cost…but BO wise probably a flop as it did do decent business though a lot more was expected….Trending though suggested how it was not liked by the audience at all…
Dhobi Ghat was also not at all liked by the theatrical audience, there are few youtube videos one can check….
Taking everything into account..
Ra.One = Flop
DG = Recovery+
Ofcourse, these things become more crystal clear usually as time passes by….
but my point is that every film big film is treated leniently once it reaches a certain gross. And the expectations game should increase the burden on big productions as is the case in Hollywood but it is quite the opposite in Bombay where the greater your investment the more lenient the ‘verdicts’ become. Why? Because in most case a big production gets to a minimal gross. Which then seems not bad compared to the grosses of all smaller movies. This is how it’s played by the trade. But this is insane. Do you know that on the Avengers to make the film truly profitable they needed to gross 400 or something?! How many films make 400m in Hollywood? Not many. But nonetheless that’s what the costs on the Avengers entailed. Much as Avatar actually had to be one of the biggest grossers ever by quite a margin to justify its costs. Now I’m not saying this is the only way to examine a film’s success. Obviously off a 70m or so opening if Avatar had done 400m it would have still meant the audience liked it a lot on trending grounds and so on. But Hollywood still wouldn’t have called it a success at that number. Much as I remember a huge NY Times story on Forest Gump where the film’s 350m or whatever was dissected and the point made was that though the film made this huge amount and trended very well it was nonetheless not very profitable for the studio at all because Hanks and Zemeckis had a profit sharing arrangement where each collected 40m! That accounted for 80m! Not much was left after this went and all others costs and taxes and so on were taken care of!
One can’t be sentimental about these things! Either one looks at costs or trending or both. But it’s hard to justify some of the 100 crore grossers on any one of these grounds. They certainly trend not poorly but disastrously by Hollywood standards (as well as those still prevalent in the South as well as those displayed by Aamir’s films!). In terms of costs they sometimes break even or show something very modest. They certainly don’t qualify for the hit tag or whatever they’ve given in the popular media. As I’ve repeatedly said Nahta for example says one thing here and quite another in his journals. There are tons of SRK films that he doesn’t classify as hits in his journal. So first of all there’s basic dishonesty here. But the larger point is that we read media puff pieces where all sorts of numbers are thrown out. Absurd claims like ‘the film cost 100 crores but the satellite rights were 70 crores, the UK govt paid another 10, we just had to make 20 which we did on day 1, the film made 60 overall and it’s a blockbuster’! This is not even exaggeration. These are literally the sorts of claims made. With no verification whatsoever. Just very neat ‘whole’ figures thrown out and balanced out like kindergarten math! The whole complexity of the distribution food chain completely ignored. so on and so forth. It’s simply not serious to buy into these narratives even assuming one is being honest. But then where else does one get these numbers from?!
No because I doubt reporting where Ghajini costs mysteriously higher than the average 100 crore grosser! And with Aamir at the helm who whether he’s actually producing the film or not keep costs low. So I do not buy that number at all!
Even OSO I doubt cost 80 crores for that matter.
RNBDJ was made on a low budget, not sure about all the numbers here but it wasn’t a very profitable film for Yashraj because SRK had a major profit agreement here and the same will be true on their next film. But that’s a somewhat different debate.
There are two issues here — where do you get these numbers from? That’s the problem I have on all of this. It’s not enough to say you got it from a trade journal or something when these guys are so unreliable otherwise. The same goes for media pieces.
But even if I accept everything you’re saying at face value it makes my point not yours. THat these big films are called hits or whatever more easily than films made on miniscule budgets.
On a final note I have never accepted Ghajini as an all time blockbuster or anything, a point that I made right after release and a few times since. I have even said that 3I isn’t an all time deal the way HAHK for example is. But it is also true that in contemporary times both films have been the gold standard in different ways. No film roughly off an 80 crore initial even gets to 150 let alone 200. That means something. Eventually a film might do it off a 120 crore initial, that’s a different story. Similarly no film off a roughly 55 crore 7 day number gets to 115 crores. Most films don’t do this even with a 70 crore start! So these standards have not been breached. I draw conclusions from this. But one of them isn’t the claim that Ghajini is an all time blockbuster!
Doga – The flaw with cost model is that it takes profit at end of food chain. The cost you say, is profit for producer in middle of food chain. I think generally we should start at production cost and see if everyone is making profit or not. So for example SIK was probably profitable based on production cost but since producer took more profit than actual profit (Revenue – production cost) distributors were in the red. Yashraj have mastered it with low budget self distribution mode.
and this is one of the central problems. It is simply not coherent too say that a film say cost 40 crores and had a profit of 30 crores. How is that profit calculated, how is it measured? But more importantly profit to ‘whom’? The fundamental incoherence of this whole debate in this sense is that there’s this imaginary producer who invests Rs 4 and makes a profit of Rs 3. But that’s just not how it works. Say UTV produce a film. It has their name on the film. Let’s assume theirs is the only name and they’re not co-producing it for someone. That doesn’t mean they are completely investing in the film. They might distribute some territories and give off the others to someone who in turn can also do the same for certain chunks. But even the territories that UTV do end up controlling they might give off say 20% of the chunk to someone. And these deals are negotiated in Bollywood almost upto the nth hour. so a distributor who bought part of the Bombay territory for a certain price decides he either wants to sell it someone else as he thinks his proposition is suddenly riskier or it’s safe but he can just make a profit right there selling it to someone who’s willing to pay even more. Then one has to think of the actual exhibitors and/or theater owners. Typically the way it works is that if you as a producer make a lot of money on a film, either because of a table profit or some other arrangement where you’re clear and the distributor still loses money you have to make up for some of it. The distributor will come to you demanding a share even when he doesn’t have a case legally. The reason this matters is that relationships are everything in the industry. If you screw the distributor word spreads and you have a problem the second time around. The same goes with distributors with respect to theater owners and so on. There are all these very complex bits and pieces and to frame it as one of two numbers where ‘x’ is the cost and ‘y’ the profit is completely false and even idiotic. Because that’s not the way things work at all. It’s not even close.
And this is not even getting into the longer profit or cost equation a producer has to factor in. For example Bhansali in all probability won’t make much off RR at all. Because he’ll be busy paying off the guys who lost on Saawariya and Guzaarish after he’s done dealing with the RR crowd! Which is the reason he got into this kind of film in the first place. You don’t get endless credit in the industry! Again he doesn’t have to do this but then he’ll also never get finance again for the Guzaarish kind of subject. Goodwill counts in this most cut-throat of human enterprises. Salman said on a show that he didn’t make much off Dabanng as he was still paying off the Veer guy and so on for his losses. That’s how these things work. Anyone who knows anything about the business won’t be surprised to learn about the enormous pressure SRK faced after Ra One. And Don2 wasn’t enough to compensate for anything. But we have these absurd debates about who got to 100 crores and what not. The reality is very different. And by the way when a star is doing multiple films if one doesn’t work the distributors sometimes expect to be compensated off a second film that might actually work even though there is otherwise no connection between the two setups (barring the star). All these things happen. You don’t even get the territories you want most of the time or even a slice of them without the right connections or being entrenched in the right ways. People would be surprised to learn how even major stars sometimes cannot quite get what they ask for in this sense because the distributors ranged against them are far more powerful.
No matter which way you slice and dice it the equations are very varied and very complex. People who say otherwise are either being deliberately misleading or they simply don’t know anything about the process. And this is not even getting into the question that unlike Hollywood every last rupee spent on a film and that the film makes simply cannot be accounted for in a verified way. So it’s not that there’s no dispute over the gross and then we look into this other stuff. No one knows what the gross is. There is no central system anywhere tracking all the numbers and so on. Sure there’s a multiplex ‘receipt’ now for obvious technological reasons but the data is simply not made available except to certain investing firms in BOmbay and elsewhere and even that is often not as comprehensive as one would like.
Munna, even Rakesh Roshan Made profit on Kites, COP around 60-65 cr, sold for 100+ cr to Reliance…Reliance made big losses, along with independent distributors…Roshan may have reimbursed , Reliance too…
SRK-KJO made profits on MNIK, COP 65-70 cr sold to Fox for 85+ cr , total cost crossed 100+ cr. Fox barely recovered costs…
SIK , COP 40 cr , Indian Film bought for 60 cr , Total cost might be 70 cr.. Here Indian Films did make profits around 10 cr.(Delhi,UP was with them which was Huge..SIK was one of last movies to get exuberant music prices+being sold for fancy prices in territories)
Even with those prices, movie made profit for distributors in East Punjab,Raj, CI , while losing/breakeven in other territories…(here loss can be negated with other distributor profits, or even Indain film profits …)
Its the producer who goes for the easy way out and takes table profits… so dont think he/she should get benefit of doubt.
So if movie is sold, then Total price = Selling price + P/P vs Revenues.
If its not sold , then total price = COP+P/P.
And even if we see the perception of the above 3 movies..
Kites = Flop
MNIK = Underperformer/Avg
SIK = Hit+
Though in theory all made some profit for Principle Producer.
yes exactly.. which is why Hollywood for example slices and dices it every conceivable way including looking at for example how 3D ticket prices jacked up the gross or how a Memorial Day opening though great was simply poorer compared to a similar one the previous year and so on. The analysis in this sense is really a marvel of professionalism. But then the whole system is just not transparent enough in India. For all sorts of reasons people are quite willing to hide the real numbers or distort them and so on. This whole trade/media reporting system is just a huge fiction. This doesn’t mean we can’t tell how well a film is doing or not, roughly speaking. But the numbers can be really jacked up. It’s as easy as paying off people to write a few stories saying the gross is say 35 instead of 30. It spreads throughout the media. No one has actually put their fingerprints on it, no one is liable. It’s just a huge parlor game. But still roughly speaking one can often tell how well or not a film is doing but the devil is in the details and somehow the distortions are so great that unless one knows stuff independently it’s very hard to sort through the whole media/trade nonsense.
Munna – The point is that its the responsibility of the producer to ensure his distributors make money – when they go for table profits and distributors make losses – then its the producer who takes the blame and loses reputation. His next production will not fetch high prices as his distributors will try to compensate for their previous losses.
Its a fair model to give trade verdicts based on ROI and not just production cost (though its not consistently followed by anyone) – profits vs price paid is the right model.
Media coverage is usually based on final theatrical gross – most often they are not even aware of the actual price of the movie. Producers are usually shady enough to hide their prices from the media and if forced will only reveal ‘production cost’ – which is not the actual economics involved. This is true for a Roshan production or a Bachchan production or a Khan production.
Its only fans while defending their star’s movies who go by ‘production costs’ – otherwise most of the blockbuster movies they boast about will be revealed as coverage or marginal profit makers.
The film industry even now runs on unaccounted money and so the real cost maybe much more than what is given. Tax returns tend to show losses to avoid high taxes and thus wont reflect the real picture. The picture is too hazy. If the producer and the distributor dont mortgage or sell off their houses, then all is somewhat ok. Now the Stars’ taking part in investing in movies by their presence(not taking fees but want share in profits), half the burden is taken off. The star will see to it that the movie wont sink by promoting the film and getting his dedicated fans to work for the promotion in various ways.
Aamir”s Dhobi Ghat released on 325 screens while his own production Peepli live screened on 500 odd screens why ? i dont think Aamir himself expected to make much money on Dhobi Ghat or else he wouldnt have kept himself away from the promotions . Shanghai despite being a small film has released on 1000 screens . BTW Peepli live opened to a 4 cr opening day almost 2 years ago
Dont want to awaken old ghosts but I think we all agree the BO reporting is pathetic and the editorialisation by the BO sites is even worse.
Having said that Shanghai has been treated unfairly by BOI.
OTOH, even if manages recovery, it is still somewhat of a disappointemnt and an underperformer. Most people including so called BO pundits did expect a morew robust performance than what actually transpired given the unanimous critical nod,
Hashmi ‘s presence (!) and the promotions which seemed to suggest that DB had made a film with more of a mainstream appeal.
I am sure all associated with the film must have hoped for a better BO performance.
The perception of success and failure–the vagaries!!
There are many reasons, i stay away from box office figures and counting pounds n pennies more or less.
Box office reporting from india seems far from accurate or professional
to add, there are multiple conflicting groups and reportage
with various agenda.
To top it all, the MAIN issue is that the producer/distributors THEMSELVES dont wish to make it open even if they have scored a hit….on the other extreme.
They are ok to ‘boast’ thier success but beyond a point, income tax liability comes in and thats where it becomes murkier and slef contradictory..
A reasonable view CAN be taken of the rough scale of success or failire of a film even without going too deep into ‘trending’
Forget extremes ike 3 idiot or drowna, even most ‘average’ films can be sensed roughly…
Think anybody NOT the ACTUAL producer/distributor or NOT working in a trade magazine, CAN take it easy and not spend his/her calories/hormones/grey matter/impulses on counting the OTHER mans pounds n pennies !!!!😉
Movie-viewing in bits n bobs
was just thinking–the movies that have watched fully recently have gone down–only when ‘committed’ by getting into a movie hall really…
Rest its all bout few tracks/promos/songs here n there…. 😉
havent seen ishaqzaade but this song shows why this movie is doing well (inspite of a relatively insipid male lead)
Think Gauhar khan does well against the ‘livewire’ parineeti and infacts somewhat overshadows her?
Though not sure why it seems that gauhar khan has got liposuction done on her FACE of all sites
Check out this song
Warning–objectionable and somewhat embarrasing ‘movements’ around 1:10 by parineeti
Prudes/easily influeinced-plz skip this
Shanghai Struggles At The Box Office
1 day ago by Joginder Tuteja
Predictions for the performance of Shanghai at the box office have gone off track. Last week while penning this column, I was quite gung-ho about the fortunes of Shanghai. Everything seemed to be going right for the film, whether it’s the director, actor, concept or promotion. Okay, so this was never going to be a Rs. 100 crore affair due to it’s theme, subject, genre and treatment but still, it was widely believed that anything over Rs. 40 crore was definitely on cards, the kind of total which would have been quite good for the film. Due to aforementioned reasons, a minimum opening of 50% was pretty much on the cards.
Shanghai Movie Poster
Shanghai Movie Poster
However it was nothing less than shocking to see merely 20%-30%-40% at theatres, depending upon the mass v/s class or big v/s small centres. Leaving aside the word of mouth (more about that later), what really disappointed was the lack of audience footfalls right through the course of its opening weekend. It was plain and simple disheartening. Period. The writing was clear on the wall that many out there were just not enticed enough to step into the film. With a mere Rs. 12 crore coming over the first three days, it was well short of near Rs. 20 crore that most in the trade expected from the film.
Rowdy Rathore Movie Poster
Rowdy Rathore Movie Poster
So what went wrong? Well, tongues are wagging in all directions today. Some say it was due to Rowdy Rathore wave, which is actually wrong because even the Akshay Kumar starrer was good, not exceptional on Friday with around Rs. 5 crore coming in. Of course it took massive jumps over rest of the weekend but Shanghai had ground set for itself on the opening day. A few are attributing the film’s title for its undoing but then again, if that was the case, something as alien as Vicky Donor wouldn’t have clicked.
Thirdly, and most amusingly, all-around positive reviews and huge endorsement from critics are also being said to be the cause behind huge audience expectations for Shanghai and hence the fall. Now one couldn’t have been more away from reality because critics can neither make nor break a film. As for good reviews resulting in bad word of mouth amongst cine-goers, then well, that’s a first! This would be akin to saying that negative reviews from all critics would most result in audience watching a film with far more positive enthusiasm!
The reason for Shanghai not working with audience is very simple – Its content didn’t appeal to the audience. Okay, so Friday was low but then if word of mouth from those who actually saw the movie would have been all around positive, the film would have managed to sustain itself. The fact is that for aam junta, this experiment didn’t click and though it could find some supporters from a section of audience, by and large there weren’t many takers.
a series of cliches from Joginder. And that’s about the kindest thing I can say about his piece! While I would never have confused him with Rangan the fact is that in recent years he’s been scraping the bottom of the barrel. Feel sorry for him as he always seemed quite pleasant in his online interactions but this is unfortunately what you have to become in most cases to survive in Bombay film journalism. And I won’t even get into some of his SRK pieces and so on.
One expected more!
By Taran Adarsh, June 13, 2012 – 07:43 IST
Observation I: The glowing reviews by critics are important. But, film-makers will agree, the mandate by the cinema-going audience is *most* important. We make movies for them. The footfalls at plexes/single screens and the revenue accrued from ticket sales decide the fate of the movie. The audience verdict is final!
Observation II: Flashback. Almost three decades ago, ZANJEER had already released and a new superstar was ‘born’. Amitabh Bachchan delivered a string of hits subsequently, but ALAAP, released during the best phase of his professional life, didn’t set the box-office afire. Only goes to prove that box-office can be so unpredictable!
The above-mentioned observations hold true for SHANGHAI. The film won immense praise from critics who matter. Besides, the presence of Emraan Hashmi, considered the darling of the masses, after having delivered a string of hits, automatically made SHANGHAI special. But there was a vast difference between the business potential of an Amitabh starrer helmed by Ramesh Sippy or Manmohan Deasi and an Amitabh starrer helmed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Similarly, one did not expect SHANGHAI to open as huge as MURDER 2, THE DIRTY PICTURE or JANNAT 2. Even the release strategy was different, with PVR not going really wide on this one.
SHANGHAI had a lukewarm start on Friday, but picked up on Saturday and Sunday, though the growth in the business wasn’t huge. The film caters to a select audience and at those properties, the escalation in business was evident. But the mass belt, which has always responded very well to Emraan Hashmi movies, gave a cold shoulder to this one. One of the reasons for the tepid start is attributed to the not-as-attractive promos. But, I guess, we start finding faults the moment a film doesn’t open well.
The sole factor that goes in its favor is its economics [Rs 20.5 cr, includes P & A]. With a chunk of its investment recovered from the sale of Satellite and Audio rights and pre-sales [Rs 16.50 cr], the film should, hopefully, recover its investment. Of course, one expected more…
No offence- but this is serious exageration. Yes- Hashmi was good and even maanged to be endearing- but that more to do with his beautifully crafted character arc than anything else. It was hardly a seminal performance- and to suggest it will be remembered as such is much too hyperbolic.
I must also disagree that this is the only thing Shanghai will be remembered for- the movie did not come together as well as I hoped it would- but it was brilliant in parts. What I will remember most about the movie is the witty, incisively observed vignettes of daily life in India that managed to raise questions about the inequity of our vision of development /progress with such subtlety and effectiveness. I found this aspect of the film to be MUCH more memorable than Hashmi’s suprisingly good (but not extraordinarily good, by any means) performance.
Not offended at all (and c’mon u don’t have to kkep saying this). So Ami, basically u r not giving Hashmi any credit bcos according to u it was all the director and writer’s skill due to which Hashmi managed to be impactful. Ami is it just me or that every review of the film i have read which said Hashmi’s was the best act in the film?
No- Hashmi should take some credit for the performance- but given how well the character was written and presented I don’t think it required any extraordinary talent/ effort on his part to turn in the performance he did. Yes he did have the most effective performance in the film- but he was also given the character that had the maximum scope to affect the audience!
And since when do I need to agree with the reviews? If I remember rightly- you are not a big fan of Vidya’s performance in TDP- yet this was possibly the most critically acclaimed performance in the last few years.
on the film being remembered or anything, i am sorry but i must disagree. Unlike KKH or even OLLO which were really liked and have sort of cult following, i don’t see Shanghai being liked by people in the same manner. It was not even shockingly experimental like LSD. so i don’t see anyone remembering it (apart from few who liked it). Note, i am not all disagreeing with your views on the film. But just like AV (a film i liked so much), i don’t see Shanghai developing any fan following, not even like VD
I have never spoken abt Vidya’s TDP performance( u may have confused me with someone else)- I don’t find TDP as a great performance but yes it was very good and she was better than the film (i found her better in Parineeta, Paa, Kahaani and Ishqiya). Also note, i have never said that Hashmi’s was a thespian act in Shanghai. All i am saying is that he has shown glimpses of his acting potential and given an very effective performance which sadly is not being acknowledged by people on this blog
Saurabh- but the very same critics who you refer to for having appreciated Hashmi’s performance are also the ones who feel that this is an incredibly fine film. You can’t have it both ways and say that- Hashmi’s performance in memorable although it hasn’t been appreciated by the masses because the critics have loved it BUT the film itself is forgettable because the masses haven’t loved it even if the critics have raved about it- that’s inconsistent.
Ami, i am not at all being inconsistent. Firstly the reviews which have given Shanghai average/above average ratings, even there Hashmi has been singled out for praise. Secondly i was talking public perception. Many people, like me, who didn’t like the film much ( even sum who didn’t like it at all), found Hashmi very good and likeable. BTW don’t worry i have a feeling Hashmi will win u over in Daayan and Ghanchakkar
I do agree that Hashmi’s performance was effective and surprising- but I do not think that it is remarkable enough for it to be remembered many years from now- nor is it a popular enough to be remembered for how iconic it was.
I think the main reason why there is so much critical acclaim for the performance is because no one expected Hashmi to accept this sort of a role and perform it compentently. Because that is exactly what he was IMO- compentent in a rewarding role- not marvellously good or better than the film itself.
#EkMainAurEkkTu, #DhobiGhat and ‘Bollywood: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told’, produced by UTV and Shekhar Kapur and directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Jeff Zimbalist, have been selected to be screened at the prestigious 15th Shanghai International Film Festival, to be held in Shanghai from 16 – 24 June.
The collections of Shanghai are coming down pretty fast and there are cracks at the high end multiplexes also in the weekdays. The high end multiplexes which had better initial collections have started to record low figures.
The film had tremendous media support but this has not translated into decent collections. More importantly the trending is not good which indicates appreciation is not there.
The first week business of the film will be in the 17-18 crore nett and the second week will see a huge drop in collections. Outside the big circuits, the film is just about managing to see the week out at many theatres.
I fond Abhay Deol to be as good as Emraan if not better..
but the performance that surprised me really was Farroque Sheikh’s.. even though its hard to single out any one acting job given how competent each actor was in his given role. Kali, though, did fell short of delivering a truly memorable performance. her character was the central one but I dont think she could’ve done it anyway, given her flat dialogue delivery and uninteresting screen persona.
Talking of the film – I do have a weakness for it. Agree it hasnt garnered universal praise and that is evident from poor to average WOM but this is a film deserving of praise more than all Hindi films Ive seen this year .. I did have an inkling when I left the theater that this one was shallow in terms of its political angle and ambitions but its merits were overwhelming enough to drown the very few negatives.. Now people are bound to come out with mixed reactions if they were expecting it to be the est film in last 20 years..
Agree- I thought that Abhay was better than Emraan as well- it’s just that he had a very subdued character as opposed to Emraan’s more flamboyant role- so he went by relatively unnoticed. And it was nice to see a Tamilian portrayed non-stereotypically in a Hindi movie for once.
I know that a lot has been said about his Tamil accent- but I was impressed with his body language as well.
Yep. Anyhow I dunno whether to say it or not (people may find it unnecessary) but I feel Abhay was not been supported enough by his uncle Dharmendra as much as the backing Emraan’s got.. whether Abhay did want to go his way and carve a niche in the kind of roles he believed in, appears too idealistic to be tre. I mean, I’d be willing to give hi credit for that if he believed so ..
Abhay’s debut ‘Socha Na Tha’ was a Vijeta production (Dharmendra). it was Abhay who intelligently decided to chart out a different trajectory for himself. Find him a very good actor and loved him in Manorama and Ek Chaalis Ki Last Local
Farooq was expectedly excellent but i have already seen him perform better in Chashme Buddoor, Katha etc. Btw i dunno whether u have seen a very good film on kick-boxing, ‘Lahore’ but Farooq Sheikh was excellent there (though he was strangely given a Hyderabadi character with a very weird Hyderabadi accented Hindi)-incidentaaly he won a National Award in the best supporting role for Lahore- agreed on Abhay
A brazenly politically incorrect Vidhu Vinod Chopra on why his CA doesn’t love his latest film, but the audience will
Vidhu Vinod Chopra ko gussa kyun aata hai? Gussa zyaada aata hai; ab pehle se kam aata hai, lekin usske aane ka kaaran kya hai, that’s the important thing. When I look at the mediocrity of Indian cinema, when I look at some rubbish being made and people hailing it because it is touching 100 crores, I get angry. I say ki tum logon ka koi dharam imaan hai nahi kya? But if you talk of that, the obvious answer a filmmaker will give you is ki dhanda hai, paisa toh chahiye… Dhande ka bhi to dharam imaan hona chahiye na yaar! Humne “3 Idiots” mein bahut business kiya, toh dhanda to achha hua. “Ferrari Ki Sawaari” bhi aap likh ke le lo, bahut achha dhanda karegi. Lekin dhanda ka usool hona chahiye. Maine “Parinda” mein dialogue likha thaa, Nana Patekar bolta hai, ‘yeh dhanda hai, Kishan, aur har dhande ka usool hota hai’.
We change lives. So many people are impacted by cinema. With “Munna Bhai”, with “3 Idiots”, with every film we’ve done, we’ve touched lives. That is the job of a filmmaker. And a filmmaker has a social responsibility, and he can’t escape it, just the way you have a social responsibility if you are a journalist, and you can’t escape that – whether or not you print this. We all create realities and impressions.
I have not made the third “Munna Bhai” because I am not happy with the script. While I know that even if I make absolute rubbish, I will make 200 crores in the first three days. By the time you all realise on Monday that I have really made a bad film, I have collected the money and gone home. But I won’t. Because these are the things that annoy me. The thinking that till yesterday I am a third-rate filmmaker but today my film has done 100 crores, so I’m acceptable!
You revel in being the outsider, the outspoken maverick, don’t you? That is for you to see (laughs). We’ve just had a retrospective in Mumbai and realised we’ve made just 10-11 films in thirty years, which is not a good average. ” Ferrari…” took us four years to write, “3 Idiots” took us three years, “Munna Bhai” we are writing for the last three-and-a-half years, even though agar main s*** film bhi banaoon toh yeh jo monkey brain films aa rahi hain, opening toh inse zyaada hi lagegi. Yeh 100 crore karti hain, main 200 crore kar loonga. Aap Monday ko likh dena, film achhi nahi hai, main interview de doonga, haan, maine koshish toh ki lekin story achhi nahi thi… main toh chala gaya na 200 le ke (laughs)! Raju Hirani’s such a successful director, we’ve been writing his next film for almost three years now. In any other company, Raju would have done ten films by now. Lekin humko nahi farak padta.
If it’s 100 crores that we’re talking about, what’s your take on Bhansali producing a “Rowdy Rathore”, then? I am not happy about it. He has worked with me for eight years. He considers me his mentor. I hope he will come out of it. But again, I can’t be judgmental; I don’t know what kind of rejection he had to go through when he made “Guzaarish”. He told some interviewer that you never came here after “Guzaarish”, you’re here now – and he’s right. Maybe this is some kind of revenge he’s taking on the mediocrity that exists. He’s seeking some kind of recognition and acceptance, and if it’s coming through this kind of cinema, then it’s sad. But I would like to meet and talk to him to understand that what drives an artist to this. I hope I’ll never be driven to this.
And if you are? Let me explain something. When we were making “Lage Raho Munna Bhai”, I called my chartered accountant and said, ‘let’s release “Lage Raho…” and “Eklavya” in the same year’. He asked, ‘why’? I said, “‘Lage Raho…” will make a lot of money, and “Eklavya” will lose a lot of money, so we’ll not have to pay any tax. He said, ‘arre, aisa mat boliye, apshagun hota hai’. I said, ‘arre, main 100% bol raha hoon, “Eklavya” India mein nahi chalne wali, baahar chalegi’. He then asked, ‘phir aapne banai kyun?’ Maine kaha, ‘yaar, yeh main tujhe kaise samjhaoon, this is about my beliefs and the things I am at peace with’. How can I explain to a CA why I made that film? How can I explain to a CA why, after “3 Idiots”, I made my next film with no big stars? One never knows what life will be like ten years from now, but I very much doubt that my life will be led by a chartered accountant. I don’t think I will change now. I have enough money to last me till I die. My needs and my life are very simple. And I don’t give a **** what my public image is. Kuch nahi chahiye… (pause) mujhe ek plane khareedna hai yaar, main woh nahi khareed sakta, bas. Mujhe yeh airport ki lines mein khada hona pasand nahi…
Don’t tell me, after “3 Idiots”, you couldn’t buy a plane? Arrey, bada plane, chhota nahi chahiye. Woh 330 crore ka aata hai, phir maintain karna bhi bada complex hai.
Given your views, there must be some well-known stars who asked to work with you and it hasn’t worked out? Too many to name. I won’t name them; it’s cheap to do so… I cannot. Can you imagine some of these big stars and me even in the same frame? You can’t! I wish them well and may they earn crores in signing amounts and may their fan following increase – but I don’t think I can sit and talk to them. How do I explain… On the day “Munna Bhai MBBS” released, the first show hardly sold. The first day we were minus four crores or so. Raju Hirani – ab toh ‘Raj Kumar Hirani’ ho gaya hai – bahut udaas thaa release ke din. I gave him eleven thousand rupees and said, yeh picture toh gayi, jaa, agli bana, yeh uska signing amount hai. That’s how I have approached cinema. And that’s how I will.
Who are your friends in the industry? I have no friends. And I’m not saying it with any regrets. I have an extended cinema family, beyond which I have no friends. My expectations from friendship are so great that in the present situation it is difficult to get a friend, because everybody is so self-centred and wants to use you in one way or the other, or get used to move on.
I’m very, very comfortable not having friends, actually. I’m quite blessed that way, Karan Johar said to me. Karan Johar – when asked a question on camps in Bollywood some years ago – had said that camps need loyalty, and there’s very little loyalty, so the question of camps doesn’t arise.
(Laughs) He’s right. I am not a very friendly type waise bhi, bachpan se. In DAV High School in Srinagar, as the monitor of my class, I ran it as a dictator, so I never had many friends even then. When I went to film school, I was so involved in cinema 24/7 that I made no friends, and it went on and on, and here I am. My friend is my cinema.
The attack on Bhansali is unfair. First of all he’s producing RR, not directing it. But secondly this is the kind of film he was probably forced to make to pay back those who lost on Saawarya and Guzaarish. If anything he should do more of this going forward. Make his kind of film and then produce the mass entertainment vehicle to provide safety for his work. If it’s done strategically one can use more commercial entertainment to enable a brand of cinema that often doesn’t work. Without this compromise someone else will still make RR but no one will make Guzaarish or Saawariya. But VVC is also grossly unfair here because he knows all of this. He produces the Munnabhai series so he can afford his Eklavyas. But Bhansali has no other choice because there’s only one Hirani in the industry! Of course I don’t have a problem with RR to begin with. This is further example of the industry’s bankruptcy where guys like VVC come up with these completely unthinking responses.
have a weakness for guys like VVC
yes-he speaks b4 he thinks etc and projects a certain delusional psychosis, but at the end of the day, he walks his talk and lets his actions speak
VVC is right about munnabhai—any sort of a sequel will get him a very good collection (@ the least) and yet, he comes up with Ferrari—and whom does he cast in the lead role–sharman joshi!!!
ps–as mentioned earlier, the ‘yardstick’ for measuring these creatures is not what they talk, but what they actually DO…