Qalandar Reviews BOL BACHCHAN (Hindi; 2012)

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Ah, it could have been great: when was the last time (since Proust, anyway) that anyone had drawn the connection between a religious minority (Jews for Proust; Muslims in Bol Bachchan) and homosexuality? More specifically, the parallel between the way in which a kind of public effacement might be demanded of each: in the case of the minority, the pressure often felt is of a political effacement, in favor of the “deracinated” identity preferred by modern, liberal nation-states; with the homosexual, the effacement is of homosexuality itself, a sexual orientation that is itself experienced by the status quo as a kind of obscenity. What is revealed in both cases is the centrality of the lie to the reigning order; the lie so that everything may proceed. “Ee galiyan ka dharam alag hai,” begins Amitabh Bachchan’s own fairy-song in Mahaan (I am indebted to Satyam for tracing the genealogy between that song and Abhishek’s turn in Bol Bachchan), but the red-light area his character inhabits in the song, the distinction between “that world” and the “normal” one, sustains a whole social order.


As I said, it could have been great, but then Bol Bachchan is directed by Rohit Shetty, so the most I went in asking for was that the film not be terrible (I had forwarded my way through the director’s Golmaal (2006); Golmaal Returns (2008) couldnt be suffered through even with the aid of the remote control, leading me to skip Golmaal 3 (2010) entirely). On that score, Bol Bachchan does not disappoint: it isn’t terrible, and is probably a lot more likable than it ought to have been, perhaps because Shetty, drawing his cues from the more wholesome masala worlds of the 1970s, sets his sights considerably higher than the gutter the likes of Golmaal were pitched at. In a word, Bol Bachchan is one of the more decent comedies in recent times — you won’t find Golmaal’s rape jokes here — and Shetty backs his zany sense of humor more than he often does (it shouldn’t be lost on anyone that he made three films with “Golmaal” in the title, with none of them having anything to do with Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s 1979 classic of that name; here he self-consciously re-does that film’s central conceit, and so naturally the film is called, um, “Bol Bachchan” (“tall tales”). That conceit — a man pretending to be two men to get himself out of a jam, and the craziness that ensures — isn’t handled with anywhere near the finesse and subtlety that Mukherjee brought to it, but in fairness to Shetty, it must be said that his stakes are higher.

Mukherjee’s Ram Prasad has to deal with an oddball boss, Bhavani Shankar (the inimitable Utpal Dutt), who’s prim and proper enough to dismiss men without moustaches, and those who waste time watching sports — a glimpse of Ram Prasad at a game leads the hapless employee to invent an identical (clean shaven, sports-watching) twin, Laxman Prasad. Shetty — perhaps expiating for his indulgence of some rather xenophobic strains of Maharastrian nationalism in the 2011 slug-fest Singham — has his middle-class every man incarnated as the Muslim Abbas Ali, dispossessed from his late father’s property in Delhi by a usurping uncle and in the village of Ranakpur for a job with the pehelwaan, often saffron-clad Prithviraj (incidentally also the name of Delhi’s last Hindu king before the Muslim Sultanates). Prithviraj (Ajay Devgan) has his own problems: not only is he a fanatic about the truth, he also has a villainous cousin in a neighboring village, who will stop at nothing to harm Prithviraj. There’s more: a disputed temple at the boundary of the two villages; the dispute has ben settled in the rather familiar Indian way — by locking the place up, rendering it off limits to all concerned — until Abbas breaks open the door to save a drowning boy. Many in the mob that soon gathers aren’t too thrilled by this, and on the spur of the moment, Abbas’ friend Ravi (leading a troupe of actors staging an adaptation of Mukherjee’s Golmaal in Ranakpur; the role is played by an actor who is himself called Krushna Abhishek) decides to announce that his friend is really called Abhishek Bachchan (Bol Bachchan might be a comedy, but even it knows that disputed religious structures can be deadly serious). All well and good, until Prithviraj spots “Abhishek” at Eid prayers — prompting the invention of a Muslim identical sibling (from a different mother), flaming gay to boot. Watching Bol Bachchan, I had the rather odd sensation that although it wasn’t a patch on the 1979 classic, it nevertheless showed up Golmaal in one crucial respect: Mukherjee’s film was about an ordinary guy in an extraordinary situation, forced to lie to keep his job by humoring a tyrant — but what if he’d made a film along the lines intermittently envisioned by Shetty, namely about the political and social lies engendered by our own rigidity, by our own insistence on our truth? Mukherjee’s unsurpassable film is also, it must be conceded, modest; Shetty’s mediocre film wonders what might have happened had Mukherjee aimed at something larger.

But Shetty does not run with the above plot; instead, Bol Bachchan never rises above the level of rather loud gags, and its plot twists are all rather predictable. Nevertheless, I quite enjoyed it: its old-fashioned charm, its homage to the far more socially inclusive aspirations of 1970s Bollywood, is infectious, and it’s hard to remain too annoyed with this film. And then, two hilarious scenes are almost worth the price of admission: the first had me doubled up with laughter, as Prithviraj’s first visit to Abbas’ home to meet his (non-existent) mother leads to a profusion of mothers (the whole scene is best understood as Shetty’s crazy riff on the best dialog Amitabh Bachchan never got to say: Deewar’s “Mera paas maa hai.” Vijay had lost his by then, but Abbas has three. The second one, towards the end, has the exasperated Shastri (Ravi’s father, played by Asrani, himself a masala archive of sorts) skewering the absurdity of the situation. It doesn’t matter even if you’re all caught, he yells, Abbas’ sister Sania (Asin) can just say that the one seen was in fact her identical twin Dania; and that guy wouldn’t be Ravi but Govinda! And heck Shastri himself wouldn’t be Shastri, but the Jailer (from Sholay, Asrani’s most famous role). The film needed much more in this vein; instead, we are given Prithviraj’s mangling of the English language (evidently, Anil Kapoor’s completely unfunny turn in Tashan has not convinced the industry that this vein of humor is just lame. Devgan tries hard, but that trick is just boring.

It would have been difficult for me to sit through this film had it not been for Abhishek Bachchan. The material here hardly tests him or demands any subtlety. But conversely, while the demands of a string of roles over the last half decade — such as the ones in Sarkar (2005); Umraojaan (2006); Sarkar Raj (2008); Delhi-6 (2009); Raavan (2011) and Dum Maaro Dum (2011) — have resulted in an interesting body of work that makes the younger Bachchan the finest under-stated male lead in the Hindi film industry today, they have also meant that viewers haven’t been able to enjoy the exuberant, energetic Abhishek of Bunty aur Babli (2005). If nothing else, Shetty must be thanked for giving us the most uninhibited Abhishek performance in years: he seems to have had fun playing Abbas/Abhishek, and it shows. Nevertheless, I did wish something more dignified than the re-hash of the flamboyant “bottom” character had been attempted. In particular, while his entry scene was well done, as the now-gay dance instructor Abbas shows up at Prithviraj’s palace, the interminable dance sequence that followed needed some more disciplined editing and simply better choreography — perhaps along the lines of the charming mock-kathak steps that kick off the “Nach Le” song.

In the final analysis, though, I can’t be too hard on either Shetty or Abhishek Bachchan. Not when I’ve heard far too many people prefer the obviousness of a Dostana (2008) or a Bol Bachchan (one gentleman in the row behind me responded to the gay Abbas’ introduction with an awe-struck “masth acting kiya hai”) to the subtler pleasures of Abhishek’s other recent roles. The failures of Bol Bachchan — and they are many — coupled with its almost certain box office success (my late-night show in Malad was sold out, and it seemed to me the audience was in splits) points really to our collective failure as a moviegoing audience, our failure to demand more from the medium of cinema. In that context, and given comedies like Kya Superkool Hain Hum are on the horizon, it is hard to begrudge Bol Bachchan, which is actually better than virtually all of the big-budget comedies churned out by Bollywood over the last few years (Housefull (2010), anyone?), its success. Certainly Abhishek needs it (most of the films I’ve mentioned in the preceding paragraph found no more than niche audiences, and it becomes difficult to commercially justify a Bollywood career absent regular super grossers); I only hope he doesn’t get trapped into the sort of routine even his father found it difficult to escape from, as Amitabh Bachchan’s more varied 1970s gave way to the far less interesting 1980s — the only Bachchan act not to follow.

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45 Responses to “Qalandar Reviews BOL BACHCHAN (Hindi; 2012)”

  1. Qalandar, yet another insightful read from you. Your recent pieces (including Ishazaade and GoW) have been extraordinary but also among your most ‘comprehensive’ ones. You’ve pretty much covered all the angles in both cases but I think the common theme that runs through all three is your commentary on the re-imagining of a classic film tradition. This ‘subject’ has really brought out the best ‘synthesis’ from you in each instance. Simply superb in every sense!

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  2. Offside Says:

    Agree that this is another triumph of mediocrity – but Abhi got even with his destiny with this one. And how!

    Read your review of Ishqzaade the other day, and cannot believe there was someone else who saw Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Parineeti Chopra!

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  3. Re:Ah, it could have been great

    The common refrain.
    On a different note, one could get used to this – Satyam, GF (albeit in form of a comment) and Q reviewing a film with in two days of theatrical release!

    Thanks,Q. Insightful and well wrtten as always.

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    • RE: “On a different note, one could get used to this – Satyam, GF (albeit in form of a comment) and Q reviewing a film with in two days of theatrical release…”

      I’d never seen an Abhishek film in the cinema in India, so I sure as heck wasn’t going to miss this on the first weekend. Audience reaction was very positive, people were laughing at a whole lot of Abhi and Devgan dialogues. [PS: my driver Ramesh also saw it in the cinema — his first film since Three Idiots — and loved it.]

      Aside: I do agree with Rockstar that the action was poor — they could have done more with a lot of those scenes.

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      • The problem with the action was less a stylistic one from my point of view (or at least not the major one) and far more the injection of these sequences in a film which didn’t really require them. Shetty was just making sure all his usual ingredients were present here! actually the whole subplot with the cousin wasn’t needed either. Sure it shows Devgan that Abhishek is willing to do things for him but that result could have been arrived at in other ways as well.

        The silliest thing here by the way is that when the two fight together Abhishek seems as brutal and all-powerful as Devgan. And yet otherwise he’s very scared of what the latter would do to him if his secret was revealed!

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        • Satyam, you might be right that the action sequences were not structurally necessary — BUT if we read Abbas Ali as Rohit Shetty’s attempt at a “classic hero”, then he had to tick off all the registers (comedy; action — dance? heck, he’s a fricking dance instructor!)…

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          • true but he needed a better plot to integrate them.. of course I feel crazy even making these objections with Rohit Shetty.

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  4. omrocky786 Says:

    Great review however disagree with Ajay Devgan’s lines not working..right now who ever is talking about the movie ob facebook/ general conversation it is only about the lines like – Milk No. 6 or boy under armpit…IMO that is thje biigest reason for repeat audience !!!! you can compare that to Tashan’s AK lines …

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    • but interestingly the industry reactions and the vast majority of the review reactions have not been about Devgan. And to the extent that even BOI are treating it like an Abhishek film and hence not eager to celebrate the success (clearly that’s the WOM they’re getting too.. had it been like D2 they would have had no problem). The ‘buzz’ here has all been about Abhishek. It’s true that Devgan got a lot of laughs even where I saw it. Not arguing against this. And I found him endearing here as I’ve also said in my piece.

      Tashan isn’t the best example here though since the film didn’t do anything.

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    • omrocky786 Says:

      oops meant to say you can NOT compare to Tashan ( as Q had compared in his piece)…
      Abhishek is great too and the movie revolves around him, but without devegan’s comedy the entire movie would have fallen flat..
      zaside- when a hero tells another hero- Prithvi jee bach lo mujhe please, one can figure out what the pecking order is ..LOL

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      • that doesn’t mean much in a comedy.. Amar beat up Anthony, the reverse never happened! So what?! In fact in the fight sequences here they’re shown to be quite equal. In the end it’s a scene designed for pure comedy. Don’t think the audience reads it that way. But I’m not saying there’s anything odd about preferring Devgan here or that this might not have been the case for many. Just don’t think that’s been the overall reaction at least based on all the media reporting one way or the other.

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      • omrocky786 Says:

        you know- I knew people would bring the Amar- Anthony reference..woh zamana alag tha…here Salman Khan and SRK treat saif and Shahid like shi# on and off screen( FF awards) ..LOL

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        • true but that is manifestly not true for Devgan and Abhishek because if it were we’d have had a D2 situation?! In other words if what you’re saying had been generally felt why would there be the opposite impression, specially when Abhishek gets so much negative coverage anyway? It’s not as if people are eager to do him favors. Even with the industry reactions on twitter or on TV it’s quite clear that most people are not even bothering to be diplomatic and singling Abhishek out or even the ones that are are really focusing on him.

          By the way it was never true even when AAA released. In fact in those days the whole macho thing was far more of a big deal given those kinds of films. I remember being faintly disturbed as a kid when I first saw AAA. Because this never happened otherwise in any other film. You never expected the dominant hero to get beaten and certainly not Bachchan.

          Do think though that there are some gender issues here as well. When D2 released every young male I talked to thought Hrithik had destroyed Abhishek. No younger female I talked to thought this was the case, even among the ones who preferred Hrithik and/or though he had the better part.

          A lot of these things depend on the larger narrative too. with Bol Bachchan it’s really become a kind of ‘comeback’ deal for Abhishek and the whole narrative is reflecting this in every sense. As you can see from my piece I don’t even agree with the general views here. Don’t think most of what he did here was extraordinary by any stretch.

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        • omrocky786 Says:

          Satyam…agree with Devegan/Abhishek equation..the instance which I gave was an isolated and a subtle instance and not too many people will notice it… generally the poular perception is that they both have equal footage and role…also I was one of the few who did not think that Hritik destroyed Abhishek in D-2……

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  5. “And then, two hilarious scenes are almost worth the price of admission: the first had me doubled up with laughter, as Prithviraj’s first visit to Abbas’ home to meet his (non-existent) mother leads to a profusion of mothers (the whole scene is best understood as Shetty’s crazy riff on the best dialog Amitabh Bachchan never got to say: Deewar’s “Mera paas maa hai.” ”

    Besides being (like the rest of this fine piece) very well written, I have to agree this was far and away the best and most inventive comedic moment in the film. The only time I laughed along with the otherwise consistently hysterical audience I saw this with. I also loved that cutaway joke towards the end, after Devgan discovers he’s been duped. He wonders how foolish his underlings must think he is–imagining one of them saying “Prithviraji–my name is Irfan Pathan, and this is my twin brother Mahendra Singh Dhoni!” In general some of these peripheral characters–mainly from Devgan’s entourage–were actually quite funny.

    You’re on the money about that dance sequence. It felt way too long and, beyond a point, kind of embarrassing. But hey, since this is the kind of stuff that the all-knowing audience likes, why not. One almost sees Abhishek channeling Basanti here–(and, in fact, throughout the movie) with the audience as his Gabbar.

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  6. tonymontana Says:

    I did think Archana Puran Singh’s was probably the best supporting act.. she was hilarious in certain sequences

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  7. jayshah Says:

    I liked the film overall. Quite funny in bits though tad bit long. The dance sequence was well executed upto that song from Delhi Belly, but once again Abhishek showed comic timing. Overall this is a good performance from him as his second character really was a hoot. I liked the “english” of Devgn too some of it was too much but still quite funny.
    Audience where I watched loved it.

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  8. “I only hope he doesn’t get trapped into the sort of routine even his father found it difficult to escape from, as Amitabh Bachchan’s more varied 1970s gave way to the far less interesting 1980s — the only Bachchan act not to follow.

    It seems to me that junta-janardhan actually wants JrB to take the 1980s baton from BigB, rather than from the 1970s. His attempt at trying to find the Deewar persona via DMD/Raavan etc has failed. His most memorable performances (BnB, Dostana) were in the 80s masala mould of BigB. He should stick to this for now and collect a few big-grossers. At the moment, everyone else in the industry is walking away with free “masala money”. So why shouldn’t the son of the greatest masala superstar cash in on this behti ganga?

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    • though one could argue that Sarkar and Guru and even Yuva were more like the 70s than the 80s. But where I do agree is that it’s much harder to thread the needle with the former today than the latter. You could have relatively weak films that still gross a lot in the 80s format. Abhishek if he wants to pursue this path needs one iconic overman part in the same format. The problem though is that if you do this and strike gold there is almost no return from it. Because once you’re associated with that sort of larger than life entertainment the contrast with other kinds of cinema becomes too stark and it’s very hard to bridge the divide. Note in this sense how Aamir himself did Ghajini and really stepped away from it. He’s not repeated himself even in the loose sense on this terrain despite how big this genre has become.

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      • Yes its very commandable how Aamir did not cash in on the Ghajini moment even though quite a few have revived their sagging careers based on it.

        Thats why Aamir is Aamir.

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        • Totally Agree. Also, the fact that Aamir can salvage a project with his input and acute film-making sense, which even a BigB lacks. Would you not agree that Aamir might have had ROM do D6 differently and make it successful? Or have Gowariker do KHJJS differently? We can blame Abhishek for the failures, but all he was doing was going with directors with the successful track records.
          HR had a better script sense than Abhishek, thus he rejected D6/KHJJS. But would the films have fared much better if we just replace Abhishek with HR in these movies? I am trying to tie in this point with our argument in the comment below.

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          • Agree that I dont think D6/KHJJS would have worked with Hrithik or Ranbir. But I also doubt if Abhishek in Agneepath or Raajneeti or even Rockstar would have made these films work at box office.

            You may argue that Abhishek in those roles may have reminded you more about what amitabh used to do in his times, but thats pretty much it.

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          • HR was never offered KHJJS as far as I know. He was interested in D6. This is a long story but the director always wanted Abhishek and some issues cropped at one point because of which both the director and UTV were considering some other options but eventually Abhishek was able to do it.

            Your point though is the right one. It is very different to argue that Aamir or anyone else would have changed some of these films drastically or not done them at one and on the other hand say these very films would have worked with other actors. And this is where those who are negative on Abhishek (not saying one cannot be this if one is so for sincere reasons) lose their argument. Because of course so many films can be pointed out from Swades to Guzaarish and so on about different stuff not working even with good reviews. The idea that anything can work just by switching the actor is patently absurd. On Agneepath you’re right that in a better box office position Abhishek might possibly have done it. I say possibly because he had enough qualms with the existing script. But ultimately Johar also went with a safer box office star. Otherwise he would have probably liked nothing better than to remake his father’s film with Bachchan’s son. Looking at this final result though I’m glad Abhishek didn’t do it. It’s fair to say that Johar might have given the character greater prominence and not have him simply fly under the radar with Abhishek on board but nonetheless the film would have mostly been the same and it’s a totally compromised effort.

            But it’s true that success begets success. It re-alters a star’s narrative in every sense including in terms of audience perception.

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    • lol, Nykavi ji i must say that you can be a great dialogue writer. Behti ganga here and lakshmi in box office thread really awsome

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    • NyKavi – Janta Janardhan obviously prefers Abhishek in comedy mould (BnB, Dostana, BB). But can you equate these acts with 80s Amitabh? Yes, Amitabh was the pillar on which 80s masala rested upon – but this comparison is like insulting Amitabh (even though its baap beta).

      Anyways, going by loose comparisons – if a guy like Hrithik can invest in Amitabh’s 70s persona in a successful remake Amitabh’s most iconic act in later years, isnt it a shame that Abhishek needs to do a poor-man’s impersonation of the 80s Amitabh to get a box-office hit?

      Look forward to your reply on this.

      How the wheels have changed from 2006 to 2012.

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      • Yes, the wheels have certainly turned in 2012and particularly on July 6,2012 and some poor souls are crushed between the spokes of those wheels and are barely able to make sense and are clutching at straws.

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      • Technically, Agneepath is a hit, but is it in anyway iconic? Its been a few months since Agneepath. Can you remember one Hrithik dialog from that movie. Anything that can rival: “Vijay Dinanath Chauhan, umr chatees baras”, etc and all the other iconic stuff dished out by BigB? In fact the only part that may actually become iconic is that by Sanjay Dutt as Kancha. Bechare naye-navele Vijay Dinanath ka kachumbar kar diya.

        So, they can remake all they want, they cannot ‘iconically’ beat the originals. The vintage 70s-80s stuff became so entirely on the iconic shoulders of the stars who powered those performances. Even BolB is not a path on the original Golmal. BigB himself could not hold a candle to Gabbar Singh. Baaki yeh chunu-munu Hrithik/SRK kya ukhad denge?

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        • well said Nykavi.. LOL! Though unlike Don they stayed away from all the iconic lines in Agneepath.

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        • I didnt ask you whether Hrithik has given an iconic performance comparable to Amitabh. Thats a redundant question. due to the tonal difference of the makers and characterization.

          I asked you about how Abhishek’s narrative it getting sketched at this moment – getting success in Dostanas and BBs in long intervals instead of trying his hand at recreating the Amitabh persona in the Agneepath or Zanjeer? Or say instead of getting success in ‘different’ or ‘prestige’ films?

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          • And Hrithik in Agneepath was just an example, I could have mentioned Ranbir with Raajneeti to the same effect.

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          • Would the actor who portrayed Lallan in Yuva not do a good job as VDC in a Agneepath remake? Success begets success. Had JrB not got waylaid off the successful course in that 2005-07 phase, perhaps he may have been the new VDC. A KJo would not have to think before betting on a hero with a successful track record. It was JrB’s poor choices since 2007 that dug him a big hole to get out of.
            I am not criticizing HR or his acting. He did a good job, but the differences remain. Had there not been an original Agneepath, would the remake have been successful?

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          • The only enduring memory of the new AP is Chikni Chameli and to some extent Sanju’s get up ( not his acting which was a one note affair).

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          • NyKavi – Forget Hrithik or Ranbir, they are not important here – did you read my question?

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          • Probably he is too bored to read or respond!

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  9. Actually remove Dutt’s monster like role from the new Agneepath and the film would not have reached 100 crores so easily- Unlike the original, Dutt’s Kancha here was as important in the publicity as Hrithik’s Vijay

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  10. Utkal Mohanty Says:

    Nykavi, quite apoart from the fcat that i did not like either the old or the new Agneepath, your gripe against hritik is not right. The new Vijay is not about dialogues it is about looks. and

    Hritik has got many iconic moments in the film lit up by his smoldering persona. Of course not being verbal I can not quote that here easily.

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  11. While it’s great that we are all happy for Abhishek’s success in BB, let’s not forget that this film also had Devgn- so once in a while some credit can be given to this guy too- it will be a nice change for the blog. And chill, Abhishek would not mind if, sometimes, we talk abt someone else’s success other than him 🙂 – he on the other hand has admitted how Devgn actually served him a hit on a platter- that was very nice of Abhishek and speaks volumes abt his character and upbringing

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    • Absolutely, after having being at the receiving end for so long when he gets this moment he’s eager to say that everyone’s responsible or that Shetty and Devgan are responsible for getting this out of him. The class exhibited by this father and son is not easily replicated!

      On the Devgan thing partly the debates are happening on the Abhishek side of the equation not for the larger reasons of who gets more credit and so on but also because as always on the blogosphere both success and failure are ‘gamed’ by many in various ways. With some people it’s the classic Republican playbook. They keep hitting you with something and when that fails for any reason they immediately shift gears. I suppose the energy must be admired in this sense. And so with Abhishek it was all about ‘he could never get a success’, ‘never be close to a big one’ and ‘never be liked by the masses’ and what not. The moment he got it people are saying ‘oh so the prestige actor had to stoop to conquer’! As if they were otherwise so supportive when he was doing the prestige. Of course not how people who otherwise say they don’t buy into prestige at all and so on are suddenly now using this very line of attack proving that they in fact did buy it all along! So there are a lot of insincere arguments all round.

      I will say this. I’ve truly been impressed by devgan here. Yes the families are close, yes he and his father have owed Bachchan in the past. But nonetheless he didn’t need to go quite this far. Throughout the advertising campaign there was really the sense of Devgan almost watching out for Abhishek. He could very easily have got a 100 crore one on his own. So this is an extraordinary gesture without doubt. And this is the difference between people like Johar (who also pretend to be ‘close’ but who only cheer when they see the big success!) and someone like Devgan.

      In the same vein Abhishek could be forgiven for basking in his success but his attitude has been very restrained which is why Bachchan very opaquely referred to this the other day — about how he had learnt about perseverance, and how doing it with grace and so on was quite remarkable. Terribly opaque note but one could read between the lines. And yes it’s quite true that no matter how much he’s failed, and no matter how much he’s been successful in each case Abhishek’s demeanor has exhibited the same poise and grace. It’s not something one sees every day. It takes a certain strength of character even if most people (even many among his fans) rarely give him the credit for this. In fact this sort of poise is seen as being uncaring about stuff!

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  12. Q- I need to blame your review for making me watch through this film- reading your piece was FAR more enjoyable that sitting through this movie! 😛

    I did not enjoy it- and some portions of this film really give a whole new meaning to pointless action sequences. But Abhishek was so darn cute- he’s always very endearing in comedic roles- no matter how stupid- I really liked him here. However I do think he could lose a little weight- he doesn’t have to develop a six-pack- or even become muscular- but he should get rid of his increasingly prominent double chin- it says a lot when his much senior father is in better shape than him. Besides-I do think that he is very attractive- far more so than most of the male actors today- and if he would just get in a little better shape there is no reason why he wouldn’t gain more of a female fan following.

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  13. “given comedies like Kya Superkool Hain Hum are on the horizon”

    This song is just too catchy..Both versions are catchy but I prefer Kher’s version

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  14. Bola Bachchan
    by Vajir Singh (July 14, 2012)

    His performance in Bol Bachchan did all the talking, and both critics and the audience are raving about him. The icing on the cake? Everyone associated with the film is laughing all the way to the bank. Here’s the man in news, and for all the right reasons. Abhishek Bachchan in conversation with Vajir Singh

    Are you happy?

    Yes, very happy.

    Because of the compliments or the business of the film?

    I have never understood business. I keep asking Ajay (Devgn) what is good and what is not. For an actor, there is nothing bigger than the fact that your film is doing well and the audience likes it. Andif you’re an industry kid, you want the industry to earn from the films you do.I wouldn’t want to be part of a film that doesn’t earn money for the industry. AndAjay tells me that not only do people lovethe film, it is also earning money, which is the whole purpose of making a film.

    Money in the bank means more movies will be made, right?

    Regardless of whether it’s the industry or the audience, there should be smiles all around. What’s the point of making a film which is so expensive that it cannot recover its investment?

    Did you expect this film to be this successful?

    We hoped it would be. No one can predict these things. But we hoped it would do well. I never dreamt it would be such a success.

    Are you happy or surprised?

    I am happily surprised.

    Now that the film has been declared a success, what do you have to say?

    It’s too early to say. People are asking me what I plan to do next and I say,nothing. In fact, I am going to work even harder on my next release. You shouldnot rest on your laurels and take thingsfor granted.

    There is also this thing about films working or not working from one Friday to the next?

    You will win on some Fridays and lose on some Fridays. The greatest thing about this industry is that there will always be another Friday. You have to keep working harder.

    You have seen many good Fridays and many bad Fridays. How do you deal with that?

    It’s not your decision to make. It is the audience’ decision and you have to respect that. At the end of the day, whatthe audience decides is cast in stone.You have to listen to what they have tosay and move on.

    Rohit Shetty is being compared to directors like Manmohan Desai and Prakash Mehra, who are known to have made true entertainers. Since you have worked with Shetty twice and grown up watching your father working with Desai and Mehra, what is your take on Shetty?

    I think Rohit’s focus on the audience is brilliant because he knows who he is making a film for. And when you knowthat and you don’t waiver in that conviction, you’re always going to get it right. He is so very sure about how he wants to make a film and who he wants to makethe film for, and I think that is an unbelievable quality to have. That coupled with his work ethics, which are outstanding. He is one of the hardest working people I have ever met. If you’re going to be grounded and humble and know who you’re making a film for, there’s only a small chance that you can go wrong.

    Ajay and Rohit, both consider you as their younger brother. How important is it to have that equation with a co-star and the director?

    That’s very important. Among the many reactions to the film is that you can see the camaraderie between the actors.You can see that because the actors are genuinely comfortable with each other.I have always said that when you work with an actor like Ajay, he makes you feel comfortable. He is a very secure actor and you never think, “Arrey, my role is going to get chopped off.” He knows heis a huge star and yet he understands that in certain scenes, he may have totake the backseat. And he does that gladly as he sees the bigger picture.

    Is that why you have more screen time in Bol Bachchan than Ajay Devgn does?

    No, I don’t think so. Screen time doesn’t mean anything. What’s important is what the roles are all about. He was the one,who called me and said, ‘’You are doing this film.’ And I said, ok. We are that close. When he says this is the film wehave to do, I know he will take care ofme.

    Sometimes, a great relationship between actors and directors can go haywire?

    No, I don’t think so at all. I don’t know about others but when there is immense faith in a team, it remains. Problems startthe minute you start doubting each other.Not once did Ajay, Rohit or I doubt each other’s intentions.

    Why was an item song included in the film?

    Ask Rohit, it was his idea.

    Rohit Shetty said in an interview to BOX OFFICE INDIA that you’re like ayounger brother to him and he owes the film’s success to you?

    No, I have asked Rohit not to make such statements. He doesn’t owe me anything.I owe him everything.

    What do you have to say about the Rs100-crore club?

    Yeh club kahan hai? Dikha do. Roz shamwahan baith ke coffee piyenge. I don’tbelieve in such clubs.

    It’s become a benchmark for performances, especially if it is a film by Rohit Shetty and stars Ajay Devgn and you. From the very beginning, it was said that Bol Bachchan would be a Rs100-crore film. Why this perception?

    I think this Rs 100-crore mark has simply replaced the silver jubilee. Aaj kal, you rarely get a film that celebrates a silverjubilee.

    Today, it’s more about numbers?

    I think the number has replaced the number of weeks a film runs.

    Why is it that?

    Because of you trade gurus and the fact that you guys are very good at your jobs. You trade pundits are very good at releasing trade figures. That’s why the audience talks about it.

    Besides the ‘Rs 100-crore’ tag, you also wear an ‘item boy’ tag?

    I was the first item boy, na? I did One love long ago in the film Rakht. It was the first item song that featured a guy.

    But here you did something different?

    Ya, it was the fun quotient. Trust me, Rohit said, ‘Besharm ban jao. Don’t have any doubts, just go all out.’ It rhymes too! He told me if I held anything back, it would not work.

    Was it choreographed?

    Yes, it was partly choreographed andpartly free-wheeling.

    What’s happening at AB Corp?

    Right now, we are only scripting.

    R Balki’s film?

    Yes.

    Will it feature you?

    We will decide whom to cast when the scripting is done.

    Are you going to accept fewer projects?

    Yes.

    I like doing one film at a time,release it and then move on to the nextproject.

    Is that the right thing to do?

    I think so. Today, the demands on leading artistes are a lot more and I want tobe a hundred percent available to my producer and director. You can’t say,‘Shooting khatam ho gayi toh we will move on to another film.’ You have tobe available for post-production. Youhave to be there for dubbing. You can’t just come for an hour at night, dub and leave. If the director and producer want your inputs, you have to be there. Evenif the creative team wants your attention,you have to be able to give them your time with some patchwork. Then you have the marketing and the promotion of your film. And promotion does not stop with the release.

    What is the biggest compliment you have received since the release of Bol Bachchan?

    I think the biggest compliment is that my film is doing well. It’s what all actors want to hear, isn’t it?

    Like

  15. bachchan1 to 10 Says:

    Abhishek Bachchan recounts an experience he had in his first year as an actor. He was shooting a ‘dance sequence’ for Tera Jadoo Chal Gaya in Switzerland, not far from the boarding school he had grown up in. “I was shooting a Hindi song in Europe, with fifty dancers from Chennai behind me, wearing weird shiny dresses. I was petrified that someone from my old school would come to the shoot and recognise me.”

    Bachchan’s clearly a reluctant movie star, even if he may not admit it. We are sitting in his spacious office in Juhu, paintings of the actor donning the walls, masala chai accompanying the conversation. “It’s embarrassing sometimes, having people come gawk at portraits of myself,” he says. It’s the first Tuesday after the actor’s latest film set the weekend cash registers ringing at the box office. He brushes it off, claiming that he doesn’t care for trade figures. But you know there is relief. A hit’s been a long time coming.

    Over the next hour, Bachchan talks of his time as an art history student, displays a penchant for number-crunching (“We are the only country in the world that calculates the net collections of our films, which is pointless, given the varying tax slabs in different states”), and cribs about the state of the city. “It’s insane — you can’t go anywhere.” I wonder if he’s talking about Dhoble’s crackdown on Mumbai’s nightlife but he clarifies it’s the monsoon that bothers him. “I have met a lot of people who worship Dhoble,” he adds, without really offering his own point of view.

    Finding his ground
    Films are what he’s most comfortable discussing. “The film world was alien to me (despite my roots), because I went to Switzerland at 9 for schooling. I remember reading early reviews which said I was an awkward dancer. Of course I was an awkward dancer! I can dance bloody well at a party, but it’s weird doing that in a movie.” Over the years — 12 since Refugee released — Bachchan’s shrugged off some of that awkwardness, painstakingly growing into the role of a Bollywood actor, much like he would for a character in a film.

    The early years were anything but smooth — constant comparisons with his father, a number of flops, and scant praise as an actor. The first few hits were attributed to luck. Then Yuva happened. Bachchan’s portrayal of the uncouth Lallan Singh made people sit up and take notice. The tide seemed to be turning. “Suddenly, I had three hits — Sarkar, Bunty Aur Babli and Dus — playing in cinema halls at the same time. I finally had my Amitabh Bachchan moment,” he grins.

    It’s the period from then to now that has been most puzzling. For a while, Bachchan seemed to have found his space — the urban, wry humour he presented was a contrast to his old man’s angry-young-man image. Somewhere along the line, however, he started making wrong choices.

    “I don’t see it that way,” he says obstinately. “No actor can ever tell with absolute certainty that a particular film will do well. And without taking names, there are actors who have given as many flops (as me). But they are still very much around.”

    Facing chin music
    A director friend of the actor points out in his defence that Bachchan’s biggest flops came with Ashutosh Gowariker, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Mani Rathnam, who were considered among the more reliable filmmakers at the time. Yet, it’s the actor who copped most of the criticism.

    Bachchan says he’s learnt to take it on the chin. “When your films don’t do well, you panic. All actors do. The whole star exterior is a defence mechanism. No one likes uncomfortable questions. With me, I had to deal with it from the word ‘go’. I guess I am fine with it now.”

    The insecurities never end though. “I have been flown first class to outdoor shoots, lived in a big suite, during which time a film of mine released and flopped, and I was sent back in economy. One time, I was on my way to the ‘look test’ of a film that had already been started with another actor in my place. Script locked, dates finalised, money sorted and yet dropped, only days before the shooting was to begin. I was once slapped by a member of the audience at Gaeity cinema who thought I was an embarrassment to my family.” He says all this without a break. “What do you do?”

    Star in a Rohit Shetty film is one possible answer. With Bol Bachchan having set the box office humming, Bachchan has something to cheer about. In a scene in the film, he dances suggestively to a medley of songs in the garb of a gay Bharatnatyam dancer. You may find the scene corny or squirmy depending on your taste, but the single screen audiences are lapping it up. “As an actor, you do everything the story demands. The director had faith in the scene, who am I to question it? The character’s in a desperate situation, and doing what is the only way out for him.” You wonder if Bachchan’s talking about himself.

    Like

  16. Alex adams Says:

    Thnx for that link kash-so what r u upto /which films?
    ” I was once slapped by a member of the audience at Gaeity cinema who thought I was an embarrassment to my family.”
    Think the ‘member of the audience’ did a big service to him …

    Like

    • bachchan1 to 10 Says:

      No problem Alex, I have read this elswhere as well, this is during his first flop phase before Dhoom, An old lady had slapped him after watching one of his movies, Dont know which one it was though.

      Like

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