Faridoon Shahryar's Blog

Friday, September 30, 2011

Ra.one Game, Cinthol Deo, King Khan Film Festival

Shahrukh Khan will launch UTV Indiagames Social Game for Ra.one in Bombay on Monday Oct 3. On Oct 4, SRK will launch Cinthol Ra.one special edition Deo. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) have partnered with Ra.one to make a game based on the film for the Playstation platform. There's an event in Bombay on wednesday Oct 5 for its launch. Shahrukh will be present at the event. We at Bollywood Hungama are starting a 'King Khan Film Festival' beginning from the middle of October. The 60 second promo of this Festival is kick-ass. Will share soon.
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Force: An Impactful Masala Entertainer

At the early morning show of 'Force' at a suburban multiplex here in Bombay, the almost-full-hall reverberated with occasional whistles (specially in the first half) as John Abraham put his mutton-shop-muscles to good use in decimating whatever opposition that came his way. Director Nishikant Kamath, after the superb 'Mumbai Meri Jaan', is back with action drama 'Force' (remake of South import Kaakha Kaakha) that carries his intelligent stamp (and yes the shortcomings can be blamed on the 'commercial compulsions'). Smart back-n-forth switches in storytelling and a studied attempt at showcasing 'Masala' in a realistic manner makes 'Force' interesting watch.

ACP Yashwardhan (John) is spearheading the Narcotics Control Bureau. He along with his 'Force' aim to wipe out the drug mafia. One of the kingpins Reddy (Mukesh Tiwari) is killed by the 'Force'. His maniac brother Vishnu (Vidyut Jamwal) goes after the four good men. Action director Allan Amin has a crucial role in the film. His kick ass action ensures the fast paced narrative pumps in pounds of adrenaline. John Abraham, with his beefed up persona is sincerity personified. This is arguably his best performance. Action or emotion...John packs in a solid punch.

Ayananka Bose's cinematography is competent. The songs have been shot beautifully. Khwabon Khwabon is a fine song. In fact Harris Jayraj's music is consistently good. But the songs tend to drag the film and deviate from the fast flow of the story telling. Mohnish Bahl's wife Sandhya Mridul is stopped by Vishnu and suddenly John-Genelia go in a romantic mode killingly delaying the suspense and needlesly alter the mood.

Ritesh Shah's writing is inconsistent. The scene where John confronts his senior Raj Babbar after a colleague's death creates an impact but when Sandhya Mridul tells John on phone, "now go lose your virginity" one gets a corny feeling. After causing colossal damage, Vishnu, in the climax scene gives ample time to Yashwardhan to brood over his loss. Why give away your life on a platter dude? Aarif Shaikh's editing boasts of cool editing chops. If only he was given the luxury of chopping a couple of songs or at least reducing their duration, he'd have been on a sound wicket.

Genelia Dsouza has a cute role and she does full justice to it. The romance between John-Genelia is endearing to start with but the extra footage given to the blossoming mohabbat derails the narrative of the film. Mohnish Bahl is good. New boy Vidyut Jamwal is quite a find. 'Agneepath' director Karan Malhotra at the promo launch had said, "bigger the villain, bigger the film". Vidyut proves the statement right. He is mean, deadly, uncharacteristiscally good looking, suave and has a terrific solid body. John's aide Kamlesh is a super find as well. He brings in some lighthearted comic moments in the film.

Nishikant Kamat's 'Force' is a full on masala action flick that entertains and amuses. Yes, there are shortcomings too. But, if you are a sucker for full on commercial entertainment, 'Force' won't disappoint you.

Star Rating: ***
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Hum Tum Shabana: A Disaster-Comedy

Minisha 'Shabana' Lamba is a beauty queen contestant. In spite of her puffy face and exercise-deprived-flab, she wins a couple of coveted titles. Not because she deserves it. Rather, two changu mangu hyperventilating managers of the Contest firm, Rishi (Tusshar Kapoor) and Kartik (Shreyas Talpade) are besotted by her. And obviously, their 'free advice', aided by some listerine induced bad jokes ensure that Shabana's dreams coast along merrily bouncing on some listless party tracks. As you may have understood by now, Sagar Ballary's 'Hum Tum Shabana' is a silly attempt at comedy that tests your patience. Unimaginably.

Rhea (Pia Trivedi) throws caustic verbal volleys to bring Shabana's winning wagon to a halt. Changu Mangu, smitten by Shabana, jointly propose to her. Enter Panju Don (Satish Kaushik), Shabana's Chacha with a strange fetish for Kaaju, Kishmish, Badaam and Akhrot. If you wanna win over Shabana, then you gotta participate in Panju Don's Alsatian-dogs powered reality show that 'tests' your capabilities or rather 'grooms' the prospective groom for the tough-road-ahead.

Rhea is kidnapped. She grooves to a sexy number with Changu Mangu in Don's Den. Ridiculous lampooning of a Janaaza procession adds to the absurdity. When Panju Don is upset, he slaps himself and when he is happy with someone, the dude gets slapped. The audience, I guess is expected to laugh which sorely doesn't happen. Munna Military (Sanjay Mishra) tries to breathe in some life in this high decibel, tacky madness. Farhajaan Shaikh's story/screenplay and Sharat Katariya's dialogues doesn't give him much scope. Shabana goes missing in the second half except for a token Kheer-ka-dabba moment (Jhagda with director behind this Shabana?). Screwless-Folks finally enter a Horror House and the most bizarre gesticulations follow. At this point, I lost it. Ran out of the theatre gasping for breath, climbed down the seven stories staircase in an animated state and heaved a sigh of relief on sighting normal civilisation on the road. I guess I didn't miss out much by not waiting to witness the (anti) climax. You won't either if you stay away from this disaster-comedy. Phew!

Star Rating: 1 star (The one star is for Pia Trivedi's hot dance number)

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

SRK At GQ Awards, Salman-SanjayMagic...

Shahrukh Khan, Gauri Khan, Farhan Akhtar, Imran Khan, Sushma Reddy, Yuvraj Singh, Karan Johar, Freida Pinto, Deepika Padukone, Neha Dhupia, Sameera Reddy, Anushka etc are present at the ongoing GQ Awards here in Mumbai tonight Sept 29. Our reporter Zoheb Jamadar is present there right now.

Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt were quite a laugh riot at the Bigg Boss 5 Press Conference at Mahboob Studio today evening. Our cameraman Alok Dubey was present there. We shall be featuring the video of this event tomorrow morning. Alok says that the bonding between Sanjay-Salman is extremely entertaining.

At another event, 'Delhi Belly' DVD was launched at a Mall in Bombay. Apparently both the Hindi as well as the Hinglish versions are there in this DVD along with the uncensored version of the film as well.

Shahrukh Khan was also present at the Just Dance finale today as well.

I saw two films today. Saheb Biwi aur Gangster is a well written, engrossing film while Hum Tum Shabana can be dubbed as Disaster Comedy. Worth staying far far away.

Good night folks.

Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster: Gripping Saga Of Sexual Politics

So true a fool is love, that in your will,
Though you do anything, he thinks no ill

Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster, justifies Shakespeare's wisdom. Once again. This Macbeth-revisited lust-stained-love-story is credited with some superb performances, great dialogues and a highly under promoted yet gripping soundtrack. Writer-Director Tigmanshu Dhulia is in full form and its apparent that he has enjoyed himself tweaking the trajectory of his characters at will, igniting quirky situations and absorbing responses.

Dhulia goes back to the brilliance of his directorial debut film 'Haasil'. The setting is Uttar Pradesh. Coloured language is seeped in the context of the conflicting royalty and rusticity. And there are many dialogues which are clap-n-whistle worthy. It is also a film that showcases explicit sex scenes in an attempt to justify the sexual politics that decides the fate of its characters.

The performances are top notch. Be it the main lead, the supporting cast and even minor characters (Mahi's deaf n dumb confidante for example) play a pivotal role in making the film an engrossing watch. Jimmy Shergill internalises the cynicism, natural royal appeal and the licence-to-be-an-ayyash persona expertly. He has some of the best lines in the film. Mahi Gill dabbles with madness and smartness with a calculated ease. Randeep Hooda displays loutish body language that goes right with his rogue character. When he coaxes Mahi to massage his legs, the aspirational designs of his character filters through subconsciously. Vipin Sharma as Gainda Singh is very good and so is the guy who plays the minister.

Music is the surprise package of the film. Especially because it has not been promoted that well. Saheb bada hatela, Chu Chu and Jugni are special numbers and add value to the narrative of the film. Aseem Mishra's camerawork is very good. The pace of the film slackens at times though the climax more than makes up for it.

Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster is a fine piece of cinema. But, since it is inspired from Macbeth, one can't help but recall Vishal Bharadwaj's 'Maqbool' which had the same plot. Dreaded don, his cheating wife, the confidante-turned-enemy aided by sexual jealousy. All said and done, Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster has enough merits to earn your ticket. Try it out.

Star rating: 3 1/2 stars.
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Big B Honours Abba With Jnanpith Award: Video And Pics

September 18, 2011 will be a special day for my family. My father Prof Shahryar received India's highest literary honour from the hands of Mr Amitabh Bachchan. I along with my wife Aarefa and daughter Insha reached Delhi on Sept 17. We stayed at the India International Centre. Abba joined us in the afternoon and was staying in the room adjacent to us. It is good to see his health improving somewhat. Hope it improves further. Inshallah. He had the option of having lunch and dinners with the biggest of dignitaries who had been calling him non stop. But he preferred a quiet meal with us rather than getting carried away by the humungous fan fare. He loves to have ice cream after food. He ensured that he has it anyway. I ensured, the quantum of ice cream is kept under check :)

My brother Humayun along with his wife Tina came from Dubai. Tina is from Germany and this was her first visit to Delhi. On September 18 afternoon Abba wore his plush suit looking radiant and very happy. Mashallah. We were happy to see him in this state. The Jnanpith Award function was held at the Indian Air Force Auditorium. Mr Bachchan said some wonderful things about Abba. It was obvious that Mr Bachchan had done his research and tried his best at understanding Abba's poetry. A book edited by Gulzar sahab, 'Shahryar Suno' was also unveiled at the function. Abba's speech as always, was precise and to the point. He speaks softly but what he says, carries a lot of weight. We celebrated with a lavish family dinner in his room later that night. The trophy presented to him is very heavy. The sentiments attached with the honour are even heavier. As I said earlier, September 18, 2011 will always be special and memorable for us. I am sharing the video and a few pics from this function. Hope you like it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Katrina Shouldn't Have Apologised...": Gul Panag

An interview with Gul Panag has been pending for many months. We've interacted on twitter. And it was fun. Finally, we met today at the Bollywood Hungama Meet N Greet for Visit Finland. It was an intellectually stimulating interview. The best part about Gul is that she doesn't shy away from speaking her mind bluntly. Almost always.

Panag said that Katrina shouldn't have apologised on her Rahul Gandhi statement. She would want to join politics at some stage but acc to her one party is very corrupt while the other is communal. A strong feminist, she is trying to make a difference through her social work in creating awareness about problems faced by women.

Gul feels that the film folks are generally not taken seriously by the media or the politicians when it comes to raising voice on serious issues as the tweets or statements issued by film guys are an attempt in tokenism and little else.

She emphasised that she is more than an actress. Her pursuits like travelling, social causes, biking are very dear to her as well. On being asked why she did silly films like Hello Darling, she said that there was a difference in what was offered and what finally transpired on screen. Her next release is Fatso starring Ranvir Shourie and Purab Kohli. Like her character Naina in Turning 30, Gul would like to write a book at some point too.

It was a pleasure interacting with Gul Panag today. She talks a lot and talks fast. But chatting up with the girl with the most adorable dimples in the country was a sheer delight. And yes, there's much more to her than a very attractive personality. Her head strong nature can be a bit intimidating but there's a genuine warmth and honesty that stayed on in my mind for quite a while as I walked away..... More power to you Gul Panag.
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GQ Award, Honouring Lata, Dev Anand and Candice Boucher

GQ Men Awards will be happening in Bombay on Sept 29. Big celebrities are expected. Last year, John Trovolta, Aamir Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan were a part of it. The PR team is not willing to divulge the names of the stars this year. But some big names will be there for sure.

Amitabh Bachchan will be honouring Lata Mangeshkar on her 82nd birthday on Sept 28 with the 1st Hridaynath Mangeshkar Award in Bombay. Sonu Nigam, Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Suresh Wadkar etc will be performing at this event. Should be an event to watch out for.

Meeting Dev Anand sahab is a pleasure. Always. Here's the first part of an interview with him on his 88th Birthday:

"Salman Khan I Know Very Well...": Candice Boucher

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ra.one Joins Hands With Western Union, Google India

As mentioned by me in my report in the video of 'Audio Release Of Ra.one', Shahrukh Khan is going all out to promote his pet project. He shall be announcing Ra.one's association with Western Union at an event in Bombay today (sept 23). On Monday sept 26, SRK will announce Ra.one's association with Google India where the Digital experience on youtube will be showcased before the media.
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Confirmed: Katrina To Star Opposite Aamir In Dhoom 3

Director, Vijay Krishna Acharya (Victor), along with Aditya Chopra, have chosen Katrina Kaif to play the main lead in 'Dhoom 3' opposite Aamir Khan. When asked on the selection process, Victor said: “After almost a year of searching for a new face for DHOOM:3, we were still unable to find the perfect debutant to play the lead role. We even reached out to international talent but were still unable to find someone who stood out. Both Adi and I really wanted to be sure that the person we chose would be perfect for the role. Once we decided to go with a known face and not pursue the new-comer route, Katrina was the obvious choice for all of us. She is someone who we all know will bring tremendous enthusiasm and commitment to the film. The first time pairing of Aamir with Katrina will also certainly add value.”

Produced by Aditya Chopra, DHOOM:3 is written and directed by Victor, who had also written DHOOM & DHOOM 2. Apart from Aamir Khan, who plays the anti-hero in the film, both Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra will continue in their now iconic roles of Jai Dixit and Ali.

The film will begin shooting end of this year and is slated for a 2012 Christmas release.

'Mausam' Kharaab Hai

'Mausam' is a futile journey through Punjab, Gujarat, Switzerland and Scotland where a lollypop of hope is forever doled out to you ke 'ab kuch kuch hoga' but 'khasmanukhaniyan' nothing really happens. So much footage is wasted for a 'Love' (the 'romance' is seriously missing) that happens in a few day's time (Punjab-Scotland-Gujarat included) over a span of 10 yrs with significant world events flowing under the long long river of endless dialoguebaazi and travelogues. At almost 3 hrs running time, 'Mausam' is a badi si, boring love story that stumps you with its absolute absurdness and lack of entertainment value.

The narrative flows at a laid-back sleepy pace with a disregard for connectivity. In fact it seems, the film must have been way longer than the final product and at the editing stage, several key portions were chopped off. After a point of time, Anupam Kher goes missing. When Aayat (Sonam Kapoor) didn't marry Akram, then why did she go away with him to America? Why the hell did Harry (Shahid Kapoor) has to go on a save-the-kid mission in a typical seventies-eightees cinema mode when there were other pressing issues like getting out of a riot situation? The love-moments between Aayat-Harry (especially in Scotland) elicited laughter from the audience rather than getting them into a groovy mood. Not a positive sign for the fate of any movie when people laugh at serious situations.

On the positive side, the initial portions in Punjab have some fun moments. Manoj Pahwa as Gulzari brings in light moments. Rajjo's love for Harry and the fooling-around senior sardars bring in some of the worth-carrying-with-yourself-home moments. The much-talked-about IAF sequences are impressive to start with but the actual air strike is tacky. If this is the idea of 'Top Gun' then we are not even remotely close to it. Music is good. 'Rabba' and 'Sajh Dhajke' are picturised well. 'Mallo Malli' sounds good when heard in audio but its placement in the film is no 'Mauja Hi Mauja'.

The problem with 'Mausam' is the confusion in trying to bridge the gap between Art and Commercial. Director Pankaj Kapur tries to build his story on some key incidents in the recent world history like Babri Masjid demolition, Mumbai Bomb Blasts, Kargil War, 9/11 in USA and Gujarat Riots. A novel idea but the manner in which he tries to weave the love story between Harry and Aayat with these incidents as the backdrop, doesn't work at the level of story or execution. The worrying aspect is that 'Mausam' is an expensive film and the needless frequent flying in Europe and the costs involved in managing a big crew in such situations will cost dear to the producers.

Shahid Kapoor as Harry has a role of a lifetime and does justice to it. Almost. He is funny when required, grasps the Punjabi twang effectively and emotes well. But the Air Force Officer part (specially in Scotland) smacks of arrogance. Sonam Kapoor had a dream role but she messes it up. There's an artificiality in her performance that's amateurish. Kareena or Vidya Balan could have taken this role to another level and maybe bring in a semblance of realism (which must have been the aim of the director in the first place).

A good actor necessarily need not be a good director. That's exactly the case with Pankaj Kapur. He must have had a sound idea but the execution is missing. When a love story lacks the soul and heightened romance, it fails to connect, as is the case with Kapur's directorial venture. Binod Pradhan's camerawork is exceptional and is the highpoint of the film. Sreekar Prasad's editing is lackluster. Either he was sleeping while editing or he was made to snooze. Pankaj Kapur's dialogues are sprightly in parts but generally they are verbose or pedantic.

'Mausam' is not the kind of film that you'd want to go out with your loved ones unless you are desperately searching for ways to 'break-free'.

Star Rating: 1 1/2 stars

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Saif's Father Navab Pataudi Passed Away

Saif Ali Khan's father, illustrious cricketer Navab Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi passed away today Sept 22. He was admitted in Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi. RIP.
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

John-Genelia's Interview, Mausam Premiere....

Doing an interview with John Abraham is always a pleasant experience. Unassuming, articulate and laced with a good sense of humour. Well, his film 'Force' is releasing on Sept 30. A date when 6 films are releasing. The cine halls will be divided for choice and the same will be the case with the audience. Even though, 'Force' is an action film (a genre that has found favours with the audience in recent times, Singham, Bodyguard and Dabanng being the prime examples), the divided audience can be heartbreaking. 'Mausam' will have one week to make hay and hopefully the 'son' will shine. The theatre owners will persist with it wholeheartedly only if the audience lap up the love story big time.

Well, John says that the distributors are confident of 'Force' and the team will be going to the relatively smaller centres like Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Amritsar (Wagah Border), Kolkata, Bangalore to promote the film. The B and C centres in the interiors of the country have shown a lot of enthusiasm in making films successful this year. The spending capacity is increasing and there's an influx of more multiplexes and high end single screen theaters. Hence the interiors of the country is a prime target group for the marketing teams of all the films these days. John pointed out at the Salman Khan phenomenon and how Khan has redefined the reach and potential of the smaller centres and film business in general.

John told me that David Dhawan's 'Hook Ya Crook' has been shelved. He also says that he shall turn a producer soon. According to Abraham, "Aamir is the best producer today. Since he is an actor, he understands the plight of the actors better." John is excited about 'Desi Boys' (the first look promo is coming with Mausam on Sept 23). Dostana 2 is having issues with the script. It is obvious that John is very eager to get on with it. He says that 'Shootout At Wadala' will be his 'Vaastav'. 'Housefull 2' is another film that Abraham is looking forward to and he shall be starting 'Race 2' as well. I am not sure about the fate of 'Force' but this is for sure that with the kind of films lined up, John Abraham will surely do well at the Box Office. As for his personal life, Abraham said that he is single and the next time he gets into a relationship, it will end up in marriage.

Genelia Dsouza always comes across as sophisticated, dignified without the complications of over ambitiousness. She says that she'd love to do another film like 'Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na' where the actress gets enough prominence. She spoke on the rumours of her alleged relationship with Riteish Deshmukh. The Hindi remake of her film 'Bommiralu' (for which she got a Filmfare award in Telugu), 'Its My Life' opposite Harman Baweja is all set to release in January 2012.

The Premiere of 'Mausam' is happening in Bombay tomorrow evening. Whatever the fate of the film, I have a gut feeling that this film will rise above the weekend madness and may find a place in the hearts of the people for a long time to come. I have a lot of belief in Mr Pankaj Kapoor. But still, a good actor necessarily need not be a good director. I am watching the film tomorrow. Will share my thoughts.

The team of 'Hum Tum Shabana' are going to Surat from Bombay via train on Friday Sept 23. Let the promotion chaos begin. A lot of films will desperately vie for attention in the coming week. I guess, many of these films must have already settled for good returns via satellite rights. Ticket window will be sweating indiscretion.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Send Your Questions For John Abraham-Genelia Dsouza

Guys doin an interview with John Abraham and Genelia Dsouza tomorrow. You can send in your questions for both of them at faridoonshahryar@gmail.com.

Legally Download Ra.one Music From Hungama.com

Music of RA.One to go live on Hungama.com

The music for RA.One will be available for digital downloads on both web and WAP on Hungama.com. One can legally download the tracks on their PC or mobile phones from hungama.com. Not only does it offer different value packs tailor made according to the needs of different users it also offers music videos, ringtones and mobile wallpapers. Get all this content plus a lot more entertainment across Bollywood, regional and international music directly on your PC or mobile from Hungama.com

How To Watch Champions League Final With Priyanka Chopra

Press Release

Be ‘Nokia Ke Asli Champions’ and watch the Nokia Champions League T20 final LIVE with Priyanka Chopra

· The eight city campaign gives cricket enthusiasts an opportunity to win at retail, on-ground, radio and in the stadium as well

· Mandira Bedi to engage with enthusiasts during roadshows across colleges, malls and corporate hubs

September 20, 2011, Mumbai: Nokia today rolled out ‘Nokia ke Asli Champions’, a multi city consumer campaign for cricket enthusiasts in the build to the Nokia Champions league T2O competition. The campaign provides enthusiasts an opportunity to unleash the champion within by associating with an aspect of the game they love the most, be it, bowling, batting, commentating, appealing or simply creating a witty slogan. 24 winners will be part of Priyanka Chopra’s ‘Champion’ team that watch the final live with her. The activation is being held at colleges, youth hangouts, malls and corporate hubs across eight cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Pune, Hyderabad and Kolkata.

Cricket enthusiasts can participate and become an ‘Air Cricket’ Champion, ‘Commentary’ Champion, or the ‘Slogan’ Champion’. Cricket Commentator and actor Mandira Bedi will be visiting colleges to encourage enthusiasts participating in the Air Cricket competition and will also be judging the entries.

Announcing the campaign, Mr. Viral Oza, Director Marketing, Nokia India, said, “As a brand, we believe in connecting people to their passions and cricket is amongst the greatest of them all. The ‘Nokia Ke Asli Champion’ is an integrated campaign that will provide cricket enthusiasts with an opportunity to bring out the cricket champion within. It has being designed to garner maximum participation and ranges from pure skill, to wit to commentary.” He further added, “We are committed to adding value to the tournament and our association by creating excitement around it.”

Nokia Air Cricket Champion

The ‘Air Cricket’ competition begins with on ground activity at youth hangouts, pubs, colleges and corporate parks. A participant needs to imitate his/her favorite cricketing action – batting or bowling - in front of an LCD screen with a camera at a kiosk. Through Augmented reality, the participant will see himself/herself on the screen wearing a cricket jersey and padded up with the complete cricket gear. The video is recorded and uploaded on the digital hub www.nokiachampions.com. The participants then need to promote their videos through social networks. The most voted videos will be shortlisted. The final Nokia ‘Air Cricket’ champions will be selected by a panel of celebrity judges, who go on to watch the finals with Priyanka Chopra.

Nokia Commentary Champions

Nokia has partnered with Red FM 93.5 across six cities – New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata, to run this competition on air. Participants will be given a situation by the RJs to commentate on. One winner from each city will be shortlisted per day and will win a Nokia BH-609 headset. The competition runs from 20th September to 6th October. The city champions will be voted by the listeners and the 6 city winners go on to watch the finals with Priyanka Chopra. That’s not all – the ultimate ‘Nokia Commentary Champion’ gets to commentate live, on air* alongside a professional commentator in the finals of Nokia Champions League T20 competition.

Nokia Slogan Competition

Participant can also buy a Nokia phone from a retail outlet and SMS the IMEI number to 55555 to receive contest details. Consumers can then send in their slogans and stand a chance to watch the finals of Nokia Champions League T20 competition with Priyanka Chopra.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Abba's Jnanpith Award And A Few Songs....

Well, its finally happening. After a long wait, my father Prof Shahryar will be receiving the prestigious Jnanpith Award for the year 2008 from the hands of Mr Amitabh Bachchan on September 18 at a grand function in New Delhi. Jnanpith Award is the highest literary honour in India. Noted writer Gulzar has written a book on my father 'Suno Shahryar' which will also be unveiled at this function.

It has been a tough time for us, as Abba is battling with a serious ailment and has been undergoing treatment. We as a family have been trying to ensure that the best of care and attention is given to Abba. When he came to Bombay in April, I used to recite one of his couplets to him constantly to boost his confidence:

Laakh khursheed sar-e-baam, agar hai, to rahe,
Hum koi mom nahin hain jo pighal jayenge

(The sun may be fiercely hot and it must be tough to survive, but I am not wax, that will melt so easily)

There's a famous Ghazal in 'Umrao Jaan'... Dil cheez kya hai, aap meri jaan lijiye, bas ek baar mera kaha maan lijiye. One of my my favourite lines from this Ghazal is 'Mushkil nahin hai kuch bhi agar thhaan lijiye' (Nothing is impossible, if one makes up the mind to achieve the goal). I have constantly mentioned this line to Abba for the last five months. We always told him, he has to go and accept this huge honour all by himself. On stage. In glory. We as a family seem to have succeeded in that. My elder brother Humayun has been making detailed planning to ensure that all goes well. He has been simply amazing.

Well, in one of my earlier posts in April (http://faridoonshahryar.blogspot.com/2011/04/gift-positive-smile-to-elderly.html) I had mentioned about Muzaffar Ali's Zooni. A film based on Kashmiri poetess Habba Khatoon that starred Dimple Kapadia and Vinod Khanna. The film could never get completed because of the Kashmir problem but it had some amazing songs composed by Khayyam sb and lyrics by my father. I would like to share a video from that film which has one of Abba's songs 'Rukhe Dildaar Deedam' playing in the background.

I'd also like to share one of my favourite Ghazals from Umrao Jaan, Justuju jiski thi, usko to na paaya humne

Here's 'Seene mein jalan ankhon mein toofan sa kyun hai, is shaher mein har shaqs pareshaan sa kyun hai'. A Ghazal from Gaman, with music by Jaidev sahab and lyrics by Abba. This is the first song of singer Suresh Wadekar and arguably his best till date.

Ajeeb saniha mujh par guzar gaya yaron, main apne saaye se kal raat darr gaya yaaron. Hariharan's first ever song. Film: Gaman. Music: Jaidev. Lyrics: Shahryar.

'Hum chup hain ke dil sun rahe hain'

Film: Faasle. Producer-Director: Yash Chopra. Music: Shiv-Hari. Lyrics: Shahryar


Janam janam mere sanam

Film: Faasle. Producer-Director: Yash Chopra. Music: Shiv-Hari. Lyrics: Shahryar

Abba wrote lyrics for Muzaffar Ali's 'Anjuman' starring Farouque Shaikh and Shabana Azmi. Music by Khayyam. Shabana sang the songs. Bad decision though, for some very fine compositions (both musically and at the level of lyrics) were spoilt. Sharing a few songs nevertheless:

Tujhse Hoti To Kya

Aisa nahin ki isko nahin jaante ho tum

Film: Anjuman. Music: Khayyam. Lyrics: Shahryar

Main raah kabse nayi zindagi ki takti hoon

Film: Anjuman. Music: Khayyam. Lyrics: Shahryar

Here's a Down Memory Lane interview that I recently conducted with Abba on his film career

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"Why Shouldn't We Have A Superhero": Shahrukh Khan

Ra.one music launch

"Why shouldn't we have a superhero...": Shahrukh Khan

"Mausam is Shahid's best performance as an actor": Pankaj Kapoor

Blood Love Letter for Dia Mirza

Meet the Cadburys Girl Umang Jain

"I'm A Salman Khan Fan..."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Breaking: Mausam Will Now Release On Sept 23

At an ongoing press conference in Bombay, Shahid Kapoor, Pankaj Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor have announced that 'Mausam' has been pushed by a week. It will now release on Sept 23. The IAF has given the NOC to the film. The Censor Board had one more screening last night. The film could have been released in India on Sept 16 itself but due to the delay, it wouldn't have released overseas. To ensure that the film simultaniously releases all over the world, the release date has been pushed to Sept 23. The team feels it will give them added time to promote the film. The London leg of promotions is now on. A Premiere is being planned in Bombay on Sept 22.

Shahid To Show Mausam To IAF Officers Today

Shahid Kapoor will show Mausam to all IAF officers and Heads today afternoon in Delhi. The Censor Board has already cleared the film. The IAF approval is crucial to pave way for the release of the film on September 16.

Imran Khan will file the PIL against the drinking age today morning at Bombay High Court.

Live Webcast of Rascals Music Launch on Bollywood Hungama today at 12 Noon. Here's the link where you can watch this webcast:


Here's the second part of Katrina-Imran-Ali's Bollywood Hungama Exclusive

"Imran Whacked Me On The Nose": Katrina

Kalki's Bollywood Hungama Exclusive

"I Have Loved Shahrukh...": Kalki

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Ra.one To Be Dubbed In German And Released Simultaniously": SRK

Returned from Ra.one music launch a short while back. Its 1 am. The three hour delay in the start of the event hasn't helped my plans at all. Aarefa and Insha are asleep and I will have to do a lot of cajoling tomorrow to make up for the late-coming today. Hmmmm...Well, the event started very late. First one hour was meant to be a televised event for Star TV. The crew went on with their dry runs even when the entire media was firmly seated and waiting patiently for the show to begin.

The event started with Shahrukh performing dance antics on 'Criminal'. He came from top and the energy was fabulous. Vishal Shekhar performed a medley of numbers from Ra.one while Arjun Rampal made his presence felt too. Shahrukh and Kareena dancing to 'Chammak Challo' were the showstoppers. Kareena looked blazing hot in her wild fire red saari. The duo once again performed to Chammak Challo when the entire media was allowed to cover the last segment of the event.

Shahrukh invited the whole team on stage and introduced each one of them very graciously. The introduction for Karan Johar with the reference to his dad Mr Yash Johar was commendable and made everyone emotional. After the launch, there was a short press conference. The questions were mainly directed towards Shahrukh. One reporter asked him why Priyanka and Sanjay Dutt were not present today considering both have done a cameo in the film. Shahrukh didn't give a clear answer and asked the reporter to just sit down. Shahrukh also told the media that Ra.one is being dubbed in Tamil, Telugu, German and other languages. All these versions will be simultaniously released on Oct 26th. The press conference was short and came to an end abruptly. Arjun Rampal and director Anubhav Sinha were not asked any questions. The media wasn't given enough time to interact with the cast-n-crew.

At the entrance of the Big studio in Film City, merchandise from Ra.one was kept for display. G.one statues, small laptops and the works. This is on the lines of Spiderman, Batman franchise and the merchandise that comes along with it. If Ra.one works, this merchandise can prove to be a money spinner. The promos of the film are looking impressive and the music is exciting too. It is very apparent that a lot of hard work has gone into making this film. The Tsunami of promotions for the film have just started. Knowing Shahrukh, he will go all out to ensure that he treads a new record breaking path.

So much for now. Till later. Gotta sleep now and think up a plan to ensure all's well tomorrow morning in my household :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mere Brother Ki Dulhan: Fun, Entertaining Fare

Brother is on the lookout for a Dulhan for his NRI 'Bhai Sahab'. Well, the basic premise of relatives-finding-bride and then falling-in-love-themselves has been done to death in various permutations and combinations. But, 'Mere Brother Ki Dulhan' simply rocks for its freshness and execution. The biggest novelty factor is the over-the-top-yet-funny dialogues and quirky situations that elicit laughter throughout. Also, Imran Khan and Katrina Kaif share a crackling chemistry which is endearing.

Writer-Director Ali Abbas Zafar is firmly in control in his debut film. He pays an ode to the seventies and eightees Hindi cinema in a fun manner. In a way, MBKD is another attempt at luring the audience in the interiors of the country. And it succeeds. Which is a bit of an achievement considering Imran and Katrina have a natural sophisticated charm that isn't naturally cut out for the masses, the way a Salman Khan or Ajay Devgn movie is. Just watch Imran, Katrina and Ali Zafar do the lift-the-shirt dance in 'Madhubala' and you shall know, why the whistles-n-claps will flow freely in the single screens of UP, MP, Rajasthan, Bihar, Punjab etc.

Now, once the movie starts or even while looking at the promotions, one knows that Imran-Katrina will hook up together at the end of the film, elbowing Ali out. But 'how' it happens is the interesting part. Imran-Katrina's accident while driving the scooter and how Kaif shuts up the auto rickshawwala, the duo sitting in a cycle-rickshaw in a fancy dress and the 'adabs' shared with Parikshit Sahani, Salman Bhai's 'I'm a complan boy' moments, Kush-Pia's Badminton attraction, the real-n-funny beer friend of Imran, the Imran-Katrina 'great escape'...there's a lot in 'Mere Brother ki Dulhan' that appeals purely for its entertainment value without resorting to cheaptricks or gimmicks.

'Mere Brother Ki Dulhan' is without a doubt, Katrina Kaif's best performance till date. She surely has come a long way since horrible mistakes like 'Tees Maar Khan' (no problem with Sheila there, but the rest of it sucked). There's a natural naughtiness and larger-than-life persona in whatever she does. The scene where she gets drunk and asks for curd to get over it, the Basanti sequence on top of the car, bend-on-your-knees moments...Kaif is in total control. Her comic timing and lack of inhibitions is simply wow.

Imran Khan is enjoying himself tremendously and he excels as an actor. The check shirts worn by him will be in vogue for sure. Ali Zafar is a breath of fresh air each time he comes on screen. Wish he had more screen space though. Sohail Sen's music is a big plus point for the film. 'Dhunki', 'Choomantar', 'Ishq Risk', 'Mere Brother Ki Dulhan', and 'Madhubala' are good numbers.

Director Ali Abbas Zafar cleverly paces his film. Yes, at the level of story, don't go searching for logic. 'Mere Brother Ki Dulhan' is good fun till it lasts and maybe you wouldn't mind watching it another time too. I'd suggest, this weekend you take your family to get entertained at the expense of 'Mere Brother Ki Dulhan'. Star Rating: 4 stars.

Send Questions for Sonam Kapoor

Guys doin an interview with Sonam Kapoor tomorrow. Send in your questions at faridoonshahryar@gmail.com

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Live Webcast Of 'Mausam Musical Evening' On Bollywood Hungama TONIGHT

Mausam Success Party happening tonight, Sept 8. We at Bollywood Hungama will be bringing the Live Webcast of the same from 20:00 PM (IST). See you there...

Here's the link where you can watch this webcast


See you there

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Will SRK-Aamir Go All Out To Overshadow Salman?

It was a tragic day. Another bomb blast ripped through the peaceful fabric of India. This time it was in Delhi. The politicos shouted and attacked each other on TV debates. The same old story. We will continue to remain vulnerable. Helpless.

Well, the much anticipated 'Mausam Musical Evening' slated for tonight go cancelled. I had been looking forward to it. Tomorrow is the music launch of 'Love Breakups Zindagi'. Salim-Sulaiman will be performing live along with several talented singers. I may go for this event and chill out.

Did a couple of interviews today. First one was with Hazel Keech. As most of you must be knowing, she played the role of Maya in 'Bodyguard'. Hazel came to our office and created quite an impact with her simplicity and friendliness. She has a heavy British accent and when she speaks Hindi, its good fun. She spoke on the huge response to the film, how she bagged the role and also spoke on the rumours that linked her and Salman. What many of you may not know is that Hazel also acted in Harry Potter part 2, 3, 4 and 5. They were small roles. But big film franchise nevertheless.

The second interview was with Chetan Hansraj, one of the main villains in 'Bodyguard'. He told me that Salman took him under his wings and trained him really hard. Under Salman's training, Chetan lost 17 kgs in 45 days. "Salman did 2500 crunches while we ate our lunch. He exercises like a 20 year old," Chetan said. Hansraj has had two film offers since the time 'Bodyguard' released. He wants to be the meanest villain in Bollywood.

Here's an interesting observation. Ra.one is releasing on October 26, 2011 which happens to be a Wednesday. That means, Ra.one will be having a five day weekend as well. Aamir's film directed by Reema Kagti is releasing on January 26, 2012 which is a thursday. That means Aamir will be having a four day weekend. No matter what anyone may say, both the Khans will go all out to raise the number of prints-n-screens (benchmark set by Bodyguard) and pack in feverish hype to ensure that they may break the 'Bodyguard' weekend record. Time will tell.

Here's the youtube link of Atul Agnihotri's interview (part 1)

"Critics should think again before they review Salman": Atul

Link of the Live Webcast of 'Mausam Musical Evening' on Bollywood Hungama

Here's the link to the Bollywood Hungama Live Webcast of 'Mausam Musical Evening' tonight, Sept 7 at 20:30 PM (IST). I'll be there. Looking forward to seeing you guys in hu8ge numbers.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Atul Agnihotri Post 'Bodyguard' Release, Imran-Katrina-Ali's Fungama

I did a long interview with 'Bodyguard' producer Atul Agnihotri today. He is ecstatic with the euphoric Box Office response to 'Bodyguard' all across the world. I also put forth all the points raised by the critics and Agnihotri answered them without flinching. I also took a few user reviews of the film. Some of the users praised the film immensely while I also took a few user reviews that raised a few critical points.

Atul told me that Salman has been doing well post surgery. While the news of whopping collections poured in on wednesday August 31, he and his family were glued in to reports of Salman's surgery in US. According to Atul, the surgery was supposed to get over in 3-4 hours but it stretched to almost 8 hours.

As I was winding up the interview, Atul said that he is happy that his children can call him a success now. Having struggled as an actor and then as a director, the producer's job has earned him humungous returns. And obviously he is satisfied. Atul says that he has a couple of scripts that can be turned into films. Yes, he would like to have Salman starring in his directorial venture but it seems tough considering Salman's schedule is packed. First part of this interview will be up tomorrow.

Here's the youtube link of Katrina-Ali-Imran's Bollywood Hungama Exclusive Interview Part 1. Its a fun trip. Don't miss it!

Here's an interview with Sumit Dutt, the music video director of 'Desi Beats' (Bodyguard), 'Character Dheela', 'Dhinka Chika' (Ready)

Live Webcast Of 'Mausam Musical Evening' On Bollywood Hungama

We at Bollywood Hungama will be doing a Live Webcast of the 'Mausam Musical Evening' on Wednesday, September 7. All the singers on the 'Mausam' album will be performing including Mr Pankaj Kapoor. Will share more details soon.

Here's the link where you can watch this webcast, tonight at 20:30 pm (IST)


Salman-Kareena Interview Totals Whopping 202202 Video Views

The Salman Khan-Kareena Kapoor interview on Bollywood Hungama has totalled a whopping 202202 video views

A few more videos on Bollywood Hungama with high number of video views

1) Chhamak Chalo (Ra.one): 115008
2) The Dirty Picture: 407085
3) Rockstar Theatrical: 274934
4) Agneepath theatrical 325275

Alright here's the original source of 'Teri Meri' from 'Bodyguard...La Betleem, a Romanian Folk song. I love the 'original' ;)

Here's the first part of Imran Khan, Katrina Kaif and Ali Zafar's Bollywood Hungama exclusive where the trio have had 'serious' fun pulling each other's legs.

"There's Something About Katrina"


Saturday, September 3, 2011

"What Competition Do I Have": Shahrukh Khan

Shahrukh Khan and Bipasha Basu at "I'm Not Stressed" Book launch

Here are a few highlights of what Shahrukh told the media

1) I have two stress busters. One of them is getting in front of camera, I love to do it. I love to act.

2) I think it is the greatest exercise to be able to laugh.

3) Har film ki release mujhe train kar rahi hai how I am going to let go off my daughter.

4) I have been trying to explain to my daughter that if she gets married can her husband stay with me.

5) What competition do I have. I have never thought of what others do, I only believe in what I do.

6) I've got to beat myself. Beating others is getting a standard. I am standard less.

Video Views on Bollywood Hungama of high performing videos

1) Salman-Kareena Interview: 179376
2) Kareena Interview Part 1: 133632
3) The Dirty Picture Theatrical Trailer: 372476
4) Agneepath Theatrical Trailer: 305268

The first three day Nett collection of Bodyguard is Rs 53 Crores (Approx). It has beaten the first three day Nett collections record of Dabanng (Rs 48.2 crores). Saturday (Sept 3), Sunday (Sept 4) are crucial days. The first day (Aug 31) saw collections of Rs 21 crores while the next two days (thursday, friday which were working days) saw a drop. The first weekend Nett collection of Dabangg was Rs 80 crores. At this rate, by the time sun sets on Sunday, Bodyguard would have overtaken that total. Don't be surprised if 'Bodyguard' totals Rs 100 crores in the first week.

The film has been patronised by a wide section of people but there is a certain section of people who haven't liked the film. It will be interesting how the cine goers patronise this film in terms of watching it again and again. The trend is suggesting that it may not be able to beat the overall record of 3 idiots (Rs 240 crores total nett collections) in spite of having had a record breaking start. Salman's action scenes, comedy of Rajat Rawail and the songs are fodder for repeat viewing but the absurd story has its fair share of critics amongst audience.

Here's the second part of Shahid Kapoor's Interview where he answers a few fan questions

"Amrita Rao Is My Favourite Co Star": Shahid Kapoor

Here's the first look launch of 'Agneepath'

"Bigger The Villain, Bigger The Film"

"Don't Steal My Thunder...": Katrina Kaif

Friday, September 2, 2011

'Paan Singh Tomar' To Release in March 2012

We at Bollywood Hungama had organised a Meet N Greet with Kalki today. She was a bit nervous as it seemed she hadn't had a direct interaction with her fans before this. Once she started interacting, it went well. Yes she was wearing her Yellow Boots. Later in my interview, we took a few fan questions. It will be interesting to see how her career shapes up considering she has those western looks and maybe there can be limited roles for her. She is super talented and smart at handling herself. Let's wait and watch.

Later in the day I interviewed Tigmanshu Dhulia. For me he'll always be the director of 'Haasil', a superb film on college campus politics and mad love. Irrfan Khan earned recognition through this film and went on to carve a place for himself both in Indian as well as international cinema. Dhulia's next film 'Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster' starring Jimmy Shergill, Randeep Hoods and Mahie Gill is enticing attention. Another film 'Paan Singh Tomar' has been completed for over an year. Dhulia told me that it will now release in March 2012.

"I've Always Been Salman's Huge Fan": Preity Zinta

Promo Watch: Chammak Challo (Ra.one):


Promo Watch: Umrao Jaan (Damadamm)


Check out the video views of some videos on Bollywood Hungama

1) Rockstar Theatrical: 222608
2) The Dirty Picture Theatrical: 331344
3) Agneepath Teaser: 280668
4) Salman-Kareena's Interview: 150414
5) Kareena Kapoor's Interview Part 1: 125868
6) Ranveer Singh's Interview Part 1: 129876

This is the press release that I've received on Preity Zinta's TV show 'Up Close And Personal With PZ' on UTV Stars

The real Salman Revealed

What happens when two close friends from the industry sit down to chat about all the possible things under the roof? What happens when close buddies Preity Zinta welcomes Salman Khan on her first episode of Up, Close and Personal with PZ on UTV Stars. The two got more than just chatty as preity was geared up for some revelations! To her astonishment, Salman confessed that his real name was Abdul Rashid Salim Salman Khan. Not only that, Preity was all gush about Salman being her first guest. She with her wide smile and a dimple to go with it coyly confessed that she has always been a huge fan of Salman! She said, ' I have always been your huge fan, right since the days of Maine Pyaar Kiya. So much so, last year I took hold of my neighbor just to watch Dabangg and that too in a burqa because there was so much rage about the film’Now that’s what we call, what friends are for!

More than just conversations, Salman even got groovy on the episode with our charming Preity on her title track of the show and even posed for a make believe film poster titled ‘Pyaar Mein Band Bajega Halu Halu’ where Salman was dressed a ‘band baaja walah’ and she was dressed as a ‘Dulhan’!

This is the second part of Anurag Kashyap and Kalki's Bollywood Hungama Exclusive interview


"You Say Aamir and Shahrukh Na...": Salman

Youtube link of Salman-Kareena's Interview

"Salman Is A Religion": Kareena

Youtube Link of the first part of Kareena's Interview

"Chemistry With Salman Is Dynamic": Kareena

Youtube link of the second part of Kareena's Interview

"Aamir Is A Marketing Genius": Shahid Kapoor

"Brilliant Working With Shahid": Sonam Kapoor

Thursday, September 1, 2011

"My Favourite Co Star Is Amrita Rao": Shahid Kapoor

Here is the second part of Shahid Kapoor's Bollywood Hungama exclusive interview...time for some highlights

1) I think we look lovely together...she is a beautiful girl

2) Mausam is a very very significant film in my career

3) I am trying to do justice to every role that I get

4) My favourite co star is Amrita Rao

5) I feel i'm very lucky to have reached where I have. I think I've done some really interesting films in the last 3-4 years.

6) I recently discovered that I have a fan base in Germany. I would love to visit. I've heard Berlin has a very cool night life. I'm looking forward to visiting at some point of time.

7) In the climax, my father came and hugged me. He said that he was very happy with the shot that I gave. That to me would definitely be the proudest moment.

8) The plan would be to release Mausam in 2000-2200 screens all over


"Chemistry With Salman Is Dynamic": Kareena Kapoor

Here's the second part of Kareena Kapoor's Bollyuwood Hungama exclusive interview where she speaks about her chemistry with Salman, why she feels that apart from being a commercial entertainer, Bodyguard also showcases her performance extremely well, what does she have to say about Karisma, n mom Babita? Kareena also shares her fitness secrets and her birthday plans. Enjoy!


It goes without saying that Bodyguard is breaking all records. I told my team the other day that it is bound to break the opening weekend record of 'Dabanng' (Rs 47 crores nett approx) considering it is having a 5 day weekend. I also told my team that 'Bodyguard' nett collections may go past 'Dabanng' in first three days itself (wednesday 31 aug, thursday, sept 1, friday, sept 2). Going by the early trends, it is all set to happen. 'Bodyguard' in all probability will surely break 'Dabangg's' opening weekend record in three days. The first week nett collections of 'Dabangg' were Rs 80 crores (approx). Don't be surprised if 'Bodyguard' comfortably overtakes it with its five day collections by sunday sept 4.