Friday, July 07, 2006

Corporate - Review

Madhur Bhandarkar continues to walk on a tight-rope, balancing masala [AAN, TRISHAKTI] and thought-provoking films [CHANDNI BAR, SATTA, PAGE 3] consistently. Ironically, the noteworthy films in his repertoire have been those that dared to tackle an issue that hadn’t been explored on Hindi screens before: CHANDNI BAR and PAGE 3.

Madhur now peeps into the glitzy world of corporate identities in his new outing CORPORATE. Like CHANDNI BAR and PAGE 3, CORPORATE works for one solid reason: It brings to light the nitty-gritty of a world that most commoners never knew of. Battles fought in ostentatious and swanky offices aren’t known to the majority and it is this aspect that can be rightly termed as one of the USPs of the enterprise. But the real strength of the film lies in narrating a dynamic story. The best of ideas evaporate into thin air if entrusted to inept, inexperienced storytellers. Thankfully, Madhur narrates CORPORATE in the most simplistic fashion so that the common man can decipher the games corporate entities play to stay at the top. Besides, CORPORATE is as hard-hitting as CHANDNI BAR or PAGE 3. Beneath a strong storyline is an underlying message that makes you think.

In a nutshell, CORPORATE is an astounding successor to Madhur’s earlier achievements! Aristotle had once said, ‘The secret of business is to know something that nobody else knows.’ A century later, it could be rephrased as, ‘The secret of business is to know what the other person knows, and a little more.’ Welcome to the world of Corporates. A battlefield of power-hungry people. A world filled with deceit and corrupted minds. Where wealth, fame and success are fought over. And rules don’t exist. CORPORATE tells the story of two leading industrialists in the food sector, led by Vinay Sehgal [Rajat Kapoor], Managing Director of Sehgal Group of Industries and Dharmesh Marwah [Raj Babbar], Managing Director of Marwah International P. Ltd. Powerful, ambitious and relentless.

While there are many diligent people working for these companies, there is also Nishigandha [Bipasha Basu], a businesswoman with high aspirations and hunger to move to the top. She is at the centre of all the action. When the market opens up to international players, competition gets fierce. And the battle for supremacy begins. Moral codes are abandoned and ethics are forgotten as these two bitter rivals embark upon a deadly game of monopoly. Success and prestige take precedence over everything else. Good is no longer good enough. And people are driven to the brink of insanity. All in the name of business. If the war was just between two companies then their battles should’ve remained behind the scenes. Unfortunately, its implications have an impact on the common man.

This film peeps into the mindset of the powerful people and attempts to find out what makes them tick. It explores the nexus between the corporate world and the political and follows the trail of sex and corruption that hides behind a glittering and glassy exterior. The initial portions of CORPORATE and also the power games that the high and mighty indulge in may seem like Greek and Latin for the Hindustani junta. Madhur tries to be as real as possible while laying the cards on the table. Yet, there are several characters in the narrative that you identify with instantly. Like the scheming politician or the lecherous CEO of a company, who has sex on his mind all the time.

If you don’t gather a powerful impression of the first half, it doesn’t really come as a surprise, but Madhur reserves the best for the post-interval portions. It is in the second hour that CORPORATE does a somersault and turns into a story that the commoners can identify with. The twist in the tale -- when Bipasha is used as a pawn in the game -- sends a shiver down your spine. The razor-sharp developments thereafter, right till the climax, come as a shocker and open your eyes to a world that’s a complete sham. Directorially, Madhur Bhandarkar enters an alien territory yet again. Besides exposing the glitzy world of corporates, the film works primarily because the emotional twists and turns in the plot involve the common man. It’s in the post-interval portions that Madhur shows his competence, as a writer [screenplay: Madhur, Manoj Tyagi] first and as a storyteller subsequently. The impact the film makes from the pre-climax onwards proves that Madhur has only bettered the art of narrating a good story.

There’s not much scope for music [Shamir Tandon] in a subject like this, but the three tracks are quite tuneful. 'O Sikandar' and 'Lamha Lamha Zindagi Hai' are appropriate and only take the story forward. Cinematography [Mahesh Limaye] is of standard. The background score [Raju Singh] is in sync with the theme. Dialogues [Aje Monga, Manoj Tyagi] are sharp. The film has a plethora of characters, but the one who breathes life into her role and emerges trumps is Bipasha. She is competent in the first hour, but watch her take rapid strides as an actor in the second half, more so towards the finale. After Tabu [CHANDNI BAR], Raveena [SATTA] and Konkona [PAGE 3], Madhur taps the hitherto untapped potential of Bipasha this time around, making you realize that there’s more to Bipasha than just being a glam-doll.

Kay Kay too comes into form in the second hour, especially during the twist in the tale. The supremely talented actor exhibits his vast range yet again. Rajat Kapoor is excellent as the shrewd industrialist. Raj Babbar underplays his part beautifully. Harsh Chhaya is first-rate. Sandeep Mehta [as the lusty CEO] is an actor to watch. Vinay Apte is superb as the corrupt minister. Achint Kaur is dependable. Bharat Dabholkar does a fine job. Lillete Dubey deserved a better role. Minissha doesn’t get any scope. Sameer Dattani barely gets one scene, but is a silent spectator in the remaining three scenes. In fact, both Minisha and Sameer look completely forced in the screenplay. Payal Rohatgi is alright.

On the whole, CORPORATE works for its gripping drama towards the second half. At the box-office, the film is targeted at the metros and the multiplex audience in particular and has all it takes to keep its target audience completely satisfied. For the producers, the moderately-budgeted film has already proved a profitable proposition and for its distributors, the merits coupled with the open week will see the film growing from strength to strength thanks to a strong word of mouth.- Sify

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Real life reporters for Corporate

Indian cinema is seeing a new trend now-a-days with News channels joining hands with forthcoming films for in-film promotions. The English news channel Times Now has tied up with Madhur Bhandarkar for his latest film Corporate. Their reporters and correspondents will be seen in the film reporting events and stories as the proceedings take place. Corporate is about the ugly behind the scene story of what actually takes place in the corporate world.

Times Now VP Partho Dasgupta said he is quite happy and takes pride in the development and hopes this will cater to the urban audience who enjoy Bhandarkar’s realistic cinema.

It may be recalled recently that Rakesh Roshan’s Krrish has also tied up with Star News Network for the same purpose where Priyanka Chopra was seen as the journalist for the channel.[ source : IndiaFm]

Shahrukh all set to coach a female football team

Yash Raj Films is one production house that comes up with very unique marketing strategies from its films. A comic strip was run in a newspaper and also a promotional music video for Hum Tum, even Dhoom had a special a promotional music video featuring Tata Young. Bunty Aur Babli had Abhishek and Rani turning news anchors on a news channel. And now, Yash Raj has come up with a new plan for their forthcoming film Chak De India.

Chak De India is the same film that will be directed by Shimit Amin and will have Shahrukh Khan as a football coach of a girl’s football team. Currently, Shimit Amin is shooting a grooming session of the group of newcomer girls who will compose a football team to be coached by SRK.

The shooting is being done at Yash Raj Studio. The idea is to capture the behind-the-scenes fun which will be used as teasers during film promotions. Yash Raj plans to release this film in August next year.[ Source : IndiaFm ]

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Himesh Reshammiya enters Kollywood

Move over A.R.Rahman, Yuvan Shankar Raja and Harris Jayaraj. Himesh Reshammiya, is here in Kollywood.

Himesh is Bollywood’s hottest music director and a craze with the youth. He has been signed by producer Oscar Ravichandran for his prestigious Kamal Hassan big budget film Dasavatharam to be directed by K.S.Ravikumar.

When A.R.Rahman walked out of Dasavatharam, Ravikumar was baffled as music is an integral part of his film. After weeks of hunting around, finally the choice zeroed in on Himesh Reshammiya, one of the busiest music composers in Bollywood today.

It was the song Just Chill.. from Maine Pyaar Kyon Kiya and the music score of Aashiq Banaya Aapne… that made Reshammiya hot with the generation next. It was followed by a string of hits like Garam Masala, 36 China Town, Gangster and last week’s Phir Hera Pheri.

It is a coup of sorts for Oscar Films to sign up Himesh who will be composing six songs for the film.[ Sify Movies ]

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Friday, June 23, 2006

Krrish - Reviews Hrithik makes Krrish work

This one is a Hrithik vehicle from start to finish. That Priyanka gets noticed at all is a coincidence because a heroine was necessary in a love story. But to call Krrish a mere love story would be an injustice...

The film is pure entertainment from the first instant. Rakesh Roshan, the director, allows himself the indulgence of a moral only after the love story is defined. Good vs evil is always an easy moral stance to take, and one which finds buyers [distributors] anytime anyplace. The Koi Mil Gaya story moves further and leaves the end open to move still further.

The masterstroke in this one was the return of Rohit, the supposedly dead hero of Koi Mil Gaya and father of Krrish. Roshan knows well the effect of an unexpected emotional reunion of this kind . And to give him his due, it worked. And the reasons for Rohit’s return too are plausible enough to not warrant ridicule.

Now to come to Hrithik. One can't say that the boy has grown as an actor because he hasn’t. He was a 200% actor right from Kaho Na Pyar Hai. And his forte is intensity, emotions as well as action, not to mention his dancing prowess, which is a given today. Now, if someday he starts singing his own songs, he’ll be an absolutely complete actor.

His good looks combined with an absolute sincerity of expression works so well that he has audiences charmed by him at once. The truth is - he isn’t faking the emotion either. He has obviously worked at feeling it and then expressing it. And the result is effective, to say the least.

This is the story of a superhero, who is first human and then a being with extraordinary powers that make him strangely vulnerable and invulnerable at the same time. He is invincible from attack but human enough to feel pain.. He is strong enough to confront pain but human enough to be hurt. The character Hrithik plays is so appealing and requires such ability to eke out that one must acknowledge the boy’s acting prowess once again.

True, it is his home production and true, his father has directed him, but Hrithik’s is a performance that requires chewing on. It isn’t a mechanical one. And he rises even above the incredible special effects of the film.

As for the rest, one wishes Rekha would decide whether she’s young or old. The long nails and the studied mannerisms, combined with the shaky voice and slow gait, make her something of a travesty.

Naseeruddin shah plays the calculating shrewd scientist with panache and Priyanka Chopra does a decent job as a complementary leading lady. The film is sure to become a rage with kids.

For the minuses - it seems too long at times and you’ve to shrug yourself out of somnolence. There is a feeling of repititiveness at times.This brings about ennui and a feeling of predictability. But that’s splitting hairs for little or no reason. The film is a must-see just for the fun of seeing Hrithik take on the corrupt powers single-handedly.

If cinema has the freedom to go beyond the believable, Krrish certainly does that and does it believable. It is to Hrithik’s credit that he plays an unbelievable character believably. [ source : Sify ]

Sunday, June 18, 2006

IIFA Awards - Dubai

The sizzling Katrina Kaif arrives at the charity event hosted by IIFA.

Amitabh Bachchan arrives at the opening show of Chandramukhi.

Amitabh Bachchan arrives at the IIFA awards.

Aishwarya Rai and Jagmohan Mundra arrive at the premier of `Provoked`.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Industry insiders raving about Krrish

One of the most awaited films of the year 'Krrish' is slated to release this June 23rd but the film is already creating a lot of buzz in the industry. The trial screenings of 'Krrish' have begun and those who have seen it are raving about the film to no end. Though the first half is slow paced at some places, the second half makes up for it with great stunts and special effects.

Hrithik Roshan gives a stupendous performance as always. Insiders in the trade circuit say that the film has the potential to be the biggest hit of Filmkraft yet. Watch out for a detailed review very soon. - IndiaFM.

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

It's raining superheroes on Bollywood Boulevard

A masked superhero who saves the world amidst dancing and singing like a pro, a gifted evil-basher who can make metal bend and a capped superman are all waiting in the wings to lay siege on the Indian marquees.

Starting Friday, these superheroes in varied hues will invade the senses of Hindi-film aficionados. The first will be "Alag", to be followed quickly with "Krrish", the most awaited of them all. The last but not the least will be Hollywood's "Superman Returns" that has been dubbed in three Indian languages.

While relative newcomer Akshay Kapoor will be seen as Tejas Rastogi who emits a frequency that affects metal and electronic items in "Alag", the title for Bollywood's first indigenous Superman-style superhero will go to Hrithik Roshan in "Krrish".

"Krrish" can leap from skyscraper to skyscraper sans a web or a cape and while battling evil he can break into impeccable song and dance routines. "Krrish" is a sequel, a rarity in Bollywood, to the 2003 blockbuster "Koi... Mil Gaya" that was considered Hindi cinema's first major science fiction film.

"Koi...Mil Gaya" had given Bollywood an E.T.-like alien called Jadoo who befriended a mentally challenged Rohit (Hrithik) and transformed him into a hero who beats bad boys, gets the girl and makes his mother (Rekha) very happy.

"Krrish" is the story of Rohit's son, Krishna, who possesses superpowers. Krishna is unaware of his abilities till he saves the life of a television reporter essayed by Priyanka Chopra.

Love blossoms between the two and he follows her to Singapore, where he encounters a psychotic inventor who murdered his parents and is now plotting to create a machine that can see the future.

Krishna becomes Krrish. A leather-suit and a mask replace the lungi or loincloth. Krrish manages to save the world and gets the girl.- IANS