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91 Responses to “Highway, Gunday (ongoing), the rest of the box office”
Watching it in today itself, but Highway is getting solid reviews.
Variety on the film-
February 20, 2014 | 11:09AM PT
Life is literally a highway for kidnapper and victim in this engaging and atypical improvised Bollywood road movie.
“Abduction paradoxically results in liberation for both the sheltered daughter of a rich industrialist and her hardened-criminal kidnapper in Imtiaz Ali’s “Highway.” Atypically, neither strain dominates in this Bollywood road movie, which intertwines dark social issues and blithe romance, thanks in part to relative newcomer Alia Bhatt’s endearingly cockeyed perf and “Slumdog Millionaire” Oscar winner A. R. Rahman’s powerful score. Tracing a journey of self-discovery through six North Indian states without a formal script, Ali’s actors, like his characters, effectively improvise in a meandering present tense, stripped of any viable destination. Opening Feb. 21 following its Berlin Film Festival premiere, “Highway” should score with Indian auds globally, with arthouse crossover a distant possibility”…
…..”Aside from a half-hummed song and a spirited solo roadside dance by Bhatt, Rahman’s evocative songs function mainly as inner voices conveying the characters’ unspoken emotions, while their impromptu dialogue (minimal on his part, run-on on hers) attests to their growing familiarity and ease. “Highway” benefits greatly from Ali’s improvisational approach to every aspect of the production.
Fully justifying the helmer’s faith in an untried actress, Bhatt interiorizes a self-realization that is only incidentally romantic, bringing an underlying sadness and wistful intelligence to one of the oldest cliches in the Bollywood playbook: the transformation of a sheltered rich girl through the vital immediacy of her lower-class lover. Anil Mehta’s HD lensing cannily exploits specific landscapes of the varied provinces the film traverses, from Rajasthan’s salt flats to Kashmir’s snow-capped mountains, interpreting them as psychologically resonant topography rather than picturesque travelogue. Meanwhile, Rahman’s music, freed from the staginess of intricately choreographed, multi-costumed setpieces, flows sinuously throughout.”
Highway is terrific. By far Ali’s best film. And Alia Bhatt can act! Would recommend everyone to watch it in the CINEMA HALL. I am certainly going for again it in the evening today. And probably tomorrow as well.
Highway Dependent On Word Of Mouth Darr At Mall Dull
Friday 21 February 2014 12.00 IST
Box Office India Trade Network
Highway had a reasonable start at some metro multiplexes while it was slow generally. The opening is very similar to Hasee Toh Phasee released a couple of weeks back but with a lower screen count. The film opened at around 20-25% on average and if it has double the occupancy in the evening which is easily possible it will get a total that gives it a chance of success.
These films like Highway are more about what they do in the evening unless the opening is total washout which is not the case here. The opening is okay for the film if it can grow.
Darr @ The Mall opened to a dull response and here the opening gives the film little chance unless its shows a phenomenal upturn and that too quickly. The opening was around the 5% mark. Gulaabi Gang (not to be mistaken with Madhuri Dixt – Juhi Chawla starrer Gulaab Gang) opened to empty houses on a very limited release.
Gunday Collects Well In Week One
Friday 21 February 2014 11.00 IST
Box Office India Trade Network
Gunday has a good first week of around 59 crore nett. It was helped by a good weekend while the weekday collections were on the lower side. Still the film has come out with a healthy first week total.
The film has done good to reasonable business in most circuits though has under performed in Southern and Eastern markets. Gunday has done better business at multiplexes than single screens even though it is an action film probably because the stars don’t have enough of a following amongst the single screen audience.
The film is a success even though the weekdays were on the lower side. The strong Valentines Day opening and decent enough follow through on Saturday and Sunday ensured this. There will be a another drop today due to release of Highway as that film has a good release at multiplexes meaning a big drop in screens for Gunday
Celebrating Bondage Over Bonds of Marriage
In ‘Highway,’ a Bride Falls for Her Kidnapper
By RACHEL SALTZFEB. 20, 2014
Launch media viewer
Alia Bhatt plays a wealthy urbanite who falls in love with her kidnapper in “Highway.” UTV Motion Pictures
“In bondage, she found freedom.” That’s the tagline in the trailer for the Hindi movie “Highway,” and it makes you wonder if the film will be appalling or merely clueless. It’s neither, though it has tone trouble as it searches for a genre to contain a story with built-in believability problems.
The “she” who finds freedom is Veera (Alia Bhatt), a rich urbanite whose wedding preparations we see in the first, claustrophobic scenes. “Let’s run away,” she tells her strait-laced fiancé. He’s willing to go for a drive but warns of the dangers of leaving the city.
And lo and behold, the minute she steps out of his fancy car at a gas station in Nowheresville, bandits nab her.
The director, Imtiaz Ali (“Rockstar”), doesn’t soft-pedal the violence of Veera’s kidnapping or the rough treatment she receives at her abductors’ hands. She’s gagged and bound and slapped and tossed in the back of an old truck. One of the kidnappers gropes her.
Ms. Bhatt convincingly shows us the fear in Veera’s eyes and her hopelessness. She escapes briefly, running herself ragged on a salt flat under a star-speckled sky. “Where am I?” croons the singer on the soundtrack.
The naturalism and violence (and threat of rape) in these scenes make them an uncomfortable prelude to what comes next: a love story.
Suddenly, Veera is not afraid. “Maybe I’ve lost my mind,” she says, and maybe she has. She begins to fall for the brooding, monosyllabic Mahabir (Randeep Hooda), one of her kidnappers.
At this point, “Highway” morphs, sort of, into a lighter, slightly more comic film, a road movie with plentiful scenery, some dancing and some yuks. But a dark undertow remains. The fact of the abduction means that a creepiness hovers over the romance, which has other obstacles to overcome, most important the class difference. If the road seems romantic to Veera (“I don’t want to get to where we’re going”), it’s only a dead end to Mahabir, a poor man on the run.
The cinematographer Anil Mehta’s lovely, unfussy images ground the film and show us a good bit of India. (It was shot in Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir.) Mr. Ali’s story, though, wanders too long and too far, sometimes coming off like a forced mash-up of “It Happened One Night” and “Patty Hearst.” No wonder the film can’t sustain a tone, wavering between realism and Bollywood hokum.
Ms. Bhatt has an openness and emotional transparency that help make her character something more than a screenwriter’s bad idea, even if you never quite believe that she’s attracted to Mahabir. Mr. Hooda fares less well, though he has the movie’s best scene:
In the mountains, Mahabir and Veera find a little cabin, which Veera proceeds to spiff up. Mahabir peers through the door but can’t go in. He turns his back, crying. He tries to enter again. Soon, he’s sobbing. The picture of domestic bliss is too much for him.
“I’ll never have this,” he says, and you know he’s right. It’s as if he were tossing cold water onto the movie’s moony fantasizing. Freedom, he reminds us, isn’t always an option.
““The wind is rising! We must try to live.” – Valéry
Legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki needn’t have formally announced his retirement for it to be abundantly clear that his latest feature would also be his last. While the cinema’s most revered animator confirmed on September 6th that he intends to put down his pencil once and for all, “The Wind Rises” is such a magnificently lucid summation of Miyazaki’s fierce humanism and singular genius that the film itself serves as a formal farewell.”…..
…”While initially jarring, Miyazaki’s unapologetic deviations from fact help “The Wind Rises” to transcend the linearity of its expected structure, the film eventually revealing itself to be less of a biopic than it is a devastatingly honest lament for the corruption of beauty, and how invariably pathetic the human response to that loss must be. Miyazaki’s films are often preoccupied with absence, the value of things left behind and how the ghosts of beautiful things are traced onto our memories like the shadows of a nuclear fallout, and “The Wind Rises” looks back as only a culminating work can. His stories aren’t about the things we’ve lost so much as they’re about the act of remembering them, and though “The Wind Rises” doesn’t forgive us for our transgressions, it directs us back to the beautiful ideas from which they first sprang. After a career spent righteously lambasting us for our greed and our increasing role as an ecological cancer, Miyazaki’s final film resonates as both his bleakest and his most inspiringly optimistic. As though No-Face from “Spirited Away” were exploded into a technicolor assessment of our civilization as a whole, “The Wind Rises” is an indelible reminder that the only way we dishonor the things we’ve lost is by forgetting how necessary it was for us to love them.
Hayao Miyazaki is the greatest animator the cinema has ever known, and he leaves us with perhaps the greatest animated film the cinema has ever seen.”
I know about this – there is a protest by Bangladesh people against the film for presenting facts incorrectly during ’71 partition and all those online petition and fans went ahead and did this. It has unusual more number of votes as well in so less time.
This is nothing to do regarding the quality of the film but just a protest against the film everywhere.
Dil Hai ki Manta Nahin was another road movie (based on It Happened One Night and subsequent Chori Chori) which starred alia’s sister Pooja Bhatt with Aamir Khan with chartbusters from Nadeem Shravan. It had some story too and some good fun with anupam kher’s overacting.
Imtiaz’s best remains Jab We Met. No philosophy but straightforward story. Shahid and Kareena looked nice and the music was pleasing.
Road movies have their own charm. It is time for some train movie.
But Mahesh Bhatt comparing Highway and Alia with Arth and Shabana is just amusing.
Imiiaz Ali’s best remains ‘Socha Na Tha’ IMO. Underrated movie, but it was refreshingly charming and innocent. Ali’s works have only gone downhill since then. Not in terms of the BO, but I don’t feel he’s been able to get back to the ‘Socha Na Tha’ level.
Gunday Eighth Day Business
Saturday 22 February 2014 12.00 IST
Box Office India Trade Network
Gunday grossed around 2 crore nett on its eighth day which is drop of 85% on day one but it get a boost from Valentines Day on its first day. The week on week drop will probably settle in the 75-80% range as the film dropped on the first Saturday but will show growth on the second Saturday.
Gunday has now collected around 61 crore nett in eight days and although its not sustaining strongly its not that bad either and should pick up another 8 crore nett approx over the second weekend.
The film has fared very well in Gujarat/Saurashtra belt which may to the growing fan following of Ranveer Singh in the area as Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram Leela did phenomenal business in the region which probably gained him popularity.
It won’t get past 75-80 cr which is what I thought after watching it cause it was nothing special. I would say it is an Okay box office performance. Considering it’s Ranveer’s 5th movie and Arjun’s 3rd, 75 crore is a good total since besides Ranbir, no other “Gen X” star has grossed over 60 crores. To be honest every single big/semi-big movie in the last couple of years (except Ek Tha Tiger actually) has disappointed me as a bollywood buff.
Highway First Day Collection Report
Saturday 22 February 2014 11.00 IST
Box Office India Trade Network
Highway started slowly but picked up well in the evening in metro multiplexes. The film manage to record decent collections in places like Mumbai, Delhi, Gurgaon and Bangalore. The first day collections are around 3.25-3.50 crore nett.
The first day collections are okay as the release was only on around 700 screens and restricted to mainly multiplexes. In fact the horror film Darr @ The Mall had a wider release going to over 1100 screens. The film did not do well outside metros but that is expected and release was also restricted outside the major cities.
The film is sure to see growth on Saturday and it remains to be seen how much, it should go to over 4 crore nett but if it can get near the 5 crore nett then the film can really go somewhere.
Satyam: Glad that you put that tweet up on Javed Akhtar’s comment. As much as I liked Alia Bhatt here, this is hardly some monumental performance. That was plain stupid comment from Akhtar. And it is surprising because he probably knows more about the performances of Nutan, Meena Kumari and Nargis than most others.
Will say this though, Highway is getting some very mixed reviews by the Indian critics (in fact some of the foreign ones have been more kind on the film than their Indian counterparts). And one of the reasons is because this film, with all its narrative problems and interminable length, is far too authentic for the multiplex audience and critics. There are some dark truths here and not just the ‘one’ which the public and the critics are talking about. Will agree that Anil Mehta deserves all the credit he is getting for his splendid work here, his best work by a margin. Also Rahman’s score here is by no means weak. It has been used astutely by Ali and really makes the film come alive.
Hope you guys make an effort to a watch it in theatre as soon as possible. A home-viewing will be somewhat pointless considering the film’s visual strengths.
Spike Jonze subtly blasts a BBC newscaster who doesn’t bother to get or simply doesn’t get what the movie is about but is lucky enough to be an imbecile sitting her haughty ass on even more expensive chair..
Am determined to catch ‘her’ (pun unintended) -like other films.
The concept is novel (& interesting to me)
Haven’t seen this video yet (nothing new!)
Yes Emily should’ve seen the film properly first before commenting upon it (like me) on national telly ..
Having said that–
It’s becoming v common for the likes of Tarantino and now jonze to get ‘offended’ easily.
My humble suggestion to them (& other cineastes) is not to forget that film making unfortunately doesn’t involve inventing a new fuel or a new moon or a new life saving treatment…so they shouldn’t forget their ‘place in the scheme of things’ (esp on a news show!)
Part of it seems to because of Bangladesh and history..I am yet to see the movie so don’t know if its the worst movie of all time or not…but couple of my friends who watched told me that its so unbearable that they were hardly able to finish the movie in theater.
Highway Darr At The Mall Second Day Business
Sunday 23 February 2014 11.00 IST
Box Office India Trade Network
Highway grossed around 4-4.25 crore nett on Saturday which was good growth but the problem being the low starting point. The growth was in the 30% region as big cities showed a good upwards trend.
The film has collected around 7.25-7.50 crore nett in two days with the best business coming from Delhi NCR and east Punjab. The growth was limited in the smaller circuits with places like Rajasthan and CI growing in the 15-20% range. There should be more growth on Sunday but the weekend is set to be on the lower side.
Darr @ The Mall had second day collections in the same range as day one and has collected around 2 crore nett in two days which is poor considering a pretty wide release.
Fantastic piece by Rangan. I did mention earlier in some Ratnam post saying that imtiaz is a very relevant director for today like hirani. Looks like imtiaz has outdone his earlier efforts. And Alia Bhatt seems to be an actress.
I saw Highway today…I went into the theatre feeling extremely skeptical about Imitiaz Ali’s filmmaking capability, but this is easily the best Bollywood movie I’ve seen in the past year. Randeep Honda was reliably good (and extremely attractive in a broodingly, taciturn way!), and Alia Bhat was an absolute revelation. The comparison to Mother India and Arth might be ludicrous, but this performance certainly blows all of her under-30 female contemporaries (Parineeti and Deepika included) out of the water.
The film did occasionally segue into facile territory, especially with it’s simplistic demonizing of the rich, but overall, it was remarkably skillfully made and it worked on multiple levels: as a love story, as a coming of age film, and as a dark piece of social commentary.
I really enjoed Rangan’s review, since he managed to convey everything I felt while watching the film so articulately.
When I saw the trailer, I was afraid that this would be a film that romanticized the Stockholm Syndrome, and the affection that a woman developers for her abuser, but that was not the case at all.
Veera’s attraction to Mahavir was because he was able to offer her a sense of safety that she’d never experienced before; the contrast between Mahavir’s boorishly powerful, son-of-the-soil demeanor and the effete cowardice of her fiancé and father could not have been more stark. This was a girl who’d been repeatedly violated within her own home, and let down by her parents who feared for what society would say if they exposed her tormentor. Similarly, her fiancé was terrified of doing the inappropriate thing and taking her out for a drive; when she did get abducted all he could do was shout ‘I told you so!’.
On the other hand, Mahavir, who was not bothered with social niceties and unfair to antagonize people’s, reacted in an instinctive and effective (if charecteristcally violent) manner when he caught his accomplice groping her, and I believe that this was when she began falling in love with him. Even at the bus stop in the Himalayas, she explains that she doesn’t want to marry him, she simply wants to be free, and unlike her fiancé who couldn’t even take her for a drive without his guards, Mahavir gives her the sense of safety that she can go out there and explore the world, and he’ll be there for her if anything goes wrong.
Of course, Mahavor’s effectiveness on the ground comes from having led a life of hardship and from having been forced to fend for himself, whereas her fiancé (and father) are completely ineffectual outside of their expensive cars and their designer drawing rooms.
It hasn’t been shown. It will be shown next week. The last one featured Madhuri and Juhi. They moved the show timings from 9 to 11 because of adult nature of talk. But then they showed both girls talking Butt cheek in promo.
“Even at the bus stop in the Himalayas, she explains that she doesn’t want to marry him, she simply wants to be free”
But then she is ready to cook for him? To me it was a fake or contrived movie. If I take some leap of faith (a rich kid surviving in bare minimum condition and actually liking it in spite of her past) then it is a decent to good movie in terms of screenplay. Alia emoted well in one long scene where she tells about her past but rest I find Akhtar saab was drinking something when he saw the movie. Randeep Hooda was comparatively much better. The supporting cast of helpers were good. I find this a better movie than Rockstar. But still Socha na Tha and firsthalf of JWM were far better.
Haha! What does cooking for him have to do with wanting to marry him? :-P It was just part of her dream of wanting to live a simple, minimalistic life, free from the contrivances and excess of Delhi high-society. However, I will agree that the movie’s one-dimensional portrayal of the rich as vapid, banal and evil was overly simplistic, and stuck out like a sore thumb.
I didn’t interpret it that way…to me Veera only cared for Mahavir because she found him to be a simple, rugged beast i.e. an exciting antithesis to the world of stifling artifice that she inhabited. The whole road trip was an exciting novelty for her, and the simplicity of domestic life by the hill was part of that novelty.
That’s why he breaks down when he steps into the hut and sees her enacting such a simple, domestic routine; for him, it’s represents the stability and family life that he so badly craves, whereas for her it’s a just a game; he wants that life so desperately, but he knows that it is only a mirage that will only last until the police capture him and she returns to her world of riches.
As for not knowing to perform chores, Veera’s was just cooking Maggi; surely anybody of any gender/ class/ martial status can do that? :)
Gunday Crosses 65 Crore In Ten Days
Monday 24 February 2014 11.30 IST
Box Office India Trade Network
Gunday grossed around 7.50 crore nett in its second weekend taking its ten day total to 65.50 crore nett. The film has seen a drop of around 80% in its second weekend which is slightly higher than the norm.
The overall business of the film is pretty good although it has not sustained that well from the good initial. But thanks to the good initial the film took it is a good success. The business in second weekend was best in Delhi/UP as that circuit grossed around 1.65 crore nett.
The lifetime business of the film will cross 70 crore nett and but the 75 crore nett mark will depend on how the weekdays of the second weekend go and how much the third weekend can contribute.
Highway First Weekend Business
Monday 24 February 2014 11.30 IST
Box Office India Trade Network
Highway grossed around 13-13.25 crore nett in its first weekend. The film had an upward trend over the weekend but due to a slow start at most places it needed a bigger jump on Saturday. The growth had to be over 50% but was around the 35% range.
The film was released on just over 700 screens which helped the film as it was not playing in places where it had little chance of collecting. Today films which only have chances at city multiplexes are going to 1200 plus screens and most of these films hardly have collections at places.
Highway was restricted to 1-2 screens at multiplexes with only better collecting multiplexes going to two screens and the single screen was very limited to a few big cities. The weekend breakdown of the film is as follows.
Abhishek Bhachchan puts the spotlight on neglected-diseases in India
MUMBAI, FEB 22:
As India prepares for final certification on being polio-free for three years, another global campaign aimed at eliminating seven neglected diseases has appointed Abhishek Bachchan as its ambassador.
In his role as the END7 campaign’s first ambassador in India, the junior Bachchan visited Orissa, estimated to have one of the country’s highest burdens of neglected tropical diseases – a group of bacterial and parasitic infections.
Earlier this month, Bachchan visited the Banamalipur Resource Centre run by Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA), outside Bhubaneswar. Interacting with women and men suffering from lymphatic filariasis, Bachchan heard their struggle associated with the disease and how it prevented them and their children securing employment and socialising freely within their own communities, a note from the campaign said.
“My first site visit with END7 has been a deeply moving, personal experience that allowed me to understand how these diseases can devastate entire families through the pain and stigma they cause,” the communiqué said quoting Bachchan.
He also witnessed various disease management and disability prevention techniques.
“We have a staggering proportion of fellow Indians who are infected by or are at risk of contracting at least one NTD,” he said. And while the country was making progress and had free, safe treatments available – “we must build greater momentum and every Indian should do their part to help make defeating NTDs by 2020 our country’s next big health success story,” he added.
The END7 public awareness campaign targets controlling and eliminating the seven most common NTDs by 2020. It was launched in 2012 by the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases (GNNTD), an advocacy initiative of the Sabin Vaccine Institute (SVI).
SVI’s Richard Hatzfeld said the junior Bachchan saw the campaign as among India’s most successful opportunities in public health where one could make a difference, only it needed more attention.
Explaining the challenge that exists, Neeraj Mistry, GNNTD head, said the federal system had excellent policies in place but there was still the problem of dealing with the stigma and discrimination that people faced, he said.
Taking a page from the polio-campaign, he said, partnering with faith-based communities had worked for polio. The END7 campaign would seek to partner with corporates, for instance, to bring attention to these diseases.
Bachchan will help put the spotlight on NTDs as a health priority for India, working with people on awareness and policy-makers on investing in cost-effective NTD programmes.
NTDs are estimated to impact one in six people worldwide, including 500 million children. And India is estimated to be home to 35 per cent of the global population infected with NTDs.
The seven most common NTDs, estimated to account for 90 per cent of the global burden include elephantiasis, river blindness, snail fever, trachoma and diseases caused by hook worms, whip worms and round worms. They cause blindness, massive swelling in the limbs, malnutrition and anaemia.
Lymphatic filariasis, along with other NTDs, can be prevented with a yearly dose of albendazole. Several drug companies have globally committed to supplying medicines to Governments who source medicines and supply them free to patients on NTD programmes.
In fact, many NTD programmes use existing infrastructure such as schools and community centers to administer the medicine, making NTD treatment one of the most cost-effective public health initiatives available today, the note added.
A lead instructional writer for an e-learning company by day and an artist with mind-blowing skills by night, Mumbai-based Saurabh
Some of Turakhia’s best works include Portraits of actors Kajol, Kareena Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan. “Caricature artist Vivek Thakkar helped me with the portrait of Kareena Kapoor,” says Turakhia. “Pooja Bhatt had even tweeted that she really liked a sketch that I had posted of her father Mahesh Bhatt.”
So, is this skill an acquired one or was he just born with it? “A teacher named Mrs Soparkar taught me sketching and drawing many years ago. She is the one who gave me the initial push and confidence to work towards my passion. And, I have followed it up ever since,” he responds. He adds: “The biggest hurdle that I face right now is that I can only create portraits by referring to pictures. I am trying to get out of that.”
About his future plans, Turakhia says: “I want to become a full-fledged artist one day. I wish to specialise in making portraits – because that’s something I’m good at.”
Well, going by his artworks, we can’t think of anything that would keep him from realising his dream. Here are 15 of his best sketches
While recently Farhan Akhtar confirmed his presence in the film being made by his sister Zoya Akhtar, now we hear that the film is titled Dil Dhadakne Do.
Also, it is being said that the film is about a dysfunctional Punjabi family where Priyanka Chopra and Ranveer Singh will be playing siblings. The film which is slated to go on floors in May this year will be shot extensively on a cruise liner exploring various interesting locations in Europe like Spain, Turkey, Italy, France etc.
Dil Dhadakne Do will also star Anushka Sharma and Anil Kapoor in prominent roles and is slated to release on June 5, 2015.
the remarkable thing is that SRK has undergone a more populist turn (part of it by necessity) where (for instance) he represents the South to a larger degree in his films whereas Zoya Akhtar is busy doing updated versions of Yashraj! One would have expected SRK to graduate to the latter but because he was never quite sold on the original paradigm in any case (claimed once that he didn’t even like DDLJ) and essentially sold his soul to the devil the moment the tide turned he had little reason to go in for the upgrade not least because this even more upscale multiplex version is unlikely to produce a benchmark grosser (certainly not with a star his age). He still did the Yahsraj/Johar deal for a while. He probably expected a big grosser somewhere but in any case this worked out for him outside India and to an extent he had those long-standing relationships. But in any case he’s not doing this sort of film. He’s somewhat constrained by age but that’s only half the story. On that note Farhan Akhtar himself who provided Yashraj/Johar a shot in the arm with the DCH paradigm has shown no real inclination to ever revisit it. Though one might not have liked his follow-ups as much the fact is that none of these constituted a DCH sequel of any sort. Perhaps he has some integrity! Zoya Akhtar meanwhile reveals with every new production just how comfortable she’s become with the multiplex compact. I had problems with LBC but that seems a far cry now from the current project!
A cruise around Spain, France, Italy, Turkey.. just how existentially challenged can one’s life be?
Hmm…Zoya was involved in writing/ assistant directing Talaash which was very far from the multiplex formula; besides, portraying relationships does seem to be her strength, so a film about a dysfunctional family sounds promising, however tacky and tired the cruise liner setting may be. In any case, I’d take a ZNMD sequel over a Don sequel anyday, I don’t know how one implies more integrity than the other!
Don’t think Satyam was implying that making a Don franchise shows any kind of integrity, (his comments elsewhere on this would suggest a somewhat…different sense of those films) just an interest in something outside of the universe that these guys and most of the industry has beaten into the ground. And Zoya Akhtar might be more nuanced in her approach to the material she’s interested in, but turning the volume down doesn’t change the tune all that much. I don’t think she’s a particularly interesting filmmaker, and I agree with Satyam that ZNMD is a step down from LBC.
Your point on her involvement with Talaash is noteworthy. Excel did create something unique there.
yes but those ‘relationships’ seem to be the most basic 101 kind. Even in contemporary Bollywood terms she hardly stands out in this sense. Which is not to say that something like ZNMD isn’t watchable. Just that what passes off as an exploration of relationships here is so incredibly elementary and ‘feel-good’ in the Hollywood sense. Even this current film seems to have a similar pedigree. You have essentially a comedy, some good chemistry among the actors, you supplement all of this with a few moving scenes, all of this against the background of a Johar-type fantasy. This defines the multiplex hit in many ways. I am willing to allow a filmmaker some latitude if there is a truly genuine gesture somewhere. Rockstar it seems to me and through all its imperfections is a better example of that sort of film. Obviously commercial, obviously intended for a certain audience but it does a few interesting things. Imtiaz Ali seems to have taken it further with Highway. On the other hand LAK was absolutely useless. But Zoya Akhtar seems wedded to her version of LAK. And being associated with Talaash makes her choices even more cyclical. Why doesn’t she attempt something similar when she’s directing? I don’t mean the same sort of subject, just something a bit less by-the-numbers.
And to clarify the Farhan Akhtar point a bit more he never kept redoing DCH. Now the Don idea might not have worked out as far as I’m concerned but it at least suggests some greater range of interests. Lakshya was a different subject too. Neither film was radical (though Lakshya was often spectacularly shot) but Farhan strikes me as a guy who could be a lot more interesting as a director if he would just stop being an actor! His career after DCH or maybe Lakshya is pretty disappointing given his skill set. But then this is a problem or was a problem with many filmmakers who came of age around the time of Lagaan or after this. The inability to make more than a movie once in a while and even with that low frequency the inability to tackle subjects truly commensurate with their skill sets. They haven’t really challenged themselves. In different ways, for different reasons. I like some of these filmmakers more than others but I have this complaint with even the ones that I like. Zoya Akhtar though is the kind of filmmaker whose every film Johar probably likes. And this is an instant disqualifier in my book to the degree that ‘Johar’ is the name for a certain kind of reception in these matters.
I will agree that her range of interests do seem to be extremely limited, given that both ZNMD and this new film are supposedly inspired by her own holidays! However, within the multiplex rom-com/ buddy com genre, I’d much rather watch a ZNMD than any of it’s competitors.
That might seem like very faint praise, but there is room for every kind of genre, and the Akhtar siblings seem to be amongst the very few in Bollywood who can pull off fluffy urban coolth without looking completely clueless, contrived and wannabe (as opposed Cocktail/ LAK/ YJHD). They make these films because they are at home within this (admittedly shallow) mileau’, and that’s not entirely a bad thing IMO.
Agree with Amy there about zoya & ZNMD. Btw I feel these attempts @ trivialisation of ZNMD due to ‘affluence’ aren’t new & don’t hold much force beyond a point.
And yeah -Kat as the female osho did sort of ‘convert’ me ..lol
Anyhow folks –am too tired for all this intellectualisation and before I come into my fullblown Sufi mode for /after ‘highway’ soon–just came across this …
Imbecile kiddish but harmless fun-wid-cool beats
This reminds me of a recent track I loved–saif n Jacqueline (will come 2 dat l8r)
When one is unable to watch full films-watching a song or promo is a good ‘break’. And it helps when ileana squeezes out all her remnant oomph while blurting out “Haathon se..”
Imaandari ki bimari
Chhod de aaja, daud ke aaja
O kare dil tujhko invite
Ho saari night besharmi ki height
Ik tu.. ik main..
Aur ho dim dim ye light….
Q. Highway has got some of the best reviews recently but are they overrated or fake as the film is pretty bad?
Ans. Good and bad is opinion as are reviews. See what all this reviewing and rating is about is to judge good films so maybe Highway is a good film but there is a big difference between good films and good cinema. Good cinema is a good film which also has the theatrical viewing feel and a lot of these multiplex type of films give the feel that is more suited for home viewing.
Q. You have said Dhoom 3 grossed 261 crore nett and has set records in every circuit apart from Mumbai so is the distributor share also over 150 crore as 60% gone to distributors?
Ans. No the share will not hit 150 crore, it will be around 140-145 crore. It is still the highest share by a distance
Q. Will the Christmas clash between Peekay, Bombay Velvet and Welcome Back be the biggest clash ever in history?
Ans. P.K. will probably release on 19th December as it will be more beneficial to have the holiday on day seven rather than day one as a mega opening can be taken for granted. Bombay Velvet and Welcome Back can come on Christmas but there will be a screen problem for both as they will not only be clashing with each over but P.K. will be a strong holdover as well. Also Bombay Velvet and Welcome Back do not have a lot going for them to release in the vicinity of P.K. Bombay Velvet has a star like Ranbir Kapoor but a director who has a disastrous record at the box office which could override the Ranbir factor and Welcome Back is sequel to Welcome (2007) but without Akshay Kumar which takes it down a notch or two despite it being a sequel of a very big hit film.
Lol ! Time to time they come up with these question and answer sessions to push the agenda they have in mind and to clarify few doubts which they cannot say otherwise as a write up. I strongly believe these are all cooked up queries from within..
” Good cinema is a good film which also has the theatrical viewing feel and a lot of these multiplex type of films give the feel that is more suited for home viewing.”
Well this is the crux to the business of Indian cinema. In India the pricing for small films is so skewered to venture out to cinema hall and they end up not doing much of a gross. The home viewing thing itself is getting tremendous competition these days from cable tv and internet etc. Attention span is so short that you need to make an effort to sit thru a movie at home when one has the option to flip channel or surf high speed internet.
This problem is not so pronounced in US since $ 10 ticket is the least concern for majority of moviegoers.
Well in the US the the movie going overall is on the reduce with the TV Shows really going out of their way to produce content which is top notch for e.g. Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and House of Cards and secondly the viewer has the ability to binge watch it or watch it at his own comfort. The movies in recent times haven’t been able to cater to these audience changing tastes and viewing habits. I feel such moment might soon hit Indian tv when the likes of amazing shows keep people home instead of watching movies.
****I feel such moment might soon hit Indian tv when the likes of amazing shows keep people home instead of watching movies.***
Forget it. It will be an apocalypse were the content of Hindi TV channels to be plagued with quality. The BEST in terms of quality they can come up with is I think a compilation of reaction shots of each and every character in a soap and this alone has the potential to run for 500 episodes..
LOL – I could not have described the plight of Indian tv better myself. Except, that without fail, there is a nasty mother in law.
There is no middle ground in the tv. It is either reality tv, which there is an abundance of competition from US tv or over the top melodramatic drama serials.
Could you imagine a show like Big Bang Theory hitting indian tv. Heck even the quality of the news is terrible.
And I hardly watch these American shows either, but endlessly hear how good they are. Call me old fashioned, but nothing beats a good episode of Only Fools and Horses!
Indian soaps are the most regressive,repulsive TV I have ever seen. They have not kept up with times. Repeatitive themes, cliched,predictable,boring and poor production values. Somehow, they find an audience. Guess, lack of alternatives. The most annoying thing is the way the camera keeps on jumping from one person to the next whenever there is a ‘dramatic’ moment. It is the equivalent of ‘dhan-ta-nen’ in the back ground music in old films!
I mostly agree with your characterization but I’ve also started thinking of late that one must perhaps look at this whole mode of programming as something singular and not just a ‘soap’ like many others around the world. In addition to what you mention they’re made for an audience with Alzheimer’s. A deliberate lack of continuity or the mysterious disappearance of certain actors from the household without explanation (say there’s a family of 12 who show up in every episode, suddenly only 8 start showing up, presumably the actors had better things to do but still there’s no explanation), then the ageless protagonists. Even over a span of 20 years or more there is a deliberate effort not to even whiten a few strands of hair. So you put it all together and it seems pretty absurd. Or at least a different sort of absurdity than the kind one takes as par for the course in other soaps (nighttime or daytime). I think perhaps this might be a genre that relies entirely on the effect of the moment and actively encourages it’s audience to not look beyond those 15-20 min that each episode is on every day (leaving aside commercial breaks). This too is a length you don’t see anywhere. Of course some are much longer. But in general they function like trailers. There has to be something ‘exciting’ all the time. And that pounding music, or the crazy closeups or jump shots or whatever, all contribute to this pure ‘surface’ entertainment. It is simply about the effect created in an instant, nothing more. I have often criticized contemporary Bollywood for being like this but compared to the TV shows it’s rather heavy entertainment! But either way there is an alliance between the two. An audience that addicted to this form of television is not surprisingly into movies mostly to watch a music video. And again you can correlate this even with the movie edits — increasingly shorter, increasingly like MTV videos (whether a song is on and not), increasingly about ‘shock and awe’ campaigns. It’s one thing to do this in the thriller format or action or something and quite another to have a rom-com shot like this. Not to say that some of this doesn’t happen in Hollywood or American TV. But in India it’s taken to another level altogether. And of course in the US TV barring some very commercial where the steadicam is routinely abused the better examples of this ‘golden age’ are more often than not about a much more relaxed if not slower pace. One might even say that the some of the virtues of a more classic age of cinema have been rediscovered in this format which certainly allows one the time to do so. No such luck in Hindi cinema where even the auteurist attempts mostly follow this logic and when they don’t you wish they did (Lootera or whatever! though I’ve only seen bits of this particular film).
It reminds me of some of the US programmes like Bold and Beautiful or Sunset Beach, except instead of a lots of adultery/sex/younger themed show, its more family orientated. But shot in the same way…and yes, you could miss the show for a month but still be at the same place in terms of the plot.
There are segments watching Indian tv serials. Teenagers prefer soaps like Madhubala, Jodha Akbar and such romantic serials.
Housewives prefer Saath Nibhana Saaathiya, Balika Vadhu and the like.
The camera panning on each face is to satisfy the fans of every actor and to prolong the episodes forever.
Many disappear as they are not satisfied with the roles and the producers have to manage without them.
The sword of TRPS hanging on their heads, they make compromises.
The serials maybe pukeworthy, but some of the actors emote much better than many bollywood stars. And look better too. It is like lotus flowering amidst muddy, stagnant ponds.
And there is this psychological need and fulfiment. A typical soap watcher develops a bond with certain characters and they want to watch them even if the story does not move. Kokila of SNS with her deadpan expressions and judgmental tendencies, Dadisa of Balika Vadhu with her old world charm, the non smiling Bhabho of DABH. These are some of the middleaged characters with large joint families around them are attractive to the women of nuclear families who cant live in a joint family and yet want to be part of it. Like FB and twitter addiction. With films you dont develop such bonds and the stars are too remote for ordinary folks.
It’s not just soaps but a whole bunch of film based shows/ reality tv. Each channel has its daily quota of gaana bajana even the news channel too. So there is a lot of content on tv for majority of Indians and viewership is high that’s why sponsorship is never an issue for any channel. Take the case for Indian Cricket for example…. a dying sport elsewhere due to time constraints
The film is holding up pretty well on the weekdays with low collections but it really needed a good second week to pull through but with Shaadi Ke Side Effects is likely to take away its audience in week two. A 30 crore lifetime total is looking out of reach.
Bad reviews or box office don’t bother me. To me, this is Ridley Scott’s best film. Not sure if anybody agrees with that but who cares?
The ‘abstractification’ and the pilot device here totally misses the average viewer (not surprising) but hey, the ‘intellectual’ also gets totally misled here. The know-all reviewer did detect the obvious flaw -most of the dialogue is overwritten built upon an unsubstantiated plot providing no basis for the definitive statements made about life, sex, violence, drugs and greed. But the ‘critic’ gets obsessed by this one observation missing everything else, the setting and flavor of the proceedings.
On the surface, this appears to be a movie about a drug-deal gone wrong. But it’s just a set up for all the visual metaphors and abstraction. This is not a safe move in a medium where audiences are accustomed to being spoon-fed every last detail, or at least given all the pieces of a puzzle which they can be fooled into believing they have ‘solved’ (sic!). In a world where TDKR, Gravity and American Hustle (not forgetting Tarantino!) define the ultimate in cutting-edge entertainment, films like this are bound to be misunderstood. Amongst the rich wordplay which both reveals and conceals the truth, most things turn out to be a mirage, the only redemption & ultimate truth being death.
This is also a film that employs major starpower and uses it albeit in a manner & form in which the viewers aren’t used to seeing them in. Music is a-class just like the starcast.
To give a flavour–let’s look at the ageless wonder Cameron Diaz who has sex with a car windshield in a sort of wierd scene with Javier Bardem just looking on! But the point of her auto-erotic efforts isn’t just that she’s having sex with a car; considering her clear contempt for every other human in the film and her later revelation that she derived sexual pleasure from seeing her cheetahs hunt, it’s hardly surprising she’d rather screw an inanimate object. Anyhow, lemme move on..
Michael Fassbender seems a bit-off color throughout passively listening or reacting to others but shows off his histrionic skills in a perfect crescendo build up meltdown scene interspersed with some ace dialogue. What a scene!
The visuals are dominated by yellow brown greens (cinematography by a polish guy Wolski). At least one possible interpretation is that it’s all one prolonged hallucination or one feverish dream, as one ties the last scene where the Counselor himself lies in the broken condition trying to piece together what happened. To the first opening scene wherein Penelope Cruz seductively whispers “Are you awake?”
The counselor is the only guy who really needs the counselling here..
You will never come to know the real name of the ‘counselor’ ….(not that it matters(ed)…
You all know what an average artist Rahman is. Right? There are two things common between me and him, ” Jai Ho!,” said Salman which made the colour drain out of Rahman’s face.
As Rahman stood there stupefied, Salman also boasted that he (Salman) is the best person anyone could have had in this gathering to inaugurate the music album. (Other dignitaries like Anil Kapoor, Amar Singh, Jaya Prada were present)
Salman then proceeded to sarcastically request A R Rahman to work with him.”Hamaare saath kab kaam karoge yaar,” asked Salman.
Thanx MS Dhoni–
Well, the fact is that this is Satyams blog & I don’t wanna steal his thunder & inadvertently ‘undermine’ his ‘ownership’ of this space.
Due to some strange reasons, Satyam is feeling insecure and even ‘scared’ at some of my comments…
I don’t want to ‘expose’ Satyam. But lately he has gone into a ‘defensive’ shell probably as a result of my ‘onslaughts’.
Deleting/modifying my comments is nothing new but lately Satyam has felt the need to ‘moderate’ my comments even before they are ‘released’ or posted. Which has made Satyam an admin recluse.
Nowadays u don’t see the Satyam writing insightful analytical stuff, but one who is on the lookout for my comments, carefully gauging if they can be released and if the blog can handle them
And this is unprecedented in the history of this blog…!! Infact again I have set this new trend …
In a way, unknowingly I have initiated a certain ‘domestication’ of Satyam who inturn has become ‘petrified’ and ‘pettified’ …
As for ‘gagging me’– u are right , it was never possible and never will be :-)
Ps: hope Satyam reverts to his own carefree self and gets over this scared petrified insecure self…
Am in the middle of some work at the moment but shall get back to this soon…
IF Satyam releases this comment
If he doesn’t, it proves everything mentioned above!