38 Comments

Matru Sabotage, YRF’s 3-Film Contracts, Bollywood Bahus Katrina & Nargis & Saif Promotes Race 2!!

Matru Sabotage!!!!

matru

The trade pundits have been having a blast taking this movie down even though HT reports that MKBKM was VB’s highest first day earner. For a film with a 33 crore budget, a 21 crore opening weekend should, at worst, be called “average”. The film’s 5 day box office total stands at about 28 crores.

But the trade pundits are calling these figures “dull, dismal and abysmal”. Really? For a Vishal Bhardwaj film with an extremely off-beat subject, and a leading hero with no box office draw, how is recovering almost all of its budget during the first week so very bad? I remember they did a similar thing with Shanghai. They labeled it a flop before it even had a chance to breathe. I may not be a Matru fan, but I was heartbroken about Shanghai. (Okay, I’m being a bit melodramatic.)

Meanwhile, the same pundits are breathlessly promoting Table No. 21 as a hit, taking into account everything that might have affected its box office total from the “cold wave in the North” to the India-Pakistan cricket match. Yes, that film had a lower budget and it made back its costs  during the first week but how is that so different from how Matru is doing?

I’m not saying the movie is a hit – even if it doesn’t make money back for its distributors (it did have a wide release and I’m sure that was not Vishal’s idea), the veritable glee with which the pundits are calling it a “disaster” is totally irresponsible. It creates an image that the film is terrible and was rejected outright, when it was not rejected at all by its intended audience.

Yes, it didn’t appeal to the aam junta but who the hell was expecting it to anyway? If you’re going to judge a Matru the way you judge a masala film then pundit-giri mubarak ho but you’re being a total douche.

I call sabotage and I think it’s part of the curse of becoming a “celebrated” hatke director. Whether it’s Prakash Jha, Dibakar Bannerjee or Vishal Bhardwaj, once they start signing bigger stars and get wider releases, it gives the trade all the opportunity to trash them before the weekend is even over. They drown out the voices of appreciation – voices that may have aided in getting more people into theaters since the lifeblood of movies like this is word of mouth.

YRF’s 3-Film Contracts

Can someone explain to me why YRF keeps luring in and corrupting talent that has no business wandering around its hallowed halls?

The Director

First it was Pradeep Sarkar. You only have to see the difference in the style of Parineeta and Laaga Chunri Mein Daag to understand how the “YRF touch” completely obliterates a director’s inherent, unique style (in Pradeep’s case, honed under Vidhu Vinod Chopra). I haven’t seen Lafangey Parindey but I’m willing to bet that the bold and authentic style we saw in Parineeta was missing from that as well. YRF totally candy-flossed LCMD, which had the potential to be a really interesting, dark film.

So Pradeep Sarkar, career sunk. Entered YRF, never to be seen again.

The Screenwriter

Recently I was discussing with Beth how Devika Bhagat, their in-house writer, is such a wrong fit for their style of filmmaking. She should be writing more stuff like Manorama Six Feet Under, on her own or in collaboration with someone like Kashyap – not trying to make sense of why Adi would drag her into writing films like Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Ladies Vs. Ricky Bahl or Bachna Ae Haseeno. Devika’s own style is so darkly sarcastic that it’s clear very little of her original voice survives in the final product which has invariably been Disney-fied (or YRF’d) to death. It’s a total mis-match.

So Devika Bhagat, who I imagine wanders the hallowed halls in a dazed state wondering how on earth she got in there. And is now plotting her escape.

Director No. 2

And now, there’s Dibakar Bannerjee.

Khosla Ka Ghosla, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, Shanghai.  Yeah just SCREAMS YRF doesn’t it? Not only does Adi lure them in, he lures them in for THREE FUCKING FILMS. (Just ask Pradeep Sarkar, who has clearly entered oblivion in search of the third film.) In other words, he keeps them there until they’ve been stripped of their original voice and become all YRF-y.

Why? Why would you even chase a guy like Dibakar who already  has his own established voice and style and audience? Why not give breaks to new directors who have yet to develop their skills? And yes, I’m disappointed that Dibakar signed on the dotted line but I’m sure the YRF cushion is a hard thing to turn down for any creative person, no matter how off-beat.

I swear if Dibakar goes the Pradeep Sarkar way, someone needs to kidnap Adi and put him on a plane with a one-way ticket to Switzerland. Then KJo can merge Dharma with YRF and be done with it.

The Actor

And let’s not even get into the actors. I’ve been waiting for Ranveer to jailbreak out of there forever. Now, Ayushmann has signed a 3-film contract as well. Ayushmann, the quintessential Yash Raj hero. I’m happy for him because no doubt he’s over the moon about it but what, exactly, is Adi trying to do? It’s one thing if your slate of films reflected the unique talents of these individuals. It’s another thing when you take them to the infamous 4th floor and brainwash them into becoming Adi-clones.

Yes I know. I REALLY don’t like what Adi is doing to YRF. And Band Baaja Baarat was a fluke – even Habib Faisal and Maneesh Sharma couldn’t escape the YRF Kool-aid.

Bollywood Bahu Woes

GF Pics17

It’s bad enough they hijack our best films with their botoxed foreheads, duck lips, bad acting and crazy accents but must they infiltrate Bollywood’s most dynastic families as well?

After RanKat were spotted cozying around Manhattan over New Year’s, it became very clear that the Young Prince isn’t just fooling around with La Kaif, but is quite serious about her, seeing as it’s been what – 3 or 4 years that we’ve been hearing about their link up? I cannot tell you guys how sad I would be if Katrina became a Kapoor bahu. Probably even sadder than Salman.

The only way that would be a good thing is if they re-instated the tradition of not allowing their bahus to work after marriage. In which case I would say shaadi mubarak and godspeed. Otherwise, I would so be rooting for Neetu ji to morph into an evil saans from a Balaji teleserial, plotting with Bebo to bring Deepika back into his life.

Meanwhile, in the House of Chopra, Pam Aunty is clearly not watching enough Ekta Kapoor TV because: NARGIS & UDAY. Their denials about being together fool no one and if there’s anything worse than Katrina providing a ghar ka chirag for the Raj Kapoor dynasty, it’s Nargis Fakhri carrying forth the Chopra torch.

Saif Promotes Race 2 With Glowing Skin And Flowing Locks

He may not like being called a Nawab but he damn sure looks like one on the Race 2 promotional circuit. Our favorite Mr. Bebo is either basking in post-marital honeymoon-y glow or….um, he’s just that excited about Race 2 (draw your own conclusions).

saifr22

He totally went all out in this grey suit and waistcoat number below, complete with handkerchief. And though he looks mighty handsome, you’d think he was on his way to meet the Queen of England rather than a bunch of weary Race 2 reporters.

saifr2

No, this isn’t a shot from the movie.

Frankly, just make this the poster and call it a day. It might be a better promotional strategy than making awkward presscon statements like “Fevicol Se is a family item number”  because a) what on earth is a FAMILY item number? b) even if such a thing existed, Fevicol Se isn’t it.

I’m not even gonna lie. I’m so looking forward to this film. The juxtaposition of the ultra-classy Nawab against the ultra-trashy Race 2 is too much to resist.

I Love NY 

ILNY

Meanwhile Sunny pa ji has apparently decided that age 56 is a good time to wear reindeer boxers and reinvent oneself as an NRI rom-com hero. I love how Kangna looks like she’s trying so hard NOT to be in this movie.

And what is going on with the comforter? And the socks? And the wig….oh, never mind.

Question of the Week

So Firstpost goes bananas every year after the Golden Globes & Oscars. This year they celebrated Why Aren’t We Like Hollywood Season by asking:

Is Aamir Khan our only hope of a Bollywood Ben Affleck?

I don’t know. But there is definitely no hope of anyone ever being the equivalent of a Hollywood Aamir Khan.

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38 comments on “Matru Sabotage, YRF’s 3-Film Contracts, Bollywood Bahus Katrina & Nargis & Saif Promotes Race 2!!

  1. The tagline for I Love NY doesn’t even want Kangana to be in the movie. Also, Sunny is 56?!? GOOD LORD. He seems to be aging well?

    And speaking of, Saif wears the shit out of suits, doesn’t he? I could look at that bottom picture all day, except for when I remember that scene of him in the first Race with the Mr. Darcy/Colin Firth wet white shirt thing…. #classy

    • Beth – um, aging well with the help of hair plugs and photo shop maybe? Ah, I love Sunny but NOT in this avatar. What is he doing?!

      Saif is amazingly handsome in the suit – he looks so great at all the Race 2 events. I’m liking the hair!

  2. The critic’s attacks on Matru are a bit depressing. It’s a dangerously crude generalisation, but to to me the reaction is indicative of the simplistic nature of filmi journalism, especially with regard to box office take. Ever since the creation of the 100Crore Club, it seems that most filmi journos define that as the as the only marker of a film’s success. That, and a total disregard of overseas box office. I suspect that a film like Matru will end up doing quite well outside India, at least getting to break-even, which is hardly “bomb” territory.

    That filmpost piece was just awful – “career triage”?! It seemed to be saying on the one hand that actors only became directors to revive flagging careers, then on the other that there was something wrong with actors who didn’t become directors. Bizarre! It also missed the critical question – who would be be Matt Damon to Bolly’s Ben Affleck? Thanks for providing a reminder of why I don’t bother reading filmi journalism much! :)

    • Stuart –

      Exactly! If it breaks even, then say it breaks even. What’s up with saying “dismal, disaster” etc when it’s clearly not that? This prejudice is quite unforgivable if you ask me. It’s fine to not like the film, post a bad review – but to present factual figures in such a biased manner is so unfair.

      Ugh, Firstpost and their stupid Hollywood ass-kissing, so irritating. Why don’t they just understand that Bollywood is a vastly different industry from Hollywood – why must we always compare the two?!

  3. Dear Haters, I am flattered that I’m always a trending topics in your life. Sincerely, The awesome me.

    lots of luv.
    katrina kaif

  4. I love that you took up for a film you’re not personally into, just because you care about fair and accurate reporting. You’re a mensch!

    I am less ragey about La Kaif since JTHJ, but I saw a video of her at some recent event thing, and she seems to have gotten even more botox-y and filler-y. All that face-killing did plenty of harm to Nicole Kidman’s career, Katrina, and she can actually act!

    I mean, I don’t think Nargis Fakhri has any intentions of slogging on a film set after marrying one of the Yashraj heirs. Uday Chopra, going by just his tweets, is a massive tool, and I almost want to say Nargis can do better, but what do I know. If Arnold could score a Kennedy, Nargis can definitely bag herself the lesser Chopra. :p

    I was sold on Race 2 after “Party On My Mind,” which seems to have been written by a malfunctioning computer program designed to spew out Hinglish lyrics. “Hai Hottie Hottie Ride . . .” WTF. This film is going to be SUCH a train wreck, and I am going to hate-watch the hell out of it on Netflix. I also have to point out that Deepika Padukone, patently A-list now, looks SO much better than this movie that it’s a little ridiculous. You have Ameesha and Jackie posing-hard and giving their best Try faces at all the promo events, and Deepika just serenely towers over everyone, probably meditating on the award nomination Ram Leela is likely to get her.

    • Sal –

      “I was sold on Race 2 after “Party On My Mind,” which seems to have been written by a malfunctioning computer program designed to spew out Hinglish lyrics” HAHAHA, omg laughing so hard. Hate-watch, WTF-watch, whatever it is – it’s going to be so much fun!

      I have recently become more ragey about Kaif, the bigger films she signs, the angrier I get. Nargis and Uday I don’t actually care about it’s just…weird. But then nothing is weirder than Uday. But if they let him marry Nargis and continue to boycott Rani – well, that’s just plain wrong.

  5. I think Aditya Chopra’s actually doing a good job. Yes, he needs to stop candyflossing all the films but he is behind YRFs biggest hits-be it as a writer, producer, director, or casting. I just hope Batterjee doesn’t go down the Sarkar way.

    And God the sabotage of MKBKM pisses me off so much. Its made 30cr in the first week and is being called the first major flop of the year. Wtf. And plus the film is genuinely amazing and a lot better than 90% of the movies released last year!

    Sunny Deol… I don’t think I can put what I feel about that poster in coherent words.

    And so true about Nargis and Katrina. If those guys marrry them…*shudder* And in the Chopra’s case, Uday marries Nargis, they will have the best and worst Bollywood actresses as their bahus.

    • Maya –

      Hmm agree to disagree about Adi? I just don’t like the style of their films, primarily since 2004-5 or so. Too much mind, not enough heart.

      So glad you agree re Matru and the Bahus! Both very unfair yaar! :)

  6. oh my god, the bollywood bahus section is side splittingly hilarious XD plus, just noticed how similar nargis and katrina are..the plump unnatural lips and that forehead and the accents :o
    superlative post, getfilmy!

    • Thanks Prerna – it boggles my mind why they continue with the botox when they’re still so young! With katrina I literally can’t tell if her face is always so expressionless or if she can’t move it because of the botox.

      • I find Kat’s face sad. I look at the fresh-faced naturalness of APKGK and the totally plastic face of today, and I feel truly sad that anyone felt the need to that to themselves. I also don’t get how anyone can get ragey or worse hateful, toward someone personally on the basis of performances, and I include interviews as performances.

        • Stuart,

          I think we get ragey because we can think of a 100 other actresses who would do far more justice to the roles she’s assigned. How irksome is it if every other big canvas Bollywood film has an actress in it who can’t speak Hindi or emote or act? No doubt Kat is a fine enough person in her personal life but I completely resent what she’s doing to the legacy of Hindi films.

        • ” I completely resent what she’s doing to the legacy of Hindi films.” That I understand, it’s the personalisation I find hard to grasp. Katrina exploited an anciently pre-existing obsession with fairness and a tenuous link to India for her personal gain, and did it with a ruthless singlemindedness that I find a bit scary, but is she *responsible* for the obsession with gori models? In the end, surely the people really to blame are the ones who make the decisions to cast such women? I don’t blame Kat, Nargis et al for taking advantage of opportunities to profit from directors’ market-driven cowardice.

          I used to really like Kat, but now I feel uncomfortable just looking at her because of what she’s done to her face. But it’s worked for her. Her willingness to turn her face into what I think is a plastic nightmare but which continues to draw raves about her beauty suggests that she understands what sells and gives the market what it wants.
          I don’t think she’s responsible damaging the legacy of Hindi films, I think she was the right face at the right time, and if it hadn’t been her, it would have been someone else. My personal reaction to her is similar to my opinion of Bebo, not someone I’d be likely to like IRL, but someone whose drive and determination I can admire.

          On a more positive note, the growing success of non-mainstream and smaller films is giving real actors more chances than they’ve had in a long time. That’s the other thing that makes it easier for me to accept the success of Kat and others in big blockbusters. I remain hopeful that Indian cinema is getting to be mature enough that female actors interested in really being actors will be able to make successful careers and get the recognition they deserve, even if (formerly) pretty faces snag most of the leads in the (inane) 100 Crore club.

        • You know what I think Kat is responsible for? HER DAMN CRAPPY ACTING and continuing to inflict it on the world. I think Stuart is right that both she and producers (and whoever else makes casting decisions) are exploiting the obsession for her kind of beauty, and the audience willingness to put up with “pretty but very limited talent,” for all it is worth and then some.

        • Exactly – the point being that there are reasons for the rageyness – some logical, some not so logical. I agree it’s not just Kat, it’s also the people who sign her, the moviegoers who applaud her beauty and accept her non-talent…

          I’m not sure what you mean by “personalisation” Stuart. I’ve seen you criticize SRK & KJo similarly in the past. You don’t like their personalities, and that extends into not liking their movies. I’m not sure how my ranting against Kat is all that different?

    • See, the thing is, Katrina has been in Bollywood for what, a decade now, and in my opinion, she acts marginally better than she did initially, but do you know what, it is still not good enough.

      It was reported that Katrina was the first choice for Illeana’s role in Barfi. Why do directors offer her films (aside for Box Office purposes)?

      It saddens me that the acting calibre of top actresses has dropped so low. I miss Madhuri’s heyday. Now, when an actress can lip-sync well, or not use someone else to dub her, we praise her.

  7. Not gonna lie, I would watch the shit out of a Balaji serial that involves Neetu as a plotting saans! But I think Neetu is down with Kaif (see JTHJ special appearance…looked like a “blessing” to me).
    Those pics of Nargis & Kat though….good God. LIPS!

  8. Hi, this is my first time on your blog. I loved your post. Especially with the nice balance of objective criticism of film journalism and the fangirl complaints towards the end (the bahu saga). Don’t mean to stereotype, but this post HAD to be written by a girl. ;)

  9. Hi, this is my first time on your blog. I loved your post. Especially with the nice balance of objective criticism of film journalism and the fangirl complaints towards the end (the bahu saga). Don’t mean to stereotype, but this post HAD to be written by a girl. ;)

    I can understand Bollywood mainstream hacks trashing MKBKM on twitter but for trade analysts to do that and completely misrepresent trade facts is more than a little worrying. They did the same to Dibakar’s last film, as you pointed out. Now I’m wondering if it’s just a temptation to bring down maverick film-makers or if they get instructions from their ‘bosses’ to specifically target a few films. After all, these are the same analysts who give exaggerated raves to the usual Bollywood crap.

    Onto the Dibakar-YRF deal, none of the people you mentioned (Pradeep Sarkar, Devika Bhagat, Ranveer, Ayushmann) had as good a standing among the general film-going public before going YRF’s way as Dibakar does. I’m still worried that they might ask him to go more mainstream (I’m quite hopeful Dibakar will never go total YRF, he seems far too maverick for that) but considering the forcibly added item songs in SHANGHAI, I’m not sure he wouldn’t be asked to do the same if he were to pick some other production house. As far as Dibakar goes, YRF is just as bad as any other major production house, methinks. We’ll have to wait and watch. Finger crossed.

    Deepika and Saif look like they are in a different, classy RACE movie than the rest of that cast. This *could* be fun, but I’m not going to find out.

    Acting talent apart, Ranbir seems like a total (closet) douche, so maybe Katrina and him deserve each other?

  10. I seem to have posted the same comment under both my online pseudonyms. Le Sigh!

    • Nidhi,

      LOL no problem. And thanks! I tend to be a little schizophrenic between fangirling and serious critiquing hehe.

      Who knows why trade analysts do what they do?

      Re YRF, they didn’t have a serious standing but I think they all had a unique style or voice that was not particularly a good fit for YRF. I think Devika’s the best example. I’m very curious to see how Dibakar fares but I think some degree of watering down his work is guaranteed.

  11. The sad bit about this whole Katrina thing is that when we look back at this particular era of Bollywood twenty years from now and realize that the top Hindi film actress – the successor to Hema, Rekha, Sridevi, Madhuri, and Rani – was a female who couldn’t speak the language, had limited acting skills and very little personality, and looked increasingly and frighteningly mannequin-esque. As I said earlier, I am less ragey about her now, since I liked her in ZNMD and JTHJ, but what bothers me is when good filmmakers cast her over scores of talented, beautiful women in meaty, dramatic, coveted roles that she clearly cannot handle yet. Can you imagine if they’d cast Tina Munim in Chaalbaaz? Or Neelam in Beta? It’s that sort of – I almost want to say injustice – of it all that rankles me. They’re asking her to play Madhubala, they’re selling her as this iconic beauty. Her good luck is clearly not her fault. But what bothers me, and plenty of people, I suspect, is that she rarely seems to be trying to be worthy of that success. Even Marilyn Monroe went to acting classes so that she could learn the craft after becoming a huge star, (never mind, for now, how the Strasbergs messed her up!) But is Katrina that much better at the language, at her craft, at grasping the nuances of the medium in which she works after almost five years of being one of the industry’s biggest stars? I am not sure she is. She’s cashing in, and no one can blame her for cashing in, but it’s a little disheartening to realize that the biggest female actor at a certain moment in Bollywood’s history is a woman who seems to have very little love for the movies and is ostensibly here to make her money and run after her time is up. I mean, good for Katrina – she is the most impressive long con that Bollywood has pulled off.
    (A lot of assumptions here, I know, but I’m working from what I’m seeing.)

    • Sal – 100% AGREE WITH EVERYTHING YOU SAID.

      “They’re asking her to play Madhubala” – heartbreak.

      And yes, very little love for the movies, particularly Hindi movies. The thing about Kat is she’s become very clinical about her work. She’s very disciplined, she does what she’s told – no one can fault her professionalism. But it seems to me to come from a very cold place, not a place of really loving Hindi films or even understanding them.

    • Very true mere bhai, very true.

  12. hehehhe “hijack our best films with their botoxed foreheads, duck lips, bad acting and crazy accents”

    PREACH SISTA! Keywords: DUCK LIPS! haha
    Two things:

    1) I LOVE Kat-Ranbir. I know that would potentially mean that Salman would be missing out on his last chance at marriage (he still seems stuck on Kat! Gosh, I wished he moved on) but Kat and Ranbir look SO fucking beautiful together. It’s ridic. I fully agree on the “ghar ka chirag” thing though. Have you heard of Katrina’s supposed history in the adult industry? There were some more than suspicious posts on Pinkvilla, with her posing with X-film producers and apparently her older sister was in some porn movies too. The Kapoors are TOO classy for a bahu with shady links like that!! haha :p

    2) I thought you were a YRF groupie like me! I thought YRF was back at it this year with Mujhse Fraandship, ETT and JTHJ. Hopefully with Goondey, Dhoom 3 (it’s got AAMIR!) and Aurangzeb they bounce back!
    Even Dharma had a rough patch, but wallahh! lol

    • Kavs –

      1) I am Team Deepika! Or should I say Team RanDeep? :p And don’t give me any more reasons to boycott Kat from Kapoor parivaar, tauba!

      2) Hehe, I should clarify, I think I’m just a YC groupie and a DDLJ groupie. But not a YRF groupie post-2000. Adi just bugs me yaar! ETT & JTHJ were not perfect films, and if not for the Khans I would’ve probably hated them. There’s just something very cold & calculated about his films that I don’t like. I AM looking forward to Gunday though!

  13. Get Filmy, I couldn’t reply in line, but my personalisation comment was not aimed at you. As I said on Twitter, your views on Kat are at the civil and rational end of the spectrum of those opposed to her. I was referring to the phenomenon of personalisation, the fact that many, many people do not make the distinction you do, and express their dislike of what Katrina represents as personal hatred of a woman they don’t know. I don’t like the persona that SRK and KJo (especially KJo) present, and that does colour my view of their films, although I’m happy to laud and recommend SRK films where I like his performance, but I try with them, as you do with Kat, to recognise that I know nothing about them as individuals. My comment about personalisation was referring to the trend of ignoring that fact, a trend that puzzles me.

    • Stuart –

      Understood. :)

      I think the personal hatred thing extends to everyone though, some people hate EVERYTHING SRK or Salman or PC or Bebo or whoever does, and it’s a personal, all-consuming hatred. I find these tend to be the younger tweeters/fans (some just in their teens) so I usually just ignore them like they don’t know what they’re talking about.

      PS- I changed the format of comments because WP was squeezing the text too much.

  14. Saif’s suit reminds me of that Seinfeld bit where Seinfeld asks why people get so excited about others complimenting their clothes.

    The problem with overdressing is that even if you look good, the clothes kind of hog all the credit.

    Katrina is an embarassment to India. She’s not even that hot.

  15. I had to control my laughter reading this post especially on the Bollywood Bahus. I mean, how did you even came up with this – Otherwise, I would so be rooting for Neetu ji to morph into an evil saans from a Balaji teleserial, plotting with Bebo to bring Deepika back into his life? This is so… I have to laugh again! Hahaha!!

    YRF is so blah nowadays. I personally feel they keep repeating their actors/actresses too much within the same period (Anushka, Ranveer) I lost interest in most of the films.

    • diwaniladki – hahaha, but isn’t a Balaji teleserial the answer to everything? ;-)

      Agree YRF is very repetitive, even when they make films with different stories & subjects, the treatment all seems the same to me.

  16. I took a screenshot of something I saw on IMDb that seems to nicely illustrate your point about MKBKM being sabotaged by press coverage that seemed to have been pre-determined to bad mouth the film. http://maxqnzs.com/bias.jpg

  17. lol at the bolly bahus…
    and the sunny poster.. that was Kangana?? when i saw it i thot it was genelia..

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