Mumbai, Dec 9 (IANS) Debutant director Akashaditya Lama, who has worked as a writer in television as well as films, says writers don’t get an opportunity to showcase their talent.
“There are a lot of places where I used to go, I used to be handed a DVD and be told to write according to that. So I used to wonder what I am supposed to do as a writer. Also I feel that our ideas are very westernised,” Lama told IANS.
“We have such a rich literature, why don’t we take inspiration from that. We copy Hollywood film stories. You can use techniques and all from films, but not stories. So I feel that writers don’t get opportunities,” he added.
As a writer, Lama has worked in television for shows like “Kkusum”, “Kumkum”, “Chehra” and “Jhilmil Sitaron Ka Aangan Hoga”. He has been a part of many ad films too.
He is now set to make his Bollywood debut as a director with the film “Cigarette Ki Tarah”, which releases Dec 14. It features Prashant Naryanan, Yuvika Chaudhary, Madhurima Tuli and debutant actor Bhoop Yaduvanshi.
Lama calls his transition from small to big screen tough, as it took time for people to recognise him.
“It took a long time for me to make people believe that I am a writer. When they started seeing my name, they recognized me. People used to tell me that you have written for TV and not films. The same thing happened with direction as well. They kept asking me if I have directed before… but how will I if I don’t get a chance,” he said.
Lama always harboured a dream of becoming a director, but knew that struggle was evident.
“I always wanted to be a director, but in TV I was working as a writer. I wanted to direct only movies. I knew that no one becomes a director in one day. It is a process. I knew I will have to do a lot of things. You need financial stability and a hold on many other things,” he said.
Asked how will he deal with the competition in the feature film sector, Lama said: “When a player takes part in a race, he doesn’t have a strategy to win. He just runs fast. He focuses on himself.”
“Filmmaking is artistic. You have to concentrate on what the audience wants to watch. I always look at my product from the observer’s point of view,” he added.
Film: ‘Sivaji 3D’; Director: S. Shankar; Cast: Rajinikanth, Shriya Saran, Suman and Vivekh; Rating: ***1/2
Watching superstar Rajinikanth sizzle on screen despite how cliched it appears, as some may call it, is an experience worth a million smiles and the thumping of as many hearts.
Now, watching him recreate the magic in 3D, closer to hands-reach, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Released five years after its original release in 2007, “Sivaji 3D”, with shorter running time, cut down by half an hour, is highly entertaining and three times visually enthralling.
Rajinikanth plays a US-returned software systems architect in the film, named Sivaji, with the sole purpose to give something back to the society. He aspires to build a non-charitable trust through which he wants to set up schools and hospitals for the underprivileged.
However, he’s faced with illegitimate and corrupt government officials demanding bribe at every juncture. To add to the woes, he earns the wrath of a local, well-reputed businessman Adiseshan, played by Suman, who becomes his biggest obstacle.
The rest of the story is about one man’s fight against corruption to create an equitable society in true ‘Rajini’ style.
The impeccable conversion from 2D to 3D is truly amazing and at par with Hollywood standards. All those who’ve always cribbed about the poorly executed Indian 3D films should not miss “Sivaji 3D” at any cost. Had it not been for the successful collaboration between AVM productions, Prasad EFX and Real Image, this visual wonder wouldn’t have been possible.
The opening song “Balleilakka”, featuring Nayanthara, is a treat to watch and so are scenes involving Shriya, who appears prettier than she was originally. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Rajini fan or not, you’re sure to leave the theatre with sore throat from screaming.
Tharani’s sets come alive in 3D, while K.V. Anand’s cinematography, originally done using 4k scan, a very high video format resolution, has certainly helped the film look superior in the converted version.
And to top it all, you have moments of Rajinism that you can guiltlessly celebrate with everybody. Be it his trademark walk or the dialogues that he mouths with ease and style or even scenes where he pounds baddies to pulp with one punch may appear cliched, yet entertaining.
And all this happens just few inches away from your eyes and probably with a wave of the hand; you might probably touch the superstar.
Finally, to watch the film in Dolby Atmos, an object-based audio platform, will truly give the audiences a life-like, sensory experience. With “Sivaji 3D”, the Tamil film industry is sure to garner a lot of attention from the rest of the world.
But the biggest question that needs answering is will “Sivaji 3D” pave the way to the re-conversion of many successful films into 3D? If yes, how many will succeed in the process?
New Delhi, Dec 9 (IANS) Master couturier Manav Gangwani, who has designed for some of the A-listers in Bollywood including Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai, has set his eyes on Hollywood now.
He calls himself an “exclusive brand” and doesn’t believe in over-exposing his label like some of his contemporaries.
“Let us talk about Hollywood soon, why Bollywood? Why limit yourself in one area? I always aimed for stars so that I can land on moon; I never aim for the moon to land on earth,” Gangwani told IANS, when asked about his future projects.
“People will hear it very soon as something really big is coming along; so I am just keeping my fingers crossed. I am a person who does not believe in talking about it and I learnt this quality from one of my dear friends (and actor) Zayed Khan,” he added without revealing any details.
The designer recently styled British supermodel Naomi Campbell, who was in the country to celebrate her Russian billionaire boyfriend Vladimir Doronin’s 50th birthday. She was spotted in an elegant lehenga-choli created by Gangwani for the big bash.
A known name in the Indian fashion world, the designer recognized his inclination towards fashion during his college days and decided to enroll in the Pearl Academy of Fashion to hone his talent. He began his career with Carma, a designer boutique in New Delhi , in 1999 and since then there has been no looking back.
Not only Bollywood, he has also designed for some of well-known politicians like Priyanka Gandhi, Smita Thackeray and Amar Singh.
Though the designer has been a part of almost all major fashion weeks in India and abroad, he says it was a conscious decision to do only one show a year.
“I do one show in a year because I am an exclusive brand. I don’t believe in over-exposing or over-exploiting my brand. When I create a piece, I like to create it like a piece of jewellery and treat it like my child. I am not like a hand machine that churns out pieces and I don’t want to become one for sure,” said Gangwani, who is known for his grandeur couture collection.
“For me, exclusivity is the key. When I do one show, it take seven to eight months of my life. I always try to bring uniqueness to my collection. I have no qualms in saying that I am one of the expensive designers in the country and even my close friends complain about it. But my clothes talk for themselves. They are unique, sensuous and exclusive; so those who want it, they will definitely find a way,” he added.
Apart from designing, he is also busy changing the face of luxury in India and the recent effort in that line is the opening of first Roberto Cavalli store here.
The Italian brand has forayed into the India market through a partnership with start-up firm Infinite Luxury Brands Pvt. Ltd., jointly set up by Gangwani, Dubai-based entrepreneur Sahiba Narang and finance expert Rahul Kapoor.
Talking about his association with one of the renowned brands worldwide, Gangwani admited it wasn’t easy to get hold of it, as Cavalli had some bad experiences with Indian companies in the past.
“They were approached by many companies from India before and every time at the final stage, the Indian companies would come up with some weird demands and the deal never went through,” Gangwani said.
“So the Italian brand was very disappointed with the Indian market and it felt that Indians do not keep their word; so their impression about Indian companies was a little harsh.
“But then we discussed things and they believed we are very passionate and understanding. They did proper research on our partners and promoters and we came out the winners,” added the designer, who also likes to paint and has brought a number of celebrities like Karan Johar, Shah Rukh Khan, Simi Garewal and Raveena Tandon on canvas.
(Nivedita can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
London, Dec 8 (IANS) Singer Taylor Swift is reportedly getting serious in her relationship with One Direction’s Harry Styles.
The 22-year-old recently started dating Styles despite still having feelings for her former boyfriend Conor Kennedy but as things have progressed, she has started to forget about Conor, reports contactmusic.com.
“She still texts Conor but now that things are moving fast with Harry, she is seeing the writing on the wall that she is unable to hang out and progress with Conor in any way. She now is confiding in Conor more as a friend and the flirty texts they have recently shared have ended,” a source told HollywoodLife.com.
“She is now officially caught up in all things (related to) Harry. She was playing games before, but now obviously she has become more fond of Harry (because) they are able to hang out all the time, which isn’t the case with Conor. And Harry is really trying to woo Taylor off her feet,” the source added.
Mumbai, Dec 8 (IANS) Actor Irrfan, who has had the opportunity to work in both Hollywood and Bollywood films, feels that the Indian film industry needs to work on the way they market their films.
“There are few areas we still need to work on, like the release of the film. The way it is planned in America, we still need to find that system. They find the right audience for the film. They really work on what kind of audience is going to watch this film and they release accordingly,” he said.
“We find a formula and we apply that formula to every film. We have similar ticket rates, we have similar way of promoting it; we have similar way of releasing it. The ticket rates for a Rs.100 crore budget film and Rs.5 crore budget film are the same. We really need to work on this system,” he added.
Irrfan became a prominent face in international cinema after acting in films like “Warrior”, “A Mighty Heart”, “New York, I Love You” and Danny Boyle’s multiple Oscar winning film “Slumdog Millionaire”. His most recent release is Ang Lee’s “Life Of Pi”.
The 45-year-old star feels Hollywood films always have a hidden meaning in them.
“When we make a film, whatever is there on the surface is still there on the surface and there is no layering beneath it, but if you take big Hollywood films there are things that are hidden beneath it. There is something they are trying to suggest to the audience,” he said.
“For example Shakespeare, whatever he is trying to say is hidden, though it’s a drama but the message he is trying to give is all hidden. When an intellectual person watches ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, he relates to it in a completely different manner, when a child will watch ‘Life Of Pi’, he will take it differently. That’s what we need to strive and that’s what our next generation is going to do,” he added.
Los Angeles, Dec 7 (IANS) Actor Johnny Depp has bought a house for girlfriend Amber Heard in Nashville, Tennessee.
Depp, 49, started a relationship with Heard, 26, a few months back, after separating from long-time partner Vanessa Paradis.
“Buying this house is the surest sign yet of how serious Johnny is about Amber,” thesun.co.uk quoted a source as saying.
“She’s always dreamt of having a ranch. They were going to buy one in Texas, where she’s from, but they fell in love with the Nashville property as soon as they set eyes on it,” the source added.
Staying away from Hollywood does not matter to Depp.
“Johnny isn’t bothered about living it up in Hollywood, he’d rather have the good life. While Amber loves to ride horses, Johnny’s serious about writing and playing music,” the source said.
New Delhi, Dec 6 (IANS) Katrina Kaif is this year’s reigning queen as far as downloads on mobile phones of images of an actress are concerned. It is the fourth consecutive year that the “Chikni chameli” star has topped the category.
Katrina is followed by Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma and Vidya Balan for the actress with most images downloaded on mobile, according to the findings of Airtel Mobitude 2012.
Among men, Shah Rukh Khan led in the category of Bollywood actors’ wallpaper downloads. Salman Khan and Ranbir Kapoor featured in the top five.
The annual survey of customer preferences captures the ‘mobile attitude’ of 186 million plus customers in the country.
Its findings indicate that India recorded over 75 million wallpapers (with 300 per cent growth) and 150 million plus music downloads in 2012.
Katrina’s “Chikni chameli” number from “Agneepath” was the most downloaded song of the year.
In the Hollywood segment, Kim Kardashian led in the category of images downloaded and also featured in the top five Hollywood celebrities.
Popular hit “Kolaveri di” maintained the top position in terms of downloads in 2012 as well. Though reasonably popular, the worldwide rage “Gangnam style” did not experience similar success among mobile internet users in India and could not beat the success of “Kolaveri di”, the survey said.
Mumbai, Dec 6 (IANS) HBO Asia and Eros International Plc have joined hands to launch two new premium advertising-free movie channels in India.
The channels have been named HBO DEFINED and HBO HITS. This alliance is aimed at bringing the best of Hollywood and Bollywood together to the country.
“I’m very excited about building the Eros brand in Premium Pay Television, particularly with an industry leader such as HBO Asia. We look forward to cultivating new spaces together in India and especially the development of HBO content for TV and online,” Kishore Lulla, executive chairman, Eros International Plc, sid in a statement.
Jonathan Spink, CEO of HBO Asia, too is looking forward to the association.
“The opportunity to work with Eros is tremendous and together we will aim to deliver a first class cinema experience in the comfort of your home, 100 per cent advertising free.
“We are equally excited to work with Eros in developing compelling original content for the Indian audience. We look forward to more good things to come,” said Spink.
Further details about the channels and their launch date will be announced at a later date.
London, Dec 6 (IANS) Filmmaker Ang Lee has revealed that his first trip to Los Angeles was quite a let down, as he was robbed by a group of so-called “do-gooders”.
The “Life of Pi” director travelled across the US by bus and arrived in Los Angeles at 4 a.m. With little money, he attempted to find a room at a YMCA shelter, but the hostel was closed and he had to rely on the generosity of a group of strangers he met on the street, reports dailystar.co.uk.
“They said, ‘You can come live with us. We’ll take your $10 until you can find a place. They told me they were extras in the plane-crashing scene in ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’. I stayed at their place, and when I got up in the morning, I opened my window, looked out, and saw the Hollywood sign,” Lee said.
“Then I checked my wallet, and all of my money was gone. Stolen. Later I went to the bank, got more money, and ended up having a good time. That was my first experience in LA,” he added.
Los Angeles, Dec 5 (IANS) Actor Eddie Murphy is Hollywood’s most overpaid actor, according to Forbes magazine.
The 51-year-old’s recent films “Imagine That”, “A Thousand Words” and “Meet Dave” were all labelled flops. According to Forbes magazine, for every $1 Murphy was paid for his last three movies, they returned an estimated average of $2.30, reports contactmusic.com.
His movie “Tower Heist”, which was released last year, also failed to wow audiences and earned just over double its budget of $75 million.
One of the comedian-cum-actor’s best loved roles was as wise cracking detective Axel Foley in the Beverly Hills Cop film franchise of the late 1980s and he is working on bringing him back.
According to the magazine, a movie has to earn twice its production budget in ticket sales, plus the millions spent on marketing, to be considered a financial success.
Actress Katherine Heigl came second in the list of most overpaid stars. Her most recent film “One For The Money” earned just $37 million and cost $40 million to make.
Reese Witherspoon, who recently gave birth to her third child, also failed to lure audiences to the cinema this year. Other actors in the list include Sandra Bullock and Jack Black.
San Juan, Dec 4 (IANS/EFE) The movie “In the Blood”, with a cast including actors Cam Gigandet and Gina Carano, has begun production in Puerto Rico, the producers said Monday.
In this action film Carano, known for her role in “Haywire”, plays a woman on a mission to find her husband who went missing during their honeymoon on a Caribbean island.
Besides Carano and Gigandet, the cast includes Stephen Lang, Treat Williams, Luis Guzman, Amaury Nolasco, Ismael Cruz Cordova and Danny Trejo.
The project will generate around 200 jobs in Puerto Rico.
During 2012 the feature films “Welcome to the Jungle”, “Broche de Oro” (Finishing Touch) and “Riding 79″ were shot on the island.
Puerto Rico was also the setting in 2010 of the Universal Pictures movie “Fast Five” and Walt Disney Pictures’ “Pirates of the Caribbean”.
Puerto Rico has for years been a Hollywood favourite for filming, partly because the Caribbean island’s status as US territory makes shooting there easier, and also thanks to the availability of crews with a good command of English.
Los Angeles, Dec 3 (IANS) A sequel to Hollywood classic “Casablanca” is said to be in plans for Warner Bros.
The original 1942 movie starred Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart. Set in World War II, it told the tale of a man forced to choose between his love for a woman, or helping her husband escape Casablanca, to continue his fight against the Nazis.
A current rumour indicates that officials at Warner Bros are working on the next stage in the tale, with a working title of either “Return to Casablanca” or “As Time Goes By”, according to The Independent, reports contactmusic.com.
The plot is said to revolve around Richard Blaine (the illegitimate son of Humphrey Bogart’s character Rick Blaine and Ingrid Bergman’s Ilsa Lund). At the end of the original movie, those two were famously separated and the new movie finds Rick on the hunt for his biological father, to discover what became of him.
The new movie was the brainchild of Cass Warner.
The late Howard Koch wrote the guidelines for a sequel back in the 1980s, and Cass Warner, the granddaughter of the Warner Bros founder Harry Warner, is keen on a sequel to the iconic film.
Of the new movie, Cass said: “There will be flashbacks, but it’s a film about the next generation; a son going back to find what happened to his parents. I wouldn’t want to touch the original for the world.”