Monday, December 9, 2019

SUNNY UNWELL | 6 December, 2019

(From our issue dated 10th December, 1994)

Sunny Deol was again laid up in bed last week due to his back problem. He was to have participated in the shooting of J.P. Dutta’s Border but could not report for it.

Mix Masala

JUHI’S CHARM IN ABSENTIA

For journalist Sanjay K.S., who is also looking after the publicity of Juhi Chawla, his dream of going to New York has been realised, thanks to Juhi. When Juhi won 2 KLM tickets to the USA last year, she gifted one to Sanjay. But Sanjay, who was finding it a bit difficult to obtain a visa, realised that it wasn’t really so difficult after all, when he made it known to the authorities at the American embassy in Bombay that he was Juhi’s publicist and that he was travelling to New York, courtesy Juhi. The official (foreigner) asked Sanjay several questions before issuing the visa. And, believe it or not, all the questions related to Juhi, not Sanjay! Sanjay will be away to the USA for a month beginning 12th December.

DO YOU KNOW?

*Shivani Films, the distributors of HUM HAIN BEMISAL for Gujarat and Saurashtra, have distributed free T-shirts of the film among the public in Jamnagar. The T-shirts are inscribed with the title of the film and the photographs of Sunil Shetty and Akshay Kumar.

* GOPI KISHAN has created a record by collecting 20,982/- in 1st week at Anupam (matinee), Jamnagar.

* GOPI KISHAN has created a theatre record by collecting 95,823/- in 1st week at Prabhu, Jabalpur.

* GOPI KISHAN has created a theatre record by collecting 1,08,415/- in 1st week at Shyam, Amravati.

* Manjushree is the first cinema in Uttar Pradesh to have yielded a share of over 20 lakh (20,47,817/-) in just 18 weeks’ run of HAHK..!. 18th week’s collection: 1,02,062/-.

* HAHK..! has created a city record by collecting a total of 14,09,404/- in 13 weeks at Vandana, Jabalpur.

* HAHK..! has created a city record by collecting 92,570/- in 18th week at Chitra, Amravati. Total for eighteen weeks: 18,44,697/-. Share: 11,84,866/-.

* HAHK..! has created a new city record by collecting 59,224/- in 18th week at Vasant, Akola. Total for 18 weeks: 11,30,855/-.

* HAHK..! has created a record by collecting 71,006/- in 14th week at Raj, Raipur.

* HAHK..! has created a Khandesh record by collecting 88,880/- in 8th week at Natwar, Jalgaon. Total for 8 weeks: 6,68,930/-.

* HAHK..! has created a city record by collecting a total of 9,49,555/- in 12 weeks at Jayant, Chandrapur.

* HAHK..! has created a record by collecting 54,000/- in 11th week at Jeet, Bilaspur.

* HAHK..! has created a city record by collecting 1,00,950/- in 9th week at Suraj, Bikaner.

* HAHK..! has created history by collecting 1,04,012/- (gross) in 5th week at Ashok, Alwar. Gross total for 5 weeks: 9,09,800/-.

* BABA RAMDEV (Rajasthani; 75% TF; new) is creating new records at small centres. It has yielded a distributor’s share of 25,000/- in 1st week at Vishnu, Abu Road, and 45,000/- in 1st week at Kailash, Gangapur city. Two weeks’ share from Archana, Pratapgarh is 18,000/-, a record. It has created an all-time record by yielding a share of 45,000/- in 23 days at Lalsot. At Prakash, Sawai Madhopur, the film has collected a record 55,000/- in 1st week.

RAHMAN’S SISTER WEDS

Music director A.R. Rahman’s sister got married in Madras on 4th December.

PEOPLE
Are worried about

**Whether or not the industry has started working on its charter of demands to be presented to the finance ministry for sympathetic consideration in the Union Budget of 1995-96.

** The dwindling box-office collections in Madhya Pradesh. Somehow, films aren’t doing so well in M.P.

PEOPLE
Are talking about

** The high price being demanded for the Hindi remaking rights of the Tamil film, Kadalan. It is believed, the price is 5 with seven zeroes following it. Follow? This is the same film which has the super-hit ‘Muqabla muqabla’ song composed by A.R. Rahman and copied by several music directors for their Hindi films.

** The music of Mani Ratnam’s Bombay, scored by A.R. Rahman. It has fetched a price of 80 lakh from HMV which has released the cassettes!

PEOPLE
Are waiting for

** A clear picture to emerge on the satellite and cable TV front. Anybody and everybody is claiming to hold the aforesaid rights of films while the producers of those films vehemently deny it. When will the claims cease and denials disappear?

** Anil Kapoor and Shah Rukh Khan to begin shooting together for Trimurti. Because the two couldn’t come together in Ketan Desai’s Deewana Mastanadue to problems between themselves. Now that they will come face to face, will there be fireworks? Or will there be nothing but good work?

3-E
Education-Entertainment-Enlightenment

Advantageous Delay

It has been proved now. That the release of video cassettes can be delayed by a week or two from the date of theatrical release. And to the producer and distributor’s advantage. In the absence of video cassettes, box-office collections definitely improve. Of late, many producers have tried it and have succeeded. Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!, of course, is the only film of which video cassettes have not been released for 18 weeks now. Other makers have successfully withheld the cassettes for a week or more. Mukesh Duggal has also decided to hold back the cassettes indefinitely. The fear that pirated cassettes would flood the market in the absence of legal cassettes has proved to be unfounded. N.N. Sippy will also be delaying the release of the video cassettes of Teesra Kaun? by two weeks from the date of the film’s theatrical release (23rd December).

Gutsy Rajan Lall

It is being done for the first time. Producer Rajan Lall has organised two shows of Dal-pati (dubbed) in Bombay today (10th December) for the public who will not have to pay for the tickets. The shows will be held today at 6 p.m. at New Excelsior and Galaxy cinemas and tickets will be issued to the public from 5 p.m. onwards on first-come-first-served basis. Dal-pati is due for release on 30th December. To throw it open to the public more than a fortnight before the release requires guts. And Rajan Lall has proved to be really gutsy!

‘Teesra Kaun?’ …… Teesri Film

While on Teesra Kaun?, it may be mentioned here that this is N.N. Sippy’s third suspense film, the earlier two being Woh Kaun Thi? andGumnam. According to Sippy, “The secret of success of a suspense film lies in keeping the suspense till the end and yet keeping audience interest alive all through. The audience must not get bored and must keep on guessing. If the suspense is inadvertently revealed mid-way, it can spell disaster for the film.”

Birth Of A New Distributor

While several distributors are sitting tight, preferring not to buy films at these “crazy prices”, Bombay has seen the birth of a new distributor, Yunusbhai of Dreamland cinema, Bombay. His first release, Gopi Kishan, having done well, one can be sure that Yunusbhai is here to stay, not only as an exhibitor but also as a distributor.

Whistling Whizkid

Laxmikant Pyarelal missed Anu Malik terribly on 5th December. And why so? It so happened that for the recording of the first song of Ketan Desai’s Deewana Mastana on that day, the music duo wanted somebody to blow the whistle tunefully. Pyare recalled that Anu is among the best whistle-blowers and tried to contact him. But Anu was away in London and Laxmi-Pyare had to make do with an alternative. All of which did not prevent Pyarelal from remarking that had Anu been in Bombay, he would have definitely come to Mehboob and blown the whistle.

Business Brain

For Sunil Shetty fans, the best place to catch him these days is at his own restaurant-cum-bar, Mischief, which opened recently next to Central cinema in South Bombay. The hero goes there in his free time and while the restaurant serves food to the hungry customers, Sunil obliges the glamour-hungry fans by signing autographs. Good business policy, this.

Filmmaking In Bihar

The latest craze in Bihar is filmmaking. Glamour-struck people are bullied into financing projects and turning producers. Over-enthusiastic directors announce a muhurt, rope in gullible ‘producers’ and a known face or two for the launch. More often than not, the muhurt is captured on U-matic and shooting is also done for some days on U-matic. The director then disappears from the scene or announces another muhurt. In the process, the poor ‘producer’ is poorer by anything between Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 20,000 or more.

YOU ASKED IT

Is tax-exemption a boon always?

– It often proves to be a bane because ‘B’ and ‘C’ class  centres, which do not file proper entertainment tax returns, find it more profitable to release films without the tax-free label. In the case of tax-free films, there’s no chance of pocketing the tax.

With Anil Kapoor coming in place of Sanjay Dutt in Subhash Ghai’sTrimurti, will the script undergo changes?

– Only a few changes.

I am an NRI and wish to finance a film. Is it worthwhile to do so?

– Why not? Backing a proper project can be a fruitful and paying proposition.

NATIONAL FILM MUSEUM

The ministry of Information and Broadcasting has approved the setting up of a National Film Museum and has appointed the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) as the nodal agency to co-ordinate this effort.

I & B minister K.P. Singh Deo, during his visit to Bombay on 6th December, emphasised the need for the museum which would be a centre to appreciate the art and science of cinema. The museum will also serve as a centre for research in cinema studies. As a first step, an exhibition commemorating 100 years of cinema will be set up at the Nehru Centre during the forthcoming international film festival of India in Bombay.

16MM TO CINEMASCOPE

Quality Labs has made it possible to take out Cinemascope release prints from 16mm original negatives. The laboratory has installed the machinery for the purpose. This would entail savings to the producer as 35mm negative is almost four times the cost of 16mm negative. Besides, Cinemascope camera rental is about six times that of 16mm camera.

RAHUL ROY BEREAVED

Deepak Roy, father of actor Rahul Roy, passed away in Delhi on 7th December due to heart failure. He was 55 and is survived by his wife and two sons.

CAMERAMAN INJURED

Mhatre, an operator of the Steadicam, was injured quite seriously earlier this week while shooting Time’s Krishna in Bombay. A duplicate actor who was driving a car, lost control of the car which hit Mhatre who was operating the Steadicam. He is out of danger.

JUHI CHAWLA CLARIFIES

Juhi Chawla has dismissed as baseless the news item in a section of the press that she is getting married on 12th December. She has clarified that she has no immediate plans of marriage.

GOPI KISHAN | 28 November, 2019

(From our issue dated 3rd December, 1994)

Prince & Prince International’s Gopi Kishan (A) is an entertaining tale in which the hero plays a double role. Comic situations and dialogues evoke laughter a number of times. Other ingredients of a masala film, viz. romance, action, sentiments and drama make it a mass entertainer. A simpleton, honest and timid police constable dreams of becoming an inspector. His dream is realised when his twin brother takes his place and bravely fights single-handedly a group of villains. But the simpleton police constable-turned-officer thinks, it is Lord Hanuman who has come to his rescue. There are a number of sub-plots which make the proceedings a bit confusing towards the end. Action is limited but good. Dialogues are witty.

Sunil Shetty does well in both the roles — of a tough man (Kishan) and the timid police officer (Gopi). The story gives him full scope and the situations endear his timid self to the audience. Shilpa Shirodkar is simply superb. Her English dialogues and rustic performance are a pleasure to hear and watch. Karisma Kapoor does a good job. Mohan Joshi is effective as the villain. Suresh Oberoi is adequate. Aroona  Irani leaves a mark. Shammi is natural. Master Imran is quite nice. His confusion about his father brings the house down with laughter. Kishore Bhanushali, Mushtaq Khan, Abhimanyyu and the rest lend the desired support.

Direction is quite good. Editing should have been sharper. Music is excellent. ‘Hai hukku’ is already a hit. ‘Batti na bujha’ and ‘Chhatri na khol’ are also very well-tuned. All of them have eye-catching picturisations. The other songs also have appealing tunes and good picturisations. Action scenes are well-composed to provide thrill. The timid Sunil Shetty coming to the rescue of the brave Sunil Shetty in the climax is a clapworthy scene. Camerawork is good.

On the whole, Gopi Kishan has taken a very good start and has the merits to keep its distributors happy. Its high price is sought to be offset by the delay in the release of its video cassettes which itself is a noteworthy advantage.

Released on 2-12-’94 at Dreamland and 22 other cinemas of Bombay thru Sadaf Enterprises. Publicity & opening: very good. …….Also released all over. Opening was very good at most of the places. 1st day Jaipur 1,02,983/- from 3 cinemas.

VINOD DOSHI’S SON TO WED

Gaurang, son of financier-producer VInod Doshi, will enter into matrimony with Madhuri on 4thh December in Bombay at Jhulelal Temple, next to G.D. Somani School, Cuffe Parade.

MAZHAR, SON HOSPITALISED

Mazhar Khan and Zeenat Aman’s son has been admitted to the ICU of Breach Candy hospital. He was reportedly hurt in a freak accident on the playground. Mazhar himself is also at Brench Candy, undergoing treatment.

ANIL KAPOOR IN ‘TRIMURTI’

The choice has finally fallen upon Anil Kapoor. He has been finalised for Subhash Ghai’s Trimurti, to play the role which was earlier being played by Sanjay Dutt. The date adjustments are reportedly being worked out.

3-E
Education-Entertainment-Enlightenment


‘Aladdin’ Magic

The super-success of Jurassic Park has virtually opened the floodgates for top-grossing English films to be dubbed in not only Hindi but even regional languages as is the case with Aladdin, the film which has notched an impressive $500 million worldwide and is listed as one of the all-time top grossers. In the USA alone, it has triggered the cash registers to jingle to the tune of $217.40 million. Not surprisingly, the film has so far been successful in securing 60 million admissions. Interestingly, it was not the runaway success of Jurassic Park which prompted Modi Films to dub and distribute Aladdin in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. As Rajiv Sahay, CEO of Modi Films puts it, “The ground work for the dubbing and other technical details were being worked out much before Jurassic Park hit the screens. However, it is heartening to see Jurrassic Park succeed. It proves that well-made films with novel themes have an audience even when dubbed.”

Aladdin is a musical animated film, so will the songs in the film be a boon or a bane? “It will definitely prove to be a plus point because Hindi films give a lot of weightge to songs. The Hindi film audience are used to it,” says Sahay. Any specially thought-of release strategy? “We will hit 100 screens to start with, of which 10 to 12 will be in English and the rest in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu,” informs Sahay, who is also not worried about the fact that some other English films like Universal Soldier and Speed failed to make a significant mark at the box-office. He has full confidence in his product.

Novel Promotion

While Aladdin is slated to be released all over India in its four avtaars on 23rd December, special shows of the film will be held in Delhi and Bombay. On 6th December, the Siri Fort lawns will be converted into an 18th century bazaar as it appears in the film — fire eaters, genie, caricatures et al. The film will be screened for special invitees. The same sort of bazaar will be recreated at the Nehru Centre in Bombay where the film will be screened on 13thh December.

Foreign Invasion

More and more foreign and multinational companies are entering the entertainment industry in India, whether it is the big-screen or the small-screen entertainment. While most of them have started out on the small screen, either as producers of software or owners of satellite channels, and some have dubbed Hollywood films in Hindi for the Indian market, the ultimate aim of many of them is to produce Hindi films. How will the Indian film industry benefit from this? Hopefully, their presence will introduce discipline and system, besides big money, in the industry. And maybe, our stars will learn to become more professional due to the professionalism of the invaders.

A Secret Mission

If Yash Chopra is very secretive about his film and does not like to show his rush print to anybody, his son, Aditya Chopra, who is making his bow as a director with Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, is one step ahead. Not only does he ever show his rushes to anybody, he even does not give an audio cassette of his recorded songs to the film’s music directors (Jatin Lalit). Why, even dad Yash Chopra does not have a copy of the songs. If he feels like hearing them, he has to get the cassette from beta Aditya. The rushes of DDLJ in the editing room are kept in a cupboard which is locked as soon as the work is finished. And the lock has two keys. One is kept by Aditya and the other….. that’s also kept by Aditya. Just in case, the first one gets lost. What do you say to that? Baap toh baap…. beta hai baap ka baap!

Compliments Of A Different Kind

Ketan Desai received compliments for his first song of Deewana Mastana even before it has been recorded. The audio tape with the tune of the song was inadvertently sent by music director Laxmikant to Randhir Kapoor whose song recording is also due soon. Randhir not only liked his own song (of Prem Granth), he also fell for the Deewana Mastana tune and told Laxmikant to use it for his own film. On being told by Laxmikant that the tune had been finalised for DM, Randhir couldn’t, obviously, force him to use it for Prem Granth. So he did the next best thing. He picked up the telephone and congratulated Ketan Desai for it.

Booked For Weeks And Weeks

With Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! releasing at Ganesh (Lalbaug) and Shreyas (Ghatkopar) in Bombay this week, exhibitor U.A. Thadani’s is the only chain of cinemas in Bombay which is screening only HAHK..!. Gaiety (Bandra) and New Era (Malad), besides Ganesh (Lalbaug) and Shreyas (Ghatkopar), are also showing the greatest blockbuster of all times.

Madhuri’s First

Even before his Karan Arjun is complete, Rakesh Roshan has finalised the lead artistes of his next which is titled Koyla. Sunny Deol and Madhuri Dixit will play the hero and heroine in Koyla. This is the first film Madhuri has signed after the release of Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!. Koyla will go on the sets in February ’95.

What’s In A Date?

Plenty, you are apt to say after reading what follows. Two mega hits of the Hindi screen have been released on 5th August. Way back in 1960, Mughal-E-Azam hit the screens on 5th August. And in 1994, August 5 saw the release of Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!.

YOU ASKED IT

What is the difference between satellite rights, pay channel rights and cable TV rights?

– Opinions differ. The producers’ associations are trying to conclusively define the three rights.

This industry is known for bhed chaal. Then, why has nobody attempted a film on the pattern of Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!?

– Because nobody has the conviction and confidence of the Barjatyas. Nobody is sure whether he would succeed in making the audience sit through a dozen songs. Or rather, everybody is sure, they wouldn’t succeed!

No dubbed Hollywood film has clicked in India as Jurassic Park. What is the future of such films now?

– If there is an element of novelty in such films, it stands a chance, otherwise not.

BHALJI PENDHARKAR NO MORE

Veteran Marathi film producer-director Bhalji Pendharkar passed away in Kolhapur on 26th November. He was 97 and is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters.

Bhalji Pendharkar had been admitted to a private nursing home in Kolhapur two days before the end came, following a kidney ailment. His funeral took place at Panhala near Kolhapur city on 27th. He was the recipient of the Dadasaheb Phalke award.

ACHA ANAND DEAD

Producer Acha Anand died in Delhi at the AIIMS Hospital on 26thh November due to cirrhosis of the liver. He was in Delhi for the shooting of his film, Amar Vijay.

Acha, who was nephew of Chetan Anand, Dev Anand and Vijay Anand, started his career as a production controller in Navketan Films. He then worked as secretary of Shabana Azmi and Rajesh Khanna. He is survived by his mother, wife and two daughters.

Of Two Star-Sons | 22 November, 2019

(From our issue dated 26th November, 1994)

3-E
Education-Entertainment-Enlightenment

Of Two Star-Sons

Reports filtering in from the snow-capped mountain resort of Dalhousie, where Vinod Khanna is shooting with son Akshaye for Himalayaputra, suggest, the boy is confidence personified in front of the camera. He is said to have a very mobile face.

Another son on the rise is Raaj Kumar’s Puru. Prakash Mehra has signed him for Kaayar. At the launching party of the film, held earlier this week, the boy was exuding all confidence minus the eccentricities of his father His Greek, Adonis-type looks make him look different. The cleft on his chin might well prove to be the centre of his appeal but, after all, how he fills up the screen is to be seen.

No Tall Claims

Nitin Desai, the young art director, is a happy and contented man. He is just back from Dalhousie after installing a 40-feet high Shiva statue for Himalayaputra, which took eight full days and scores of local labourers who carted it to an altitude of 9,700 feet. After the current schedule, the fibre-glass statue is to be dismantled and brought back to Bombay. Later, for another stint, it will be re-assembled at Dalhousie. Interestingly, the locals there, as well as the army people persuaded Vinod Khanna to let the statue stand, as it is, with the assurance that they would look after it. Vinod Khanna plans to install the statue at the main cinema in Bombay when the film is released.

SNAPSHOTS

ONLY FOR BIG SCREEN

Inspired by Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!, producer Mukesh Duggal has also decided not to release the video cassettes of Gopi Kishan. He has cancelled the agreements with Time (India Video) and ABC Exports (Overseas) after returning their instalments which he had received while the film was under-production. Mukesh will not only stall the release of its video cassettes, he will also not release Gopi Kishan in Overseas. That’s a brave man!

*     *     *

ANY LOGIC?

One has often wondered about the logic of star prices. Here’s one more which defies all logic. The star in question is a current hotshot who charges anything between 40 and 50. A film of his, released very recently, could not recover 50 from its all-India distributors! Of course, the film in question is one from his earlier lot when he wasn’t so hot. But, so what?

*     *     *

PUNJAB PROBLEM

Rumours are rife that the Punjab government which had introduced the compound tax scheme in the state, may discontinue the same and revert to the old system. If this happens, distributors of Punjab who’ve acquired big films at fancy prices in the hope that their initial business would be fantastic (due to fixed compound tax), would be in for trouble. Maybe, they’ll plead helplessness and simply not take deliveries.

*     *     *

COMPOUND TAX – COMPOUNDING PROBLEMS

The compound tax system introduced in Karnataka about two months back, is breaking the backs of exhibitors and distributors there. With the tax slab for Hindi films being high, only big star-cast films are able to bear the burden. Small star-cast and repeat-run films are going out of breath. Cinemas are paying tax from their pockets. And, on the other hand, distributors are not getting shares. If the situation does not improve, some cinemas may have no other option left but to close down. Ditto for distributors of Hindi films.

X-RAY
Weak Script, Weak At The Box-Office

The Gentleman had a lot of things going in its favour — Chiranjeevi and hit music to name only a couple of them. But yet, surprisingly, the film took an unenviable opening at most of the centres. Many attribute the poor opening to the English title coupled with the presence of a South hero, albeit popular among the Hindi film audience. This, to some extent, gave the wrong impression to the public that what was coming was a dubbed film. (That the title itself has no relevance to the story is an altogether different story.) What further added substance to the belief was the telecast (different release) of the ‘Roop suhana lagta hai’ song on satellite channels. The picturisation of the song has a typical South flavour about it, thereby adding to the impression that The Gentleman was a dubbed film.

Initial and opening apart, why did the film not pick up by word of mouth? What was responsible for the ordinary and poor collections at most of the places in the first week? What was wrong in the film?

To begin with, the flashback and suspense in the story was unwarranted. The hero, who plays a Robinhood type of character, robs the government of over 40 crore of rupees but the audience is not told (till the time of the flashback) why he is behaving the way he is behaving. Forty crore is no small amount by any standard and the bigness of the amount makes the suspense more irritating. All along, the audience feels cheated about the character and behaviour of the hero and is, to some extent, not ready to sympathise with him or, so to say, stand up for his deeds. When finally the reason for his behaviour is revealed — in his flashback, when he relates the story to the heroine (Juhi Chawla) — it is too late. By then, the audience has lost interest or almost so. Another drawback about the suspense: it is not strong enough to warrant an entire first half and a part of the second half to progress without its revelation. In other words, had the suspense been breathtaking, unique or novel, the audience may have overlooked the basic defect viz. the story moving without a direction (from the audience’s viewpoint) in the first half. But it is not so. Chiranjeevi loots the government because his younger brother and mother were forced to commit suicide. And why were they driven to take this extreme step? Because the brother is unable to get a seat in the medical college, in spite of being a brilliant student, because they can’t afford the high capitation fee. Surely, this routine reason (for the hero’s behaviour) doesn’t warrant a suspense of an hour-and-a-half.

Consider the romantic angle in the film. It is too lopsided to be true. The heroine is in love with the hero but the latter is least interested in her. Not that every successful film must have a romantic angle, but nothing in the routine story of The Gentleman warrants the omission of the romantic track. The makers, too, perhaps, realised this and, therefore, included romantic songs in dream sequences. This itself is a weak point. All the songs coming in dreams is unpalatable. Looking to Juhi Chawla’s image and standing today, her role in the film is pathetic. Why, some felt, Heera Rajgopal had a meatier role!

For a good drama, there must be a confrontation between good and evil and the ultimate triumph of good over evil. In The Gentleman, the evil force is Kulbhushan Kharbanda. But he virtually appears in the climax only, besides the flashback. The tussle all through the film is between Chiranjeevi and the police inspectors who are good and honest officers. There is no connection between the villain (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) and the police officers. Therefore, it is always a fight between good and good. The audience, in that sense, is confused about where its sympathy must lie since both the warring parties are noble.

The hero’s uncle stopping the hero (at the funeral pyre) from seeking revenge on the villain — and the hero agreeing — is one more weak link. It, in a way, weakens the hero’s character.

The film also abounds in illogicalities. Some of these can be overlooked as cinematic liberties, but not all of them. For instance, the hero is principled enough not to use his loot-money to fund someone’s education, but he does not mind constructing an entire educational institution with the loot-money! His heroism often relies too heavily on tricks rather than on heroic deeds. The toughest of tasks appears to be too easy for him. There have, of course, been many hits wherein the hero is shown as a one-man army but when a film lacks in entertainment value (as The Gentleman), these drawbacks become major irritants.

That The Gentleman is a remake of a Tamil hit is well-known. But even remakes have the individual stamp of the director. Unfortunately, The Gentleman does not have the stamp of its director, Mahesh Bhatt. In totality, it doesn’t look like a Mahesh Bhatt film. Opinions may differ about whether director Bhatt should be happy about this or unhappy. But looking to the box-office barometer, Mahesh Bhatt should actually feel thrilled that he did not leave his mark in the making of the remake.

YOU ASKED IT

Why are all big filmmakers also shifting to the small screen?

Obviously, because there’s big money in the small screen.

What is Feroz Khan planning?

He is finalising the cast for his next.

Is it true that Madhuri Dixit has hiked her price after Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!? Has she signed any new film?

Yes, the no. 1 heroine has increased her price by more than 50%. So far, Madhuri hasn’t signed any film after the super-success of HUM AAPKE HAIN KOUN..!.

What is the future of the film industry?

As good or as bad as the films that are being and will be made!

THE GENTLEMAN | 15 November, 2019

(From our issue dated 19th November, 1994)

Geetha Arts’ The Gentleman (UA) is a modern Robinhood film. Remake of a Tamil hit of the same name, it reminds of Jugnu. A noble man, compelled by circumstances, loots the rich to help the poor. Although the film boasts of extraordinary action and hit music, it has some inherent drawbacks and weak points.

For one, its first half is dull and boring insofar as the story is concerned. An unnecessary element of suspense is sought to be created which irritates more than excites. The hero is not pitted against any villain for a major part of the film. The police inspectors, who are out to nab the hero, are also good characters so that there is a tussle between good and good rather than a battle of good versus evil. The real evil character (the politician) comes in the climax and he is not the hero’s target. The audience could interpret this as lack of the hero’s heroism.

Although the second half is tight and good, it is depressing too. Too many cinematic liberties seem to have been taken by the writer and director. Looting Rs. 50 crore is shown as a left-hand job for the hero who often manages to initiate the looting by tricking the policemen. The principled hero, in one scene, is careful not to use his loot-money to pay for a needy person’s education, but doesn’t bat an eyelid before building an educational institution with the loot-money.

While the story-line is thin, the screenplay leaves a lot to be desired. Dialogues are good. The English title doesn’t really suit the story.

Chiranjeevi excels in action scenes and dances. But he is not in his element in acting. Juhi Chawla does well but the footage given to her does not befit her image and standing today. Paresh Rawal is natural. Heera Rajgopal scores with her sex appeal and free acting. Kulbhushan Kharbanda is alright. Laxmikant Berde does not have any hilarious scenes; he is loud. Anjaneyulu is effective. Sulbha Deshpande is fantastic in a brief role. Deepak Tijori does a fair job. Harish is okay. Rakesh Bedi passes muster.

Direction is routine in the first half and somewhat inspired in the second half. However, the defects in the script are glaring at places. Music is hit. ‘Roop suhana lagta hai’ is the best number but its picturisation falls short of expectations. ‘Aashiqui mein’, Rik pika chika’ and ‘Hum apne gham ko’ are also very well-tuned songs and have eye-catching picturisations. ‘I’m a lady’ is a racy number. Action (Vikram Dharma) is brilliant. Car chase scenes are breathtaking. Locations and photography (Praveen Bhatt) are very good.

On the whole, The Gentleman does not have the content (in script) commensurate with its high price. It will find the going tough. Business in Bombay and South may be somewhat better.

Released on 18-11-’94 at Dreamland and 25 other cinemas of Bombay by Geetha Film Distributors thru Mahalaxmi Films. Publicity: excellent. Opening: very good. …….Also released all over. Opening was below the mark in most of the circuits. 1st day Jaipur 85,762/- (less than 60%) from 4 cinemas.

Mix Masala

SHILPA, SESHAN’S SENSESHAN

Among all the actresses, chief election commissioner T.N. Seshan votes for Shilpa Shetty as his favourite. Seshan made this revelation at an informal chat with journalists in Bombay on Children’s Day (November 14). So, that’s the election commissioner’s selection — much before the general elections.

PROPERTY DEALS

Film stars are on a property buying spree. Saif and Amrita have bought a new flat in Bombay in Oxford Tower. So has Juhi. Currently residing in Oxford Tower, the actress has acquired a flat in Green Acres in which Sridevi resides. Anupam Kher has reportedly booked a flat in the building being constructed by actor-producer-director Ranjeet. Manisha Koirala has bought herself a terrace flat. Amitabh and Ajitabh Bachchan have also bought a lot of properties recently. Govinda and Ajay Devgan have purchased a flat and plots respectively.

YOU ASKED IT

What is the FMC planning to do about the ten-fold increase in the cine workers’ welfare cess introduced by the labour ministry from 13th October?

– It is contemplating moving the court. In the meantime, producers have been asked (by the FMC) to deposit the cess under protest.

Failures can be very depressing. With the success ratio in the film industry being as low as 15 to 20%, what keeps the people who’ve failed, going?

– Other people’s failures! That serves as the real tonic!!

In the days to come, what new sources of revenue can a film producer expect?

– A producer can expect to earn handsomely from cable TV and the performing rights of his music, provided he doesn’t sell them to the video distributors and the music companies respectively.

‘EVIL DEAD’ ALSO IN HINDI

In the wake of Jurassic Park, Speed and Universal Soldier, now director Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead, one of the 50 top-grossing films of 1983, will also hit the Indian screens in Hindi. Being dubbed by Ashish Enterprises, Bombay, Evil Dead is a horror film, to be released in 1995. Dubbing will begin on Nov. 23 at Kareer. The dubbed version is titled Haivaan Jaag Utha.

FILM CENTENARY BUILDING IN CALCUTTA

West Bengal’s information and cultural affairs minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, told the press in Calcutta on November 15 that a film centenary building would be constructed by demolishing the Radha Studio in Tollygunge. The building will house a film archive, a film vault and an auditorium. Radha Studio was the city’s television centre before it was shifted to Golf Green. The construction of the centre coincides with the centenary of world cinema in 1995.

SANJAY DUTT HOSPITALISED

Sanjay Dutt, who was lodged in the Thane jail under TADA, was admitted to the J.J. Hospital for treatment of a lung ailment on 17th November.

FESTIVAL OF FILMS BY EXPATRIATE INDIANS

A 5-day festival of films by expatriate Indians, like Mira Nair, Ismail Merchant, David Rathod and Prem Kalliat, is being organised by Smita Patil Foundation in Delhi (from Nov. 30) and Bombay (from Dec. 7). The announcement was made by the Foundation’s executive director, Manya Patil, in Delhi on November 16. The festival, titled ‘From India to America: New Directions In Indian American Film and Videos’, is being organised in collaboration with the Indo-US sub-commission. Mississippi Masala, Salaam Bombay, In Custody, An Unremarkable Life, West Is West and Lonely In America are included in the feature films lot. A seminar will also be organised.

SNAPSHOTS

STALEMATE

It is more than a month now since all shooting and production work came to a halt in Hyderabad. The problem started when the Andhra Associations decided not to permit workers from Madras and Bombay to participate in shootings in Hyderabad. The Madras Associations retaliated by not permitting any of their members to participate in Hyderabad shootings even though the Andhra Associations have seemingly apologised for their act. It’s shocking that nobody has been able to do anything to iron out the differences.

*      *      *

SPRUCED UP

Rupam cinema at Sion, Bombay, has also gone the Liberty, Bombay way. It has been done up beautifully to screen the film Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!, from this week. The admission rates have been hiked to Rs. 52 for balcony and Rs. 34 for stalls. As in Liberty, the screen is lit up with lights in two songs.

*      *      *

A DELIGHT

While on HAHK..! and Liberty, Bombay, it must be mentioned that watching the film at this cinema is not merely a pleasure, it is a delight. After-mint (sounf) is served to the audience before they enter the auditorium. The cinema wears a festive look, almost preparing you for the ‘wedding ceremony’ that is to unfold on the screen.

*      *      *

NOT SUNNY DEOL

Sunny Deol, who was seriously being considered as Sanjay Dutt’s replacement in Subhash Ghai’s Trimurti, will not be doing the film. Reportedly, due to date problems. Ghai is in a hurry to complete the film, while Deol doesn’t have dates to dole out so soon. And so, the hunt for a replacement is on. Who will it be? Akshay Kumar? Govinda? Anil Kapoor? A newcomer?

*      *      *

HIGHLY ‘INTEREST’ING

The Bombay distributor of a recently released film borrowed money (5 lakh) from a Naaz financier to take the film’s delivery. The udhaar cost him so dear that the guy had to pay interest of Rs. 80,000 even though he returned the money in 8 hours. And the film finally bombed. Interestingly explosive, this!

*      *      *

LUCKY NAIDU

D. Rama Naidu’s party on 12th November to launch Taqdeerwala was a well-attended affair. Looking to the successful track-record of Rama Naidu and his wonderful taqdeer, a smart Alec at the party remarked, “The film could have as well been titled Rama Naidu. It would’ve conveyed the same meaning.”


*      *      *

EVEN A PIRATED CASSETTE WOULD DO

Like everybody else, I & B minister K.P. Singh Deo and erstwhile I & B minster N.K.P. Salve also loved Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!. One of the ministers, after the show, expressed a desire to possess a video cassette of the film. When told that its video cassettes were not out, he asked, “Not even a pirated one?”

PEOPLE
Are talking about

** The  growing goondaism by anti-social elements who somehow make their way into the Film City premises.

** Film City troubling a leading producer-director by not permitting him to take his equipments out of its premises after pack-up, for a flimsy reason.

PEOPLE
Are shocked about

** The Gentleman not taking even a decent intial in many circuits. Chiranjeevi’s first film, Pratibandh, and second film, Aaj Ka Goonda  Raaj, had both taken fantastic openings. Then why not the third film? Any answers, gentlemen? At some places, the first day’s collections were less than even 50%!

PEOPLE
Are joking about

**  The release date of Prem. “How can Boney Kapoor’s Prem be released in December?”, they are asking. “The release schedules have to be cancelled at least three or four times before the film finally makes it! Without that, Prem will not look like a Boney Kapoor film!”

BABY BOY FOR RAJKUMAR SANTOSHI

Manila, wife of producer-director Rajkumar Santoshi, delivered a baby boy on 14th November at Breach Candy Hospital, Bombay. This is the couple’s first child.

BABY GIRL FOR RAJESH ROSHAN

Kanchan Roshan, wife of music director Rajesh Roshan, delivered a baby girl on 10th November at Breach Candy Hospital, Bombay. This is the couple’s second child.

M.L. KASHYAP DEAD

Director M.L. Kashyap expired on 3rd November in Bombay. He was 53 and was ailing from cancer. Anokha Insaan was his only released film. Dilli Ka Shekhchilli and Aur Kab Tak are two under-production films he was directing. He is survived by his wife, a daughter and three sons.

J.P. Dutta Launches ‘Border’ With Recording | 7 November, 2019

(From Our Issue Dated 12th November, 1994)

Producer-director J.P. Dutta launched J.P. Films’ Border with a song recording on Nov. 5 at Sunny Super Sounds. It was penned by Javed Akhtar, rendered by Kumar Sanu and Sadhana Sargam and set to tune by Anu Malik. The film stars Sunny Deol, Jackie Shroff, Sunil Shetty and Akshaye Khanna with four heroines. It will go on the floors soon. Bharat Shah is the associate producer of the film being written by O.P. Dutta and J.P. Dutta. Cinematographer: Nirmal Jani. Editors: Deepak Wirkud and Vilas Ranade. Art: Ratnakar Phadke. Action: Bhiku Verma. Sound: Vinod Potdar.

FMC ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

STAR-CEILING SCHEME TO BE REVAMPED

Increase In Workers’ Cess Decried

The scheme of ceiling on star assignments will be revamped completely, and strictly implemented henceforth. This was decided at the first meeting of the new executive committee of the Film Makers Combine held on 10th November at Holiday Inn soon after the Combine’s third annual general meeting. Both, the general meeting and the committee meeting, were chaired by J. Om Prakash who noted with regret that the star-ceiling scheme had gone haywire although its implementation was very effective for more than a year when it was introduced.

The modalities for its strict implementation will be worked out soon. J. Om Prakash cautioned that the monitoring of the star-ceiling scheme should not be left to the distributors’ associations.

Earlier, at the annual general meeting, the increase in the cine workers’ welfare cess, introduced by the I & B and Labour ministries, was unanimously decried. K.D. Shorey informed the house that the ministries had  a while ago given an assurance to the FMC that the cess would not be increased without consulting the producers, but exactly that had been done. A producer was required to pay Rs. 1,000 so far towards the cess at the time of censorship of his film. The notification dated 13th October makes it compulsory for a Hindi film producer to now pay Rs. 10,000. For South language films, the cess has been increased to Rs. 5,000, while for Bengali, Marathi and Gujarati films, it is Rs. 3,000. Oriya, Assamese and other regional language films would entail a cess of Rs. 2,000.

It was decided that the FMC would take up the issue with the ministries. The FMC has already lodged its strong protest against the arbitrary hike which has come into immediate effect. It has requested  the government to forthwith withdraw the hike, failing which the industry would stop work and also boycott the forthcoming IFFI ’95. It was also resolved that the FMC would write to the CBFC that its members would be paying the Rs. 10,000 cess under protest.

The general house also regretted the non-payment of its dues by the TV Producers & Film Makers’ Association to the FMC. It was decided to grant a further time of two weeks to the Association to clear its dues of over Rs. 50,000 and, in the meantime, its affiliation to the FMC has been put on hold. As such, the Association would be an affiliate of the FMC only if it pays its dues within two weeks, failing which the FMC would expel it from its membership.

The general house re-elected Shree Ram Bohra and K.D. Shorey as the hon. general secretaries of the FMC. S.K. Kapur and T.C. Dewan were elected hon. treasurers.

J. Om Prakash also announced amidst applause that henceforth, monthly income and expenditure accounts of the FMC would be prepared and circulated among all the committee members. He also made it clear that all press releases would be signed by at least one chairman of the FMC (that is, president of any of the affiliates). Similarly, cheques would also be signed jointly by a treasurer and a chairman.

SNAPSHOTS

‘KARAN ARJUN’ VIDEOS TO COME LATE

Inspired, perhaps, by the results of HAHK..!, Rakesh Roshan has also decided to delay the release of video cassettes of his Karan Arjun, if not for an unlimited period, by four weeks from the day of its theatrical release. A settlement to that effect has already been arrived at between Rakesh Roshan and the film’s India video and Overseas distributor, Pravin Shah (Time). Informs an ecstatic Rakesh Roshan, “Care will be taken to avoid video piracy.”

SKY-HIGH CAPACITIES

With the Rajshris and Liberty cinema, Bombay, having succeeded in obtaining a favourable interim order from the Bombay high court, admission rates in cinemas in Maharashtra can now be fixed at the discretion of the cinemas concerned, without interference from the government. Thanks to the above and to the reduction in entertainment tax in the state, the net housefull capacities of big cinemas are massive today. Can you believe that the net weekly capacity of Metro, Bombay is Rs. 8,79,900?!? The capacity of Liberty, Bombay is almost 7 lakh. Some more Bombay cinemas, capacities of which are touching the sky, are Satyam (Rs. 3,60,864), New Excelsior (Rs. 4,17,200) and Bahar (Rs. 2,70,592). At this rate, the share of HAHK..!from Liberty alone will touch the half-crore (50 lakh) mark in about 16 to 17 weeks only. Incredible, isn’t it?

WHAT A SHARE!

And this piece of fact and figure is to zap you. The distributor’s share of Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! from 222 cinemas of India in the Diwali week alone was about Rs. 2 crore!!

CHIRANJEEVI’S ROOP SUHANA LAGTA HAI

That Chiranjeevi’s fans literally worship him was proved once again, this week in Wardha. No sooner were posters of Chiranjeevi’s forthcoming film, The Gentleman, put up at Vasant Theatre, Wardha, than about a hundred crazy fans of the stars stormed into the cinema manager’s office and requested him to let them perform pooja of the poster. They garlanded the poster and also performed pooja and, thereafter, distributed sweets at the cinema. The fans had their “God”, that is, Chiranjeevi’s name tattooed on their chests, shoulders and hands. They are planning a big celebration in Wardha on the day of the film’s release.

BIG DEAL

Is it true that Bandra Talkies at Bandra, Bombay, may soon be demolished? A little bird tells us that come New Year and the cinema may be a thing of the past. Kishore Bajaj (Bada Saab Tailors) who has tailored many a film person’s costumes, is reportedly the bada saab who has bought the cinema and property.

GIGANTIC STATUE

For Vinod Khanna’s Himalayaputra, art director Nitin Desai has constructed a mammoth piece of art — a 40-feet high statue of Lord Shiva. As many as 72 skilled workers were involved in its construction for twelve days. Made of fibre glass, the colossal and costly statue was transported by road to Dalhousie where the film is being shot in a 40-day schedule.

PICNIC AT PRODUCER’S COST

The eccentric hero proved recently, if proof was required, that no other adjective could be more apt for him. After making the producer of one of his under-production films wait endlessly for almost a year for his dates, the hero finally consented to shoot for four days in Kulu Manali. But the producer who took his entire unit, cast and technicians to Kulu for the shooting, was in for a shock when our hero simply refused to shoot! The unit is back in Bombay after a holiday in Kulu Manali. The producer, too, is back — poorer by a huge amount.

Mix Masala

ACE UP THE SLEEVE?

Ekka Raja Rani may have flopped. Ikke Pe Ikka may have bombed. But that hasn’t deterred the release of Do Aur Do Paanchin Bombay under the new title of Do Ikke.

MUSIC COMPANIES INVITE MRTPC ENQUIRY

The Monopolies & Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) has ordered an inquiry into the affairs of leading music companies, following a complaint of the Times Television group that the music companies had formed a cartel and were indulging in unfair trade practice by demanding exorbitant rates for songs played on the Times FM channel.

The order was passed by MRTP judges Mr. Sardar Ali and Dr. S. Chakravarti on 4th November, on the petition of Times TV, alleging that the cartel of about 40 music companies, called Phonographic Performance Pvt. Ltd., was demanding Rs. 1,500 per hour from them while they were charging only Rs. 40 per hour from All India Radio (AIR).

In their order, the judges noted that charging higher discriminatory prices prima facie amounted to indulging in monopolistic and restrictive trade practices by the respondent within the provisions of MRTP Act, 1969.

The judges directed that a combined Notice of Enquiry, both relating to monopolistic and restrictive trade practices, be issued against the respondent (PPP), returnable on January 17, 1995. They also ordered that a notice of enquiry be sent to the central government for their participation in the proceedings before the Commission since the final decision had to be taken by them.

MAZHAR KHAN RECOVERING

Mazhar Khan, who was admitted to Holy Family hospital four days ago when he complained of chest pain, is recovering. He is expected to be discharged from the hospital in a couple of days.

YOU ASKED IT

Is it true that Chiranjeevi is passing through a bad phase, his last four or five films in Telugu having bombed?

– Yes. Maybe, his luck will change with THE GENTLEMAN in Hindi.

How has Mahesh Bhatt’s Criminalfared in Telugu? When will its Hindi version be released?

– The Telugu version has flopped. The Hindi version’s release has not been finalised as yet.

Does changing a film’s title and releasing it (in repeat-run) under the new title help?

– It’s just a publicity gimmick. While it was not so common in Bombay till recently, it is quite usual in Delhi-U.P., for the distributors to release old films with new titles.

AAMIR KHAN HOSPITALISED

Aamir Khan was admitted to Hinduja Hospital on 7th November when he complained of uneasiness and exhaustion. He was discharged from the hospital on 11th. Family sources attributed his illness to hectic night shooting schedules.

‘HAHK..!’ CELEBRATES 100 DAYS

Rajshri’s Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! completed 100 days of its run today (November 12) all over. Starring Madhuri Dixit, Salman Khan, Mohnish Bahl, Renuka Shahane, Alok Nath, Reema, Ajit Vachani, Bindu, Sahila Chaddha, Dilip Joshi, Priya Arun, Satish Shah, Himani Shivpuri, Laxmikant Berde and Anupam Kher, it is produced by Kamal Kumar Barjatya, Rajkumar Barjatya and Ajit Kumar Barjatya. Screenplay, dialogues and direction: Sooraj R. Barjatya. Camera: Rajan Kinagi. Choreography: Jay Borade. Action: Shamim Azim. Art: Bijon Dasgupta. Editing: Mukhtar Ahmed. Audiography: C.S. Narayan. Lyrics: Ravindra Rawal and Dev Kohli. Music: Raamlaxman.

AMRIT SHAH COMPLAINS AGAINST
LANDLORDS OF NATRAJ STUDIOS

Amrit Shah, business and legal consultant to producers, who resides in a rented flat and also operates from the same place, located in the Natraj Studios premises, has lodged a complaint with the Andheri (Bombay) police station, seeking protection from and suitable action against his landlords, Govindram Brothers Pvt. Ltd. The latter are also part-owners of Natraj Studios which at present is being run on lease basis by a group of producers. The complaint follows alleged threatening telephone call to Amrit Shah to vacate the premises where he has been residing for the past 40 years. Meanwhile, an ejectment suit, filed by the landlords 15 years ago, is still pending before the Bandra Court. It is also learnt that the group of producers and the landlords are negotiating a settlement to facilitate demolition of Natraj Studios.

SUHAAG | 31 October, 2019

(From Our Issue Dated 5th November, 1994)

Shweta International’s Suhaag is a vendetta story. A woman leads the life of a widow even though her husband is alive, so that her son should not know that his father is languishing in jail. His life imprisonment is the handiwork of a gang of villains who are traders in human organs in the name of doctors. The son and his close buddy seek revenge, getting back the father’s honour and the mother’s suhaag.

The first half is excellent, abounding in light scenes, songs, romance, fun and frolic. The film takes a serious turn at the interval point (which scene is brilliant), and the second half abounds in tension. It is also lengthy and morbid. Cinematic liberties are a bit too many but none that can mar the prospects of the film. The term of life imprisonment is shown as almost 20 years! Dialogues are good.

Among the plus points in the film are a racy first half, good comedy, excellent music, arresting interval point and a novel and remarkable climax. Akshay Kumar’s entry is simply superb. Emotions touch the heart. The second half should have been more exciting.

Both, Ajay Devgan and Akshay Kumar, are excellent. They shine in action and light scenes and are the life of the film. Naghma is good. Karisma Kapoor has a small role and also does well. Aroona Irani scores in the interval scene. Although she has limited scope, her presence is felt throughout. Suresh Oberoi does a fine job but his villainy is not menacing enough. Dalip Tahhil is effective. Romesh Sharma is quite good. Adi Irani, Gufi Paintal, Brij Gopal, Jack Gaud, Ghanshyam and Tiku Talsania provide good support.

Kuku Kohli’s direction is competent. Anand Milind’s music is hit. ‘Gore gore mukhde pe’, ‘Ta na na na’, ‘Pyar pyar pyar’ and ‘Shaaba ye nakhra ladki ka’ are all racy numbers and have been well picturised. ‘Tere liye jaanam’ is melodious and the locations on which it has been picturised are breathtaking. Photography is superb. Action scenes are thrilling.

On the whole, Suhaag has a good dose of everything for everybody — masses, ladies and families. An overflow film with good chances of proving class A.

Released on 4-11-’94 at Novelty (daily 1 show) and 23 other cinemas of Bombay thru Modern Movies. Publicity & opening: excellent. …..Also released all over.

ANDAZ APNA APNA

Vinay Pictures’ Andaz Apna Apna is a comedy with no pretentions of seriousness whatsoever. Two lively young boys dream of becoming multi-millionaires and they try to win the heart of a rich NRI girl to fulfill their dream. The game of one-upmanship which follows in wooing the girl is quite hilarious.

Although the entire film is farcical, the incidents are novel and their presentation is beautiful. Yes, there’s no base to the story and that inherent drawback remains. The first half is quite good. It is after interval that the film becomes a laugh riot. Of course, many jokes are of the kind that will be appreciated more by the city-based audience. But there’s masala for masses too. Excellent scripting is complemented by superb handling of the subject and praiseworthy performances.

Aamir Khan is extraordinary. His sense of timing is unbelievably perfect. His is an award-winning performance. Salman Khan is also remarkable. The two make a perfect team. Raveena Tandon and Karisma Kapoor have done well. Paresh Rawal is very effective in a double role. Shakti Kapoor is praiseworthy. Shehzad Khan and Viju Khote impress. Tiku Talsania, Javed Khan, Harish Patel, Mehmood, Jagdeep and Deven Varma lend admirable support. Juhi Chawla and Govinda’s special appearances are enjoyable.

Director Rajkumar Santoshi succeeds in making the film a crazy comedy. His comic touches are fantastic. Music is not much of a prop even though it has the O.P. Nayyar stamp. ‘Ye raat aur ye doori’ and ‘Elo elo sanam hum aa gaye’ are quite nice. Photography and other technical values are of a high standard. Climax is non-stop laughter. Dialogues are very good.

On the whole, Andaz Apna Apna is a very enjoyable comedy which will be liked by youngsters. Its major business will come from cities and towns. Performance in Bombay, Nizam and Mysore should be the best.

Released on 3-11-’94 at Metro and on 4-11-’94 at 14 other cinemas of Bombay thru Niraj Movies. Publicity & opening: excellent. …….Also released all over.

YAAR GADDAR

Eagle Films’ Yaar Gaddar (A) is a masala film with a good suspense angle. A police inspector is on the hunt for a gang of villains involved in a bank robbery in which his innocent young brother also gets framed due to circumstances. The two brothers finally succeed in bringing the culprits to book. While the screenplay is generally racy, some linking scenes are a bit contrived. The post-interval portion is more gripping. Comedy is enjoyable though a bit on the excessive side.

Mithun Chakraborty does well. Saif Ali Khan is also good. Somy Ali exposes uninhibitedly and is fair. Shweta needs to reduce some weight. She acts freely. Prem Chopra, Gulshan Grover, Puneet Issar, Amrit Pal and Umesh Shukla have all done promising jobs. Johny Lever and Himani Shivpuri evoke laughter. Shubha Khote, Anjana Mumtaz, Yunus Perwaiz and Jugnu lend the required support. The dog has been well exploited.

Umesh Mehra’s direction is good. Anu Malik’s music is quite appealing but a hit number is missing. Camerawork is alright, though more lights should have been used in some scenes.

On the whole, Yaar Gaddar is a fair entertainer with medium price and a good release period on its side.

Released on 4-11-’94 at Minerva and 24 other cinemas of Bombay thru Shivani Films. Publicity & opening: very good. …….Also released all over except in Mysore.

SARDAR

Ketan Mehta’s Sardar (tax-free) is a docu-drama on the life of the iron man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. It concentrates more on the last five years of his life, from 1945 to 1950, when the Congress and the Muslim League were struggling for power, and Sardar Patel’s contribution in making India, a country with hundreds of independent states, one nation. Decisions taken for the division of the country have been shown vividly, laying bare the minds and hearts of the leaders then.

Although the film does not have a big canvas, and Patel’s early life has been shown just in passing shots, it has its own power, making it nostalgic for those who have witnessed the freedom movement. The treatment of the historical film basically holds appeal only for the intelligentsia.

Paresh Rawal gives a memorable and award-winning performance as Sardar Patel. Annu Kapoor has done extremely well as Gandhi. He is extraordinary in emotional scenes. Benjamin Gilani, as Jawaharlal Nehru, is passable. Srivallabh Vyas and Tom Alter are okay.

Ketan Mehta’s direction is praiseworthy but he has succeeded in making the film a documentary, at best. Camerawork is beautiful. Editing is sharp and the background score is effective.

On the whole, Sardar is a beautifully made film which will find appreciation among a very limited section of audience only.

Released on 31-10-’94 at Nehru auditorium and Metro (matinee) and on 4-11-’94 at Naaz and 7 other cinemas of Bombay thru Hira Films Pvt. Ltd. Publicity: excellent. Opening: so-so. …….Also released in Gujarat.

SPEED
(Dubbed)

Released on 4-11-’94 in many circuits (other than Bombay), Twentieth Century Fox’s Speed (dubbed) is a thriller. A bomb is planted in a moving bus and it will explode if the speed of the bus comes down to 50 mph. How the passengers in the bus are saved provides edge-of-the-seat excitement and tension-filled moments.

Dubbing is wonderful. Performances of Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Jeff Daniels and Sandra Bullock are lovely. The thrilling scenes have been very ably captured.

On the whole, Speed should appeal to the Hindi audience too. The English version has been released this week in Bombay where the dubbed version will be released next week.

Dream Merchant

New Year’s Night

The deafening sounds of crackers on the night of Diwali did not let me sleep in peace. I tried to make up on New Year’s night by sleeping soundly. And I dreamt…

That Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgan were having a joint suhaagraat. That is to say, they were holding a night show of Suhaag for the trade. And since the Suhaag was at raat, they had called the show their Suhaagraat!

That Jackie Shroff was undergoing a change of image. No more stuntttts for him after the debacle of Stunttman. Jackie had decided to do dancing roles instead, having won accolades for his ‘Amma dekh’ dance. The other action heroes were dancing with joy at Jackie’s exit.

That Sunny Deol was saying “Tada”, sorry “Tata” (“goodbye”), to several of his producers, pleading inability to complete their films because he had signed Subhash Ghai’s Trimurti. He was especially thrilled because he had given a hit in Trimurti’s Tridev. After the Trimurti banner and Tridev, Sunny was praying that Trimurti would complete his hat-Trick.

That Saif Ali Khan was autographing the handkerchieves of his fans but saying “no” to autograph books. Haathon mein aa gaya jo kal rumal aapka…. he kept humming while putting pen on rumal.

That Juhi Chawla was moving out (to shootings, parties, for shopping) only in the company of men… sorry, gentlemen. No affairs, only a publicity ploy for The Gentleman.

That Sridevi had resolved never to shoot except on full-moon days and nights. Chaand kaa tukdaas, however small or big, had got on her nerves just as she had got on people’s nerves in Chaand Kaa Tukdaa. Nothing short of a fool moon, sorry, full moon would do for Madame Devi.

That Govinda was terribly disturbed about the fate of his Beta Ho To Aisa. He had cancelled all his shooting and had hit the…. video, not the bottle. He kept seeing Anil Kapoor’s Beta again and again and he muttered to himself, “Beta ho to aisa!”

That Vinod Khanna was holding a press conference in the Himalayas to prove to the world that he would go to any heights (literally!) to ensure an out-of-the-world launching for his son, Akshaye Khanna, in Himalay Putra.

That Subhash Ghai, who has a penchant for bigness, was now trying to get used to things small. He had decided to advertise his first TV serial as ‘Small Screen Entertainment to be enjoyed on television only’. He had also decided to have a very small muhurt of the serial at an Udipi restaurant, to be followed by tea and snacks.

– Komal Nahta

SNAPSHOTS

BENGAL DISTRIBUTOR’S “NO” TO HIKE

The Bengal distributors of Andaz Apna Apna, Musical Films, almost did not take delivery of the film. They put their foot down and refused to hike the price by 2 more lakh at the time of delivery. The price for Bengal, when the film was sold, was 27. It was raised to 32 thereafter. After completion of the film, the producer hiked the price in all the territories, having gone over-budget. The new price for Bengal was 40. When the Bengal distributors came to Bombay to take the film’s delivery, a new price of 42 was quoted. They refused to oblige and threatened to go to the court. Better sense prevailed and the producer agreed to effect delivery at 40 so as not to jeopardise the release.

*        *        *

DIWALI RUSH

There was tension among the distributors of Suhaag all through last week. It was because of delay in the delivery of prints by Gemini Lab. Gemini was processing the prints of 8 South films, besides Suhaag, and all the nine films were scheduled for release on Diwali. The Diwali dhamaka gave Suhaag distributors a lot of dhak dhak in their dil.

*        *        *

BITTERNESS

There was bitterness recently between the Hollywood company which, not long back, dubbed a Hollywood wonder in Hindi, and its Bombay distributor. It had reportedly something to do with payment.

PEOPLE
Are Speculating About

** Sunny Deol replacing Sanjay Dutt in Subhash Ghai’s Trimurti. The speculations are not baseless. It is now almost certain that Sunny will play Sanjay Dutt’s role. Some changes in the script to suit Sunny’s presence, are on the anvil.

** Which will be the best of this week’s lot of releases. The number game has begun.

** What will be the collections of HAHK..! this week as the number of prints has been increased substantially. The total number of prints is 222.

PEOPLE
Are Talking About

** Who is better in Suhaag – Ajay Devgan or Akshay Kumar? The fact is, both are equally good.

** The futility of releasing so many films this week and there being no new release next week. Maybe, the benefit of coming solo next week would have been far more for a film than the Diwali period benefit this week.

** The colourful folders of Karan Arjun and Gambler and the audio cassettes of the two films, all distributed with the Diwali special issue of Film Information last week.

PEOPLE
Are Cribbing About

** The sound system of Alankar cinema, Bombay. It is so unclear. To compare it with Metro or Liberty, Bombay would be suicidal.

PEOPLE
Are Hoping

** The New Year will really be a prosperous year for the industry.

DO YOU KNOW?

* The Bombay distributors of ANDAZ APNA APNA, Niraj Movies, held a total of 82 trial shows of the film before its release!


* Radhika cinema, Satara which is screening HAHK..! has reverted back to the admission rate of 10/- in balcony from 10th week onwards. It used to charge 10/- for a balcony ticket in the first 6 weeks. The rate was reduced to Rs. 7.50 in seventh, eighth and ninth weeks. Sweets were distributed among the balcony class audience of Radhika cinema on New Year’s day (4th November) in all the 3 shows

‘HAHK..!’ SCORE: 222

* As many as 88 additional prints of HAHK..! have been put into circulation from this week all over India, taking the total number of prints being screened to 222. At Liberty cinema, Bombay, an additional show will be held on Sunday (6th November) at 9 a.m. The show is full in advance.

PLAN FOR SPECTACULAR SHOW FOR 100 YEARS OF CINEMA

The National Film Development Corporation, the ministry of Information & Broadcasting will stage a spectacular hi-tech audio-visual show to celebrate 100 years of world cinema, in Bombay at the NSCI Stadium on 15th January, 1995. About 30,000 people will witness the show at the stadium, besides millions all over the world, on their television sets.

The show will be part of the International Film Festival of India which will open in Bombay on 10th January. It is planned to be the greatest show ever and will depict the growth and glories of world and Indian cinema during its 100 years. Many old and new artistes and technicians are expected to participate in the celebration show. Subhash Ghai will direct it, with a band of visualisers and writers assisting him.

The total budget is estimated to be about Rs. 1.5 crore. Art director Nitin Desai has designed multi-dimensional stages which will cost about Rs. 50 lakh. Over 150 dancers, 100 musicians, top choreographers and music directors will take part in the show for which work has already begun.

Ravi Gupta, managing director of the NFDC, is the chief convenor. The Cine Artistes’ Association, the Film Federation of India and the Federation of Western India Cine Employees have pledged their wholehearted support to the show.

YOU ASKED IT

Is True Lies also being dubbed in Hindi?

– Yes, its dubbing has already started.

With Dhirubhai Shah claiming to hold satellite rights and producers refuting his claim, what will happen finally?

The matter may have to be decided by the court of law.

What is most necessary to make a film with a top and busy star?

His dates!

How do you gauge the effect of an emotional scene in a film?

If the audience cries in the scene, it is effective. If only the character on the screen cries, it is a waste.

MAHARASHTRA  GOVT.’S CIRCULAR STRUCK DOWN

Extracts From High Court Order In Writ Petition
Filed By Liberty, Bombay & Rajshri

Given hereinbelow is the operative part of the order of the Bombay high court in the writ petition filed by Nazir Hussain, proprietor of Liberty cinema, Bombay, and Rajshri against the Maharashtra government’s circular which restricted the right of cinemas to increase admission rates without prior permission of the Collector/licensing authority. It may be recalled that the division bench consisting of Justices Mr. M.L. Pendse and Mr. S.M. Jhunjhunwala struck down the government circular insofar as it restricted the right of cinemas. The order was passed on 17th October, 1994 following which cinemas in the state are free to fix their own admission rates.

Entertainment tax had been reduced in Maharashtra vide an ordinance in September ’94. Alongwith the ordinance, the government had issued a circular as above. The state of Maharashtra, the collector of Bombay and the Commissioner of police were the respondents in the petition.

The order:

The petitioners have preferred this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to challenge the validity of Condition No. 5A inserted by amendment in pursuance of Circular dated September 27, 1994. Shri Chagla, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioners submitted that it is not permissible for the respondents to provide that the theatre owners cannot increase rates for admission without prior permission of the Collector. The learned counsel submitted that the benefit of the Ordinance cannot be made dependent upon condition that the rates of admission of cinema theatres should be those prevailing on August 12, 1994. Shri Chagla submitted that the Act does not confer any power upon the respondents to specify the fixation of admission rates or its increase or reduction and such legislative power cannot be grabbed by resort to issuance of the circulars, which are administrative in nature. We find considerable merit in the submission of the learned counsel. On behalf of the respondents, Shri M.N. Kale, Desk Officer who has issued the circular, has filed a return, sworn on October 17, 1994. In paragraph 16 of the return, it is admitted that the Act does not specify the fixation of admission rates or its reduction. It is then claimed that the State Government has responsibility towards cinegoers and it can take suitable action in the matter and it has a right to impose reasonable restriction on theatre owners. In face of the admission that the Act does not confer any power to determine or fix or reduce admission rates, it is difficult to appreciate how such power can be exercised by issuance of the Circulars which are clearly administrative in nature. Shri Saraf, learned counsel appearing on behalf of State Govt., very fairly stated that the conditions issued while granting licence are not statutory conditions and, therefore, it is not open for the respondents to modify such conditions by including Condition No. 5A, which cannot be supported with reference to the power flowing from the Act. It hardly requires to be stated that in case the respondents do not possess power under the Act, then the orders cannot be issued by issuance of such Circular to control something which is not permissible under the Act. Shri Saraf submitted that Section 4(2) (b) of the Act confers power on the State Government to determine the rates of admission to the entertainment. The submission cannot be accepted for more than one reason. In the first instance, in view of the specific admission in paragraph 16 of the return, even the State Govt. does not consider that such power exists under section 4(2) (b) of the Act. The sub-section, inter alia, provides that the State Govt. may prescribe to pay the amount of the duty due in accordance with returns of the payments for admission to the entertainment. It is impossible to appreciate how section 4(2) (b) of the Act can entitle the State Government to determine the rates of admission. In our judgment, inclusion of Condition No. 5A in the licence in pursuance of Circular dated September 27, 1994 was clearly without any authority of law.

Shri Saraf made a brave attempt to urge that the Government published the Ordinance with a view to give benefit not only to the theatre owners but with an object that the cinegoers are benefitted. Whatever may be the object or the intention in issuance of the Ordinance, that does not entitle the respondents to exercise administrative powers and impose conditions which are not permissible under the Act. In those circumstances, in our judgment, the petitioners are entitled to the relief.

Accordingly, petition succeeds, and Condition No. 5A inserted in pursuance of Circular dated September 27, 1994 is struck down. In the circumstances of the case, there will be no order as to costs.

COMMUNICATIONS REGARDING CENSORSHIP

The ministry of Information and Broadcasting has sent two communications to the CBFC, regarding matters connected with contents in the films presented for certification, for public exhibition.

The first letter relates to a resolution passed at the conference of the State Ministers of Information and Cinematography. The text of the resolution is reproduced for your information: ‘The responsibility of ensuring that only good and wholesome films are exhibited rests not only on the CBFC. This conference recommends that the film industry may evolve a model code of conduct for themselves in this regard and that the industry associations should consider ways and means of seeing that their members adhere to it.’

The second letter from the ministry relates to the debate in the Rajya Sabha, held recently, regarding the need for issuing guidelines to prevent caricaturing of a particular community in Hindi films. The observations made in this regard by the Hon’ble deputy chairperson of the Rajya Sabha are: ‘Humour has to be inborn. Humour should not hurt the feelings of people. When it starts hurting people, it becomes vulgar. I hope, the minister will take care of it. It should not be at somebody else’s expense. It should be from within.’

No Cine Workers Of FEFSI To Shoot In Andhra

FWICE SUPPORTS FEFSI

To safeguard the interest of cine worker-members of the various affiliates of Film Employees’ Federation of South India, Madras, who go on assignment for shootings in Hyderabad/Andhra Pradesh, from some rowdy elements in that state, who refuse to recognise the membership of FEFSI (which is a constituent of the All India Film Employees’ Confederation) and threaten them to become members of some union there, which is not affiliated to the AIFEC, and further in view of the open declaration of hostility towards cine workers belonging to FEFSI, by the Secretary, Andhra Pradesh Federation, and open challenge that they shall not allow any cine worker belonging to the Film Employees’ Federation of South India to work in Hyderabad/Andhra Pradesh, the Film Employees’ Federation of South India has decided that no member of FEFSI shall accept any assignment in Andhra Pradesh from 3rd October, 1994.

FEFSI has also asked for the co-operation of the All India Film Employees’ Confederation and its various constituents in Eastern, Western and Karnataka regions in their ongoing struggle, which is, in other words, a struggle to uphold the right of cine worker-members of any affiliate of any of the constituents of All India Film Employees’ Confederation to work anywhere in India, by advising their members not to accept any assignment for shooting/work of any film in any language in Andhra Pradesh till further notice.

Accordingly, the Secretariat of All India Film Employees’ Confederation has advised all its other constituents in Eastern, Western and Karnataka regions to advise their members not to go for any shooting of any film in any language held in Andhra Pradesh till further advice. The General Council of the Federation of Western India Cine Employees considered the matter at its meeting held on 7th October and unanimously decided to extend its wholehearted cooperation to FEFSI in its ongoing struggle.

Even You Can Do It | 24 October, 2019

(From Our Issue Dated 29th October, 1994)

Diwali is the festival of lights which will light up our new year. Although a number of recent releases have put the industry in reverse gear due to their performance at the box-office, let us, on this festive occasion, try to forget about those dark clouds. All is not lost.

Let us look at the brighter side. At what Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! has made possible in the industry.

For one, it has been proved beyond doubt that television, satellite channels, videos are no patch on the big screen if your product is good and is marketed effectively. None of the above has, in any way, affected the box-office performance of HAHK..!. In other words, all forms of entertainment can co-exist. There is just no need to get jittery about the so-called competition offered by the small screen. Rather, the energies thereby saved could be diverted towards making quality films.

Quality brings us to quantity. HAHK..! has also shown that if your quality is superior, there’s no limit to the quantum of business. The trade has stopped speculating about the expected business of the film wonder because there’s no yardstick to measure it. We usually estimate the potential of a film by the drop in its collections from week to week. But in the case of HAHK..!, there’s no real drop even in the 12th week at several places. Is sky really the limit?

By adopting the price discrimination policy on a day-to-day basis at Liberty, Bombay, the Barjatyas have again ventured to try out something new. They will be fixing different admission rates for the same classes for different days, determined by the demand for tickets. And this has all the potential to succeed. If it does, the Barjatyas will have started yet another trend.

As it is, they have shown the industry that delaying video cassettes for months together may be difficult but not impossible. They have also been virtual trend-setters insofar as marketing is concerned. But it is to be seen whether any other producer would have the guts to emulate the Barjatyas and adopt their slow-but-steady marketing strategy. It would be unfortunate if nobody did so, because then, the trend started by them would hardly be a trend.

Don’t the Barjatyas need to be saluted? Doesn’t the industry need more brave and enterprising people like them? Let these bright spots be food for thought for all industry people this Diwali. Let us pray that not only does the industry get more Hum Aapke Hain Kouns..! in the new year, it also gets more people who are inspired enough to become brave and face any challenge whatsoever.

– Komal Nahta

‘HAHK..!’: RATE DISCRIMINATION ON DAY BASIS AT LIBERTY, BOMBAY

The Barjatyas have decided to hike admission rates of Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! at Liberty, Bombay, for the Diwali festival. On 4th, 5th and 6th November, the rate for Dress Circle will be Rs. 100 (presently, it is Rs. 75). The increased rates for the other classes will be: Balcony Rs. 75 (present: Rs. 60), Stall Rs. 35 (present: Rs. 25), and Lower Stall Rs. 15 (present: Rs. 10). However, on the remaining four days of the week – that is, on 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th November, the admission rates will revert to the original level viz. Rs. 75, Rs. 60, Rs. 25 and Rs. 10.

Further, Liberty will charge the new hiked rates (Rs. 100, Rs. 75, Rs. 35 and Rs. 15) on every Saturday and Sunday henceforth. The rates on the other five days of the week (Friday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) will be the current lower rates.

DO YOU KNOW?

  • Purisons & Associates, the East Punjab distributors of F.C. Mehra’s YAAR GADDAR, have sent an advance overflow cheque of Rs. 1 lakh to Mehra even before the film’s release.

DIWALI TO DIWALI

(November 14, 1993 to October 29, 1994)

118 RELEASES

Between the Diwali of last year and this year (3rd November), a total of 118 films have been released, including 14 dubbed. At least on two occasions during these 50 weeks, release of new films were suspended. As a result, there were no releases for a total of 5 to 6 weeks. The plague epidemic saw cinemas in Delhi and some parts of Gujarat closing down in September-October ’94, as a result of which new releases were re-scheduled. Disruption of flights of Overseas countries was also one cause for the postponement of releases. Cinemas in Calcutta, Hyderabad and Bangalore also remained closed for some days at different times during this period, either to protest against government action or for other reasons.

THE GREATEST HIT

Rajshri’s HUM AAPKE HAIN KOUN..! came like a whiff of fresh air and broke all previous records of Bollywood to qualify as the greatest hit of India. What, a few weeks back, appeared would do a business of 35 crore seems to be heading towards 50 crore. Or is it more?

HITS & MISSES

Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! turned out to be the biggest hit of the period from the Diwali of 1993 to the Diwali of 1994. Dilwale, Mohra, Krantiveer, Laadla, Darr, Raja Babu and Jurassic Park (dubbed) were other major hits of the period which also had its share of debacles. Chaand Kaa Tukdaa, Betaaj Badshah and Eena Meena Deeka failed miserably. Baazigar,which was released on last Diwali, did fantastic business during the period under review.

SANJAY DUTT UNDER TADA

Sanjay Dutt was re-arrested under the TADA and has since been lodged in jail. His bail application was rejected by the Supreme Court. Several of his films are incomplete, in different stages of production. He remained in news throughout the year.

YOU ASKED IT

How will the Diwali of 1994 be for the film industry?

– It is expected to bring with it, confidence and cheer.

Why is Subhash Ghai making a video studio in Delhi? Who will go to Delhi to shoot?

– With TV serial production booming, the studio in Delhi-Haryana should be in demand when it is ready.

How will films compete so many satellite channels?

– When there was not a single satellite channel, no film did as much business as HUM AAPKE HAIN KOUN..! is doing today, with 30 channels in operation. So, don’t be afraid. Good films will always run, whatever the opposition.

CESS ON FILMS HIKED

The government has substantially increased the cess on feature films, to augment the Cine Workers’ Welfare Fund. The Union Labour Ministry has notified that hereafter, a cess of Rs. 10,000 will be levied on every Hindi feature film, Rs. 5,000 on every Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam film, Rs. 3,000 on every Bengali, Gujarati and Marathi film, and Rs. 2,000 on other language films. Hitherto, a uniform cess of Rs. 1,000 per feature film used to be levied without any linguistic distinction.

PUNJAB FILM POLICY APPROVED

The Punjab government has approved a new film policy for encouraging production of quality films in Punjabi and also for creation of infrastructure for the production of films.

The producer of a Punjabi colour film would be entitled to a subsidy of Rs. 6 lakh per film shot anywhere in the country. If it is shot in Punjab, he would be entitled to a subsidy of Rs. 12 lakh or 75% of the cost of production, whichever is less. For a B & W film, the rate of subsidy is Rs. 2 lakh.

For films produced in other languages, a subsidy of Rs. 1 lakh will be given for B & W films and Rs. 3 lakh for coloured films if 75% of the film is shot in Punjab.

To encourage quality films, the government has also instituted annual awards. The first prize consists of Rs. 1.25 lakh in cash and a shield. The second prize would be Rs. 75,000 in cash and a shield, and the third prize, Rs. 50,000 in cash and a shield.

A Punjabi film winning a National Award would get Rs. 2 lakh in cash. Awards have also been instituted for the best actor, actress, director, singer, story writer and other technicians, each carrying a cash prize of Rs. 25,000 and a memento.

The Punjab Council of ministers approved the film policy on 26th October.

‘ALADDIN’ TO BE RELEASED IN FOUR LANGUAGES

Buena Vista International, the marketing division of Walt Disney Pictures, USA, for the distribution of all films of Walt Disney, Hollywood Pictures and Touchstone in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, is releasing Walt Disney’s Academy award-winning animated film, Aladdin, through Modi Films. To be released on 23rd Dec. ’94, simultaneously in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, Aladdin is the first English film to be dubbed in three languages.

Producer Sole Owner Of Copyright: FMC Clarifies

The Film Makers Combine has, vide a press release, sought to clarify the position regarding copyright in films and a producer’s position. The release says:

“An impression is being created that the Doordarshan has the option of signing an arrangement with ATN which holds broadcasting rights of over 3,000 Hindi films, the rights of which were purchased from Dhirubhai Shah’s eight film libraries. ATN is also planning to launch another pay channel of Hindi movies drawn from Mr. Shrivastava’s collection. This claim is totally false, which seeks to give an erroneous interpretation of the provisions of the Copyright Act and creates an impression that a film producer shall be deemed to have parted with all his wide spectrum of copyright when he enters into an agreement parting with home-viewing video rights or cable TV rights.

“The producer is the sole owner of his film in all the formats viz. 8mm, 16mm, 30mm and 35mm, video or any other such format. Now, the producers’ copyright of video format is spread into various types such as home viewing, cable TV, satellite transmission, Doordarshan rights etc. Each one of these phrases is not only known and recognised in the film trade, but also has clear and judicial meanings and interpretation. For instance, home-viewing, actually, legally and judicially means the viewing by a single family when the video tape is used in the VCR; it is contra-distinguished from the public exhibition or transmission made through mechanical instruments like cable or through satellite or through Doordarshan channels, popularly known as TV transmission. Therefore, when a producer parts with his home-viewing rights on the format of video tape, it doesn’t mean that he has parted with all spectrum of copyright of video format, by such agreement. Similarly, cable television means a system where a television is linked by metallic coaxial cable to a central system called the head-end, by using video cassettes or discs etc. and using recorder or player or similar such apparatus on which pre-recorded video cassettes or discs etc. are played or replayed and the films or moving pictures or serive of pictures which are viewed and heard on the television receiving set (i.e. monitor) at a residential place or any other place or a connection holder. It is clear that in such a transmission, if there is any intervention or rather delinking through a satellite, then, as is well recognised and accepted by the film trade as well as courts, it becomes satellite right which is distinct and totally different from cable TV rights and the producer is entitled to dispose of these rights for appropriate royalty to any organisation or individual which uses the satellite for transmission of the required audio/video signals. In short, unless a producer has specifically parted with satellite rights of his film to anybody, the sale of home-viewing or cable TV rights shall never be considered as ipso facto including satellite rights.

“It is shocking that by the abovesaid news item and the notice published in Film Information dated 24-9-1994 through their advocates, M/s. Video Master, Time Films, Aar Dee Films and also Mr. Siddhartha Srivastava’s Asian Television Network (ATN) have claimed to have all types of rights, including satellite rights and Doordarshan rights of hundreds/thousands of films, just because the format of these films is video tape and in which films they have acquired only the home-viewing rights or, in some cases, the cable TV rights. Film producers are hereby informed, guided and assured that they need not be scared of the said news item and notice, and the Film Makers Combine is immediately taking all legal and other steps to nip this evil without loss of time. The producers whose films have been illegaly screened and are being screened are requested to send agreements relating to home-viewing and cable TV rights to the FMC for scrutiny and advice.”

3E
Education-Entertainment-Enlightenment

Changing Steps

Saroj Khan will leave her stamp on half the song of Suhaag which goes – ‘Yeh nakhra ladki ka’. It was partly picturised by her some time back on Ajay Devgan, Akshay Kumar, Karisma Kapoor and Naghma. The song picturisation remained incomplete because Karisma hurt herself during its shooting. The reins have now been taken over by Rekha Chinni Prakash who has completed the balance song which was shot early this week. The change in choreographer was due to Saroj Khan’s inability to dole out dates. The arrangement was by mutual consent of both the dance directors.

‘KRANTIVEER’ 100 DAYS | 16 October, 2019

(From our issue dated 22nd October, 1994)

Producer-director Mehul Kumar’s Krantiveer, a Dinesh Gandhi presentation, celebrates 100 days today (Oct. 22) all over. The film stars Nana Patekar, Dimple Kapadia, Atul Agnihotri, Mamta Kulkarni, Paresh Rawal and Danny. Written by K.K. Singh, it has music by Anand Milind, lyrics by Sameer, editing by Yusuf Shaikh and cinematography by Russi Billimoria.

Dream Merchant

Hawa Hawai

I may have been the only star-journalist who turned down the invitation to attend the famous Popley wedding on board an aeroplane earlier this week. Non-film folks do not interest me, I thought to myself, before faxing my inability to attend the hawa hawai marriage, to the bridegroom’s pop at his jewellery showroom.

I decided to make a survey of what the film industry people had to say about the fancy marriage in mid-air.

I first bumped into Ajay Devgan. He was alternately pumping his muscles and rehearsing a difficult dance step. Mopping his forehead with a towel to wipe the sweat, he panted, “I am planning to tie the knot.” “With whom?”, I asked. “Oh, she is a swarg ki apsara,” he replied and continued, “And so, the pheras will take place up in the air, close to the heavens.” Ajay Devgan did not like it when I pointed out that he was, perhaps, inspired by the Popleys. He did not want to admit it.

Akshay Kumar snapped, “What marriage high up in the air? Look, when I get married, it will also be a flying-high marriage. You see, I’m flying high as far as my career goes and I’m sure, you understand what I mean by ‘flying-high marriage.” I gave him a confused look. His hi-fi language didn’t make sense to me because I could only remember his latest releases like Ikke Pe Ikka, Amaanat and Main Khiladi Tu Anari. How was he flying high, I asked him. He gave me a very tu anari kind of look, but l looked the other way.

Giving up on Akshay, I went to meet Vinod Khanna. He was packing his suitcase and that of his son, Akshaye. He informed me that he was going to the Himalayas. I stared at him in disbelief. “So you are giving up the materialistic world and going to the Himalayas?” I said, trying to bring in a lot of emotion in my statement-cum-question. “Oh, shut up,” Vinod howled. “I’m not settling on the Himalayas. I plan to launch my son’s launching pad, Himalay Putra, on the Himalayas. If Popley can charter a plane for his son, Pop Khanna can charter a plane for Son Khanna, take the press to the Himalayas in it and launch Son on the mountain peak. It is not just marriages that are made in heaven, even star careers are made there.” I nodded in agreement.

Even while I was in conversation with Vinod Khanna, I saw Boney Kapoor speeding in his car past the Khanna’s house. My next stop had to be at Boney’s office.

I was greeted by Boney who was ecstatic. “I have decided to effect deliveries of Prem in air,” he declared. “And the aeroplane in which we give the deliveries will be studded with diamonds,” announced Boney’s friend-cum-distributor-cum-financier, Bharatbhai Shah, much to the joy of Boney. “That means, all the distributors of Prem will also be on board the flight,” I concluded. “Yes, yes,” Bharatbhai and Boney sang in unison, raising a toast to Prem and to their mutual prem. “So now, like marriages, Prem and deliveries can also take place in the air,” I said.

“Don’t change the order,” Boney warned me. “What difference does it make?,” I asked. “I may as well say that prem, marriages and deliveries take place in the air,” I added. The disgust on the faces of Boney and Bharatbhai made me realise, the hitch was in the word ‘deliveries’ which followed love (prem) and marriage.

Finally, I came to Laxmikant Pyarelal. The two were sad about Subhash Ghai having opted for A.R. Rahman for his new film, Shikhar. “We will now record our songs in the air,” said Laxmikant dejectedly. I asked him, if he had signed a TV serial and he replied in the affirmative. “The serial producer has told me, we will go on air next month,” Laxmikant informed. “That’s why I’m saying, we will record in air.” I didn’t know where to look, so I looked up in the air.

On my way back home, I chanced to meet Raveena Tandon. She was cribbing about the ‘liar’ title given to her by the media. When I asked her what she thought of the hawa-mein-shaadi, she shot back, “It’s not just the jewellers, even we do things in the air.” “What things?”, I asked her. “Why, hum sab hawa mein hi to baatein karte hain!”, she replied. Before I could say anything to that, Raveena had vanished — into thin air!

– Komal Nahta

PEOPLE
Are Talking About

** Sanjay Kapoor, the pace at which he is signing films and the careful planning of his career by brother Boney Kapoor. Without a single release, Sanjay has about 10 films under his belt.

** Whether it was the film that the public rejected or Sanjay Dutt’s presence in Amaanat that they resented. Actually, the film has not been liked. Its failure has nothing to do with Dutt acting in it.

PEOPLE
Are  Wondering About

** Whether Akshay Kumar did take a hasty step in increasing his price after Mohra and Yeh Dillagi. They talk about the fate of Amaanat and the opening of Ikke Pe Ikka. Yeh price badi hai mast mast or yeh price baddhee hai fast fast?

** The future of the industry with so many satellite channels being started.

PEOPLE
Are Irritated About

** The move of the Andhra industry to not permit technicians from Bombay and Madras to shoot in Hyderabad even if the producer is from Bombay/Madras.

** The disadvantages of the star ceiling system. It may have made the stars more disciplined, but it has also been responsible for the stars hiking their prices. People are more critical of the improper implementation of the ceiling system.

YOU ASKED IT

What will be the exhibitors’ move in Bombay following the high court’s judgement striking down the Maharashtra government’s circular restricting change in net admission rates?

– Most of the exhibitors would like to revise admission rates and increase the nett.

Which will be the first film to be released, which will be covered by the FMC-FDC resolution to delay video cassettes by two weeks from the date of theatrical release?

– N.N. Sippy’s TEESRA KAUN? which has been scheduled for release on 23rd December.

Like films are sold piecemeal for West Bengal, Bihar-Nepal, Assam and Orissa, why are they not sold for Bombay city-suburbs, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Saurashtra and Karnataka?

Producers sometimes do get offers directly from sub-distributors of Gujarat.

SNAPSHOTS

CHANGE OF DISTRIBUTOR

Satluj Dheer’s Ikke Pe Ikka had a last-minute change of Bombay distributors. The original distributor — one Pandey who is reportedly a bank employee — pleaded inability to make payment for delivery. He stepped out and Sharad Doshi (Hira Films Pvt. Ltd.) stepped in. The latter has released the film in Bombay in the producer’s account. Due to the last-minute hassles, the matinee (12 noon) shows in some cinemas of Bombay city and suburbs could not be conducted, thanks to late arrival of prints.


*     *     *

CINEMA SHARING

Thanks to the release rush on Diwali, there is a virtual shortage of cinemas — main and side. Suhaag has been slated for release at Bombay’s Novelty cinema but it will have to share the running time (daily 3 shows) with Main Khiladi Tu Anari which is showing there currently. The cinema is screening Mohra in matinee shows. So, from 4th November, Novelty, Bombay will screen three films. Incidentally, Suhaag has also been booked at New Excelsior, Bombay for an open run.

*     *     *

POSTPONED

K.C. Bokadia has postponed the release of his Aao Pyar Karen from Diwali to 25th November. The obvious reason is lack of cinemas. Likewise, the release of Hum Hain Bemisal has also been postponed by a week, to 11th November. Udhaar Ki Zindagi, however, will definitely come on Diwali, even if that means releasing it in a very limited number of cinemas in Bombay.

SONA-KANDIVLI BOMBAY TO BE DEMOLISHED

Sona cinema at Kandivli, Bombay, downed its shutters on 14th October. Reportedly, it will give way to a commercial complex and a mini cinema.

‘BAAZIGAR’ GOLDEN JUBILEE

Venus’ Baazigar entered 50th golden jubilee week on 21st October. Directed by Abbas-Mustan, the film stars Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Shilpa Shetty in the lead roles. Music: Anu Malik.

U.P. CINEMAS TO COLLECT RE. 1 PER TICKET

The Uttar Pradesh government has increased maintenance charges allowed to cinemas with effect from 19th October. The cinemas are now entitled to collect Re. 1 per ticket instead of the earlier 25 paise.

 ‘YEH  DILLAGI’ SILVER JUBILEE

Aditya Films’ Yeh Dillagi entered silver jubilee week on 21st October all over. The film stars Akshay Kumar, Saif Ali Khan, Kajol, Saeed Jaffrey and Reema. It is produced by Uday Chopra and edited and directed by Naresh Malhotra. Music: Dilip Sen Sameer Sen. Lyrics: Sameer. Yash Chopra presents the film.

DO YOU KNOW?

‘HUM AAPKE HAIN KOUN..!’: RECORD-BREAKING SPREE CONTINUES

  • Creates a city record by collecting 1,59,858/- in 2nd week at Dreamland, Valsad. Better than 1st week (1,54,753/-), which itself was a city record.
  • Creates a record in 11th week at Mangala, Pune by collecting 2,04,783/-.
  • Creates records by collecting 2,29,721/- in 11th week at Hind, Calcutta, 1,46,551/- in 11th week at Menoka, Calcutta, and 1,00,828/- (full) in 1st week at Talkie Show House, Calcutta.
  • Creates a record by drawing all shows full in 1st week at Sringar, Hubli. Collection: 1,85,431/-.
  • It is the first film to be shifted from noon to regular shows at Santosh, Bangalore in 12th week (from 21st October).

GOVT. ASSURES REDUCTION IN COMPOUND TAX

A delegation of exhibitors of Maharashtra, led by Pranlal Doshi and Gunwant Desai, called on the chief minister, Sharad Pawar, on 18th October to apprise him of the adverse effect the Maharashtra government’s ordinance for reduction in entertainment tax had on cinemas under the compounded tax scheme. The chief minister assured the delegation that an amendment would be made soon so that compound tax was also reduced by about 50%. Others in the delegation were Vikram Sinh Patankar (exhibitor and MLA), Kanhaiyalal Navandhar and Kanchan Sathe.

The early meeting with the CM was possible due to the efforts of Vikram Sinh Patankar, owner of Ranjeet Talkies, Patan (district Satara).

AKOLA EXHIBITORS PERMITTED TO ROUND OFF ADMISSION RATES

On an application by exhibitors of Akola (Maharashtra), the collector of Akola has permitted the rounding off of gross admission rates from 13thh October onwards. The inability to round off the rates under the Maharashtra government’s ordinance and circular was creating a problem of small change, it was alleged.

Nett Admissions Rates

GOVERNMENT CIRCULAR STRUCK DOWN

The division bench of the Bombay high court on 17th October struck down the Maharashtra government’s circular, restricting the right of cinemas to increase their nett admission rates, as inoperative. The interim order was passed in the writ petitions filed by Liberty cinema, Bombay and New Excelsior cinema, Bombay. The bench comprised Justices Mr. Pendse and Mr. Jhunjhunwala.

The effect of the aforesaid interim order is that cinemas in Maharashtra can increase their nett admission rates to the post-August 12 level or any other level.

3-E
Education-Entertainment-Enlightenment

Music Magic

Some musical notes now. The ‘Rishta tera mera’ song of Sultan Ahmed’s Jai Vikraanta is not only rich in melody but also in lyrical content. It has the potential to become a tear-jerker in the film.

Upcoming singer Sonu Nigam has the versatility to strike it big. The young lad has sung beautifully for Mohan Kumar’s Aazmayish.

‘Jaati hoon main’ from Rakesh Roshan’sKaran Arjunshould soon become a street song. The music is sweet.

Big Plans For Small Screen

Anupam Kher is not only busy entertaining people on the big screen but on small screen too. Kher’s The Entertainment Company is speeding ahead, producing serials for television. His Imtihan serial is nearing the golden jubilee mark. Boxoffice, another programme produced by The Entertainment Company, went on air on the Money channel of JAIN Television earlier this week. It deals with the film industry, new releases, trends in the industry, interviews etc. Another serial, Vapsi, produced by Kher, should be on air soon. Two more serials, Saath Saath and Anupam Kher Show – Zero Se Hero, are being readied for Zee’s L-TV. So, when Anupam’s not facing the movie camera, you can be sure, he must be making somebody else face the video camera!

Facing The Camera

Saroj Khan, who has choreographed umpteen hit numbers, will be seen in a different role in Nadeem and Nadir Irani’sShastra. From behind the camera, the dance director has come in front of it. Yes, Saroj Khan has participated in a dance number of Shastra.

AMAANAT | 10 October, 2019

(From our issue dated 15th October, 1994)

Cinemakers Incorporated’s Amaanat (A) is the story of a brave village youth who wants to save the villagers from the clutches of the tyrant landlord. The village has no drinking water and all energies are diverted towards installing a tube well. Constant references to the tube well and shortage of water make the film look dated.

It does not move on a single track. There are several stories within the main story as a result of which, there’s barely anything to sustain interest. Screenplay is ordinary and so are the dialogues.

Sanjay Dutt does fairly well. His dances are excellent and, for once, don’t look laboured. Akshay Kumar has a much less significant role, looking to his current popularity. He is alright. Heera Rajgopal is okay. Kaanchan does well. Kiran Kumar (in a double role) and Gulshan Grover are routine. Mukesh Khanna’s acting and dialogue delivery are getting stereotyped. Farheen (special appearance), Paintal, Ram Mohan, Neelam Mehra, Navneet Nishan, Bhushan Jeevan, Mack Mohan, Satyen Kappu, Madhu Malhotra, Sudhir Dalvi and the others lend average support.

Direction is functional and lacks the fire. Bappi Lahiri’s music score is spirited. ‘Tujhse milna milkar chalna’, ‘Din mein kehti hai’, ‘Ladunga ladunga’, ‘Money Money’ and ‘Ho jaane do’ are very well-tuned and also have lively picturisations. Action is devoid of thrill. Photography and other technical values are good.

On the whole, Amaanat does not have much to entertain. Its reasonable price and good opening (at many places), besides its music, are the only points in its favour.

Released on 13-10-’94 at Dreamland (matinee) and 7 other cinemas and on 14-10-’94 at 23 other cinemas of Bombay thru ABC Films. Publicity & opening: very good. …….Also released all over. Opening was not upto the mark in Rajasthan. 1st day Jaipur 1,09,782/- on 4 prints.

DO YOU KNOW?

* K. Pappu recorded an additional song for his RAGHUVEER at Sahara on October 12 and 13, for which he had eleven top electronic instrument players participating. The song, rendered by Alka Yagnik, Jolly Mukherjee and chorus, took two days to record. Music was composed by Dilip Sen Sameer Sen.

* HUM AAPKE HAIN KOUN..! has created a record by collecting 1,37,584/- in 10th week at Relief, Ahmedabad. It has also created a record by collecting 1,71,613/- (gross) in 10th week at Rajshri, Gandhinagar.

* HAHK..! has created a Bhavnagar district record by collecting 84,531/- in 7th week at Galaxy, Bhavnagar, in spite of Navratri festival. Total for 7 weeks: 14,22,492/-.

* HAHK..! has created a record by collecting 82,614/- in 9th week (21 shows) at Galaxy, Jamnagar.

* HAHK..! has created a record by collecting 70,342/- in 10th week (14 shows) at Galaxy, Rajkot.

* HAHK..! has created a record by collecting 2,04,374/- in 10th week at Mangala, Pune.

* HAHK..! has created a record by collecting 91,924/- in 9th week at Usha, Kolhapur.

* HAHK..! has yielded a distributor’s share of 13,21,149/- in just 9 weeks from Novelty, Lucknow, which is equipped with Ultra Sterophonic sound. It has surpassed the previous U.P. record held by MAINE PYAR KIYA which had yielded a share of 12,95,253/- in 31 weeks’ run at the same cinema.

* HAHK..! has created a new record by collecting a total of 7,47,463/- in 6 weeks at Prabha, Bareilly. 6th week’s collection: 1,17,683/-.

* HAHK..! has created a record by drawing all shows full (3,37,442/-) in 1st week at Gagan, Amritsar.

* HAHK..! has created a record by collecting 3,82,954/- in 1st week at Aarti Palace, Ludhiana.

* HAHK..! has created a record by drawing all shows full (2,38,230/-) in 10th week at Hind, Calcutta. It has also created a record at Menoka, Calcutta by collecting 1,27,540/- (increased capacity) in 10th week. Its collection at Jayanti, Barrackpore in 6th week is 92,177/-, which is better than previous weeks and a record.

* HAHK..! has created a record by collecting 2,85,862/- in 6th week (28 regular and 6 morning shows) at Regent, Patna.

* HAHK has created a record by collecting 97,378/- in 10th week at Panchsheel, Nagpur. It has also created a record by collecting 1,01,014/- in 10th week at Smruti, Nagpur. Total (10th week) from 2 cinemas: 1,98,392/-.

* HAHK..! has created a city record by collecting 1,07,493/- in 10th week at Chitra, Amravati. This is better than the collections of each of 7th, 8th and 9th weeks. Total for 10 weeks: 10,42,766/-; share: 6,77,526/-, city record.

* HAHK..! has created a theatre record by collecting 48,075/- in 10th week at Vasant, Akola. Total for 10 weeks: 6,16,643/-. Share: 3,55,314/-.

* HAHK..! has created a record by collecting 99,332/- in 6th week at Raj, Raipur.

* HAHK..! has created a city record by collecting 1,13,031/- in 5th week at Vandana, Jabalpur. Total for 5 weeks: 6,59,938/-.

* HAHK..! has created a city record by collecting 72,387/- in 4th week at Jayant, Chandrapur. Total: 3,49,784/-, record.

* HAHK..! has created a city record by collecting 1,20,467/- in 9th week at Rambha, Bhopal. Total: 12,03,701/-.

* HAHK! has created a record by collecting 2,62,542/- (full) in 10th week at Raj Mandir, Jaipur.

* HAHK..! has created a city record by collecting 1,60,048/- in 1st week at Mayur, Kota. There were unprecedented crowds to witness the film.

* HAHK..! has created a theatre record by collecting 93,927/- in 1st week at Plaza, Ajmer.

* HAHK..! has created a record by drawing all shows full (4,60,435/- gross) in 10th week also at Maheshwari, Hyderabad.

* EENA MEENA DEEKA has created a city record by collecting 13,222/- on the opening day at Kanwar Talkies, Satna (C.I.).

* MOHRA has yielded a distributor’s share of about 95,000/- in 13 weeks at Asha (matinee), Barsi, which is a record . Collection: 2,02,534/-.

MIX MASALA

FAN-TASTIC

Madhuri Dixit has never received as much fan mail as she has been receiving after Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!. It may sound unbelievable but it’s true – currently, the actress is receiving letters not in tens or hundreds, but a sack-full every day! Hum aapke fans hain..! And so many hain..!!

NO DEAL ON 13TH

Number ‘13’ is considered unlucky by many. Ramesh Taurani of Tips is one such person who avoids negotiating or striking any deal on the 13th. Even if the 13th happens to be the auspicious Dassera day.

YOU ASKED IT

Which is the strongest film association?

– The Central Circuit Cine Association. The Association of Tamil Nadu distributors has also become very strong these days.

Why has film production gone down these days?

– Because many filmmakers have migrated to the small screen.

If TV is the future, what is the big screen?

– It is the past, the present and the future – and will always be so.

How many of the numerous films announced for Diwali release will finally make it?

– Four or five.

M.G. HASHMAT DEAD

Writer-lyricist M.G. Hashmat expired last week at his New Bombay residence following a heart attack. He was 60 and is survived by a son. He had written a number of films like Kora Kagaz. He also wrote songs for a great many films. Bhagyawan was his last lyrical effort in films, and My Dear Ghost, in TV serials. He used to write all the lyrics of Sohanlal Kanwar’s films.

‘DARR’ TAX-FREE IN MAHARASHTRA

Yash Chopra’s Darr, which won the National Award in 1993, has been granted 100% tax exemption in Maharashtra. It has been released at tax-free rates in Bombay this week.

DHARMENDRA, BOB ANTHONY INJURED

Dharmendra and Bob Anthony injured themselves during the picturisation of an action scene for Pranlal Mehta’s Mafia on 14th October at Verma stud farm. Bob Anthony had to be administered stitches on his hand. It was to have been Dharmendra’s last shooting day for Mafia. The incomplete work will be shot today (Oct. 15).

SHARAT SAXENA’S HAND FRACTURED

Sharat Saxena fractured his right hand on 11th October in Hyderabad during the shooting of Guddu Dhanoa’s Gundaraj.

DINESH GANDHI’S DAUGHTER ENGAGED

Engagement ceremony of Aarti, daughter of financier Dinesh Gandhi, with Vikas was held on 13th October at the Catholic Gymkhana in Bombay. It was attended by film and diamond trade personalities. The dinner served was delicious.

ARJAN LULLA’S SON TO WED

Sunil Lulla, son of Overseas distributor Arjan Lulla (Jupiter Enterprises), will wed Anjali (named Krishika after marriage) on 20th October. A reception to celebrate the wedding will be held the same evening at Centaur Hotel (Airport), Bombay.

KAMAL BOSE DEAD

Eminent cinematographer Kamal Bose passed away in Bombay at the Jaslok Hospital on 9th October following a brief illness. He was 80. He had suffered a stroke on 30th September and was admitted to the hospital. He slipped into a coma and died on 9th.

Kamal Bose had cinematographed a number of films. Among his notable films are Do Bigha Zameen, Sujata, Bandini and Devdas. A celebrated photographer, he had a long association with Bimal Roy.

He had been given the President’s award for excellence in cinematography.

Kamal Bose is survived by his wife, a daughter and two sons.

ATTEMPT TO KILL SHATRUGHAN ABORTED

Dawood aide Chhota Shakil entered into a contract for Rs. 10 lakh with a gang of contract killers of Bombay to assassinate Shatrughan Sinha in April this year, but the plot was aborted. This was revealed by joint police commissioner of Bombay, M.N. Singh, at a press conference in Bombay on October 14.

BASU BHATTACHARYA ELECTED IFDA PRESIDENT

Basu Bhattacharya has been elected president of the Indian Film Directors’ Association (IFDA) for 1994-95. Opender Chanana and B.R. Ishara are the vice presidents, and Madhusudan, general secretary. Raj Wadhwa, Paresh Nanda and Kedar Vyas have been elected joint secretaries. S.B. Sharma is treasurer.

The other committee members elected are Ashok Jethmalani, Apurbo Chakraborty, Chander Mohan, Gandhi Satya Paul, Gorakh Tripathi ‘Gorakhpuri’, Ravindra Tej Nath Zar, Sudarshan Kumar and Tarun Mohammad.

ONE KILLED IN BANGALORE CINEMA BOMB BLAST

A bomb blast occurred in Galaxy cinema of Bangalore on 11th October, killing a newly married man, aged 25. His bride and friend, who were with him, were injured. It is not clear whether the blast was linked to the wave of violence that has swept Bangalore in protest against the introduction of Urdu news on Doordarshan.

An unexploded bomb was found at Nartaki theatre in Bangalore the same day.

Collections in all cinemas of Bangalore have been affected following the bomb explosion.

PEOPLE…..

Are Talking About

* The ‘Khatra Khatra’ song of N. Chandra’s Beqaboo. They predict, it will be a super-hit number.

* A song from Vinod Khanna’s Himalayaputra, another potential chartbuster.

* The fantastic initial Suhaag is expected to take.

PEOPLE…..

Are Wondering About

* Who will be the new heroine in Subhash Ghai’s Shikhar. She has not been finalised so far.

* Which of the films scheduled for Diwali release will be postponed. Obviously, all the six or seven or eight films cannot be released on 4th November.

PEOPLE…..

Are Confused About

* What the actual all-India business of HAHK..! would be. It can touch 35 crore or more, but not less!

* Who will come in place of Sanjay Dutt in Subhash Ghai’s Trimurti. Sunil Shetty, Sunny Deol…..? Nobody knows.

LIBERTY , BOMBAY CASE HEARING ON MONDAY

The Bombay high court on 12th October adjourned to Monday (Oct. 17) the hearing of the writ petition filed by Liberty cinema, Bombay, against the Maharashtra government’s circular which restricts the right of cinemas to unilaterally increase their nett admission rates. New Excelsior cinema has filed a similar petition and the division bench of Justices Mr. Pendse and Mr. Jhunjhunwala will hear both the petitions together.

The judges did not pass any order on 12th but said that the two cinemas could continue charging the public the old rates (which existed before the government ordinance and circular came into force). They, however, clarified that the cinemas would have to mention on the face of the admission tickets that the public would be entitled to a refund, if due (after the court order). The two cinemas would have to pay entertainment tax to the treasury at the old rate of 100%.

Therefore, Liberty and New Excelsior cinemas, which continue to charge the old admission rates, are collecting tax at 100% of nett.

In the meantime, a delegation of the industry will meet the Maharashtra chief minister, Sharad Pawar, at Mantralaya on 17th October to brief him about the losses the government’s ordinance on entertainment tax has entailed on the cinemas which are following the compounded system of payment of entertainment tax. It is likely that such cinemas may be allowed to abandon the compound tax scheme forthwith if it suits them.

Karisma Kapoor Replaces Juhi in ‘Ajay’

Karisma Kapoor has been signed in place of Juhi Chawla in Shree Krishna International’s Ajay. Sunny Deol plays the male lead. Producer Suneil Darshan will himself direct the film. It will be cinematographed by W.B. Rao. Music: Anand Milind.

‘Karan Arjun’ Complete

Following the conclusion of the marathon 25-day shooting schedule at Samod near Jaipur, the entire shooting of Film Kraft’s Karan Arjun is complete. Producer-director Rakesh Roshan returned to Bombay on Oct. 11.

The film stars Raakhee, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Mamta Kulkarni, Kajol, Ranjeet, Amrish Puri, Arjun, Asif Sheikh, Jack Gaud, Ashok Saraf, Johny Lever, Dinesh Hingoo, Suresh Chatwal, Kailash Vohra, Rekha Parmar and Anil Nagrath. Written by Sachin Bhaumick and Ravi Kapoor, it has music by Rajesh Roshan, lyrics by Indivar, dialogues by Anwar Khan, photography by Kaka Thakur, editing by Sanjay Verma, sound by Navin Zaveri, dances by Chinni Prakash and action by Bhiku Verma.

Doordarshan To Reign In Coming Years!

There are some 30 TV channels currently available in India today, and this number is expected to rise to 50 within the next one year.

Addressing the Rotary Club of Bombay earlier this week, Mr. Chawla, joint secretary, Information & Broadcasting ministry, disclosed that among the new satellites due for immediate launch are Apastar2, Panamsat4 and AsiaSat2, all with a Pan-Asian footprint. All major global networks like NBC, ABC, ESPN and Disney Television will be available in India, he added.

Where will Doordarshan figure in this scenario? “Doordarshan, which has the largest terrestrial network in the world, with over 577 transmitters and potential audience of 250 million viewers, is very much in the business of meeting the challenge from the skies,” he stated emphatically. “After the successful launch of the popular Metro Channels (DD2) last year, Doordarshan is ready to launch DD3, an upmarket channel, on October 15. DD is also running ten regional channels through INSAT 28.”

There is a lot more in the pipeline. An international service is being planned. And then a Hindi movie channel has been announced.

Mr. Chawla painted a futuristic vision of the television revolution now sweeping the world. “Today, everyone is talking about the great direct broadcast satellite (DBS) revolution,” he said. “But DBS is just the beginning. The next step will be multimedia. A composite television set will be wired to computer databases, pay TV channels, and will also receive stereo broadcast on FM. This will be possible in the next two years.”

By the end of this century, we will have hi-definition TV with a wide screen, producing images that will rival 35mm film in quality. These sets will be wall projection units, either liquid-crystal displays or light emitting diodes. The size of the screen will have no limitation.

“There can be no denying that the nineties belong to the couch potatoes, and their favourite toy is the remote control,” he said. “In the great power shift, there can be nothing more awesome than the hidden might of the channel switcher. With a flick of button, a name, a face, a product, even a nation can be sent into the dark recesses of unwatched channel space. This is the ultimate domination of television.”

Token Fast By Tamil Nadu Industry Producers, Actors

All production activities in Madras came to a halt on 10th October when producers, directors, artistes and cine employees observed a day’s token fast in Madras, demanding free trade in the industry.

The immediate cause of the fast was a “red circular” issued by the distributors’ association, banning the exhibition of the Tamil film, Kadhalan, produced by Kunjumohan. The producer had sold the video rights before the film was released to the distributors and hence the ban.

The fast was inaugurated by Sivaji Ganesan in the premises of the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce at 8 a.m. and was called off at 1 p.m. following the state government’s assurance to resolve the dispute in 15 days. The state information secretary, Mrs. C.K. Gariyali, has issued a directive, asking the distributors’ association to immediately withdraw its red circular. Its has advised against any section taking unilateral action. Kamal Haasan announced the directive signed by Gariyali. Director K. Balachander called off the fast.

Among the others who were present at the SIFCC premises where the fast began, were actresses Khushboo and Sukanya, director Bharati Raja and former SIFCC president P.K. Rajaraman.

Kadhalan, the film in question, was not allowed to be exhibited in Madurai and Ramanathapuram regions. Bharati Raja told the gathering that the issue of video rights related not just to Kadhalan but to other Tamil films too.

3-E
Education-Entertainment-Enlightenment

Goodbye Piracy?

Ten weeks have elapsed since the release of Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! and still, no video cassette of the film has surfaced in the market. The Venus people, too, have not yet released the video cassettes of their Main Khiladi Tu Anari. Nor have camera copies come out in two weeks. Seems, even pirates have given up the thought of bringing out illegal video cassettes.

Youthful Team

Subhash Ghai these days is a picture of excitement. He is thrilled with the way the script of his Shikhar is shaping up. And he is excited about the muhurt he is planning at the Golf Club in Surajkund which is on the Delhi-Haryana border. Revealed Ghai, “The government has volunteered to give me 40,000 armymen for shooting. My film deals with the army.” In Shikhar, Ghai would generally be dealing with all youngsters — “below the age of 33”, to quote Ghai. His music director, A.R. Rahman, writer, Anjum Rajab Ali, cameraman, Binod Pradhan, and art director, Nitin Desai, are all less than 33 years of age. Time will tell how this young team will scale the mountainous path and reach the shikhar.

Old Is Gold

One song of Salim’s Baazi — ‘Dhire dhire woh hamare dil ke mehman ho gaye’ — has become very popular. And although it is written by Majrooh Sultanpuri, lyricist Qamar Jalalabadi is thrilled about it. It’s because Qamar had written a similar mukhda years ago for Filmistan’s Hum Kahan Ja Rahe Hain. The song was ‘Rafta rafta woh hamare dil ke mehman ho gaye’. Majrooh made it a point to telephone Qamar Jalalabadi and tell him that he had used the latter’s mukhda in the Baazi song.

Film Complexes

South’s press baron and filmmaker Ramoji Rao’s film complex in Hyderabad is nearing completion. Spread out on a land admeasuring 40,000 acres, the complex will be the only one of its kind in Asia. It houses studios, recording and dubbing rooms, permanent sets, laboratory etc. as well as a five-star hotel.

If Ramoji Rao has nearly completed his film complex in the South, Subhash Ghai is finalising plans of his film city in Haryana in the North. Ghai also plans to make it lavish and all-encompassing. And then, in the years to come, you might just find Bollywood deserted. Bombay producers may prefer going to the South/North with their scripts and coming back to Bollywood with the release prints from there.

Sonali’s ‘Honey Honey’ Dance

If there’s one song which has caught the fancy of ace choreographer Saroj Khan, it is the ‘Honey Honey’ number of Pravin Nischol’s English Babu Desi Mem. Picturised on Sonali Bendre, it has the potential of becoming a rage, according to Saroj Khan. Says she, “I used to fire Sonali when she wouldn’t get the tough dancing steps correctly on the sets, she used to even cry. But the effort, the girl has put in is remarkable. She will win accolades for that song, mark my words.” Marked!

Hindi Films, English Titles

First came Jurassic Park. Universal Soldier followed. The third in line is Speed. Interestingly, all the three English films have been/are being released in Hindi under the same title. The fourth film is likely to be the animated film, Alladin. Even that will not have a change of title in Hindi.

‘HAHK..!’, ‘Lamhe’ In English

Like Maine Pyar Kiya, the Barjatyas will also be dubbing Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! in English. Although MPK did not fare well in its English version anywhere except in the West Indies, the Barjatyas will go ahead with the English dubbing of HAHK..! too. They are, however, planning to retain the Hindi songs, in the English version. In MPK, even the songs had been dubbed in English. Yash Chopra is also contemplating dubbing Lamhe in English.

ON ‘YARAANA’ SETS IN HYDERABAD
Of Dancing Skills And Madhuri’s Kill! | 4 October, 2019

(From our issue dated 8th October, 1994)

Madhuri Dixit is rehearsing some ter­ribly difficult dancing steps on a huge, opulent set at Annapurna Studios in Hy­de­rabad. The film being shot is Yusuf Bhat and Reema Rakesh Nath’s Yar­a­ana. The choreographer is the one and only Saroj Khan. Director David Dhawan is some­what relaxed because it’s a song that’s being picturised.

Although Yaraana is the first production venture of both, Yusuf Bhat and Ree­ma Rakesh Nath, the two are not new to the industry. Reema, of course, has the super-hit Saajan behind her. After scripting Saajan and husband Rakesh Nath’s Dil Tera Aashiq, she has turned to pro­du­c­tion. Once a writer, always a writer. Right? Right! Reema is also the story, screenplay and dialogue writer of Yaraana.

Yusuf Bhat runs a business of hiring out film equipments, under the name and style of Samna Film Services. His pro­duction banner, Samna Films, is also named after his two children, Samir and Nadia. Yusuf is also a film editor from the FTII and had edited a number of films before he flew off to Dubai to do business there. But once a film man, always a film man. Right? Right! His love for films brought Yusuf Bhat back to India and Bollywood.

Yusuf found a true friend in Rakesh Nath (Rikku, to the industry). Together, the two friends made a project and called it Yaraana. Waah, kya yaraana hai!

Coming back to the shooting. The set belongs to K. Raghavendra Rao who has had it erected for his Telugu film. Rikku and Yusuf have hired it for their shooting.

The song that’s being picturised is a very important part of the film because Madhuri kills Raj Babbar at the end of the song-dance. Raj Babbar may have beco­me an MP, but acting remains his first passion. Once an actor, always an actor. Right? Right! Raj and Rikku’s friendship is quite old and if the two feel close to each other, it is not only because they look quite similar. As a journalist jokes, “If Raj Babbar is busy in the Parliament, Rikku can give his shot on the sets.” The only problem is, Rikku is taller than Raj. “Well, the audience will conclude that some­body must’ve pulled Raj’s legs (pun in­tended!),” comes the repartee from the journalist.

The dance steps Madhuri is trying out, are quite a ‘legxercise’. Saroj’s assistant, Ahmed, performs the intricate steps with such finesse that the onlookers on the set break into an instant applause. It is for this reason that Ahmed is not only mentor Saroj Khan’s favourite but also the darling of all the technicians, dancers and unit-hands on the sets. On a probe, one is told, Ahmed is that child ariste of Mr. India who used to break into a break dance (in the climax fight and at other times) in the film. The little boy of Mr. India has grown up to become a young lad and an extraordinary dancer. In the months to come, Ahmed would turn an independent dance director – and a dance director to reckon with.

Rikku, the de facto producer, is always on his toes. He admits that Madhuri Dixit, whose dates he looks after, has been a great financial support to him, whether it was during the making of his maiden pro­duction venture, Dil Tera Aashiq, or for Yaraana. In the course of our conversation, Rikku reveals that Tej Sapru has rep­laced Tinnu Anand due to the latter’s date problems. Rikku is honest to add that the date problems arose due to lack of plan­ning on their part, not Tinnu Anand’s.

Director David Dhawan is excited as much about Yaraana as about the Hindi remaking rights of the Telugu hit, Hello Brother, which he recently acquired. “Govinda will play a double role in the re­make,” he informs. Has David vowed never to have anything to do with vulgarity/obscenity in films now, after Andaz and Eena Meena Deeka? Says he with a twinkle in his eye, “A bit of naughtiness should be there. It is like salt in your food. Saltless food is tasteless…”

Yusuf Bhat is skeptical about persons in the industry who refuse to pay off their creditors. “That is why I prefer to hire out my equipments only to known names and reliable producers,” he explains.

The unit of Yaraana is different from other film units in at least one way. Nobo­dy brags about the film with clichéd state­ments like, “This film is different” or “It will be a big hit” or “Yeh film kamaal kar degi” etc. etc. There is a lot of back-slap­ping and leg-pulling indulged into by David, Yusuf and Rikku. Sometimes, even blows are exchanged, of course, in good humour. On our part, we fail to understand how blows can be humorous, but anyway, the trio doesn’t seem to mind, so that’s fine.

Komal Nahta

Snapshots

OVEN-HOT BECOMES PLAGUE-COLD

The heat has gone out of the Gujarat sub-territory. The plague has cast a pall of gloom over the sub-circuit. The scenario has changed in two weeks. Where sub-distributors used to fall over one another to acquire a film for Gujarat, today, there’s no such excitement. Closure of cinemas in Surat and other cities has adversely affected the box-office. Yen Movies, the Gujarat distributors who started their office with Mohra, stand to lose quite heavily in their second release, Main Khiladi Tu Anari. The losses would have been minimised had it not been for the plague.

*       *       *

WORST MONTHS

May and October will go down in 1994 as the worst months of the year. The producers called for suspension of all new releases in May, following their dis­pute with distributors. There were no re­leases for three weeks. In October, the plague and consequent closure of cine­mas have been responsible for two weeks of no releases. Added to that is the pre-Pooja week in Bengal and the ensuing pre-Diwali week all over. There’s just one release fixed for next week, and none for 28th October so far.

*       *       *

DIVERSIFICATION

First, a producer. Then, a distributor for Delhi-U.P. and Bombay. Then, a dir­ector. Followed by a distribution office in Rajasthan. Next, a music company. That’s K.C. Bokadia’s diversification in barely a decade. But that isn’t all. He is all set to start a company for acquiring India video rights of films. Plans to set up a film city in Jaipur are already underway. Amazing, isn’t it?

*       *       *

RAIN VERSUS RAIN

The unit of Dharmendra’s Barsaat, which was in Ooty for a long shooting schedule, had to pack up without much shooting because of the barsaat. Frequent rains upset the schedule, so the unit came straight back to Bombay. The shooting of Boney Kapoor’s untitled film, being dir­ected by David Dhawan, in Ooty was also similarly upset but the unit was quick to shift to a dry Gopichettipalayam and complete the shooting.

*       *       *

FILM MEN’S ENGLISH

Spellings of film titles have very often been governed by numerology. Incorrect spellings of titles are sometimes because of this and, at other times, simply because the makers didn’t bother to check the cor­rect spellings. All this is somewhat understandable when the Hindi titles are mis-spelt in English. But Stuntman, which is an English word, takes the cake. The makers have now begun to spell it as Stunttman. Another numerology stuntt, one supposes!

*       *       *

CUTTING THE DHOTI

Dada Kondke’s films invariably face censor trouble, thanks to his double-meaning dialogues and gestures. But his latest Marathi film, Sasarcha Dhotar (Dhoti of in-laws),has been given the maximum cuts and that too, by the App­ellate Tribunal. The dhoti – sorry, Sasar­cha Dhotar – has been cut short by 446 metres. In all, there are 37 cuts effected. Of course, the super-edited version has been passed for universal exhibition. As a smart Alec remarked, “The dhoti has been cut to the size of a handkerchief.

DO YOU KNOW?

* After installing Dolby Stereophonic sound system at Smruti Cinema, Nagpur and Prabhat Talkies, Amra­vati, the Rathi group has now in­stalled 20” colour TV sets in the foy­ers of both the cinemas. The patrons can watch TV while waiting in the foyer.

* Two Marathi films, SASARCHA DHOTAR and SONIYACHI MUM­BAI, were certified this week (on 4th October) and also released this week (on 7th).

* HAHK..! has created a record by col­lecting 1,41,106/- in 9th week at Re­lief, Ahmedabad. It has also created a record by collecting 1,73,777/- (gross) in 9th week (21 shows) at Rajshri, Gandhinagar.

LIMIT ON NETT ADMISSION RATES: RAJSHRI MOVING COURT

The Maharashtra government’s directive that cinemas cannot hike their nett admission rates beyond the 12th August ’94 level, without its permission is being challenged in the Bombay high court by Rajshri Pictures and Liberty Cinemas, Bombay. The said directive came alongwith the Maharashtra government’s ordi­nance reducing entertainment tax.

Liberty Cinemas, screening Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!, has not as yet reduced its admission rates nor has it reduced the tax being collected (at 100% instead of the present 50%). The admission tickets bear a notice that the ticket-holder would be entitled to a re­fund, if due, after the court’s verdict.

The case is likely to come up for hearing on Monday, October 10.

SHRINGAR FILMS OPEN BRANCH OFFICE IN AHMEDABAD

Bombay distributors Shringar Films opened a branch office in Ahmedabad on 7th October. The office is situated at 15, Divya Vasundhara, Commercial House, opposite District Court, Mirzapur Road, Ahmedabad-1. Phone: 20116. Raju Shukla, local representative, is incharge of the office. Balkrishna Shroff and Shravan Shroff of Shringar Films, Bom­bay will visit the branch office frequently.

‘MOHRA’ 100 DAYS

Trimurti Films Pvt. Ltd.’s Mohra has completed 100 days of its run to­day (Oct. 8). Produced by Gulshan Rai, co-produced by Ajay Shah, and directed by Rajiv Rai, it stars Naseeruddin Shah, Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty and Raveena Tandon. Music: Viju Shah. Lyrics: Anand Bakshi and Indeevar.

‘ROJA’ GOLDEN JUBILEE

Mani Ratnam’s dubbed Hindi film, Roja, is celebrating golden jubilee this week at Metro (matinee), Bombay. The film’s super-hit music is scored by A.R. Rahman.

Subhash Ghai’s Film
Titled ‘Shikhar’ 

Producer-director Subhash Ghai’s new film, to be launched on Oct. 24 in Delhi, has been titled Shikhar (The Peak). Jackie Shroff and Shah Rukh Khan play the lead roles. A new heroi­ne is being finalised.

The film is written by Anjum Rajab Ali and Subhash Ghai. Cinema­togra­phy by Binod Pradhan, art direction by Nitin Desai, and action by Tinnu Ver­ma are the other major credits finalised so far.

The Dishum Dishum Devgan

He has literally fought his way to suc­cess and stardom. Having directed almost every hero and villain in the industry and taught them to fight, action director Veeru Devgan even today remains the polite, soft-at-heart and, of course, much sought-after action director. The line-up of troph­ies in his spacious office-cum-editing room at Juhu, serve to remind you that the man’s life may be full of stunts but his success story is no publicity stunt. And if you think, Veeru only understands the langua­ge of action, you’re wrong. He can also thrill you with his delicious dishes (yes, he’s an expert cook) and knock you down with his philosophy.

Veeru had to struggle a lot to enter the film industry. He ran away from home (in Punjab) at the young age of 15 and came to Bombay to become a hero. He had nothing in his pocket, no roof over his head and many were  the nights when he slept without eating a morsel of food and with only his dream to give him company. Later, a friend’s taxi was his shelter at nights. With no chance of becoming a hero, Veeru become a carpenter’s helper to earn a livelihood. Finally, after many months of struggle, he got a chance to assist action director Ravi Khanna.

From there started the action. The Pun­jab da puttar had little imagined then that although his dream of becoming a hero would never be realised, it would finally be his heroic stunts that would make him a hero one day.

It was this unfulfilled dream of Veeru Devgan which made him plan a hero’s career for his son, Ajay Devgan, “even before he was born”. Recalls Veeru, “When my wife was expecting Raju (Ajay’s pet name), I had decided that if she would deliver a baby boy, I would make him a hero when he grew up. And I strived to do only that.”

Veeru is frank when he admits, “I was never as bothered about Raju’s studies in school or college as I was about his exer­cises, action lessons etc. I had one am­bition in life – to make Raju a hero.” When Ajay grew up, papa Devgan im­mediately put him under Cheetah Yag­neesh’s training for stunts. “M.M. Baig began teaching him Urdu and used to make Raju improve his pronunciations and diction by making him talk with stones in his mouth,” reveals Veeru. “There were occasions when Raju inadvertently swall­owed a tiny stone or two.”

Action comes naturally to Veeru Dev­gan. “It is nature’s gift,” he says humbly. No, he wasn’t a fighter-cock as a child, he adds. But a workaholic he definitely be­came when he came to Bombay. “I used to often work 20 to 22 hours a day,” he recalls. “I’ve instilled a keen sense of dis­cipline in Raju too,” informs Veeru.

The 52-year-old action director flashes one of his warm smiles when you ask him, in how many films he has composed the action scenes. “Must be, over 300”, he makes a guess. At least, 150 of them have been hits or major successes.

To ask an action director which film is dearest to him is like asking a father, who, among his children, is his favourite. Nevertheless, Veeru enlists Agent Vinod, Kranti and Roti Kapada Aur Makaan among his favourite works, but adds, “There are many more.”

He recalls the action of Khoon Pasina which was being made when I & B min­ister V.C. Shukla had put a restriction on the length of fights in films. “I kept the fights in the film to the stipulated level,” he explains, “but there was so much of violence besides that. There were sounds of fisticuffs and blows and matching ex­pressions on the faces of characters, but the action was not shown. Obviously, the censors couldn’t object to it.” Veeru is confident that, even now, with censors coming down heavily on action, a via media will be found out. Necessity, after all, is the mother of invention.

Veeru denies the charge that he and his son come as a package deal. “Currently, Raju and I are doing only three films to­gether – Jaan, Shaktishaali and Haqee­qat,” he substantiates.

If there is one more dream Veeru sees today, it is to one day direct Amitabh Bachchan and Ajay together. He will soon be taking the plunge into direction. “I had wanted to make my first film without a single action scene,” he says, “but my people have told me not to do so. Maybe, my second film will be without action.”

If Veeru has politely turned down offers to direct films for others, it is be­cause the man doesn’t want to hurt any­body. “If I direct someone’s film, there’ll be many others who would expect me to do their films first. And I don’t want to strain my relations with anybody,” he concludes.

So the day is not far when Veeru Dev­gan will don the robe of a producer and also drop the ‘action’ from his title of ‘action director’ to be called the director who’ll shout “Action” on the sets.

And then, after many years, the work-machine may call it a day and, as he has promised his wife, “have a honeymoon with her, in our old age.”

  – Gautam & Komal

3-E
Education-Entertainment-Enlightenment

What A Variety!

It is really creditable, the way Sanjay Kapoor’s career is being planned. Without a single release so far, Sanjay has eight films besides his launching pad, Prem, and several of them with big banners and top directors. This in itself must be a record. He is working with almost all the heroines in the reckoning – Madhuri Dixit (Raja), Juhi Chawla (Kartavya), Tabu (Prem), Mamta Kulkarni and Manisha Koirala (Chhupa Rustam), Mamta Kulkarni (Beqabu), Shilpa Shetty (Weston’s Zameer), heroine to be finalised (Compact Disc India’s film), Pooja Bhatt and Raveena Tandon (Hum Tum Aur Woh) and Kajol (G.P. Sippy’s film). The music of Sanjay Kapoor starrers is being scored by Laxmikant Pyarelal, Anu Malik, Nadeem Shravan, Anand Milind, Dilip Sen Sameer Sen, A.R. Rahman and Viju Shah.

The ’42 Connection

What do Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Jeetendra, South actor Krishna and action master Veeru Devgan have in common? Their year of birth. All the five were born in 1942. And all of them have had very successful and frutiful careers. Can we call it ‘1942 A Success Story’?

Marriage Bureau!

Act in Satluj Dheer’s film and chances are that you will be married while it is being made. That is, if you are an actress. Rati Agnihotri got married while Satluj’s Mera Suhaag, in which she played the heroine, was being made. Shantipriya and Sushmita Mukherjee tied the knots during the making of Satluj’s Ikke Pe Ikka.

Johny Fever

Who is the most sought-after actor for TV serials? Seems to be Johny Lever. Not only is he a favourite of film producers, he is also being approached by TV serial producers. Reportedly, he has been asked to act in over 40 serials. But he has given the nod to just two makers, Jr. Mehmood and Pankaj Parashar.