Thursday, October 20, 2011


In the climax, Amitabh Bachchan, a killer on hire, turns the gun on his own gang of baddies, duping them into believing that it is the cops who are plucking them out one by one. He plants a bullet in the back of one, tosses a dynamite from one window to the adjacent one, fools a goon into handing him a loaded pistol only to have his brains blown out the next moment....
Off-screen, that is what Bachchan has been doing over the past few years. Duping the audience into believing that he has now moved into the bracket where he can only play the wronged father, the helpless husband or the doting grandfather. Every syllable that the superstar has been uttering — “at this age, I am lucky to get films” — is overturned by every scene and every moment in Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap.
From his entry shot where he blazes on to the screen leaning on the rails of an escalator, the lazy swagger unmissable, to the penultimate scene in which he swivels twice over and puts a bullet in the villain’s forehead using that famous left-handed shot, Bachchan seems to be on a Ginseng-overdrive, showing his middle finger to his younger co-stars. Bbuddah hoga terra baap? You bet. For, the Big B of Bollywood wouldn’t have it any other way.
Felling his opponent with a single twitch of the finger, rocking a Harley Davidson or simply turning on the charm on a woman quarter his age, the 68-year-old is in fine form, having as much a blast on-screen as his audience — not all of them fanboys, mind you — does sitting in front of it. But call him an old man and he will go after you — either biting off your head or blowing it off depending on his mood, his indignation comically comparable to Obelix being called “fat”!
Bbuddah… takes on from the larger-than-life south Indian school of cinema popularised by Ghajini, Wanted and Dabangg. The kind of films where script and screenplay, logic and characterisation hardly matter; what matters is one man. The plot is next to nothing, the characters are one too many and the screenplay disjointed, but you don’t really care as long as a 6’2” frame keeps your eyeballs engaged.
Unpretentious and cool, Bachchan’s Viju is a one-man show. A Casanova one moment, an emotional husband the next. A trigger-happy gangster back from retirement in one scene, a man on a mission to cleanse the city the next. His wardrobe is as eclectic and colourful as his personality — floral shirts, bomber jackets, reflective glares and fluorescent scarves.
Almost every scene that he is in is a medley of his greatest songs or scenes. He nudges aside a cop with the iconic Deewar line: “Hum jahaan khade hote hain, linewahaan se shuru hoti hai.” He shakes a leg to Go Meera go, which remixes every Bachchan hit you have grown up with — from Saara zamaana to Pag ghungroo, fromKhaike paan Banaraswala to Rang barse. The stylish flick of the revolver and the bending of the bullet is all Rajinikanth and in one scene, Bachchan does a Shah Rukh Khan with: “Kahaani mein kahaani ab bhi baaki hai mere dost!” And to think he says at one point in the film: “Yeh aajkal ke ladke mere gaano pe naachte hain, meri nakal utaarte hain!” The man — with Amol Rathod’s lens resting easily on every wrinkle and every muscle — clearly hasn’t had so much fun in a very long time. He is almost a superhero here, the kind that deserves a sequel. But with a better script.
The dialogues are cocky, drawing on Bachchan’s ability to mouth even the most ridiculous lines effectively. “Maroonga toh goli se maroonga, BP ya sugar se nahin,” is a promo favourite. Our pick? When asked if he would prefer tea or coffee, Viju quips: “Chaicoffee ke saath soda achha nahin lagta.”
With the Big B around, the others are reduced to cameos, but most manage to shine. Raveena Tandon as a vastly exaggerated groupie is fun, Sonu Sood as a tough cop is credible and Prakash Raj reprises his comic villain avatar from Wanted to bring on the guffaws. There are some poignant Baghban moments between AB and Hema Malini, especially the scene in which she walks away in a huff and then chooses to look back with the Naseeb title track playing in the background.
Nostalgia never really goes out of fashion, does it? And neither does Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan.
Tu cheez badi hai mast mast to Sheher ki ladki,Yeh raat to Ore ore. Raveena Tandon has
set the screen on fire in many a hit Bolly item number. The
sizzle is back with Chandigarh di star (above) in BBuddah Hoga Terra Baap, a fun yet sexy number in which Raveena looks like a million bucks shaking her booty to the already-popular number sung by Sunidhi Chauhan.
However, for those walking into a Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap show this weekend hoping to catch the mast mast girl in Chandigarh di star, there is disappointment in store. The song doesn’t feature in the film!
“Chandigarh di star was always meant to be a promo song. A lot of people have been tweeting and asking me why it isn’t there in the film, but the makers feel that it should only be a promo song,” Raveena told t2.
The mother of two had a blast dancing to the song, which has lyrics like “Main Chandigarh di star/ munde slowin’ down the car/ sector 25 mein heel meri tutt gayi ni”.
As Ravs put it: “I love music and dancing and these guys just rolled on the camera and let me party.”

Amitabh Bachchan receives QUT honorary doctorate

QUT’s awards honorary doctorate to Mr Amitabh Bachchan

QUT’s awards honorary doctorate to Mr Amitabh Bachchan

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) awarded the title of Doctor of the University to India’s biggest film star, Amitabh Bachchan.

QUT’s highest honorary award was conferred on Mr Bachchan at Old Government House at the Gardens Point campus, Brisbane for his outstanding contribution to creative industries over several decades.

Mr Bachchan came to QUT fresh from the set of Baz Luhrman’s latest production, The Great Gatsby, which is being shot in Sydney. The prolific Bollywood actor will be playing shady businessman Meyer Wolfsheim alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in the adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic tale of the jazz age.

QUT Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Coaldrake, said Mr Bachchan was the most significant Indian film industry name to come to Australia so the potential for a mutually beneficial relationship between the Australian and Indian creative industries was enormous.

“Mr Bachchan is only the second person from India – after IT leader, Narayana Murthy – to receive such an honour from QUT,” Professor Coaldrake said.

“He embodies the theme of creative industries – a combination of performing arts and business models, which QUT has so successfully promoted.

“This will be a significant link between our Creative Industries Faculty – the first such faculty in Australia and a national leader in research, teaching and professional practice in this sector – and the Indian entertainment industry.”
Mr Bachchan said he was honoured to be recognised by QUT.

“I am truly overwhelmed and immensely pleased to be the recipient of such a distinction,” Mr Bachchan said.

“The recognition of my contribution to Indian cinema and its effort to reach out to an international community fills me with intense pride and humility – pride for being able to be a link between Australian and Indian professionals of the film and creative industries and humility for a chance to be the medium in doing so.

“May this help strengthen the existing bonds between our two countries.”

By Dipal Agarwarkar

There is so much to gather and to learn when in the company of great minds

Brisbane , Australia            Oct 20, 2011      Thu  10 : 35 PM AusTime

There is so much to gather and to learn when in the company of great minds. There is so much to share and inform when in the company of those that are keen to know more than what they know. There is pride and dignity in the representation of where you come from. And there is great humility in being bestowed recognition and adulation from lands that are far far away from your own.
The visit to Brisbane and indeed Australia has been nothing short of a most dazzling expression of love understanding and care from all. The exuberance of connectivity shown by those that live away yet remain in close proximity, has been most admirable. To be loved is an honor, but to be loved unconditionally is beyond all imagination. The respect and the dignity that one earns during our lives is but a reflection of the quality of life one has led, inspired and guided by the advantage of parental upbringing –  the valor strength and beauty of my Sikh heritage from my Mother, the gentle and poetic aesthetics of my lower middle class environed Father of UP.
Upbringing reflects what we imbibed where we grew up. The formative years of the human soon after birth, are the years considered to design and formulate our beings for the future. We remain in that realm forever. Our pulverization by society in what the world in general offers us, comes after and may have effect. But in my most humble opinion, no matter how impressive future environs and influences become, our own core strength of values, relies mostly and entirely on those early formative years. The years so assiduously spent under the tutelage and discipline of those that brought us into this world !
I am what I was made to be. Through the years I may have added to it through greater influences and learning. But even that, never without the wise and thorough vision and consequent guiding of my parents. What did they instill in me ? What was it, that meant the most to them ? Did they ever ask me to take the wrong path ? A path peppered with negativity and insolence. Of violence and hatred. Of disrespect to social and moral codes. I say with some firmed resolve – never ! This then is the truth, and this then shall be the truth with which my own progeny and theirs to come shall abide and live by.
You may get the liberty to beat me, to rub my face in the spoils of the earth, in the dust and rust of the ground we tread, but the purity of my upbringing shall never succumb to such momentary irrelevant aberrations, that others could be tempted to impose or subject me to. My unending desire and my determination to uphold my resolute dignity shall not be compromised with. And never will.
I also therefore feel, that when I am correct, others shall be correct with me too. There cannot be isolated adulation and respectability. This is not a game of dice where you wonder what the numbers deciding the fate of the game you play shall be. This is indeed, not a game at all and therefore the fear of the spin or spill of the 6-faced black on white on black, shall never be a consideration. That consideration will be reserved for those that play the game, always. Opposing teams shall appear with great fanfare and demonstrate their athletic skills, win or lose and depart. But the pitch and the stadium that they battled on shall be unmoved and stable and stationary, ready to welcome the other players and their skills.
Come sit over me ! Toy with the sentiments of my silent presence. Destruct me with the roughness of your multiple presence, but if you think you shall take me with you when you leave, you have a thing coming !

And so the honor by the QUT ( Queensland University of Technology ), by their eminent faculty in the presence of diplomatic excellencies and distinguished luminaries, is not so much, were it to be put to questioning, a matter of my own pride, as the pride shown by those that bestow upon me. To challenge me would be akin to challenging their sincerity and worth. That, you simply cannot do. Not because they are beyond approach, but because they are beyond question. You could succeed in indicting me and who knows also succeed in legalizing me with harsh judgement, but you shall never never be able to drive me away from the truth of my mind and my upbringing !! It shall take a lot out of you to even attempt such fallacy. And even then it would not have a minuscule presence within me. What is there and what is true is what shall prevail my mind. Those that attempt to override it shall not succeed in overriding fact. Fact is my armor and my strength and my resolve. My dignity shall have the cover of a very obstinate resolve and fact. Try getting past that first !!
Her Excellency the High Commissioner for India Mrs Singh flew up to Brisbane from Canberra, her seat of governance and representation of our great country, to be by us during both the functions that occurred today – the Doctorate and the reception given by the Premier Anna Bligh, who too incidentally broke her holiday time to come by and provide me with salutations during the formal reception she specially held for me in Brisbane’s historic and most modern museum facility, dressed with great finesse in a … sari !
These are not ordinary people, nor are they ordinarily associated with such a show of affection and pomp for a non official luminary. Challenging me would be akin to challenging them. Which I believe would be a travesty of the foolish and the dumb !!

I am deeply honored to be a part of this celebration through their insight and co operation and I thank them profusely for it. In a sense they have elevated me to a position of respect and love. May this association fructify and prosper is all that I can possibly assume and I am capable of expressing. Words need pampering too to come out and express themselves – they aren’t at the moment, but shall soon ..
More follows tomorrow and in the days to come .. you shall be informed !!
Till then assume the very best ..
Amitabh Bachchan

A hards days night and I’ve working like an obedient professional

Sydney , Australia               Oct  19/20 ,  2011          Wed/Thu  00:40 AM AusTime
A hards days night and I’ve working like an obedient professional. I was to travel to Brisbane tonight, but the work remained incomplete so I abandoned the idea and worked through till now, to travel tomorrow morning for the Doctorate and a reception and the opening of a Bursary in my Father’s name.

When great attention is given it embarrasses me, humbles me and leaves me without any words that I could possibly gather up to express. But they keep coming these situations and they keep throwing me int a dilemma. What does one do in situations such as these ? I must confess the best is not to allow them to have a place of prominence. But then you end up embarrassing the giver. So what does one do ?
I shall tell you what … you sit back even if its a late night and write about it to extended family, for they are the ones that shall understand you the best. So there ..
The day has been harsh and exacting, but the results shall I am certain be of great value. The sheer exposure to the ultimate in film technology has been a huge revelation. The modern and the latest equipment, the management and the most efficient production processes that the West exposes itself to has been incredible. And may I just add as an additional that the send off has been most generous warm and emotional. It was my last day of the shoot at ‘Great Gatsby’ and Baz Luhrmann has been a huge revelation. One always admired his work and had admired him as a person during our brief encounter before filming started. But these few days spent with him and the entire way in which he works, has been a massive learning exercise. Not just him but the entire crew on the film, the co artists everyone has overwhelmed me with their dedication warmth and desire to excel in even the most smallest portions requiring attention. This is what we need to learn in life. The desire to get into the smallest detail even though it is not seen or felt, exhibits the seriousness with which they feel towards a film of such magnitude.
I may have been a very small part of this film, but a very large part of the film shall remain with me. I have observed and witnessed new technologies, new production methods, management and the delegation of work with the utmost ease and above all the sincerity of the execution of whatever responsibility has been taken on by each person. We have envied the West and its methodology and its immense presence in the trade of film and film making. I know now why. Their concentration and desire to bring in the best there is in terms of clarity of vision and the execution to perfection, puts them in the category which makes them a different breed altogether. There is much to learn and imbibe, to share and experiment with. They have through a digital process now recorded several movements of mine through very intense and complicated looking machines at ‘Animal Tronic’ centers. It is most daunting that they do. But I guess they now have the ability to make me act through the digital without actually using me physically ! A dangerous omen for all actors. But it is possible and it has been done. Lets see whether they use it or not and how it translates into film ??

In the meantime … good night. I have just 3 hours to get some rest and board for Brisbane !
Amitabh Bachchan

just finishing the day after a really early start …like 4:30 am

Sydney , Australia    Oct 18, 2011         Tue 11 : 10 PM
….and .. just finishing the day after a really early start …like 4:30 am !! But it was interesting ! The problem with such situations is that just at the moment you start getting familiar with the working, you have to leave !!
The one tragedy of life I guess. So I shall hopefully be over with this wonderful crew and production here in Sydney by tomorrow afternoon and head towards Brisbane to receive my Doctorate and then home ward bound. It has been a rewarding experience. The filming, the procedures, the discipline and the systematic manner in which productions are managed. There is a very committed attitude and desire to get the right moment and the right shot, irrespective of the time and repeats it takes and that is most educative. Equipments being used are of the highest quality and the latest and the respect for the talent is unbeatable. there is a sense of great proficiency and efficiency in the way work gets conducted here and that is remarkable. Each contributor, irrespective of the size of their work is and does have his or her moment of glory and acceptance. When a unit works as a well oiled machinery, your own work undergoes a certain finesse and commitment. This is most essential in a craft that deals with creativity. Creativity requires an atmosphere an ambience, ideal only to the one that creates. Yes a conditioned and controlled environ could work equally well for an artist as would one with immense disorganization as well. It is a factor that must be dependent on personal choice. One could sit inside the most elegant and affluent palaces and come out with a masterpiece as would one that did not possess such benefits. Both must be respected and admired. Some of the biggest classics have undergone such tests.
To complain or offer lame explanation of a situation which forced us to limit or make compromise with creativity is not the best attitude to have. I would be better off in suffering an adverse situation, but still putting in my best. The final product that reaches the paid patronage of the viewer does not carry a tag describing circumstances. That is not the business of the receptor, nor is it meant to be. And so in situations where conditions differ or are inconsistent with our own needs, I would tend to work that much extra to really defy in a sense what encumbrances have been put upon me. I may not succeed, but at least I shall not have or indeed not want the benefit of excuse !
An excuse is weak. It is the language of non achievers. I shall be willing to understand an excuse, but shall have problems overcoming them. And …. moreover … frequent excuses come from those whose caliber needs to be re looked at !!
I am presently not making any excuses for this short response … I am merely admitting fact that I need to hit the bed ..
To bed to bed and then to bed … !!
My love as ever ..
Amitabh Bachchan

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