Friday, October 08, 2004

Bombay Dreams: Now, a movie!

Bombay Dreams: Now, a movie!: "Bombay Dreams: Now, a movie!

Arthur J Pais in New York October 06, 2004 13:49 IST


A theatre project that hardly anyone wanted to touch four years ago is now on its way to be a small budget musical from a big name British company.
Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful group, which produced the smash London hit Bombay Dreams even as the veterans of West End and desi entrepreneurs were claiming that it won't succeed, is now working on a $8-$10 million movie version of the slum-boy-meets-idealistic rich girl story.

It would be the second international musical assignment for AR Rahman whose Chinese film Warriors Of Heaven And Earth recently ended its art-house run in America.

The story on Bombay Dreams was first reported by Variety which also said Farah Khan, whose Main Hoon Na, grossed over $2 million in North America, was a favourite to be the director. She was the co-choreographer for the London and Broadway version of the musical, and garnered a Tony nomination.

A spokesperson for Really Useful group told rediff.com that it would be several months before the shooting starts. Currently, the company is getting ready for the Christmas roll out of the screen version of The Phantom Of The Opera, the Lloyd Webber musical that is now in its 16th year in New York. Worldwide, the musical has grossed about $3 billion. The Phantom movie project costs about $75 million.

The Broadway version of Bombay Dreams, now in its fifth month, has grossed a decent $16 million but has been playing to just about 60 percent of the cavernous 1,750-seat Broadway Theatre in the last two months. It is far from recovering its $14 million investment.

The worldwide success of a handful of desi themed movies such as Bend It Like Beckham and Monsoon Wedding, and the excellent buzz for Gurinder Chadha's Bride And Prejudice, certainly was a key factor in the decision to bring Bombay Dreams to the screen.

'It's effectively a Bollywood film in a Western style,' Austin Shaw, the managing director of Really Useful Films, was quoted in Variety. 'So it makes sense to shoot it in India.'"

Swades: Songs of the soil : Music News : ApunKaChoice.Com

Swades: Songs of the soil : Music News : ApunKaChoice.Com: "Swades: Songs of the soil
06th Oct 2004 02.00 IST
By Nitika Desai

A R Rahman ?s skill and talent as a music composer comes to fore in Ashutosh Gowarikar?s Swades . The beautifully composed melodies, set to thought-provoking lyrics by Javed Akhtar , make the songs of Swades stand apart from other humdrum scores from Bollywood.

The movie, starring Shah Rukh Khan and newcomer Gayatri Joshi , tells the story of an Indian scientist at NASA who returns to his motherland to trace his roots. He travels across the country and is enchanted by the simplicity and honesty of the people he meets.


The music of the film goes along well with its theme. The most outstanding number in the album is the eight-minute ?road? song Yun Hi Chala Chal. The song, sung by Udit Narayan, Hariharan and Kailash Kher, has a dominant use of percussions ? an arrangement that sounds quite fresh and appealing because the accompanying melody is set more by the singers than by the musical instruments. The words in the song are quite plain but they carry some good messages inside.

Another song that stands out is the frothy number Yeh Tara Woh Tara, which the hero in the movie sings before a crowd of villagers and children. Akhtar?s words talk about the beauty and enormity of the sky and its celestial wonders in this number sung by Udit Narayan along with child artistes Vignesh and Pooja. The song is slow in tempo and has a nocturnal feel.

On the whole, Swades is rich in melodies that are pleasing to ears. But one thing needs to be mentioned for an objective appraisal of Rahman?s work. It becomes apparent after listening his compositions that he lays the main stress on melodies and later fit in the words to his work. That is why sometimes the vocal expression by the singers often sounds jagged and short of gelling completely with the spirit of the song.

It is something that great composers like Naushad, Ghulam Mohammad, R D Burman and Laxmikant Pyarelal were able to do with amazing subtlety. It is something that Rahman, the music wizard, still has to master."

Thursday, October 07, 2004

T-Series a lurking foe of ARR

"T-Series a lurking foe of ARR


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It?s disgusting, I have been watching ETC for 45 minutes or so, and I cannot watch a single promo of Swades, instead I have watched the promos of Mujhse Shadi Karogi and ATHWS 5 times in the meantime. The plight of shades is the same on other channels also, save
MTV (where also the number of promos are deteriorating). One can hardly watch it on Channel V and in the B4U music you even don?t know whether they know or not that swades promos are out.
Leave aside the bad publicity ?ARR DOESEN?T DESERVES a T-SERIES LABLE?. You can see people talking that ARR?s popularity is coming down simply because it?s released on T-Series. I really hate AG from the core. Why did he gave the distribution rights of Swades to T-Series when his first movie was released on Sony Music, I think maybe SRK also has a hand in this (though I am not sure) as he considers Sony Music to be unlucky (after PBDH2 and Asoka bombed at the BO).
I want to put this question to MATHEW and VIJAY who have been so close to ARR. Why didn?t they told him earlier that to make an agreement with the producer that his audio won?t be distributed on T-Series. Vijay and Mathew if you are reading this please tell ARR that his music should ?NEVER EVER BE RELEASED ON T-SERIES?, otherwise there will be only you and we(Rahmaniacs) who will be buying his CDs as nobody will know that a film is been release whose MD is ARR
Lastly but most significantly the quality of the CDs of T-Series is not at all good for listening to the high quality sound that ARR creates from his studio. Listen to Meenaxi, Vande Matram and Lagan and Zubeida, Jana Gana Mana and then listen to 1947 Earth, Nayak, Tehzeeb, Lakeer and Swades you can surely find the difference"

T-Series a lurking foe of ARR

"T-Series a lurking foe of ARR


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It?s disgusting, I have been watching ETC for 45 minutes or so, and I cannot watch a single promo of Swades, instead I have watched the promos of Mujhse Shadi Karogi and ATHWS 5 times in the meantime. The plight of shades is the same on other channels also, save
MTV (where also the number of promos are deteriorating). One can hardly watch it on Channel V and in the B4U music you even don?t know whether they know or not that swades promos are out.
Leave aside the bad publicity ?ARR DOESEN?T DESERVES a T-SERIES LABLE?. You can see people talking that ARR?s popularity is coming down simply because it?s released on T-Series. I really hate AG from the core. Why did he gave the distribution rights of Swades to T-Series when his first movie was released on Sony Music, I think maybe SRK also has a hand in this (though I am not sure) as he considers Sony Music to be unlucky (after PBDH2 and Asoka bombed at the BO).
I want to put this question to MATHEW and VIJAY who have been so close to ARR. Why didn?t they told him earlier that to make an agreement with the producer that his audio won?t be distributed on T-Series. Vijay and Mathew if you are reading this please tell ARR that his music should ?NEVER EVER BE RELEASED ON T-SERIES?, otherwise there will be only you and we(Rahmaniacs) who will be buying his CDs as nobody will know that a film is been release whose MD is ARR
Lastly but most significantly the quality of the CDs of T-Series is not at all good for listening to the high quality sound that ARR creates from his studio. Listen to Meenaxi, Vande Matram and Lagan and Zubeida, Jana Gana Mana and then listen to 1947 Earth, Nayak, Tehzeeb, Lakeer and Swades you can surely find the difference"

"Rivermoon" renamed back to "Water" ?

123India Movies: "Bandit queen turns tough cop

If you thought Seema Biswas, who played Phoolan Devi in Shekhar Kapur’s gritty Bandit Queen, had disappeared into oblivion, think again. The earthy actress last seen as a tough cop in Ek Hasina Thi, is busy working on a few films in which she plays characters she has always wanted to play. The list of her forthcoming films includes Deepa Mehta’s Water, Avinash’s Maa Where Are You?, Sashi Kumar’s Kaya Taran and Deepak Balraj Vij’s Mumbai Godfather.


In Mumbai Godfather, Seema plays a tough, honest and top cop who believes in fighting crime with the gun. “I play top cop Anjali who contrary to popular perception is not a character inspired by Kiran Bedi, but real life Maharashtra Police Force cop Mridula. After playing a dreaded dacoit queen like Phoolan Devi, it was indeed a challenge to play a ‘loud’ top cop,” she explains.


About the difference between her roles in Bandit Queen and Mumbai Godfather, Seema says, “Bandit Queen was an autobiographical venture and the character had emotional depth, whereas Mumbai Godfather is an out-and-out action-packed, commercial film which people from Mumbai will be able to relate to instantly. Though I was apprehensive about playing to the gallery, director Deepak Balraj’s honesty and sincerity convinced me of Anjali’s authenticity. Deepak gave me the script well in advance.”


The actress has already prepared herself for any brickbats she might receive from the audience. “People might feel that I am uncouth in the film, but I am of the opinion that an actor has to be flexible in spite of her conviction in subtlety. I enjoyed doing the fight sequences in the film, but made it a point not to develop any clich├ęd mannerisms. I am happy the director gave me a wide scope to perform.”


Deepak Balraj says that the idea behind the story of Mumbai Godfather originated after he read a newspaper report about top cop Mridula who shot down some criminals six years ago. “This is the first time after Bandit Queen, that Seema has taken to the gun in a big way. She is an amazing actress who has been wasted in insignificant roles in most Bollywood films. I think people will appreciate her as a hard hitting, assertive cop in my film.”


Unlike most commercial potboilers, the director has shown cops in a positive light in the film. “In Mumbai Godfather, the common man looks at cops with a reassurance, while the criminals deem them fatal. I want to drive home the message that if you get involved in the vortex of crime, it will be very difficult to come out of it. A criminal’s reputation follows him wherever he goes,” explains Balraj.


Seema confesses that the title of Deepa Mehta’s Rivermoon has now been changed to Water. “I am playing the same role which Shabana Azmi was slated to essay. Lisa Ray plays the young widow while I play the senior Shakuntala. Unlike Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das, Lisa and I did not shave our heads. We sport short hair instead. Deepaji is a fine director.” What remains to be seen is how effective this “Bandit Queen” will be as a “loud” cop in Mumbai Godfather."