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Its Action Time for Akki and John
Vidya Isn’t Going the Kill Bill Way
Aamir: All Praise for Talaash Director
Sanjay, Ekta Get Going
Riteish and Arshad: The Sequel War

Its Action Time for Akki and John

(Above): John Abraham and Akshay Kumar in “Desi Boyz.”

Housefull 2 is taking a different route from the first in the series. This time around, it is going to be a complete masala entertainer rather than just being a laughter fest. To give the film a rounded appeal, the makers have devised multiple action sequences and promised some never seen before stunts.

Informs a senior crew member who worked with director Sajid Khan on putting it all on paper, “Housefull was a hit and we have definitely taken the franchise together. However this time around we didn’t want to restrict ourselves to only comedy. There are as many as 6-7 hardcore action sequences in the film. Also, these won’t have a comic touch to it a la Golmaal. Instead, there would be some real serious action sans any comic element to it.”

With their background in action films, Akshay Kumar and John Abraham would be leading from the front. However Riteish Deshmukh and Shreyas Talpade, other two leading men in the film, haven’t being left behind either as they too have indulged in kicks and punches. The actors were briefed about expectations from them and given good enough time to work on their fitness which ensured that they were in their best form when the cameras started rolling.

When contacted, Sajid Khan confirmed that action would have a major part to play in Housefull 2. He warns though that in spite of half a dozen action sequences, Housefull 2 is not a quintessential action flick.

“Housefull is a franchise because it caters to family audience. In this aspect, the sequel too would have be mainly appealing to families,” says Sajid who, after Heyy Babyy and Housefull, indulged in action for the first time, “This is the reason why the action here isn’t gory, gruesome, brutal or violent. However, it isn’t funny either. Instead it is thrilling enough to be enjoyed by family crowds as well.”

For Sajid Nadiadwala too it is a return to action after ages. Credited for making feel good films like Heyy Babyy, Anjaana Anjaani, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, Jaan-E-Mann and Har Dil Jo Pyaar Karega in the past, it is after ages that an action sequence has been devised for his film.

“My last hardcore action film was Jeet and it was way back in 1997 that some dose of action was seen in Judwaa. It is after close to a decade and a half that action is making a comeback in some shape and format in Housefull 2. Sajid (Khan) has balanced it really well by including action without compromising on the family appeal that films coming from my production house boast of,” says Sajid Nadiadwala.

Well, now we too would like to see this balancing act coming into action. Pun intended!


Vidya Isn’t Going the Kill Bill Way

(Above): Vidya Balan promoting her latest film “Kahaani.”

Ever since Vidya Balan’s Kahaani was announced more than a year back, there were speculations around the film being a remake of Kill Bill. It was also declared by many soothsayers that the film’s action would be on the same lines as well with Vidya putting on a gear similar to that of Uma Thurman, kick butt and also splash blood all over for her vengeance.

“Such speculations began because back then it was being said that just like Kill Bill, Kahaani too was about a scorned woman who is out to take revenge. Also, Kill Bill had Uma as a pregnant woman while Vidya too was following suit in Kahaani,” says an industry source, “Though many out there started to join the dots and assumed that Kahaani is Kill Bill in the making, the first look has dispelled all such myths. Now it is crystal clear that Kahaani has absolutely nothing to do with Kill Bill series since it is in a space of its own.”

No wonder, director Sujoy Ghosh hardly sounded amused and was quite irritated when asked about similarities of Kahaani with Kill Bill.

“I don’t know from where people get to hear such imaginative stories,” he questions back, “Just because you have a pregnant woman in a film doesn’t mean one is remaking Kill Bill. In any case, Uma was shown as pregnant just for a few seconds in Kill Bill. In case of Kahaani, Vidya is shown pregnant for a much longer time.”

On being specifically asked about the action sequences, Sujoy further reiterates that there is no blood shedding and gritty action sequences featuring Vidya, least of all in the same graphic manner as Kill Bill.

“Puhleeze, Kahaani is more of a dramatic journey of a woman rather than being an out and out action film,” Sujoy replies.

He adds as a final note, “Since you are questioning about Vidya being pregnant in Kahaani then well, Juhi (Chawla) was also shown as pregnant in my Jhankaar Beats. Now would you come back and say that perhaps I am remaking that film all over again?”

Now that’s a ‘kahaani’ we would love to know more about!


All Praise for ‘Talaash’ Director

(Above): Aamir Khan’s new look in “Talaash.”

Aamir Khan is mighty excited about the summer release of his next biggie Talaash. His confidence comes from the fact that the core strength of this dramatic thriller is said to be it’s tout script that belongs to “never heard before” variety. While writer-director Reema Kagti (of Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. fame) has promised that the written word would pretty much justify Aamir’s presence in the film, the producers too are gung-ho about the manner in which she has executed the script.

“She knows what she is talking and has forged a good partnership with Aamir. It is funny when people say that Aamir is interfering because I know for sure that he would stick his neck out only if he isn’t sure about whether the director would be able to get the best results on screen or not. In case of Talaash since Reema has organized everything so perfectly well, why would Aamir want to do the job of someone else? He would rather do his job as an actor and let the director take the headache of getting everything else in place,” says Ritesh Sidhwani, the film’s co-producer (along with Farhan Akhtar).

One can be sure that there must have been similar preparations put together in 2011 as well which was one of the most eventful years for him and Farhan. While Don 2 has done very good business, Zindagi Naa Milegi Dobara enjoyed a superhit status for itself though Game proved to be a box office disaster. One wonders what really wrong. After all, the makers are known to be quite immaculate when it comes to pitching their films amongst the audience. What was it about Game that the film didn’t even take an opening?

“Frankly speaking, I can’t pinpoint on why people didn’t even step into Game,” says Ritesh with a shrug, “We continue to believe in the film. I am yet to come across anyone who has said that Game was a nonsensical movie. Time and again people say that a film belongs to ‘leave your brains behind’ category. Thankfully no one said that for Game which is a fortunate thing. We thought it was a smart film but then that’s fine, you win some and loose some. Zindagi Naa Milegi Dobara made a huge connect while Don 2 was liked by it’s target audience as well. It’s all fair at the end of the day.”

Fair enough as long as Talaash compensates for Game and turns out to be as good a grosser as Don 2 and Zindagi Naa Milegi Dobara!


Sanjay, Ekta Get Going

(Above): Sanjay Gupta (l) seen here with Ekta Kapoor.

Now that Shoot Out At Wadala is definitely happening with plans all set to be executed for the film to go on floors, the handshake between Sanjay Gupta and Ekta Kapoor has turned out to be for real. Close to half a decade after problems were reported between the enterprising producer and the director known for his stylish movie making, all is certainly well between the duo. Moreover, even though the hunt for actors continues with only Anil Kapoor and John Abraham on board with Vivek Oberoi no more a part of the project, Sanjay is confident that with Ekta, he would manage to cross all obstacles and come up trumps.

“For Sanjay, it is a big win for him and Ekta to come together again since there were a lot of negative forces around him that came as a hindrance in his movie making plans for all these years. After Zinda, he just couldn’t get started on a new project once his problems with Sanjay Dutt erupted in a big way. Even those who were supposed to be his friends deserted him and there were also reports around him and Ekta having a fall out after working together in Shoot Out At Lokhandwala. Monetary issues was said to be the bone of contention and other than Dutt, even Ekta was said to be miffed with him,” says a source.

However the very fact that the same team is now coming together to make Shoot Out At Wadala with the only exception of Dutt has proven to be a shot in the arm for Sanjay who is happy to find himself vindicated.

“Today I think this very development should put to rest any doubts about my integrity as a filmmaker or a producer,” says Gupta, “There were never any problems between Ekta and me either professionally or personally. Issues around matters related to money were always speculation and just made a good reading for people. You would remember that never once did Ekta or I say anything on record. For that matter even Dutt didn’t.”

Reflecting over the bad phase gone by that also saw Alibaug being shelved after issues reached the point of no return between him and Dutt, Sanjay says, “There were a lot of people with vested interests who went all over the town spreading rumours about me. I was riding faster than many and it was just not digestible for them. Everyone just went over the board in spreading negativity. Anyways, neither Ekta nor I are bothered about it now. All we want is to tell a great story with Shoot Out At Wadala.”

Seems like Sanjay has all his systems fired up!


Riteish and Arshad: The Sequel War

(Above): (L-r): Jaaved Jaaferi, Riteish Deshmukh, Arshad Warsi and Aashish Chaudhary in “Double Dhamaal.”

They have played on-screen friends quite a number of times and created some good dhamaal but off screen it may soon take a shape of war for supremacy. Both Riteish Deshmukh as well as Arshad Warsi are fast becoming favorites when it comes to being regulars in the sequels and are currently battling it our for maximum number of sequels in hand.

“The kind of positioning they have in the industry, neither Riteish nor Arshad are even thinking of finding a spot for themselves in the top rung of superstars. But within their own space they are pretty much rivals as they have similar kind of roles being written for them. Most of the films that they do are hardcore comedies and due to majority of them being successful, they are fighting it out for ‘sequel’ supremacy,” says an industry observer.

So while Riteish is a part of sequels to Dhamaal, Housefull and Kya Kool Hain Hum, Arshad already has four against his name with Golmaal, Dhamaal, Munnabhai franchise and Ishqiya. Clearly, Arshad is one up as he has had more number of sequel releases but Riteish too is catching up fast. With Housefull 2 and Kya Super Kool Hain Hum releasing this year, these on-screen friends could well turn out to be off-screen rivals since Arshad’s Munnabhai 3 and Desh Ishqiya go on floors this summer.

“Both Riteish and Arshad are vouching for the same space since all said and done, sequels are what has ensured good momentum in their career. They would never let go the successful franchises and though they would now come together next in Total Dhamaal third in the series of Dhamaal, it is clear that they want more films to be made in their respective franchises,” adds a source.

Neither Arshad nor Riteish though are willing to admit any rivalry and state that they are happy to be enjoying in their own respective spaces. Says Riteish, “Sequels do help in recall value but beyond the first day opening, you can’t expect more from the audience. I may feel that franchise is helping me out but then eventually it is scary business. As a character you are comfortable but you still feel scared about how the film would work as a whole. You can’t be complacent.”

Now that’s a sentiment even Arshad agrees to. He says, “People enjoy sequels but as an actor yahan mera band baj jaata hai. You can’t imagine the kind of pressure I have gone through working in Lagey Raho Munnabhai or a Golmaal 2 and Golmaal 3. Every time I have to assure myself that my film will actually make people laugh.”

Well guys, as long as these sequels do keep you in business, one can be rest assured you won’t mind all the pressure that comes along.


Joginder Tuteja is a Bollywood writer based in Mumbai, India.


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