Kakababu returns and how!

Sorry for being away... Have been really busy and haven't been able to carve out the time to blog. My Basterds review is still pending. Surprisingly, don't feel like writing about it. Not that I don't like the film. But somehow it's become too internalised to actually write it in a blog. Maybe I will, later. Anyway, here's a great piece of news. So had to share with all of you.

After Byomkesh Bakshi, Anjan Dutt is bringing back Kakababu. Isn't that great, great news? Well, this one's for television. BIG is getting into TV production here in Bengal and Anjan-da's Kakababu series is one of their first ventures. "People advised me not to get into TV. They said, you are doing one film after the other, why do you need to do television? But I don't feel TV is any less today and making Kakababu sounded tempting enough," Anjan-da told me the other evening.
The cast? Well, Saswata Chatterjee, who plays Ajit in Anjan-da's Byomkesh movie Adim Ripu, gets to play his first big lead as Kakababu. Earlier we have had Sabyasachi Chakraborty playing Kakababu. Let's see how Saswata plays the limping lion. Santu, Kakababu's loveable sidekick from Sunil Gangopadhyay's much-read books, will be played by Anubrata, who was one of the four guys in Anjan-da's Madly Bangali.
Shooting starts in November in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Gorumara. Keep reading this space for more. 


The Japanese Wife — finally a teaser...

Here's a film we Bengalis have been waiting for ever. Aparna Sen's The Japanese Wife. The film's an adaptation from a book by Kunal Basu and stars Rahul Bose, Raima Sen, Moushumi Chatterjee and Japanese actress Chigusa Takaku. It's been in the making for a long, long time. It's been ready for quite some time, too. Those who have seen it have all gone WOW and yet, we don't know why Saregama won't release the movie. Here's a trailer I found on YouTube and this one-minuter does look WOW.


Somebody please complete Abhik Mukhopadhyay's Bhoomi

Who says only women go through labour pain? Ask Anurag Kashyap, who went through hell — over nine years and not nine months of below-the-belt Paanch-es — before delivering Black Friday. And now Abhik Mukhopadhyay is the latest prey. The gifted cinematographer, who is as much responsible for Rituparno Ghosh's cinema as Christopher Doyle is responsible for Wong Kar-Wai's cinema, took the directorial plunge a couple of years back. The film was called Bhoomi. It's written by Devashish Makhija, another talented creator (he does a lot of stuff besides writing). It was Abhik-da's Three Colours, trying to capture India through its tricolour existence across the north, the north-east and centre. He shot a huge chunk of it and then the financiers had other ideas. The film got stuck. Abhik-da even had a 10-minute feel-reel of the movie cut to woo other producers. Everyone went wow at the footage but didn't put the money where their mouths were. Here are those 10 minutes for you. Now, you tell me whether this film deserves to get made or not. 


Pyaar Impossible & Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani better Hadippa & Wanted

This is really sad but very true. Two big movies released today and the two trailers that were shown before/in the middle of the two movies turned out to be better than the full-length features! And I am sure when those two films will release, the trailers that will be shown before/in the middle of them will turn out to be better than the movies.

The trailer of Pyaar Impossible was shown before Dil Bole Hadippa! and you wouldn't expect a  Uday Chopra film to leave a more lasting impression than a Shahid Kapoor movie even if we don't get into the Priyanka Chopra vs Rani Mukerji thingy. Anyway, Pyaar Impossible looks fun and freaky, perhaps what the doctor ordered for Yash Raj.

As for the trailer of Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani, which was shown before Wanted, well, here's a film I have been waiting for ages. Not only because I admire Ranbir and drool over Katrina, but this film is said to take Raj Kumar Santoshi back to his Andaz Apna Apna days. And if the trailer is anything to go by, he is sure around the area. Here's the trailer. Watch it a couple of times and you would want it watch a couple of times more. Exactly what a trailer should be like. Enjoy!


How do Samir Karnik and Nikhil Advani get funding?

Ram Gopal Varma had this amazing idea when he started out as a director. He would make a film and before that got released, he would have already started his next. That was at a time when he wasn't producing films, but only directing them. So he would ensure that he would always have a film up his sleeve even if his new one fails at the box office. That way he would get another crack.
I don't know whether some of the Bolly directors too are following Ramu's footsteps. But I would really like to know how some of them are getting funding. I want to know what Samir Karnik tells a producer when he meets him. He must be doing something right because he has managed to make four films, when he shouldn't have been allowed to make a single one. Read his filmography and you are bound to agree with me — Kyun Ho Gaya Na, Nanhe Jaisalmer, Heroes and Vaada Raha. The last one released last week and despite having Bobby Deol and Kangana Ranaut in the lead, no one turned up to watch it.
Then you have Nikhil Advani. Now, he did start with Kal Ho Naa Ho but by now we all know how much of it was Nikhil and how much of it was Karan Johar. Most pass off KHNH as a KJo flick. Then Nikhil fought with his mentor, directed Salaam-e-Ishq and Chandni Chowk to China. The combined budget of those two films must be over Rs 120 crore. With that amount, Rituparno Ghosh could have made at least 40 films! And at least 39 of them would have been better than Salaam-e-Ishq and CC2C combined. But Nikhil's making another film with Akshay and Anushka Sharma and Patiala House must cost another 40-odd crore.
And Navdeep Singh, who made the memorable Manorama: Six Feet Under, is struggling to get finances for his second film for over three years now. 
Such is life!


Incept this...

If the mind is the scene of the crime, your hand is the bite of the mouse. Just click this... http://inceptionmovie.warnerbros.com/


The Return of Dev Benegal

For many of us growing up in the late 80s and early 90s, English, August had a lot of firsts. Indian actors speaking in English aside, the way we could peek inside the head of Agastya Sen visually was quite a heady experience. And, of course, Tanvi Azmi. Ok, we will come back to that one. But the point here is Dev Benegal. A filmmaker who changed the perception that Indian actors could act in an English film, talk in their English accent and yet portray the emotions convincingly. The Ivory Merchant films were there but they would always mix the Indian characters with foreign ones. Not Dev.

He followed up the terrific English, August with another very watchable film Split Wide Open which had some great moments besides Laila Roauss. That was in 1999. For the next full decade Dev didn't make anything. Yes imdb says he made a documentary called Shabana but that hardly counts in a feature film filmography. And now the man is back with Road, Movie, exactly 10 years after Split Wide Open. The film is being shown at the Toronto International Film Festival. It stars Abhay Deol (two thumbs way up to this actor who is clearly showing the way ahead for every other Bollywood star/actor), Tannishtha Chatterjee (Brick Lane) and Satish Kaushik.

If the trailer is anything to go by, this would be a cracker of a film. And I am not the only guy impressed here. At the Cannes film market, where Bollywood biggies like Kites and My Name Is Khan struggled to find a buyer, the leading global sales agent Fortissimo Films picked up the distribution rights of Road, Movie. Let me know what you thought of this one. Enjoy!