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'Kareena will sweep awards for Jab We Met'

December 31, 2007 17:14 IST
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Last week, scriptwriter-director Suparn Verma and resident film critic Raja Sen had an interesting chat with Rediff readers, discussing the year that was, at the movies. They were joined by our columnist Bolly Woods.

If you missed the fun, here's the second part of the chat transcript.

Don't Miss the first part: The year that was

deepak asked, Indian movies are getting worse year by year.
Raja Sen answers, Why would you say that? I think 2006 was a fantastic year for Indian cinema, tell me how you think 2004 or 2005 were better.

gauravs22 asked, Suparn...wats ur take on Sonu sood...remember him in YUVA
Suparn Verma answers, Good actor not getting interesting roles, but with all actors its a matter of time, they all evolve and come back in some film or the other

yes asked, I agree Quitter's inc can very well be adapted for India-centric context, especially to describe the cartels. My concern was on the thematic imbalance and the lack of direction in the highly talked about adaptation of the Anurag Kashyap's movie. Though I liked Black Friday, and so expected quite a lot from him, but No Smoking was an overkill! I am not criticizing Stephen King!
Raja Sen answers, I agree with you totally. on that note, what stephen king work would you really like to see adapted on the Indian screen? come on, that's a fun discussion.

Suparn Verma says, Bollywoods legally if paramount decided to take Manorama to court then the MSFU makers wouldn't have a floor to stanhd on in court as they have admitted its inspired by. You can chk with a lawyer he will tell u the same thing:)

yes asked, To Suparn and BollyWood: Third world doesnt top in CO2 or Aerosol emissions. The report that is being referred in a mere propaganda by the G 5 Countriea.
Bolly Woods answers, Yes: I agree, that is why I said Bush would be delighted :-)

yes asked, To Suparn and BollyWood: Third world doesnt top in CO2 or Aerosol emissions. The report that is being referred in a mere propaganda by the G 5 Countriea.
Suparn Verma answers, We have a conspiracy theorist with us. Welcome brother so say we all

Shatrughan asked, Raja Sen,You are one of my fav. critic along with Ranjan Bhardawaj and Masand. what are your favorite top 5 hindi movies of year 2007.
Raja Sen answers, Many thanks, Shatru. I've had a lot of trouble making my list and I promise you it will be up on Rediff soon -- but I'll save the surprises for when you read it, not give it away now. Anyway I'm accused of giving away too many spoilers ;)

Shatrughan asked, Hi Raja and Suparn, i want to ask why our bollywood is lacking of Intelligent movies and writers. why we are so fond of mediocrity????
Suparn Verma answers, I didn't know u went around conducting IQ tests without our writers and directors my friend:)

RajaSen asked, Raja Sen, this one is for you. Are you aspiring to win the National Award for the Best Critic?
Raja Sen answers, Are you 'aspiring to' give it to me, my friend with the great name?

Bolly Woods says, Suparn, I actually did check with a lawyer. The thing is, he also told me that if a movie is lifted frame for frame, as happens often, then even if you don't have an "inspired by" you don't have a leg to stand on anyways, which explains my concern. Was a time, we made our movies in a vacuum -- increasingly, the world outside takes notice. These last few months, every major, and some minor, movies we released have been reviewed on, for instance, sight and sound (and that mag consistently points out plagiarism). Just wondering when someone will get it in the neck.

Bolly Woods says, Suparn, while on 2008 -- anything you can tell us about your own upcoming movie projects, pal?

nirman asked, raja sen... i hope u must be reading ppls' abuse to u in ur each review column.. ha ha ha... i enjoy it..
Suparn Verma answers, Didn't you know Raja is into S&M. Glad you enjoy it too

yes asked, Though Chak De became a commercial success but as a film critic don't you think it is more like a snoop doggy dog version of "In a league of our own"?
Raja Sen answers, heh, don't you think a snoop dogg version would have more R-rated insanity? ;)

A still from Ek Khiladi Ek HaseenaSuparn Verma says, Bollywoods dong a film for White Feather which is a thriller and the animated version of Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena with a new storyline and new characters titled EKEH2.0

harishkashyap asked, Why don't thriller/suspense films work in India? Johnny Gaddar, Manorama Six Feet Under all flopped. I have personally loved "Samay", the Sushmita Sen starrer, in which she gave a fabulous performance, also flopped. Does Indian audience think once the suspense is out, there is no point in watching it.
Bolly Woods answers, Ooof -- I finally found a soul mate, was thinking I was the only one who liked Samay!

Arjun asked, Raja ji, While you give reviews on rediff, do u read the comments posted by viewers below ? Plz do this everytime.
Raja Sen answers, Yes arjun, I read all the comments, don't worry.

Suparn Verma says, Bollywoods the same lawyer will tell you all our hindi films will go scot free unless we admit they are inspired because under the Indian copyright law to be original they need to be 35% diff from the source matreial. So add 6 songs and 20 additional mins in a 80 min hollywood film and u have a original remake!

Bolly Woods says, Suparn: Oh wow! Now I see why those songs are there -- I always thought it was to spoil a perfectly good film beyond all recognition :-)

yes asked, To Suparn: I am sure you have read "The State of Fear" (Michael Crichton), though it is a fiction, but very close to the facts. I have seen Green Peace activists throwing lavish parties in the name of generating awaness on environmental issues. May be we can create a movie on similar lines.
Suparn Verma answers, Would be very interesting very politically incorrect but very interesting:) yes have read the book. Infact read the feature they did on Al Gore who has made his stand on the environment into a mega million dollar making venture by charging obscene amounts for his lectures

Raja Sen says, Just to change the topic for no apparent reason: I can't remember another year when one actress is so clearly a frontrunner -- Kareena Kapoor in JWM is the performance of the year, everyone thinks. What does it say for 2007 when it's hard to find five-six good mainstream leading heroine performances?

Suparn Verma says, Bollywood, the proof of the pie is in the footwork ;-)

A still from SaawariyaSamThomas asked, A hotel makes different foods, a store have different colored clothes as consumers' taste varies, why the critics like you want each and every movies should be in your taste, while the rest of the people has different taste. What makes you superior?
Bolly Woods answers, Sammy, here's the thing: papers and websites hire people, and ask them to do reviews among other things. That is the job; you do it as well as you can. No reviewer I have read has ever said he or she is superior to other reviewers or the janta for that matter -- it is a section of readers who, fuelled by this whole "who are you to dictate our tastes" thing, first foist superiority on the reviewer and then try to tear him or her down. Why not treat any review as just an indicator, and make up your own mind on whether you like a particular movie or not? Why does your appreciation have to agree with the reviewer's? And if it doesn't, what makes you right and the reviewer wrong, anyway?

harishkashyap asked, Don't you think Bollywood movies lacks dimensions? Indian cinema is still not willing to open up. I don't think if movies like Memento, Usual Suspects, Psycho, Rain Man, Taxi Driver, Departed, etc are remade in Hindi, they will definitely not work. Doesn't this mean Indian audience is still not at par with international audience?
Raja Sen answers, But why remake them at all, Harish? We make our own great films, our own Lage Raho and our own Parinda, our own Satya and our own Omkara.. why do we need to keep remaking these great films?

mushki_7 asked, Hello Suparn! I thought your last 'zindabad' article on PFC was nice. Have you seen Saawariya? And do you think SLB has done justice to the point you were trying to make?
Suparn Verma answers, Yes I have seen saawariya and my point in that column was simple let us appreciate cinema and filmmakers for every kind of movie the make and let us not deride each other for liking an OSO or not liking an OSO its a matter of individual taste.

RajaSen asked, Raja Sen, here's a suggestion. Most of the times in your review, you tend to use complex similies/analogies, something like Anurag Kashyap tries with his movies. Can you publish a legend along with that so that many readers can comprehend it?
Raja Sen answers, hehe. is that anurag? and okay, I'll keep that suggestion under advisement, I promise.

harishkashyap asked, Best actress is still a question. In fact, it is tough to pick one actress from "Metro" for a nomination. Everyone has done a good job there.
Suparn Verma answers, Kareena will sweep the awards for Jab We Met

Suparn Verma answers, yes same movie

nirman asked, Mr. Raja Sen.. do u remember u termed Bhool Bhulaiya as a crap movie!! now go to BoxOfficeIndia and see the gross collection... ha ha ha... r u writing reviews in a frustrative mood or what.. we need clarification
Raja Sen answers, nirman, I have nothing against successful movies. I just don't believe that making crores of money makes them automatically good. No matter how successful they are, I won't applaud a Fanaa or a Heyy Babyy or a Vivah.

yes asked, To Raja and BollyWood: those of who are discussing on the issue of SLV's inspiration of White Nights (Dostoevsky, actually not!), a pointer to you all: SLV's "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam" was a complete lift from "Nahannatey" a Bengali novel (more of an autobiography) by Maitri Devi. Surprisingly, nobody ever raised a voice for plagiarism against Sanjay at that time!
Bolly Woods answers, Thanks, pal, be interesting to see if there is a translated version of this book. Will check

RajaSen asked, Raja Sen, why don't you bother to answer to your comments to the people who care to comment on them. I agree that most of them cuss you, but you may find a couple of them which actually makes sense. what say?
Raja Sen answers, I do actually answer readers who comment on my blog on rediff: . do stay in touch.

kailash asked, which according to you was the best song of the year
Suparn Verma answers, MA from Taare Zameen Par and Jaage Hain from Guru

harishkashyap asked, One thing still puzzles me. Academy Awards has a special category for "Best Adapted Screenplay". India has so many good writers and so many good novels. But, our industry is still not adapting good novels into movies? Why?
Raja Sen answers, I think we are doing it now. Vishal's adaptation of Ruskin Bond's short story Blue Umbrella is a great starting point. And our regional cinema has always adapted local literature for the screen.

harishkashyap asked, One thing still puzzles me. Academy Awards has a special category for "Best Adapted Screenplay". India has so many good writers and so many good novels. But, our industry is still not adapting good novels into movies? Why?
Bolly Woods answers, Because we prefer to watch DVDs looking for plots, than to actually pick up a book and read? Seriously, maybe the answer is actually that simple.

mushki_7 asked, Thanks, Suparn for your answer and I agree with whatever you said. To everyone: Do you think that Shilpa Shukla (Bindiya Naik, Chak De India)delivered the best female performance this year? IMO, she's the best this year (when we are not taking stardom into the account). Obviosly, Kareena is a very strong contender. I also appreciated Tabu in The Namesake.
Raja Sen answers, Actually thanks for bringing up Shilpa, she really did a great job. I liked Tabu in Cheeni Kum as well. Another name you might have overlooked was Konkona Sensharma in Life In A Metro.

Aarush asked, Sarika and Naseer were good in Parzania. The film was good. It should get a critic award.
Suparn Verma answers, It will be a toss up between Parzania and Black Friday

nirman asked, Raja sen, will u like to review tamil movies ? i will appreciate u...
Raja Sen answers, Nirman, I would love to review Tamil movies but the problem is twofold: staying in Bombay only the really big releases get released here, and more importantly, I very rarely get good DVDs with english subtitles. I would really appreciate any help in this regard.

SamThomas asked, Thanks "Bolly Woods". Most of the times Rediff reviews looks like its written to show the taste of the critic, not a review of a film. That why I asked. One more nature of the critics' is they do not like films that are loved by mass. And another question. Why the filmfare awards mentioned as India's equivalent to Oscars. Its just an award based on votes of fans.
Bolly Woods answers, Um, I can call myself the answer to Paris Hilton, doesn't make me one. We hype everything, and the Filmfare awards are no exception. Personally, I find it offensive when the function constantly talks of "Indian movies" but honors only Hindi movies, contenting itself with another function, another time, for other regions. About the other, that is the problem with perception: you read something and reckon, shoot, the guy is just showing off his taste, erudition, vocabulary, whatever. And that colors your reading. Why is it so difficult to just believe that critics are basically people doing their job to the best of their abilities? Producers and directors and actors are not infallible -- every movie they make, they hope is going to be a hit. And yet they flop. Why do we insist on infallibility in our critics then?

Shatrughan asked, One more question for both Raja and Suparn, who will be your choice as director if you are financing a movie from you r whole life saving ( condition is budget will be not more than 5 crore RS.) Waise my choice will be shriram Raghwan :)
Suparn Verma answers, If I was investing all my money into a film I would direct it myself :)

amitabhbachchan asked, mr sen everyone seems to have written off amitabh bachchan but don't you think he was superb in Nishabd?
Raja Sen answers, oh, absolutely. it was a truly brilliant performance, and nobody can write off amitabh bachchan. I also felt he was superb in eklavya. I think the only reason that isn't being talked about much is because the films didn't do well.

Popa asked, Why comedy is flavour of the season?
Suparn Verma answers, Always has been because end of the day when u pay for a ticket and if I can make u laugh, then the price was worth it

RajaSen asked, Bolly Woods, I read your first article on rediff, the one where you mentioned something like 'Are critics retard'. Excuse me for not remembering correctly coz I had dozed off while reading it. But there you mentioned that you won't review a movie, and next week we found a review by you.
Bolly Woods answers, Raja Sen: Really? You must be today's equivalent of Columbus, went looking for something and found something else. I have not done a review on Rediff. If you mean that piece on Saawariya, then we have problems -- that was clearly an impressionistic piece, and I said at the outset that it was NOT a review, so why do you persist in the erroneous notion that it was?

Javed asked, how do u rate partner music?
Suparn Verma answers, Dhamaal would be the word wouldn't u say so?

RajaSen asked, Bolly Woods, I read your first article on rediff, the one where you mentioned something like 'Are critics retard'. Excuse me for not remembering correctly coz I had dozed off while reading it. But there you mentioned that you won't review a movie, and next week we found a review by you.
Bolly Woods answers, Actually, Raja, if you had managed to stay awake while reading (it was not my first article on Rediff by the way), you would have noticed where it says it is not a review. I know how it feels -- as a kid I used to fall asleep over my books, and ended up looking silly a whole lot of the time. :-)

A still from IChak De! India/Imushki_7 asked, Yeah, Raja. I missed it. Just for fun's sake, please imagine what will happen if Bollywood attempts to plagiarize a film like, say, Schindler's List. Can't imagine! Maybe it will share its fate with a recently released Bollywood movie which *adapted* White Nights.
Raja Sen answers, Hmmm. I think a fun piece is in order. Thanks for the idea, maybe I'll scribble something down soon :)

Jai asked, Suparn.... can't u write some original scripts...???
Suparn Verma answers, Out off the 7 I have written 5 were original my friend

milind asked, is akshay kumar strong nominy for filmfare award of 2007?
Suparn Verma answers, They already showed that in OSO:)

RahulR asked, Raja Sen, do you pick up only questions of your choice? Being a critic you should be ready to accept criticisms.
Raja Sen answers, Sure, but questions are indicative of the conversations they'll lead to and I accept all the criticism on msgboards anyway, and was looking forward to a good chat on 2007 cinema here instead of the usual raja-bashing. That's an everyday thing, isn't it? :)

nirman asked, BollWoods... why u r not logged in with ur real name ? pls make the discussion transperant...
Bolly Woods answers, You mean, like ideaunique, mac, hunkee, yogi, om shint om and such? People have attained enduring fame writing under assumed names, why should I not write a mere column under one?

RajaSen asked, Bolly Woods, maybe it was your first article on rediff with a new alias.
Bolly Woods answers, No, Raja, that is a weak comeback and you know it. Try again.

Shatrughan asked, okie good answer Dudes :),Same question with different condition... who will be your choice as director if you are financing a movie from you r whole life saving ( condition is budget will be not more than 5 crore RS. and you can not direct it :D)
Raja Sen answers, Can I write it at least? I'd love for Vishal Bhardwaj to make it for me.

nirman asked, will Hritik roshan spread again his magic in Jodha Akbar ? Whats ur views Mr. Raja Sen and Suparn Verma ?
Suparn Verma answers, More than Hrithik Jodhaa Akbar is a Austosh Gowariker film for me than that is something I'm keenly looking forward

Bolly Woods says, Ah, this was supposed to be till 5, and we kind of overshot the time, apparently. I'm out of here -- take care all, here's to a great 2008, and bring your popcorn.

nirman asked, will Hritik roshan spread again his magic in Jodha Akbar ? Whats ur views Mr. Raja Sen and Suparn Verma ? Raja Sen answers, I sincerely hope the Hrithik-Ashutosh combo works wonders. Given what he did with Aamir and Shah Rukh, there is the possibility this would be one of HR's best performances.

Suparn Verma says, Happy new year everyone. Ciao

RajaSen asked, Oh ok. So the 'peice' on Saawariya was not a 'review'. Hmmm!!! That's the power of literature. You can review something and call it impressionistic piece but still give the readers an idea that it was a review. Good job Bolly Woods. You managed to deceive me.
Bolly Woods answers, No, Mr Sen, I dont have to give an "idea" to anyone about what it was. Not only did I state that it wasn't intended as a review, I did not do anything you are expected to -- there was no story synopsis, no analysis, no notes on acting and direction and other technical aspects. I riffed on the more ludicrous aspects of the film -- to have "deceived" you is an unlooked for bonus, I guess. Here's to 2008, pal, over and out.

amitabhbachchan asked, raja which is your one favourite amitabh performance?
Raja Sen answers, it's hard to pick just one, but I'll have to say Chupke Chupke! I think that's a phenomenal acting job, with him at his most natural :)

RajaSen asked, OK, BollyWoods, maybe before that article of yours, none of them interested me enough to make me look at the author's name ;) How's that for a comeback?
Bolly Woods answers, Still weak, because you convert your "lack of interest" into a "fact" when you say that is the first article I wrote, instead of the first article you noticed. Will that do by way of riposte to your riposte, mate? Seriously, I could do this all evening, but have to cook dinner for hubby and hungry kids. C ya later. :-)

Raja Sen says, Alright people. I know you enjoyed your rajabashing but it really was a fun chat. Thanks for coming, and thanks to Suparn and Bolly for joining us. See you all again soon, and here's hoping for some great cinema in 2008! Cheers!

mushki_7 asked, Raja, to be frank, I LOVE your reviews. Irrespective of your *judgement* on the films, I admire your *critique*. Though I didn't like Eklavya as a *movie*, I LOVED your review. IMO, Eklavya was more of a set of abstract ideas and brilliant visuals woven very loosely. It was full with gimmicks of Shakespeare, Vedas et al. I was blown away by the concept, visuals, cinematic idioms and to an extent, execution. But I was left unsatisfied by the movie. What's your say on that? I completely respect your views. Waiting to hear from you.
Raja Sen answers, You know, I agree the style overwhelmed the substance.. and there wasn't much meat to the story. But visually, it's the single most sophisticated thing I've seen in a long time, and it made my jaw drop. That's why I called it a flawed masterpiece. Off now, join the blog at and stay in touch ALL OF YOU, cheers and here's to a great 2008.

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