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Kismat Konnection

19 Jul

 Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Vidya Balan, Vishal Bhandari, Om Puri, Himani Shivpuri, Juhi Chawla, Boman Irani

Director: Aziz Mirza

He’s a down-on-his-luck architect. She’s the one who’s going to turn it all around for him. Prime ‘prem kahani’ material, and the kind of story that Aziz Mirza used to wing. But that was a long time back : ‘Kismat Konnection’ doesn’t quite connect.

Raj (yes, that’s what Shahid is called, even if it brings to mind a million roles Shah Rukh has played with that same name) is in the Mirza mould of the underdog heroes who slip occasionally, but get up, in the end, to fight the good fight. Pretty Priya (Vidya) poses the conflict: will it be massive malls, or a community centre for the homeless; crass commerce or love? Will rich businessman Om Puri, in a fake white wig, win? Or will Bomani Irani, in an equally fake grey one, who espouses the cause of the ‘aam aadmi’, trounce the opposition?

No prizes for guessing which side Raj will choose. The trouble with ‘Kismat Konnection’ is not only its predictable screenplay, but its even more predictable filling-in-of-the-spaces between the first and the last frame, and the lack of any real fire, barring a stray sequence or two, between the lovebirds. Shahid, who had gone on to another level in ‘Jab We Met’, slips right back into his floppy haired, too-eager-to-please style, and Vidya stays exactly where she’s been – on the same single track, and as determinedly frumpy.

Everyone else hams. Please never let us see Juhi Chawla, who’s usually capable of sense, as a trumped up techni-coloured crystal ball gazer, again.

shubhra.gupta@gmail.com

The Indian Express

PERSONAL CONNECTION

6 Jul

 Aziz Mirza, Shah Rukh Khan’s mentor and partner, returns after a self-imposed hibernation, with Kismat Konnection. The film stars Shahid Kapur because “at 42, Khan is no longer the young kid he used to be”. Only one force could have kept Aziz Mirza away from his true calling, filmmaking-his childhood sweetheart and wife of 44 years, Nirmala. With her by his side, Mirza made some memorable movies like Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, Yes Boss and Chalte Chalte. When she passed away three days after his last film Chalte Chalte released in 2003, Mirza, one of the last few men representing Hindi cinema’s bygone era, hung up his boots.

Four years later, on the insistence of daughter Rahila who came up with “a brilliant idea”, Mirza returned behind the camera to make Kismat Konnection, with Shahid Kapur and Vidya Balan, which releases next month. “My daughter said people would forget me but I was not in a mental state to make a fun film. This project came back to me again and again. Many people loved the idea of this film,” says 66-year-old Mirza, who had moved to London to cope with his personal loss. “I guess some films are destined to be made.”

The cloudy afternoon at the director’s terrace apartment in Khar, Mumbai, is an ideal backdrop for a tale of love: that of Mirza and his wife. “When we were in college, we decided to part ways since Nirmala knew our families would oppose our relationship. After two years, when we could not take the pain of separation any more, we decided to get married,” says the director. “Today, the song is over, but the melody still lingers.” About his comeback film, Mirza is rather realistic. “It’s a nice film. But at 66, I can’t say that it’s a great movie or a masterpiece,” says Mirza, who, years back, treated the Doordarshan audience with delightful television series like Nukkad and Circus (his prot
g
 Shah Rukh Khan’s second stint on television).

Mirza’s films draw heavily from the story of his life: films like Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman and Yes Boss narrate the stories of lovers who hail from humble backgrounds and finally unite after overcoming the odds of life, a feel-good genre that has now almost become extinct in Hindi cinema. “Kismat Konnection, though set in Toronto, is a story of middle-class people who struggle to retain their values and live a good life,” says Mirza, who launched a production house with brother Saeed Mirza, renowned writer and director, and Kundan Shah in the Eighties. In the early Nineties, the director’s first film Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman carved out an identity for the now superstar Khan, who was then just one film-old. The movie successfully paired him with Juhi Chawla, then already a big star. Over the next one decade, the duo emerged as one of silver screen’s most loved couples.

“Juhi is also part of Kismat. When she first heard the idea, she said that the hero’s role would have been ideal for Shah Rukh 15 years back. But at 42, Shah Rukh is no longer the young kid he once used to be,” says Mirza, one of the people who had faith in Khan’s potential in his early days of struggle. The long-lasting friendship of Khan, Chawla and Mirza that began with Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman culminated with Dreamz Unlimited, their production house. However, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani, the first film to come from Dreamz (starring Khan and Chawla), ended up as a box-office disaster, leaving the three devastated. The topic still enrages Mirza. “Phir Bhi was loved by many people; I still get congratulatory messages. It is just that the movie was written off by critics, even before the audience’s verdict was out,” he says.

After Chalte Chalte, the second and last film from Dreamz, the friends were said to have drifted apart for a while, and the company’s shutters were downed. Though they reunited very soon (both Shah Rukh and Juhi followed Mirza in London), Dreamz is yet to resume. “It’s true Juhi was disappointed but it was not because she was not cast as the heroine of Chalte Chalte,” clarifies Mirza. “We will produce a film together the moment we find a good script. In fact, I am writing a script for Shah Rukh. I will narrate it to him sometime.” In a career that spans nearly two decades now, Mirza surprisingly had made very few films (this despite his films hitting the box office jackpot)-a far cry from today’s factory-like movie production. “I’m laidback,” he says, promising, however, to come out of his self-imposed hibernation.


The Indian Express

Get Famous

6 Aug


Get famous

One cannot forget the bubbly Juhi Chawla on the Kurkure packs.

Be it stars from films or sports, it would have taken long years of toil for them to attain that celebrity status.

Now, how about replacing Juhi on the Kurkure packs with pictures of yourself and your family members?

PepsiCo has launched an innovative campaign – “Kurkure Chai Time Achievers” to promote its popular snack brand through its consumers as brand ambassadors. You and your family or friends can be featured on the next 10 lakh packs. Interested persons can email their recipes to teatime@kurkure.co.

in or www.kurkure.co.in or write to the address given on the packs.


Hindu On Net

Health Ambassador Juhi

21 Aug


Health Ambassador Juhi

PHOTO: The HINDU PHOTO LIBRARY

SOME actors make the transition from films to politics. Others take to directing films and some just retire. But JUHI CHAWLA has gone one step ahead and signed up as an ambassador for a rather unusual product. Chawla, who is actively campaigning for children who require cochlear implant surgery — an operation that cures deafness, said that it was high time people lent a helping hand to such causes. So Chawla and her tiny band of foot soldiers — all hearing impaired — are busy getting together a play titled “The silence to sound” in an effort to raise money for the transplants that will help these children hear. With Rael Padamsee as director, Chawla is sure to strike the right chord. Said a determined Chawla, “What can be a better platform than a play by the victims themselves? We are going to make every effort to change the awareness level about deafness,” she added, while the youngsters, smitten as much by her and the popular dance numbers, swayed in happy unison.

SUCHITRA BEHAL


Hindu On Net

He's Going Places

17 Jun


He’s going places

MUMBAI: Nagesh Kukunoor is really going places. His upcoming film, Teen Deewaren, will be screened at the Commonwealth Film Festival. The movie, produced by Metallights, packs quite a punch with talented actors such as Naseerudding Shah, Jackie Shroff and Juhi Chawla. The film is about Juhi, who plays an ambitious documentary filmmaker trying to make a film about three dreaded prisoners played by Naseeruddin Shah, Jackie and Nagesh.

ANI


Hindu On Net