Monday, May 18, 2009

BigB Prakash Mehra used to call me Lalla

Prakash Mehra used to call me 'Lalla': Big B

Mumbai, May 18 (IANS) Filmmaker Prakash Mehra's death filled megastar Amitabh Bachchan with memories of the man who lovingly called him 'Lalla' and gave him his first hit "Zanjeer".

The actor says that Mehra was a "true mark of excellence".

"An entire era of cinema and my association with him passed away with him," Amitabh posted on his blog Monday.

Earlier, Amitabh went to visit Mehra at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, where the latter was admitted due to prolonged illness. The prolific filmmaker passed away at the hospital Sunday. He was 69.

"He was repairing well in hospital and was to be removed from the ICU to a general room. A sudden infection resulted in multiple organ failure and he breathed his last," Amitabh wrote.

Amitabh recalled the "long, fruitful and incredible period of his remarkable films" that the filmmaker did with him.

"His first meeting with me at RajKamal studio where he had come to cast me in 'Zanjeer' in 1971 right through to the mid 80's, year after year of unbelievable successes - 'Zanjeer', 'Hera Pheri', 'Khoon Paseena', 'Laawaris', 'Muqaddar Ka Sikander', 'Sharabi', 'Namak Halal'. What a huge bank of amazing films, right down to his last with me, 'Jaadugar'. The only one that did not work.

"I still remember his phone call to me in Bangalore after the release. ?Lalla', as he endearingly called me ?gadbad ho gayee hai!' (things have gone wrong) he said. (He was) honest and straight. He had always maintained that the day I cannot make a successful film with you I shall stop working with you. He never did anything after 'Jaadugar'," he added.

Amitabh acknowledges the fact that Mehra offered him some of the most challenging roles he has done in his career.

"A writer, a lyricist, a musician, he added all these qualities to his creativity behind the camera and gave me some of my most challenging roles. A simple man who had the capacity to narrate great stories through the medium of cinema in the most simple manner. His films have lived longer than him. (He was) a true mark of excellence," said Amitabh.

BigB Abhishek in French director film

Big B, Abhishek in French director's film?
By Saibal Chatterjee

Cannes, May 18 (IANS) French director Jan Kounen, whose latest film will be screened on the closing night of the 62nd Cannes Film Festival, is headed to India for his next project that may star Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan in the main leads.

Paris-based Manuel de la Roche, the producer of the proposed film, "The Secret History of the Dalai Lamas", has Amitabh and Abhishek on his wish list and hopes to pull off a casting coup.

The father-son duo were earlier seen together in the Bollywood movies "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna" and the "Sarkar" series. Their next is R. Balakrishnan's "Pa".

"The film will trace the history of the Dalai Lamas all the way from the 14th century. It will blend dramatised re-enactments involving the earlier incarnations with excerpts from an interview with the current Dalai Lama," de la Roche told IANS.

He also indicated that the producers would soon be approaching both Amitabh and Abhishek with acting offers for the upcoming production.

"We are very keen to cast the father and son duo in key roles in the film. Sharon Stone (who is a practising Tibetan Buddhist) will step in as the narrator, while Hollywood star Richard Gere will also be involved with the project," added Roche.

Manuel de la Roche had also produced Kounen's film on the life and work of Mata Amritanandamayi, "Darshan - L'Entreinte" ("Darshan - The Embrace"). It was screened Out of Competition in Cannes in 2005.

De la Roche's company Movie Sphere has joined hands with Berlin-based Integral Films for "The Secret History of the Dalai Lamas".

Both the Dalai Lama film and the feature-length documentary on Mata Amritanandamayi, who is popularly known simply as Amma, are offshoots of "Another Reality" - the television series on the diversity of world culture that Kounen and de la Roche had earlier collaborated on.

According to de la Roche, "The Secret History of the Dalai Lamas" will be shot later this year in Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and other parts of the Indian subcontinent.

It will be ready for release in the second half of 2010.

Dutch-born Kounen's "Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky" is being screened as the closing night film at the Cannes.

Amitabh Bachchan Director Prakash Mehra funeral

Director Prakash Mehra's funeral 

Abhishek Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan

Abhishek Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan

Prakash Mehra reel journey

Sharaabi was Prakash Mehra's last hit and sixth in a row with Amitabh, the other five beingZanjeer, Hera Pheri, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Laawaris and Namak Halaal. He did subsequently make Jaadugar with Amitabh

Sharaabi was Prakash Mehra's last hit and sixth in a row with Amitabh, the other five being Zanjeer, Hera Pheri, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Laawaris and Namak Halaal. He did subsequently make Jaadugar with Amitabh 

Namak Halal is an action packed comedy film that stars Amitabh Bachchan, Waheeda Rehman, Om Prakash, Shashi Kapoor, Smita Patil, Parveen Babi, Ranjeet, Satyan Kappu, Suresh Oberoi and Ram Sethi.

Produced and directed by Prakash Mehra, Muqaddar Ka Sikander stars Amitabh Bachchan along with Vinod Khanna, Raakhee Gulzar, Rekha and Amjad Khan.


Contributing to his angry young man image were his portrayals as cop in various movies

ara Kya Kaam Hai starred Amitabh Bachchan, Amjad Khan, Zeenat Aman and Raakhee Gulzar. The story of Laawaris revolves around an orphan who stumbles over reality in search for his parents.


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