News round-up! This is mostly because Brahmastra made me laugh and laugh and laugh. Oh, and because I have a new commenter getting to know Amitabh, and it reminded me that he is a combination of rawly emotional and very very restrained in his public appearances.
Brahmastra is Delayed
Oh Brahmastra! Why is everyone involved in you so DUMB? Why do you even exist in the world? You are like the Minotaur, cursed by your makers to a life of failure and misery, shambling through the world and knowing you have no right to Be.
This time, they say they are over budget and delayed because of the quarantine. Uh-huh. Sure. Everything would be fine and it is all under control, if only there wasn’t a massive global disaster happening. A superhero trilogy that has taken 3 years to film and counting, with a hero who has to take 3 weeks off every time he twists his shoulder, a director who is in love with his star, no one involved has ever made an action film let alone a superhero film before, and meanwhile superheroes have stopped being popular, everything was totally under control until the quarantine happened.
Anyhoo, Karan called a conference (presumably on a Zoom call) and the new deal is that Ranbir and Alia and Ayan are taking a pay cut. To which I say “YOU WERE STILL PAYING THEM?????” They don’t work! None of them work! They are off there having lovely little threesome vacations, taking month long sick breaks, and never ever finishing this movie, and they WERE GETTING PAID FOR IT????? Being paid a lot too if their pay cut will have a substantive effect on the budget.
Oh Brahmastra. Someone just needs to put you out of your misery, let you die and return to non-existence so you can be reborn better, as a pleasant cheap rom-com or something, instead of the deformed monster you are now.
Salman Greenlights Another Rom-Com
I appreciate that Salman keeps making rom-coms, I love rom-coms, but I am also glad I am not invested in his company. This time it is Pulkit Samrat and Kriti Kharbanda who have come up in his wheel of “people who he likes but do not have the talent or name recognition to actually make the film profitable”. They are cute enough together I guess, and apparently dating? The name of the movie is “Bulbul Marriage Hall” which seems very promising for those of us who like rom-coms. And Daisy Shah is in it, which is less promising.
Amitabh Makes Us Cry
Oh Amitabh! I was just talking in the comments about how he is very restrained and almost emotionless in media interviews, but I think that is a choice he made because he doesn’t trust the press. This video is why I think that. Either Amitabh is a real human person with deep emotions that he chooses not to share with the press. Or Amitabh is a very good actor capable of faking deep emotions, but also chooses not to share that kind of performance with the press. The point is, the lack of emotions in many interviews is a choice one way or the other.
I vote this is real emotion, and also a trained performer. He wrote the words, he is feeling the feelings, but while you or I would just rush through it with a strained smile as we try not to cry, he can actually say it properly with pauses and things. But still slips a bit with that little throat clearing “yeah” at the end.
Wait I need it explained: what does it mean Ranbir, Alia and Ayan are taking a pay cut? I always thought the actor and directors are paid prearranged fee e.g the producer says: I will pay you 10 crores for the movie. But here it seems they are getting a salary or something? How it usually works? If the movie is delayed actors want more because the movie needs more dates?
And what’s wrong with Karan? He is smart so why he didn’t cut it earlier? Why he hasn’t learnt from Kalank disaster? I can’t forget his interview post-Kalank when he said he was so excited and thought the movie is wonderful, and that he was the one who wanted it bigger and bigger. He should stop working with his pupils asap because it’s obvious he is not able to see their work objectively.
I think they signed on for a certain amount which was included in the budget. But it’s routine for stars to wave fees, or producers to renegotiate, when films go south. I just can’t believe that hadn’t happened already! Especially if their contracts were for a large enough amount that it would make a difference. And Ayan? It’s his movie, for Dharma to pay him money for this thing he dreamed up and wrote and now has driven into the ground is blowing my mind. The spin is trying to be “oh look, how generous for Ayan, Alia, and Ranbir to lower their fees”, but I’m stunned they didn’t do that long ago, and that Karan was still planning to actually pay them. Unbelievable! The Khans are paying people back out of their own pockets when their movies fail, and Alia/Ranbir are just now considering maybe not taking the originally negotiated pay out? And Karan is just now asking them about it?
On Mon, May 4, 2020 at 12:23 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
That’s why I say – he should stop doing movies with his friends!
Also don’t understand why Ayan has been given such a big contract so early. Man, he is only 2 movies old! Succesful movies but still. Karan was like: oh you made two movies about regular folks and now you want millions to do those 3 fantasy action movies. I don’t see why not!
Do you think it will release someday or their plan is to push it till people stop asking?
There’s a sunk cost problem here, right? If they just stop right now, they are out unbelievable amounts of money that they will never recoup even a little bit. But if they somehow manage to finish, there is hope that they can make something back somehow so it is less of a disaster.
Agree about Ayan!!!! Oh my gosh! The obvious comparison is Bahubali, but Rajamouli had spent years and years making progressively more complicated and expensive films before tackling it. And he had a clear vision for what he wanted to do, and a film genre to fall back on (the Telugu audience at least would recognize the fantasy format). Ayan is being given the job of inventing a genre from nothing, while making a totally new kind of film from his previous experience, and he is only 2 films old!
On Mon, May 4, 2020 at 5:01 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
Failure ofKalank has put a big spanner in dharma works.
Karan johar thought that dharma brand/huge star casts/lavish sets etc.would be enough for huge hits.
But this was not so.
So it affected bramastra. He had to order reshoots as they felt the product was not shaping up as desired.
So it led to huge escalation of costs
This in turn affected his dream takht as he had to work on his script to make it more tight.
So the finances are all haywire.
The debacle of drive/kalank made huge losses to dharma.
It was offset to an extent by simba/good news by he would have had to give a huge chunk if profits to akshay/rohit shetty and the studios.
Bhoot also didnt do as per expectations.
The big ticket production was sooryavanshi bt it also got delayed now.
So I dont think dharma has any loose change now.
It was imperative that bhramashtra would be delayed. bt how is bachchan quite in all these.
His diary must be chock a block full.
I think we have to go back farther than Kalank. Brahmastra has been in process for maybe as long as 4 years now, as Dharma’s fortunes go up and down. That’s the built in problem with this kind of film, you are committing a large amount of money for a very long time with no idea how your business will change in the meantime. And you are committing a large amount of time for the release schedule too, this is like a 7 year commitment, 4 years of filming and then 3 films released over 3 films. It’s just so risky! Even if the filming was on schedule, it would still have been like 2 years before you saw any kind of profit. It’s crazy!
To be fair, whatever lockdown you are experiencing is loose compared to India. The only country equally strict is South Korea. Everything is shut down, there are no planes, trains, buses and interstate travel is forbidden. No deliveries allowed, not even Amazon. I am not allowed outside my apt building and there are police blockades enforcing this. The tuck shop has some, limited groceries and that’s what I’m living on. If I need to go to a pharmacy (they are open), I need a pass from the police dept and have to wear a mask. People caught without a pass are fined and in some cases beaten. Things are really bad in Mumbai and Delhi, so strict enforcement. This is a legitimate cause for a film to shut down; in fact, I doubt any films are being shot in India due to the pandemic. So, yes, all the delays you mention maje the film sound like a hot mess, but this delay is definitely not an excuse.
Sorry if I sound a bitpreachy, but I have friends all around the world and after 6 weeks confined to my apt building, I am getting irritated when they complain about having to maintain social distance whilst walking in the park. The only walking I am permitted is around the cement parking garage of my building !
Lovely Angie is in Italy, so we do have a variety of experiences here. And of course you can’t dictate other people’s emotions. I am super happy and calm, living in a 5 room apartment with my parents and not interacting face to face with anyone outside the household for the past 2 months. Other people might be living in houses with yards and regularly seeing and talking to people outside their house, and yet feeling a far stronger mental toll. But yes, I am very grateful for all the things I can still do. Most of all I am grateful that I live so close to my parents! There’s a lot of people my age who were left to choose between the mental health killing option of staying alone in their apartment with no human interaction, or traveling cross country to move in with family. And as you point out, in some places they wouldn’t even be able to travel if they wanted to.
It’s totally a legitimate excuse for Brahmastra, but it is honestly clearly opportunistic, the movie was doomed already and they are just leaping on this handy excuse. I mean, every movie is shut down, right? Why is this the one that is saying “oops, this is what is causing a real problem!” Plus, they still had a 40 day schedule left to shoot??? They have had YEARS!!!! YEARS!!!!!!!!! No one else is in this position! Because either you’ve only shot 10 days and you pack up and give up, or you only have 5-6 days left and you can patch it together. Who shoots so slowly that you are left with that much left to complete and yet so much already done that you can’t just give up without taking a massive loss
On Mon, May 4, 2020 at 10:49 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
I still think that Dharma is broken regarding the money Karan has at hands…they just try to maintain a front (I don’t forget the that there has been a strange fire…just as strange as the RK studios fire). I think, it all comes down to money…finally, it’s an industry with lot of employees asking for money even in times of non employment. In such an industry, money is the main issue and the creative ideas of years before gets forgotten after a certain time.
Even ShahRukh (who has a part of investement in Dharma) won’t be able to support Karan indefinitely.
Personal possibilities to ease the stress of forced lockdown may be cater to a personal relief but on the big scale of industry demands, a forcibly induced lockdown is an economic desaster…and if an economic go-down was already visible before Corona, the virus is a kind of welcome excuse.
Karan and Zoya’s initiative of the “I for India” shows a focus on the Hindi filmindustry that is revealing…and the ineffectivity of the government fond also shows that – at least – the Indian government tries to profit from the situation.
I’m sure that at the end things “will be alright”…the current situation may change some mindsets (hopefully)…yet, personally, I think, only few may have learned about what really matters…
On the other hand, Dharma does have the advantage of a library. Yash Raj, Red Chillies, and Dharma have all thrived despite hard times, and all had that library to fall back on. Dharma isn’t getting money from theatrical releases, but they just moved their library from Amazon to Netflix which must have brought along a solid infusion of cash. K3G and Kuch Kuch are going to just keep spinning money for them into infinity.
Speaking of alternative revenue, do you think that’s why Karan did What the Love for Netflix? I was thinking it was just for fun, but maybe it was to get some fast cash. Like Red Chillies, Dharma has a figurehead who can raise money in himself and then fold it back into the company. And I know he still has a lot of personal wealth, he likes buying designer clothes, he has a really nice apartment, and so on. Dharma has resources to keep it going at a basic level, the building and salaries, for quite some time. But a movie like Brahmastra? That might be a reach.
On Tue, May 5, 2020 at 4:30 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
If Dharma is really in trouble they should think about a nice simple romatic movie or comedy with good script and for once no big, or nepo names. Take an actors the public will not hate just by hearing their name, so no Anaya and no Kapoors, but somebody with raw talent. In few words I want a movie like Band Baaja Baarat or Hasee Toh Phasee with good acting and a little of Dharma gloss.
A movie I definitely don’t want is this one Salman is producing with Pulkit in the main role. I was wondering why Pulkit? Later I read Pulkit dated a girl who was Salman’s “rakhi-sister”, and now everything is clear. Poor Salman, why none of his sisters or fake sisters married a guy who can act? His life, and our also would be so much better.
While checking Pulkit I discovered he and Kriti Kharbanda are also doing a movie named Taish and the other cast members are Jim Sarbh, Harshwardhan Rane and Neha Sharma. I like this cast (except Pulkit, of course)
I think Dharma made a good profit with Good Newwwwwzzzzzzzzzzzzz, which of course I hated. But it did kind of follow your suggestion. No nepotism hate directed towards it, cheap plot and script, and so on. That Sikh battle movie made a good profit too. It’s really Kalank and Brahmastra that are killing him, and even Kalank he could bounce back from. Brahmastra though, that is just the never ending bad decision money suck.
I agree about Salman! Another reason to be excited about Kat and Vicky maybe dating, at least her boyfriend isn’t another talentless hack for Salman to support. Although I feel the need to point out that the “my sister dated him” Salman system is what gave us Arjun Kapoor, and you loooooooooooove Arjun Kapoor.
On Tue, May 5, 2020 at 8:57 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote: