Two Unrelated Videos: Sarkar 3 and Prithviraj!

Mohzin on my Wednesday Watching post recommended a new interview with Prithviraj, which I was able to watch after work today, and it was fascinating!  Probably in a bunch of ways I missed, but also in some I managed to actually catch despite knowing almost nothing about his industry.  And then separately from that, trailer for Sarkar 3 came out!  And it is kind of fascinating to look at the two of them in terms of how Hindi film stars present themselves versus Malayalam.

Really, you should just watch the below video for yourself, there is so much there and I only caught like half of it.  He talked about making Ezra, he talked about picking scripts, he talked about feminism, and he talked about an upcoming movie.

 

All of the details of that, Whoosh!  Right over my head!  But I am super interested in the general things about this interview.  Firstly, the casual way it is filmed.  There’s no make-up, there’s no special lighting, the interviewer isn’t some fancy slick young guy, he’s older and relaxed.

Most of all, I was really struck by how Prithviraj’s mannerisms reminded me of educated desis I have met in the US.  Like, in an almost spooky “If I close my eyes, I think it’s my friend’s husband” kind of way.  I think there are two parts to that, that Prithviraj doesn’t feel the need to put on an attitude of a super aggressive and cosmopolitan superstar, he can use casual Indian-English phrases and be very laid back in his stories, just like a regular person would be.  And secondly, I suspect that his life and background and upbringing as a Malayalam superstar are probably very similar to that of, for instance, an IIT grad who ended up in America.  An educated family that likes to talk but isn’t very aggressive about it, who isn’t always focused on making sure they are being the wittiest or the sexiest or anything like that.  Unlike the Hindi film stars who often are from the very very top of society, or the very bottom, and have learned to always be “on” and on the defensive.

He was also very intelligent in his discussion of film.  Which is to be expected, all these major stars are smart about that, otherwise they wouldn’t have gotten to be major stars.  He talks about how with Ezra it was pretty easy to make a horror film with international standards.  How cameras are cheaper, and it’s a good genre to experiment in, and all that cool stuff. But what really struck me was when he explained what he meant by promising not to do a movie that promotes harassment of women.  He clarified that he would absolutely play a rapist in a film, definitely.  But only if he is the villain in the film, not if the film supports what he is doing.  That is the key that so many people (usually censors and politicians) miss.  It’s not just about “don’t objectify women”, it’s about how the narrative as a whole treats that objectification.  Strip scene in Bahubaali=Bad.  Strip scene in opening of Darr=Good.

And then finally he talked about an upcoming film that might be made with him, directed by Gautham Menon (who did Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa and Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada) and featuring Prithviraj and stars from “the other 4 industries”.  I assume he means Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada?  Would that be right?

Now, this project is really interesting!  As an audience member, sure, assuming the music is good, I am all in.  But from an industrial standpoint, the idea of a Malayalam star who has some national recognition using that to try to pull together all the southern industries on to one film is a big big deal!  I know it’s been done before in various ways (I was just talking about Hum in my Amitabh post earlier), but the way Prithviraj was talking about it, not “Pulling together these 4 big stars” but specifically saying he wanted a star from each of the 4 industries, that feels blatant.  They are going after unifying the southern audience for at least this one film but, who knows?  If it works, could this be the future of South Indian film?  A blending of all the industries into one mega-industry that could easily dominate the global film market? Probably not going to happen, but exciting to think about!

 

Speaking of dominating the global film market, let’s see how Amitabh is doing.  The Sarkar 3 trailer just came out and it’s pretty much the complete opposite of that Prithviraj interview.  Watch it!

 

Firstly, can I just say “AMIT SADH!!!! Woot-WOOT!”  As I have said, and will continue to say until everyone reading this blog has watched it, Running Shaadi is the best rom-com in years!!!  And as I have also said, but not nearly as much because I am a little ashamed of it, I had a HUGE crush on him in Sultan.  I know, the hair and the cool guy suits and all.  But still!

I hope Amit Sadh does well in this film, not just because I luurrrv him, but also because it would be a good sign for the film in general if he has a strong character.  The Sarkar films have been a brilliant deconstruction of Amitabh’s career, and while Sarkar 1 was the 70s brilliant period, Sarkar 2 was definitely the 80s slide into mediocrity.  But I have hopes that Sarkar 3 could be the 2000s rebirth!

What I mean by that is that Sarkar 1 was an Amitabh movie, his power was at the center of it.  But it was balanced by an excellent script, really good characters surrounding him, and ultimately a central character played by Abhishek, not him.  Just like in the 70s Amitabh was AMITABH, but only because he had great scripts and great collaborators.  And then in Sarkar Raj, it just got too much Amitabh.  Everything else around him kind of fell apart, the plot made no sense, there was no big overriding theme that I could find, it was just all floofy.  And not in the good way, like hair.

Image result for aamir khan mann

(Good fooffy)

My hope for Sarkar 3 is that the cast around Amitabh is given a chance.  And this really is a great cast, besides my crush Amit Sadh, there’s Jackie and Manoj Bajpai and even Yami isn’t bad (still haven’t seen Kaabil, tell me if she is horrible in that and I should hate her).

But mostly this trailer tells me how very very different the Hindi and Malayalam industries are. Prithviraj is up there chatting, all relaxed and casual, talking about the thoughtful way he considers which films to do, and the films he is planning on producing, and it is all just super lowkey.

And then we have Amitabh up in Bombay, with a trilogy of films made to honor him at age 70+, massive marketing campaigns planned up, huge casts surrounding him and yet not over-shadowing him, it’s a whole different world!

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17 thoughts on “Two Unrelated Videos: Sarkar 3 and Prithviraj!

  1. Prithviraj is a a big star in the Malayalam industry and so is Puneeth Rajkumar in Kannada but based on the rumors it doesn’t look like they are going to get any other big stars. I’ve seen reports that either Naga Chaitanya or Sai Dharam Tej is going to do this movie from Telugu. Naga Chaitanya is now an established actor but he’s not really a star. Sai Dharam Tej debuted in 2014 and he’s got a couple of hits under his belt. But he’s Chiranjeevi’s and Pawan Kalyan’s nephew and the only reason he’s surviving in the industry at this point is because of his uncles’ hardcore fans. The names that I heard for the part of the Tamil actor are Simbu and Jayam Ravi. Simbu is a bigger star than Jayam Ravi, but he is a nightmare to work with. I haven’t heard of any of his movies that haven’t been delayed in the past 5 years. Jayam Ravi is an established actor but I wouldn’t call him a major star. So they aren’t really assembling a cast with the biggest stars of the industries. Since the Malayalam and Kannada roles seem to be already decided upon, my personal choices for the Telugu and Tamil roles would be Naga Chaitanya and Dhanush (he’s working with Gautham Menon right now on a film called Ennai Nokki Paayum Thotta). If Telugu and Tamil stars were really interested, then I would choose Suriya and Mahesh Babu (I’ve wanted to see him in a Gautham Menon movie for the longest time now).

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    • I like Dhanush! And Naga chaitanya. I think they should cast following your suggestions. Also, if Simbu is a nightmare to work with, does this mean VTV isn’t getting a sequel? Because I NEED my closure!

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      • Hmmm….I’ve never heard of any plans to make a sequel to VTV…

        I’ve heard that he shows up late to the sets or doesn’t show up at all if he doesn’t feel like it. But I also heard that he’s a really good actor who can deliver in just one take. Apparently he’s been acting since he was a child so maybe that has something to do with his behavior? These are Gautham Menon’s comments sometime before the release of AYM:

        “Talking about his latest Tamil film, which happens to be ‘Achcham Yenbathu Madamaiyada’ starring Simbu, “I am currently filming a film in Tamil with a hero and I am not able to find funding easily at all. So I had to do a Telugu film to fund the Tamil film. It’s my 15th film and I have had some decent films down the line. Most of the time the hero doesn’t turn up also to the sets of the film for shoot,” said Gautham Menon.”

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        • A VTV sequel was mentioned as possible in a couple of general things I saw, but not like an interview with the director or anything. Good chance it is just other people like me who want a real solid ending practicing some wishful thinking.

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      • Have you seen Velai Illa Pattathari (VIP) yet?!? It’s my favorite Dhanush film and the sequel is due to come out this year. Also check out Maryan starring Dhanush and Parvathy (she was in Bangalore Days) too!

        VIP Trailer:

        Maryan Trailer:

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        • I haven’t seen VIP, but I read about it when there were rumors that Kajol was going to be the antagonist in the sequel. I am super curious what that is going to look like! So I will have to see VIP sometime before that comes out.

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          • Based on the updates I’ve seen, it looks like VIP 2 is going to be a true blue sequel to the first part. So you should watch VIP when you get a chance. I saw it on Youtube with subtitles 🙂

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  2. Amit Sadh with Amitabh!! You made my day!!

    I also found the Prithviraj interview fascinating. As you said, very low key. In my obsession with all things Aiyyaa, I watched a bunch of the interviews Prithviraj did with Rani in the Hindi press, and he seemed very bashful and respectful yet kind of wide eyed at the hype.

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  3. This is his two post which Prithviraj Posted on his Facebook page which he menioned in the interview on the Sexual assualt that happened to his co star Bhavana ( Heroine in ivide and also starring in Prithviraj’s current project which is in shoot)

    Post 1

    Woke up today morning to the horrifying news that has by now been reported, misreported and sensationalized. As disturbing as it was, I refrained from saying something on what happened to one of the most beautiful girls I know because I knew whatever I or any one among our fraternity say, will only be fodder to click baits and TRP mongering. By now, all that can be said about the security of women in our “matriarchal/matrilineal” God’s own country has already been said. And yes..as a man who has to share the responsibility of a society that bears this shame, I hang my head! But please..the most we can collectively do at this moment..is to respect the guts of this girl. I was supposed to start work with her in a week, and she told me that she’d like not to come back in front of the camera so soon..and so is pulling out of the film. I know this girl..I know how brave she is…if it’s affected her enough to make her stay away from what she loves the most..I can only imagine how harrowing it must have been. Yes..please let us have an effective investigation in place and please let’s bring the bastards to justice asap..but please..let us also not allow anyone..ANYONE..to celebrate someone else’s misfortune. WITH YOU MY FRIEND…will look forward to hanging with you as soon as you’re up to it..and yeah..be who you are..and don’t let today dictate the rest of your life. Love always..Prithvi!

    Post 2 ( 3-4 days after the incident)

    COURAGE
    ———–
    Some of the most poignant moments in my life have been punctuated with moments of incredible courage. Courage from what I have now fully realised are God’s most benevolent yet intricate creations. WOMEN!
    From a mother picking up pieces of a suddenly derailed life, to bring up two young boys to be the men they are today..to a wife who at the fag end of a 40 hour labour, just as she was being cut open without an anaesthetic, holding my hand and telling me “It’s alright Prithvi”..I have repeatedly been dumbfounded in realising how much of a lesser being I am in the company of the women in my life.
    And today..as my dear friend walks in to the sets to kick start the shooting of her new film “ADAM”, I once again bear witness to an extraordinary moment of courage from an extraordinary woman in my life! Today..she makes a statement..a statement that will echo through time, space and gender..that no one or no incident has control over your life but YOU! A statement that will now be part of counselling sessions and pep talks around the world. A statement that you my friend..are making in a million unheard voices!
    And to those voices I apologise..for at an age and time when I wasn’t wise enough..I have been part of films that celebrated misogyny..I have mouthed lines that vilified regard for your self respect and I have taken a bow to the claps that ensued. NEVER AGAIN..never again will I let disrespect for women be celebrated in my movies! Yes..I’m an actor and this is my craft! I will whole heartedly trudge the grey and black with characters that possess unhinged moral compasses…but I will never let these men be glorified or their actions justified on screen.
    Once again..ladies and gentlemen..stand up and applaud for her! Behind the gutsy spunk, there is a vulnerable celebrity who knew well enough what this decision of hers would mean to a life under constant scrutiny. But she also knew..that she had to see it through…for that would set an example..light a torch that will show a path for many to follow!Today she makes a statement..
    A statement of extraordinary courage!
    Fanboy for life…dear friend..fanboy for life!
    Love always,
    Prithvi.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a good post! I like how he acknowledges that saying anything in public always gets the pressure of “he’s just saying it for publicity” or “what right does an actor have to say anything.” And how he doesn’t excuse or try to talk around it, but openly acknowledges that he is ashamed and guilty just like any other member of their society for a situation in which this could happen.

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  4. Well, it all started when people questioned what right the two big M’s in the Malayalam industry had to condemn the incident as their movies portray women in a bad light (one as late as C.E. 2016). People were asking on TV channels if they would give up roles glorifying misogyny.

    I never thought Prithviraj was an offender anyway (and neither are the new gen actors). It was a very timely statement he made and ( I think ) aiming at the big boys. It has already put them in a spot and let’s hope we’ve turned a corner!

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    • Oh, that’s interesting background! As you know if you’ve read some of my older posts, there are a bunch of Mohanlal movies I really like, and a few that really bothered me in how they treated the female characters. Even something like Thenmavin Kombath, which I generally liked, had some not so great moments between the hero and heroine.

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  5. Malayalam & Kannada movie industry are smaller in terms of the money their movies make in the box office. They do feel that if they can get the audience in the neighbouring industries to start following some of their movies, it can really boost the outside Kerala value of their movies. Most of the top tier Tamil stars movies already run big time in Kerala, can’t say the same about Telugu movies… but the Kerala market I bet is not as attractive to them, as the Telugu market is to a Prithviraj. This kind of explains why Mohanlal has acted in a couple of Telugu movies last year.

    I think actor Arya of Tamil, might be the one to join in this attempt by Prithviraj. They have acted together couple of time (Urmi & one more recently), and their production houses have collaborated in producing movies together in Malayalam. Arya is also a Malayalee, but his audience base is fully in the Tamil market, so I can see him doing this one.

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    • I’ll be really interested to see if this film actually pans out, and if so, how the promotions and release strategy and everything go. If it crosses over between all 4 languages in the ad campaigns and everything else, or focuses on one more than the others.

      On Fri, Mar 3, 2017 at 10:01 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

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  6. lets see if prithvi puts his money where his mouth is.
    he once criticised people still carrying caste name as surname or second names.later named his daughter alankrita ‘menon’ where menon is the cast name. when it became a controversy he defended it with some pathetic justifications.

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