Tag Archive: mahesh bhatt

Supreeta Singh
Imran Zahid is the latest blue-eyed catch of the Mahesh Bhatt camp. The owner of a media academy in Delhi, Zahid’s Bollywood debut will see him playing the role of assassinated political leader Chandrashekhar Prasad in Bhatt’s next venture Chandu. The film is supposed to hit the floors next month and is scheduled for a late 2011 release. Excerpts from a telephonic conversation:

Tell us something about your background. How did acting happen?
I am originally from Jharkhand. I came to Delhi in 1996 to study at  Hindu College. As for acting, it came naturally to me. I was always   interested in acting. In fact, theatre is my passion. While In college, I acted in a lot of street plays and have also trained under veteran theatre director, Arvind Gaur. The whole idea of a nine to five job never appealed to me.

How did you bag this role?
I was in Dubai for a media workshop when I met Mahesh Bhatt. This was four years ago and our rapport grew over time. Mahesh Saab wanted a new face for the role of Chandrasekhar Prasad and he chose me. Although I have always wanted to be an actor, I could never allow myself to go begging for roles. So, when Mahesh Saab offered me this role, that too without even an audition, I had to grab it. Otherwise, I was happy running my media academy.

Chandrasekhar Prasad was a Marxist leader in Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) who was brutally shot in Bihar’s Siwan in 1997. How did you prepare for the role?
In recent years, there have been very few leaders with such charisma as Chandrasekhar Prasad. As I researched about him, I was impressed by his resolve to bring about social change in Bihar. Hailing from Jharkhand myself, I could immediately relate to him and his predicament. He was shot dead while delivering a speech in his native town, Siwan, and till date his murderers have not been brought to book. Cases like those of Jessica Lall and Priyadarshini Mattoo are freak accidents but there’s such hue and cry over them. On the contrary, Chandrasekhar’s death  was a deliberate attempt by some power clique, which has recieved no attention. Today, the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Shah Rukh Khan, and Sania Mirza are crowned youth icons. But Chandrasekhar is no less an iconic figure because he fought against all odds and gave up his own dreams for the cause of his state and country.

How are you preparing for the role?
Chandu is not a period film at all, as it is rooted in the current political scenario and that is what makes it different. It was only 14 years ago that Chandrasekhar Prasad was shot dead. His friends and relatives are still there. I often visit JNU and spend time with his friends and colleagues. The interesting thing is that the man still has a presence in the university. Students have not forgotten him. Besides, I am reading books on Communism and sifting through Prasad’s personal letters and writings to gain an insight into his psyche.

This is your first film and that too with Mahesh Bhatt.How is he as a person and as a director?
Mahesh Saab is the only person I am comfortable with in this industry. He is my friend, philosopher and guide. I was an ordinary person hailing from a small city. Can you imagine what I must be feeling now? I am indebted to him for giving me such a break. People are already talking about me. I am in the limelight. I have surrendered myself to Mahesh Saab. I will always follow his advice.


Film: Crook- It’s good to be bad
Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Neha Sharma, Arjan Bajwa, Gulshan Grover, Kavin Dave
Director: Mohit Suri
Rating: Average

Jaya Biswas

In his latest offing, Crook – It’good to be bad, director Mohit Suri picks up a raw, international issue — racism in Australia. Well, depiction of racism on the Hindi screen isn’t entirely new (I – Proud To Be An Indian explored the issue several years ago. Karan Johar too dealt with the subject in his last film My Name Is Khan). But a film like Crook… holds significance because the plight of Indian students in Australia continues to hit headlines.
The story revolves around Jai (Emraan Hashmi), who has a knack of getting into trouble. As Jai puts it, “It’s good to be bad”. His father was a gangster who wanted to reform, but was killed by the cops. Joseph (Gulshan Grover), a friend of his father takes him under his wings, educates him and when he catches Jai doing illegal things, he sends him to Australia to start his life afresh. 
Almost immediately after landing, Jai meets Suhani (Neha Sharma), an Indian Australian. While Suhani aims to unite Australians and Indians through her radio show, her elder brother Samarth (Arjan Bajwa) is convinced that Australians have no culture of their own and have one-point agenda of bringing Indians down. He says lines like “Main apne roots, culture aur sanskaron ke liye kisi ka bhi balidan de sakta hun.”
Jai finds accommodation with a group of youngsters headed by Gold with an ‘e’ Golde (Mashhoor Amrohi). Jai knows that if he can woo Suhani, he will eventually attain permanent residency by marrying her. Jai also flirts with Nicole, a stripper at a night club. However, her brother, Russel, is against Indians and attacks them. Jai finds himself torn in the heart of a racially disturbed city.
Known for high concept films, like suicide bombers in Dhoka, betting issue in Jannat, Bhatt brothers’ latest film Crook…, unfortunately, tackles the issue half-heartedly. The problem with Crook… is that the message somewhere gets lost in the process of tackling a love story. The first half seems to drag.
However, Crook… redeems itself in the second half, but it has more to do with Mohit Suri’s handling of the subject than the subject itself. The ordinary script doesn’t really provide him the wings to fly and Mohit surely is capable of doing better.
Pritam’s music is run of the mill. After listening to the first few songs, the album gets repetitive except for KK’s Tujhi Mein… Though the song is easy on the ears, it sounds a lot similar to Mere Bina. The peppy songs just go missing from the charts.
And this time around, the serial-kisser of Bollywood gets to do ‘much more’ than just smooching girls. Now, let that be a surprise for you. Like always, Emraan is a smooth performer. Neha Sharma is self-conscious, who looks thrilled to be around Emraan. Arjan Bajwa seems sour — as though he was pulled out of a coma without permission.  Kavin Dave, who plays the Punjabi geek, does a good job.
On the whole, Crook… has its moments, but they’re few and far between.

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