Sunday, September 27, 2009

Casting Ouch!

Rakhi Sawant has decided to play Mother Mary, in a new series based on the Bible, that is soon to premiere on television. I was shocked to hear of this and was wondering as to which poor soul could even think of even casting her as Mother Mary. Then I realise that Rakhi is producing the programme herself. She never ceases to wonder...!

This is a very good way of getting yourself noticed... Even I want to produce a TV soap now! I've got a few scripts in mind. And as I've learnt a valuable lesson from Ms./Mrs. (She changes her mind about marriage as swiftly as her clothes! [which anyway shouldn't take much time, considering the amount of clothes she wears!]) Sawant, I now know that casting is of utmost importance. So here goes my wish list for my serial(s)...

A TV adaptation of Devdas: Starring Salman Khan as Devdas who drives two girls mad behind him and then after drinking drives over innocent pedestrians. Paris Hilton will do Paro's role. It will be a tough assignment for her, considering she has to be a demure personality in it. Rakhi Sawant as Chandramukhi... Come on, she's the reigning dancing queen. And then, just imagine the face off between Hilton and Rakhi! I'm suddenly feeling sorry for Salman. Also to give company to Devdas will be Chunnilal's character played by Christiano Ronaldo. The end of the film will also change a little with Chunnilal's character running off with Paro. Casting coup!

A Hindi TV adaptation of Batman: Starring Bobby Darling as Batman/Bruce Wayne. I can already see the bouquets coming out! ::Thank you, thank you:: Anu Malik as Alfred. He has the brooding silence that is necessary for this role. Plus he adds one more facet to Alfred - that of incessantly quoting shayaris. Imagine Alfred saying: (Arz Hain) ::clearing throat, but not to much effect:: Batman is one of a kind, he puts fear in our hearts (repeat once more) He shall clear the city now, even of my dirty farts! Waah waah, kya baat hain! Our very own Raj Thackeray will play the award winning role of The Joker. He will then insist that the show be made in Marathi with the technicians, back-up artists, etc. too being sons of the soil. A hit!

A TV adaptation of Rock On!!: Himesh Reshammiya as the lead singer Aditya Shroff. He will also compose the music for the soap with the lead single being lifted from the title track of the film 'School of Rock'. Also to give competition to Farhan Akhtar, Himesh will sing all the 23 songs of the soap. Harman Baweja will enact guitarist Joe Mascarenhas. This is solely due to his picturisation in the song Jao Na from 'What's Your Rashee?' in which he plays the guitar so well. Dev Patel will play keyboardist Rob's role while Freida Pinto will play drummer KD's role. (Yay! Female Drummer!) The soap will be a big hit because of a) the music and b) Dev & Freida's pairing. Besides Freida will break up with Dev during the course of shooting and start going around with Himesh. Bad luck, Harman and Dev!

A Hindi TV adaptation of Romeo and Juliet: Starring Saif Ali Khan as Romeo and ::drumroll:: Kareena Kapoor as Juliet (You expected anyone else in that role? Saif wouldn't let that happen!). Kanye West will play the crazy character of Mercutio as only he can rap and talk and make senseless allegations at the same time. (Then later on at the Emmy Awards, when Anu Malik is receiving his award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Batman, Kanye will run upon stage, make baseless allegations saying that Christiano Ronaldo deserved the award more [because of which Anu Malik will cry "racial discrimination"] and run away with the award.) Shahid Kapur will play the role of the villain Tybalt - Juliet's brother as he hates Romeo and and doesn't want Juliet to get married to him. In the course of shooting Kareena will break up with Saif and run away with Kanye. Apparently she wasn't satisfied with romancing Sylvester Stallone in Kambhakht Ishk. Saif and Shahid will then become chaddi buddies and sing Golddigger "She take my money, well I'm in need. Yeah she's a triflin' friend indeed. Oh she's a gold digger way over time, That digs on me" in memory of their ex-girlfriend. Superhit!

Last but not the least, after producing four soaps for television, I shall move on to the 70mm with a screen adaptation of Indian and world politics. It will be called Rajniti. (Can Raj Thackeray sue me for this? By the way, Prakash Jha will not be able to sue me over the title because my title is spelt Rajniti while his is spelt Rajneeti) Sherlyn Chopra will play the role of Sonia Gandhi while Amitabh Bachchan, after getting inspired by Ranbir Kapoor, Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan (ouch!) and Saif Ali Khan, will sport a turban to play Manmohan Singh's character. Shah Rukh Khan will play Osama Bin Laden for which he'll have to go on an express diet and become anorexic. Akon will play Barack Obama while his wife Michelle Obama will be portrayed by Aishwarya Rai. Boman Irani will play George Bush's character - a person much needed as a comic relief in this emotional and high voltage drama. Ranbir Kapoor will play French President Nicolas Sarkozy while Deepika Padukone will play his bikini-totting wife Carla Bruni and will provide the romantic angle in this film. Aamir Khan and Farhan Akhtar will make guest appearances in the film as Raj Thackeray and his new politics boy Sachin Tendulkar respectively. Wallah!

I wanted Jackie Chan as some Chinese politico but I don't think he'll be having free dates. No worries! I'll cast him for my next film on Indian football as Bhaichung Bhutia. Hopefully my soaps and films will be successful. I also hope that some of the actors go on to win big awards at the international level (::sniff sniff::) and pray that Aamir Khan attends the awards ceremony. Till next time then, dream on!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Titanic Inspired...

A few days back I received an sms from a friend. You must've read it before.

"Rajnikanth is remaking Titanic with some changes. In the end, he doesn't die but swims across the ocean... With the heroine in one hand and the Titanic in the other..."

Well I did laugh at the foolishness of this message. At the same time it set me thinking... Is the quality of films in India still so bad?

I don't think so. OK, I know that there are many nonsensical films that come out every year and still manage to recover its costs. Few recent examples are Welcome, Singhh Iss Kingg, ChandniChowk To China, Kambhakth Ishk, Tashan, etc... (Is it a coincidence that all films mentioned above are AK films?) But besides this the Indian film industry has come out with many gems. A few recent ones would be Taare Zameen Par (unplagiarised, so arty yet so commercial. Hats off to Aamir Khan!), Dev.D, Luck By Chance, Johnny Gaddaar (film noir arrives in Hindi films, albeit silently), Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Naa, Rock On!!, A Wednesday and more recently Kaminey (film noir arrives with a bang!) Whew! That's a long list of good films.

Some might argue that if our films are so good then how come it never wins (or sometimes even nominated for) the Oscars. Well people need to understand that there's a huge cultural difference in the West and in India. People in the West do not view the film from the same perspective that we do. People might not have understood the concept behind TZP just because dyslexic children may not be treated so badly there while for us in India, people are still not aware about it... Similar is the case with A Wednesday... In the US and the UK, anti terrorism laws are in place while being very stringent unlike the laws here in India... The audience there will not understand the angst and helplessness among the people of India who are fed up with the constant inactivity on the part of the government...

The script is finally getting top billing in India. We can see the trend with the flop list I've mentioned above... But at the same time actors, or rather stars, are totally necessary in a country like ours. Lagaan or TZP would not have been successful without Aamir Khan's name attached to it. Neither would have Chak De India without Shah Rukh Khan or Love Aaj Kal without Saif Ali Khan.

I'm looking forward to some more script-strenghtened films in the future from the Hindi stable. Wake Up Sid, 3 Idiots, Kites, My Name Is Khan, Delhi Belly are just a few...

Now I revert back to that sms joke. After I read that sms, I also began wondering what would be the actual story of Titanic if it was remade in India. Well I went into daydreaming mode and came up with a good script. (Mind you, this is copyrighted by me!) In keeping with the habit of Indian directors to plagiarise from other films, I too have done the same.

The film starts with a cruise ship called the Tata-nic making its maiden voyage from Karachi to Bombay. On board are 4456 (exactly the double of Titanic) passengers including the crew. This is the first of its kind ship started by the two neighbouring countries to promote peace and harmony. The ship is packed to its brims just like the local trains of Bombay.

On board the ship are 2 twin brothers (Kaminey) named Jackie and Charlie (played by Imran Khan), who are actually terrorists with a suitcase that contains a bomb. They fall in love with a girl called Rosy (played by Deepika Padukone) who happens to be the Indian Prime Minister's daughter. One night at the dinner party on the ship, both the twins get drunk and wake up directly the next morning all woozy, and not being able to recollect the happenings of the previous night. (The Hangover) The suitcase is missing from their room and they start searching frantically for it. At the same time a pirate ship attacks the Tata-nic (Pirates of the Caribbean, only here it's more like Pirates of the Arabian!) The pirates, headed by Captain Jackie Crow (played by Hrithik Roshan), start ransacking the entire ship during which they find the suitcase. They are about to open it when Rosy gets her sten-gun out n starts firing at the pirates (Kaminey). The twins rush to help her and eventually the ship is saved.

Rosy then tells them that the suitcase was in her room the previous night. The twins start wondering as to how it landed there when Rosy tells that she had sexual intercourse with Jackie the previous night. Both the twins are startled and start worrying as they were not supposed to do anything else on the ship besides planting the bomb. Charlie is shocked that his brother could go to such an extent. Meanwhile Rosy's brother, D(h)ope, (played by Saif Ali Khan) overhears everything and goes into fight mode. In the bargain the suitcase falls into one of the pipes and it blasts. The people start panicking.

During this time both the twins have gone through a change of heart and try helping people. Rosy is distraught to know that her lover is a terrorist. (New York) Dhope is still on a killing spree and he injures Jackie. Charlie comes and shoots him. Rosy is further pushed to tears but she decides that she must support her lover in his time of need and not her brother. (Romeo And Juliet) Jackie is losing blood profusely while Charlie and Rosy try to help him. Jackie knows he's about to die and so entrusts Rosy to Charlie's care (Kal Ho Naa Ho) while saying, "Woman, behold your lover." (Biblical Allusion)

The ship is sinking in full swing. Meanwhile the ship's authorities are trying to rescue the people in order of caste and wealth, while taking a bribe from then at the same time. Lots were also being cast for the weak lifeboats. (Biblical Allusion) So the politicians, diplomats and landlords are already being put down in the lifeboats. The ship breaks into half (like a KitKat) with the lights flickering at first and then totally dimming. Charlie and Rosy hold on to the railings of the ship while the ship gets pulled in. Charlie instructs Rosy to hold her breath and start swimming, which they eventually do. But alas! the Tata-nic sinks and with it, pulls all the other people and the lifeboats due to its suction power. Miraculously one weak lifeboat is left, with the bribe money in it, in which our couple get onto. The couple float in the lifeboat for days without food or drinking water during which Charlie says, "Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink." (From the poem 'The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner' by S. Coleridge)

Eventually they see land and quickly swim towards it. They find out that it is a deserted island. (The Lord Of The Flies, Castaway, Madagascar). They roam around building a shelter and exploring the island while also making love to each other. (The Blue Lagoon) And thus they live happily ever after with 1 kid who turns green due to the extreme climate on the island. (Shrek)