First Cut
  • Konkona Sen SharmaClad in a grey cotton saree Konkona Sen Sharma looks completely poised as she takes on questions about her forthcoming film ‘Ek Thi Daayan’. As we settle down for a quick chat in a dimly lit auditorium, Konkona talks about playing wicked for the first time and how it is to balance motherhood and acting.

    Excerpts from the interview:

    Q. You are doing a Hindi film after a two-year break. Isn’t ‘Ek Thi Daayan’ an unusual choice?

    A. From my point of view, it was very hard to say no to this film because the original short story was written by my dad (which was just a 3 page story, it’s the essence of the film) and also there is Vishal Bharadwaj. Which actress wouldn’t want to work with Vishal Bharadwaj? I have worked with him before and I really like his sensibility. And Balaji is producing this film; as far as scary movies are concerned they have done ‘Ragini MMS’ which has been quite successful in terms of horror. And then there is Huma, Kalki and Emraan. So I think altogether it was a

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  • Ali Zafar and Aditi Rao Hydari in LPNYThere was a time when casual sex was a complete no-no in Bollywood. Remember the scene in 'Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge' (1995) where Raj (Shah Rukh) had to give Simran (Kajol) a long monologue on 'hindustan ladki ki izzat' after he had joked that there might have been a night of drunken lovemaking between them.

    In 'Hum Tum' (2004), Karan (Saif Ali Khan) had to quickly propose marriage after a night of passion with Rhea (Rani Mukherji). Karan felt that was the right thing to do since they had inadvertently ended up in bed after an emotional outburst. Fortunately, Rhea turns down the proposal on the ground that only love should be the reason for such a big commitment. Well, Karan was only following the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) — remember, according to 'hindustani sabhyata' you wed and then you bed or you only bed who you will eventually wed.

    More recently, in 'Band Baaja Baraat' (2010), while the morning after was awkward between Bittoo (Ranveer) and Shruti (Anushka), there

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  • Bollywood love storiesCan Bollywood handle a complicated heart? As far as love stories are concerned, with a few exceptions, Bollywood usually loves to play it simple. Some of our favourite Bollywood romances follow an uncomplicated plot, a predictable conflict and a simplistic resolution.

    Whether it was K. Asif's 'Mughal-e-Azam', Raj Kapoor's 'Bobby', Mansoor Khan's 'Qayamat Se Qayamet Tak' or Aditya Chopra's 'Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge', parents have always been responsible for the conflict. The resolution has therefore been simple; rebel and elope or convince the parents that you were always the right choice.

    Photos: Top 10 onscreen kisses

    If only matters of the heart had such easy resolution. Only a select few filmmakers have dared to dabble in more complex issues. Vijay Anand's 'Guide' for example, dealt with an unusual premise, where a guide falls in love with a unhappily married woman; while she manages to walk out on her marriage, her new relationship becomes complicated and unhappy.

    Photos:

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  • Vidya's different avatarsBollywood actors make headlines for various reasons- Shah Rukh's slap is right now flashing on every news channel, Kareena's size-zero created such a buzz that her dietician is still minting money with her perfect weight loss formula, Deepika and the men in her life always make news.

    However, Vidya Balan is making news for completely different reasons. Not only has she picked up the Best Actress trophy at various award functions this year, her Filmfare this time is her third consecutive one. After 'Paa' and 'Ishqiya', Vidya as the overtly sexual Silk Smitha in 'The Dirty Picture' has made everyone sit-up and take notice.

    From Lolita in 'Parineeta' to Sabrina Lal in 'No One Killed Jessica', Vidya has managed to play a whole lot of different roles. And if the promotions of 'Kahaani' are anything to go by, this year we'll have another power packed performance by the Ooh la la girl.

    Is Vidya then the strongest female actor we have? Is she way ahead of Kareena and Priyanka as far as acting

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  • Hrithik in AgneepathHrithik had to be cajoled by Karan Johar to accept the role of Vijay Deenanath Chauhan in Agneepath. Hrithik's contention was that he doesn't like working in remakes, especially if it's a classic and he was expected to step into the shoes of Big B. Why remake a classic and spoil it's sanctity was his question?

    Does Hrithik really hate remakes or is he scared to take a risk? A quick look at his filmography will prove that Duggu is better at romantic roles than the action ones. It's been a while since Hrithik has given a big hit, even in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara the credits had to be shared. Taking on a role which was made iconic by Amitabh Bachchan is a big task. Not only will there be inevitable comparison between the two but Hrithik has to deliver as the angry young man which is clearly not his comfort zone.

    At this point in Hrithik's career is it a smart move? Or is it too big a risk?

    Share your views/comments with us on Facebook and Twitter.

    You can also connect with me on Twitter.

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  • Ranveer: The con manBollywood handles love stories well but somehow when it comes to other genres something goes amiss. We are not good at handling adult themes, our action films become clichéd revenge sagas and we definitely don't do horror well. When it comes to con jobs, I can think of only a few films that make for a fun watch, probably the ones that would make it to my list are 'Bunty and Babli', 'Bluffmaster' and 'Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye'.

    This Friday, Maneesh Sharma's 'Ladies vs Ricky Bahl' hits the theatres. Can Ranveer and Anushka charm the audience with their con job?

    Watch videos: Ranveer and Anushka's con job


    What's your favourite Bollywood con film?

    Share your views/comments with us on Facebook and Twitter.

    You can also connect with me on Twitter.

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  • Vidya Balan'The Dirty Picture' managed to create ample pre-release buzz thanks to a voluptuous Vidya in the lead and a storyline inspired by Silk Smitha, who was known for her overt sexuality. Milan Luthria's film stands out not only for the bold theme but for Vidya's 'bomblaat' performance.

    Raja Sen in his review writes about Vidya's performance:

    Balan exultantly runs with it, making the character her own with remarkable commitment to the role. There is no vulgarity -- even when she writhes awkwardly and desperately around a whip -- simply because Balan visibly chooses to have a helluva time. She might not match the legend whose name she's borrowed in terms of sheer screen raunch, but outdoes her with an assault of unashamed oomph. Vanity is disregarded early on as we see the actress' paunch rolling over her waistline, even when she's at her hottest, and later, as her gut barrels out of shape and yet she continues to wear midriff-baring tops, we see just how defiantly unapologetic she is.

    While

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  • ParineetaVidya's decision to do Silk Smitha's role has raised quite a few eyebrows. However, before we question her real reason to do 'The Dirty Picture', let's take a look at her credentials as an actor.

    Vidya was noticed in her very first outing on the silver screen. As Lolita in 'Parineeta', Vidya brought a rare charm back to Bollywood, reminiscent of the allure of some of the yesteryear heroines. Her restrained and sensitive portrayal impressed both critics and viewers. Vidya managed to hold her own in a film that boasted of biggies like Sanjay Dutt and Saif Ali Khan.

    Bhool BhulaiyaHer next memorable outing was in Priyadarshan's 'Bhool Bhulaiya'. Vidya played the role of Avni who suffered from a psychiatric condition called Dissociative Identity Disorder. Vidya was at her histrionic best playing duel personalities of the sophisticated Avni during the day and the Bengali dancer Manjulika at night.

    PaaVidya's performance in 'Paa' as a single mom of a child suffering from a rare genetic condition called

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  • RockstarOut beyond ideas of wrongdoing
    and rightdoing there is a field…
    I'll meet you there.

    Rumi.

    The film begins and ends with these lines. Imtiaz Ali's 'Rockstar' is a passionate ride, an emotional high that only a passion for music and intense love can evoke. He blends these two to make a film about emotions that do not follow the diktats of logic. Falling in love is easy; it's only the technicalities of the relationship that makes things difficult. But sometimes even falling in love is difficult; we end up questioning our feelings. Conflicting emotions, unrequited love coupled with pangs of guilt cause a restlessness that becomes unbearable.

    Ranbir as the anguished and disturbed rockstar does a commendable job. The character's aggression does not stem from his arrogance but from the internal turmoil that's burning him. Ranbir has indeed come a long way from his first 'towel dance' in 'Saawariya'. It's something to conceive a character like that on paper but the brilliant execution of such

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  • Ranbir Kapoor in RockstarImtiaz Ali's romantic comedies were a breath of fresh air. Viewers were saturated with frothy love stories doled out by the Yashraj and Dharma camps that had a generous overdose of mush. Films like 'Socha Na Tha' had a premise and characters that the audience could easily relate to. Ali scored with 'Jab We Met', Kareena's character Geet was one of the most endearing characters we had seen in a long time. While 'Love Aaj Kal' wasn't as big a hit but the story and music worked for hopeless romantics.

    Can Ali recreate the magic? Initial response to the film's promos seems to suggest that Ranbir can really not be convincing as the anguished 'Rockstar'. Some also say that his performance looks forced especially in the song 'Sadda Haq'.

    Ranbir managed to surprise us in 'Rajneeti', pulling off an intense role with ease after having essayed only romantic ones before. Can he do the same with 'Rockstar'? Let's hope so, we would hate to be disappointed.

    Share your views/comments with us. You can

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