News Round-Up: Thugs Dance, Ittefaq Delays, Ranbir Kishores, and SADAK!!!!

News round-up!  With NO SHAHRUKH STORIES AT ALL.  Truly, we are in a new era starting today. (and then I immediately mention him in the first paragraph of an unrelated story.  But it was RELEVANT!)

Thugs of Hindostan Will Be a BIG BIG Deal

I don’t know if this is a good idea or not.  Reports are coming out that Yash Raj is breaking it’s budget barriers for Thugs, going up to 90 crore instead of the usual 80 crore budget for a big film.  Fan, for instance, was an 80 crore film with 20 crore publicity.  It made back it’s budget barely, through the opening day Shahrukh bump and the huge satellite sale (made before it came out and everyone learned what a flop it would be).

On the one hand, Aditya Chopra is a superhuman genius who always always ALWAYS makes a profit.  He could be counting on a satellite and merchandising profit that will off-set this budget easily.  On the other hand, Befikre was a terrible decision, maybe he has lost his touch.  On the mutant third hand, Befikre still made a money, and a whole year before it came out he announced that he knew it would not be a hit.

Rumors are out that Yash Raj is looking towards something like Pirates of the Caribbean.  So big stunts, ridiculous period costumes, adventurous plot.  Which might be a good idea, there’s a reason Pirates did well, it was a great fun rich movie to be enjoyed by children and parents.  And it felt “full” in a way not a lot of Hollywood movies do, an over two hour run time, dozens of characters, complex backstory, etc. etc.

But then, there’s also a reason that movies like The Lone Ranger failed.  That combination of period costumes and big plot, it is very very hard to pull off.  Especially without tipping too far into cynicism and laughing at it, instead of embracing it.

This movie, we have 4 stars, two of them all time huge stars (Amitabh and Aamir).  We have a director with a spotty record (Tashan, too odd for the audience to embrace.  Dhoom 3, less smart but more embracable).  And now there are stories coming out of big action scenes never before attempted.  And big dances.

(Not saying I don’t enjoy it, just saying I was in the minority)

That’s the other story today, Prabhudeva is confirmed to be doing a song, with both Aamir and Amitabh.  Poor Prabhudeva!!!!  Two of the WORST dancers in the industry!!!

But also, this makes me worried for the film in general a little.  Prabhudeva is a huge name, and deservedly so.  But I doubt that he is the right choice for this particular song.  I don’t see Amitabh or Aamir being able to pull of Prabhudeva type moves, they might do better with a less ambitious choreographer like Vaibhavi Merchant or Bosco-Ceaser.  It feels like hiring the name just for the sake of the name, not because he can actually contribute to the quality of the film.

(Mudassar Khan, small name choreographer, did great work with Amitabh in this song)

And this could be what it is like for everything in the film.  Starting with the cast, hiring Amitabh and Aamir not just because they are hugely talented, but for the names, even if someone else like, say, Sanjay Dutt and Sushant Singh Rajput might be better fits for the role.  Bringing in Katrina Kaif instead of Diana Penty.  Spending crores on costumes so they are “original” and “authentic” instead of just using the old stuff in the warehouse.  And all of it ending up adding only 3% to the film, or maybe even making it worse, while it drives the budget up and up and up.

Or maybe it is actually a brilliant film and Adi and Vijay Acharya know exactly what they are doing and I am just feeling pessimistic today.

 

 

 

Ranbir Kapoor and Anurag Basu and the Kishore Kumars

This is an odd story mostly because of the tone of it.  Here is the original link.  It starts with Anurag Basu and Ranbir Kapoor really really wanting to make a Kishoreda biopic.  For years, since Barfi!  And that’s nice I guess.  But then it jumps over to Kishore’s widow and sons as late arrivals in this story who are trying to take over the project.

But surely, even before Anurag and Ranbir decided they wanted to make this film, Kishore’s family knew and loved him?  Aren’t they the start of the Kishore story?  Why SHOULD Anurag and Ranbir have ownership of the story?  Why is there this whole resentment of his family stopping production?

(Is it because Ranbir’s own family worked with Kishoreda so much and have that long relationship with him that he thought would trump his relationship with his own family?)

Especially because there is a whole lot his family might want to have input on how it is presented!  Kishore had 4 wives, for one thing.  A fellow singer Leela, Madhubala, the wife who left him for Mithun Chakraborty, and his last wife who was already a widow when they met and much much much younger than him.  Depending on how you look at the marriages, they could all have been “good” things.  He stayed friendly with his first wife, Madhubala lived out her last years in comfort thanks to his support, he wasn’t at fault in the break up of his third marriage, and his last wife loved him deeply and is still beloved by both her biological son and her stepson, the three of them as a unit are protesting this film.  And I am sure his family would prefer that version of his life to be presented or at least acknowledged, rather than an out of control womanizer bouncing from romance to romance.  And that’s not even getting into the question of showing Kishore as an irratic irrational angry man, or as an artist who insisted on getting his due and made strides that playback singers to this day benefit from in terms of adequate compensation.

I think it is completely fair for the family to want to make sure the man is presented as they knew him.  I don’t really see why it is so “wrong” for them to insist on involvement.  Maybe it’s because biopics are so new to the Indian film industry?  There isn’t a full balance yet of what belongs to the filmmaker who loves the story versus what belongs to the family who loved the man.

Or maybe it is just because it feels like Kishoreda belongs more to the film industry than to his own family?  Like Ranbir and Basu feel the have the right to use his story because it is such a part of film history?  Whereas his family feels like he belongs to their personal history more than the whole history of film.

 

Sadak 2 IS HAPPENING!!!!

Not much of a story here, the Bhatts have confirmed that Sadak 2 (Sadak 1 review here) is happening, Sanjay and Pooja will be together again, and there will also be a young couple (yet to be cast).  And they are using a new composer, Jeet Gannguly who started out working with Pritam and is now off on his own.  He’s been crawling his way up from doing the less notable songs of a film (everything in Aashiqui 2 that wasn’t “Tum Hi Ho” or “Sunn Rahe Hai”), to finally doing the title song of “Hamari Adhuri Kahaani” and getting his own hit.

(Bad movie, catchy song)

The release date is also announced, August 31.  Which would make me nervous, but it’s the Bhatts, they do stuff fast but they also do stuff well.  And if Mahesh is letting his own property be remade, using his own daughter, he is going to have a higher standard for it.  I hope.

 

 

Ittefaq Release Delayed in UAE

This is the most important part of the “no spoilers” campaign.  NOT releasing on a Thursday in the UAE.  This is standard practice, because of the theaters often being closed for religious reasons on Fridays/audiences staying home.  But it also means that disgusting sluglike human beings such as KRK can build a reputation based on flying to Dubai, watching a movie a day early, and spewing reviews on the internet.  And it means that regular audiences who live in the UAE can innocently send messages to family members elsewhere giving opinions and revealing plot points on the film.

This also means the filmmakers are taking a bit of a gamble.  The UAE market is huge, and they are giving it up in order to save the other markets.  Proof that this “no spoilers” plea isn’t just a clever promotion campaign, it is something they are really serious about and believe their film rises and falls on it.

 

Which brings me to Anupama Chopra and a question!  Reflects on Life just alerted me/us in the comments that Anupama Chopra spoils the ending of the movie in her video review.  I can kind of understand where she is coming from, just that it is hard to talk intelligently about a thriller or a mystery without including the resolution in your discussion.

But then, this is HER JOB to find a way to intelligently discuss it without giving away the ending.  And she was specifically asked to do that both in a professional appropriate way, and in a personal way by people who are her close personal friends.  And it’s not like “I am providing clearly labeled spoilers”, if she is putting it in her video review, it is something anyone could just stumble on by accident, even if they intended to be unspoiled.  So I am going to warn you away from her review, because if the filmmakers are giving up tens of thousands of dollars to keep the ending secret, the least we can do is not watch a review.

 

Oh, and this brings me to my question!  I always put up two reviews, one with and one without spoilers, to keep the SPOILERS both in my content and in the comments firmly segregated.  And I also put up a SPOILER review not just to spoil the film, but so I can talk in depth about how the whole arch of the narrative plays out and so on, there’s a reason for it.  Which normally seems like a good enough rationale.

However, I also know that (without this being my main purpose) loads and loads and loads of strangers on the internet track down my review just to have the film spoiled and then never comment or read the rest or do anything else.

In courtesy to the filmmakers, this one time, should I hold off on the SPOILER review so those strangers don’t find it?  Or should I still post it, so that us nice people here can have an intelligent discussion?  And so that my non-spoiler review remains clean and untouched with all the spoiler comments moved over to the other one?

What do you think?

 

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31 thoughts on “News Round-Up: Thugs Dance, Ittefaq Delays, Ranbir Kishores, and SADAK!!!!

    • He really is! And I think he has a bit of a natural grace to him. But he doesn’t seem comfortable moving his whole body. And as of now, he has a whole variety of health that make him incapable of moving a lot. Prabhudeva tends to specialize in very elaborate full body moves, and I just don’t see the point of hiring him for Amitabh.

      If you want a real treat, look up Amitabh poetry recitals. He has an amazing natural rhythm to the way he recites the words and gestures along.

      On Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 1:31 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  1. For some reason, there are many, many people in the Indian audience who derive great pleasure from spoiling a movie’s ending for everyone else. There are also many who don’t care about spoilers. I think both sets of people would absolutely freak out if you told them about how long Agatha Christie’s play “The Mousetrap” has been running in London, and how many generations of theater goers have maintained the secrecy of the ending.

    So what I’m saying is, I really appreciate the fact that you put up a spoilers and a non-spoiler review, but you can’t control the whole internet, nor the people who live to ruin other people’s enjoyment. In this particular case, though, since the makers seem to have gone to extraordinary lengths to ask people not to spoil the ending, you might want to wait one day before putting up your spoiler review, but it won’t reflect badly on you if you don’t.

    And shame, shame on Anupama Chopra for giving the ending away! There go all her pretensions to being a “serious” critic. I remember several years ago, Raja Sen started his review of a murder mystery by saying, “X is the killer. There, I just saved you time and money from watching this horrible film.” I stopped reading his reviews after that. Apparently, many reviews of this film are also giving away the ending, I think because most Indian reviewers don’t know how to review a film without just summarizing the whole story. Whenever I didn’t want to be spoiled for a film I was looking forward to, I’ve found that the only solution is to stay completely offline till I’ve seen it, since so many stray comments come at you in the most unlikeliest of places.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! This is very helpful. I was considering waiting until Saturday afternoon for the SPOILER review, which I do half the time anyway just because it takes longer to write and I’m not down until then. But my only concern is that might make people put their “SPOILER” comments on the regular review, if there isn’t anywhere else to put them.

      Maybe I just put a huge reminder at the top not to discuss spoiler elements on this review, and that there will be a SPOILER review going up the next day, similar to the disclaimer I already put on the SPOILER review as to whether or not you should read it (usually not, but sometimes plot details don’t really matter it is more about the mood of the piece).

      On Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 1:44 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. Just saw the film. I’m “voting” on the side of no spoiler review until the people who care will have seen it. (not sure what length of time that is). We went this morning to make sure no one could spoil it. I am very good at figuring out endings and plots and I did NOT get this one! What is wrong with Anupama? I’ve disliked her for the way she has used Shah Rukh for her own aggrandizement and not even given him credit for his good films (Dear Zindagi etc.) But now, a spoiler in a review?? What on earth is her problem?? She loves the west and western film and critics; she should know better. And by the way what is so great about a Shah Rukh less post, may I ask….:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmm. Well, the showtime is very late today, so doing a SPOILER review tonight would be tricky anyway. Maybe I plan on putting it out with the usual warnings and so on late Saturday. I’d even say pushing it to Monday, but then that would mean there would be no place for those who have seen it (and the more faithful commentators here do usually see movies opening night) to discuss.

      On Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 2:17 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I’m starting to think SRK or someone affiliated with him has really pissed Anupama off somehow. I mean, she had a ton of access to him during the filming of JHMS (remember the 3 part Microsoft interview?) and during JHMS promos. Then she trashed the movie. Of course she must review a film how she wants to, but I think she approached JHMS in a purposely obtuse way. She couldn’t have gotten as far as she has, written the books she has, and be dumb enough to have missed the poignancy and empowering nature of Sejal’s story. And now, spoiling Ittefaq! Harrumph.

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      • Just speculating wildly, I think it’s because she is overreaching. She is a great journalist. And when she turns her journalist ability on in depth projects like her Shahrukh bio or Sholay or DDLJ book, she brings up facts and analysis that no one else has. And she is also a great interviewer in writing. Her book First Day First Show, a collection of interviews from her career, is a delight, she gives you a real feel for her subject and paints a picture with words. But then I read a collection of interviews that were really just transcripts of her talk show, and it wasn’t nearly as good. And that’s been my experience of the little I’ve seen of her videos. I wish she would get back to writing, to taking time with her thoughts and words, instead of just putting things up there as fast as possible.

        Part of the reason I am happy running my own blog! If I don’t have anything good to say, I DON’T HAVE TO SAY IT!!!! And if I change my mind on something after I think about it, I can put up a different perspective. There’s no deadline to meet, no need to please anyone, I can just meet my own standards and nothing else.

        On Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 2:42 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Oh wow, that’s an interesting perspective, and makes lots of sense. I had also noticed the disparity in quality and thoughtfulness. Your speculation is much more generous of spirit than mine also. 🙂

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  3. I got to know Anupama a bit and I talked to her about ShahRukh (or better, she talked to me about him).
    What I think (although I may be wrong): She has very ambivalent feelings towards him and I have the feeling that it escalates.
    He gave her a looot of interviews for her book but he wasn’t easily accessible (it took Anupama four years to do this book). So, she wrote the book, published it 2007, had tremendous success (ShahRukh praised the book)…shortly after she accused ShahRukh of having forced Bhansali’s movie into a flop through his “aggressive promotion” in a feature where she hailed Aamir as “thinking actor” in contrast to him. It was – for me – suprising negativity from her side.
    There were other incidents where he gave lengthy interviews to her and then she trashed the movie or him (if I remember right, Ra.One was especially mean). So he stopped interacting with her until she used a meeting ShahRukh had in Lisbon because of an event in Mumbai he was involved in. Anupama was/is befriended with the woman ShahRukh had to meet and just went with her. (I think ShahRukh was in a real good mood in Portugal and is in any way – as Imtiaz said to me – very generous.)
    Her birthday contribution wasn’t a wish for him but boasting about the number of interviews she already had with him and giving her favourite quote…

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    • Wow, that is really interesting background, and food for even more speculation! Maybe she doesn’t like how he short-circuits her mental faculties sometimes. Maybe she guards too hard against being biased towards his movies. Or, maybe she really doesn’t like him as an actor but is just crazy about him as a self-made man? Or, none of the above.

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      • I think with SRK it comes down to something Pamela Chopra said about him in one of her interviews. “When he is with you, he is completely yours, once he leaves the room, he doesn’t know you.” That kind of undivided attention that makes you feel like you know the man well, only you and none other and then to realize that hell maybe it was just another act, a mask, can be hurtful. Sometimes make you feel like a fool.

        That article Claudia shared is a fascinating read. It speaks of the restlessness within the man, the confidence, the unapologetic attitude for knowing he is good and doing what it takes to not be a failure. His mother called his father one and warned Shah Rukh against being one. As Kajol or Karan said, he has ideas of how his character should behave how the others should react and so on. That sort of energy in a person can be quite unnerving.

        Besides for all his goofiness and “pretended” forgetfulness Shah Rukh has an elephantine memory. Plus he is a Scorpio – never forgets and rarely forgives slights.

        In my opinion, he has a high regard for people who bet on him when he was a no one, not the star he went on to become. The rest he is pleasant towards, meets them well but he knows whose who and who is just being leechy and so on.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I still haven’t watched her review, so I really shouldn’t be answering this question. But JHMS, to me, feels like a film that you can easily dismiss if you watch it based on the summary of the plot versus the actual characters we see. Yes, a sexual older man “rescues” a naive younger woman. But it’s not about selling us a stereotype or reinforcing social patterns, it is about this particular older man and this particular younger woman, who are beautifully complex carefully drawn characters.

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        • I read an article yesterday, wrote by a girl who calls herself SRK fan, but more than an article it was an infinite whine how bad and damaging Shah Rukh fan movies are. She complained that his characters are always or racist (like in Chennai Expres) or misogynist /bad example (like in Devdas when he played a drunkard). In the end she wrote that JHMS was terrible because Shah Rukh was slut-shamming Anushka all the time. IDK, but maybe I have seen the other version of the movie because I didn’t find any slut-shamming there. But maybe JHMS tagline was true: What you seek is seeking you.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, I think I just read that. It might finally inspire me to write the “feminists versus feminist media criticism” post that has been bouncing around in my head for a while.

            But besides the subtle tonal stuff and misunderstandings and so on, the way she doesn’t even bother to mention Dear Zindagi, even long enough to explain why she can dismiss it, makes me think it is more of a superficial clickbait type article than a serious piece.

            On Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 5:33 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I have the feeling that exactly the argument about Harry and Sejal sleeping together without making love using it as something to criticize reveals a lot about Anupama and her emotional equation with ShahRukh.

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  4. When all Ittefaq – no spoilers campaing started I was thinking: “What will Margaret do? Will there be spoilers post or not?”. I thought that it will be better wait a day or two with spoilers, but now, after Anupama story I’m not sure. You should do how you feel.

    Am I the only one who loved Hamari Adhuri Kahani? And it was far before I knew who Rajkumar Rao is. The music is very good, actors great, story is different, why everybody hate this movie?

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    • Maybe SPOILERS like usual so we can talk about it, but put a really massive disclaimer at the top explicitly saying that you should not read this unless you have already seen the movie? And put the same thing in my tweet and everything else?

      On Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 4:13 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yes. Put SPOILER so if somebody doesn’t want to read he will be safe, but at the same time, all random people in search of spoilers will find your blog.

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        • I also feel like I should go even farther than usual in encouraging people NOT to read if they haven’t seen it, because the film deserves to be seen fresh.

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  5. After reading this I took the line in my video review (up soon) that might have been considered a spoiler. I think it’s more fun to go in blind. Also fun to have watched the original first but not necessary. Thanks to Margaret and all the others who mentioned watching it on Youtube, because MAN IS RAJESH KHANNA HOT in 1969. Whew boy!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Maybe you should just title your review like you did for the A Gentleman spoilers review. That certainly stopped me from reading the review and spoiling the twist.

    A Gentleman Review (SPOILERS): This is a Definite “Don’t Spoil Yourself if There is Any Chance At All You Will Be Able to See This Movie” Kind of Movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, that’s a good idea. Even more obvious than my usual warning in the first few sentences before the “read more” bar.

      On Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 4:39 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. Thanks for name checking me. I feel like I’m getting my 15 seconds of internet fame !

    Given the No Spoilers campaign, I agree that your conscience will feel clearer if you wait a day or two. That might be the way to go in general – post the spoiler review a day after the non spoiler one, esp if you post the non spoiler review on or before opening night.

    I remember when Crying Game came out – no WWW but email virality was a thing back then – then later when Sixth Sense came out – no social media or smart phone but WWW virality loomed large – and EVERYONE was talking about these films yet NO ONE spoiled the big reveal, and the reviewers gave smart thorough reviews without spoiling the ending.

    I do think that Anupama should have just put SPOILER in the video title, out of respect for her audience. And perhaps waited a day to post, out of respect for the NoSpoilers campaign.

    Rajeev Masand posted a detailed and opinionated review without spoiling the murderer, instead discussing actors, characters, editing, pacing, and storytelling. Reading btwn the lines, If you listen to what he emphasizes and deemphasizes, he hints at where the trailer leads you and misleads you, without ever spoiling anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Do consider delaying the spoiler review till Monday.From all accounts it’s a good movie and the makers have gone to such trouble to hide the ending.When Gupt came out, people had written on walls that so-and-so is the murderer.But that was before internet was widely available all over India.What Anupama has done is no less.One can argue that she’s written it on her own wall not on somebody else’s wall.But that’s all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmm. I think I will write the Spoiler review and plan for it late Sunday night/early Monday India time. But if I get SPOILER-y comments on the regular review, I will post it, just so I have a place to quarentine them.

      On Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 10:40 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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