Sunday, November 29, 2009


A man of many arts, Swanand Kirkire is lyricist, writer, singer and actor. He is behind the freshly delightful song lyrics of Vidhu Vinod Chopra's upcoming release, 3 IDIOTS, starring Aamir Khan, Madhavan and Sharman Joshi. He graciously agreed to tell us more about the songs that are currently winning hearts among film and music buffs across India.

AC: Random question, so what is playing in your Ipod right now?

SK: I am not listening to the 3 Idiots soundtrack obviously because when I was listening to it nobody else was listening to it (laughs). Now the world is listening to it and I am listening to something else like lots of Indian classical music… I am also learning to listen to a lot of Western classical music. Apart from that, my all time favorites are R.D. Burman, Gulzar sahab songs, and that kind of music is well, like… my food!

AC: You have repeatedly worked with Shantanu Moitra and Rajkumar Hirani. Please tell us a bit about what makes you feel comfortable working with them and how you came to be a team.

SK: The association with Shantanu and Raju (Rajkumar Hirani) is old now, with Vinu Vinod Chopra too, for that matter. We really go a long way. I've done four films with them. This is my second film with Raju and my fourth with Vinod Chopra. If you see our filmography, it is me and Shantanu. Lage Raho Munna Bhai we did it with Raju.

We are mostly friends, we're likeminded, we like each other's space… and unlike all the Bollywood "whatever happens" (philosophy) we were involved in this film right from the script level. When (Raju) was writing the script, we were making songs, we were trying to find the sound of the film. So that is how 'Give Me Some Sunshine' came much before he started writing the script. Raju wanted something exclusively for that film and if you listen, all the songs are very musically and lyrically simple. We did not try to make them complicated at all, we wanted to keep them very college like, easy for any college student, just as they play guitar at college and come up with some tunes.

AC: What would you say each of the singers apart from yourself have brought to the 3 Idiots soundtrack?

SK: All are wonderful singers! They brought a lot of things to the soundtrack. See the song 'Jaane Nahin Denge', no one else but Sonu can sing it, no one else. It is a very high and low song, the amount of passion reaches that high and then comes really down also at the same time. Shreya is also an awesome and fantastic singer. Shaan… well I mean their contribution is amazing and takes everything beyond. For a lyricist like me, the biggest moment is to hear (them sing), because we write a song on pen and paper, the music composer sings it with you and a guitar, then it goes to a recording… but the final moment when the singer is singing… that's a magic moment because the singer is transforming (the song) into something else, into a piece of art that becomes complete at that point of time. Sonu and all, they really made me cry.

AC: How would you say the experience of making this soundtrack is fundamentally different from your past soundtracks?

SK: It is very different. If you listen to 'Parineeta' the words are a little more lyrical and Lage Raho Munna Bhai was more Bombay tapori. In 'Khoya Khoya Chand' I was doing much more Urdu poetry because (the movie) was about the 50s or 60s Hindi film industry. That is something that I am trying to achieve in my life: you should change your clothes according to the film or the script. '3 Idiots' songs are very casual and are straight from the heart. There is no ornamentation or poetic smartness. In them if you have to say something you say it, it does not matter if you say it in English, Marathi or whatever. The songs get the point straight with as minimum possible and there is no concern about the language. There is not much decorative poetry but there are philosophy lines in it. 'Aal izz well' is a philosophy.

AC: How did you come up with the 'Aal Izz Well' theme for the title song? Was its fun spelling already a part of the script?

SK: 'Aal izz well' was in the script. It is a big idea of the film itself. Aamir (Khan) says it to everybody, whenever you are going through a bad time… Basically, Raju as a child used to live in a smaller town and there used to be this colonial watchman who used to say 'Aaaaal izzzz well!' in the night. So what used to happen is kids would think 'if all is well, let's go to sleep', and everything was well, you know (laughs). So that is the theory of the film. Whenever you are in a bad time, just tell your heart that 'aal izz well'. It is written as the colloquial pronunciation (proceeds to tutor the foreign interviewer into how to pronounce it properly). Aal izz well!

AC: We know Sharman Joshi's voice is used in 'Give me some Sunshine'. Did the director, producer and/or actors contribute to the soundtrack? How?

SK: The best part about working with Rajkumar Hirani, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and everybody is that it is a team effort. We decide on the songs and lyrics. There were contributions from here and there all the time. In 'Give me some sunshine', Shantanu almost wrote all the English part.

AC: Tell us a bit about Sonu's interpretation of your lyrics in "Jaane Nahin Denge".

SK: He is really amazing and he did a great a job. He understood the particular situation in the film and he heard it once and said 'I need some time to prepare'. He took his own time, about half an hour or 45 minutes, locked himself in a dark studio room and asked all of us to go out and then he came in and he sang. Sonu is always like that, he is technically the best singer we've ever had.

AC: Was there any personal experience that inspired you to write 'Behti Hawa Sa Tha Woh'?

SK: It came very naturally when they told me the situation (in the film). There are people in your life who live life really beautifully and happily. They do not compromise at any level and just do whatever their heart says is right. They don't follow stupid norms. So I had some people like those in my mind and actually it came very easily to me because I was comparing myself with them. Because of them I became another idiot (laughs).

AC: Are there any new soundtracks in the pipeline?

SK: The 'Paa' soundtrack has released. That was another kind of experience, different songs completely. It is on the market and on the Internet and the film is releasing on the 3rd of December. There are also two or three other films but it is early to talk about them now.

Interview by Aline Cinehindi in collaboration with JoannaCh

3 IDIOTS releases on 25 December 2009

For more lyrics by Swanand Kirkire, check out the following soundtracks:


Laaga Chunari Mein Daag

Eklavya: The Royal Guard

Khoya Khoya Chand

Lage Raho Munna Bhai

Jai Santoshi Maa


Kal- Yesterday & Tomorrow


Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Brief interaction with AMITABH BACHCHAN

Last week, the Bollywood Hungama website marked the release of ALADIN by organizing a Live Chat with legendary Amitabh Bachchan. Diana, from the Cinema Hindi team, was able to interact very briefly with him to discuss his motivation as an actor as well as a future film project. Here is what Bollywood's most famous actor had to say:

CH: You are the greatest actor in the world today. After having played so many different roles, what motivates you to choose one film rather than another?

AB: A (role) should have lots of challenge.

CH: Can you give us any updates regarding the filming of SHANTARAM?

AB: Mira Nair gave me the script but has not progressed further. I believe the film has been shelved.

SHANTARAM would be the film adaptation of Gregory David Roberts acclaimed novel and would possibly star Amitabh Bachchan and Johnny Depp, who has also bought the rights to it.

The entire live chat shall be available at the Bollywood Hungama website shortly.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Brief Interaction with ASHUTOSH GOWARIKER

Today, the Bollywood Hungama site organized a chat with "What's Your Rashee?" director Ashutosh Gowariker, also known for blockbuster "Lagaan" and for "Jodhaa Akbar". The Cinema Hindi and English Box teams were able to get some questions across to him and this is what one of the most notorious Indian directors in the industry had to say.

C. H.: Hello Sir, how would you describe what it was like working with Sohail Sen on the 'What's Your Rashee' soundtrack (and singing on it)?

A. G.: It was wonderful to work with Sohail. His knowledge of the various forms of music including, folk music, Indian classical, Western classical and also world music was very helpful in creating the rich soundtrack of the movie. Also, he created tunes which did complete justice to each of the raashees! I hope you liked the songs...

C. H.: Priyanka Chopra is the first actor possibly in world cinema to play 12 different characters in a single movie. That is quite a challenge. What made you cast Priyanka?

A. G.: Quite simply becasue she is a fab actress. I have seen her right from her first film HERO and then in AITRAAZ where she plays a negative character. I believed that she will be able to bring nuances to each raashee girl, which she very beautifully did. I love her performance. Hope you agree with me!

C. H.: Up to "What's Your Rashee?", your movies had dealt with important subjects such as the struggle forsurvival (Lagaan), caste discrimination (Swades), religious tolerance(cohabitation) (Jodhaa Akbar). What persuaded you to direct a romantic comedy?

A. G.: I wanted to make a light hearted film. And i chose the genre of the romantic comedy because i have not made one before. Also, through the beautiful concept and story of Madhu Rye, I also wanted to touch upon the different raashees.

Read the complete chat on the Bollywood Hungama site soon.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Anurag Kashyap, Indian film director ("Black Friday", "No Smoking", "Dev D", "Gulaal"), script writer ("Satya", "Water") and producer ("Aamir") of highly acclaimed films, opens the doors to his universe in this exclusive interview. He provides a rare insight into the elements that make the life of a film maker, whether these are satisfaction, bitterness or success. Read on as he gives Cinema Hindi his insightful opinion on Indian and Italian cinema within the framework of his upcoming participation as member of the jury at the Venice Film Festival. Cinema Hindi is honoured to offer its readers a close-up on one of India's most notorious modern film personalities.

Part 1: Anurag Kashyap on his work

C.H. - The script for the Hindi masterpiece “Satya” was co-written by you. What are your feelings for that film today?
A.K. - I still feel that was the best work WE did. It wasn't my film alone. I always say “Satya” was my film school. There was a lot of searching in that movie, which I believe we gradually lost.

C.H. - You directed “Black Friday” and produced the film “Aamir”. Both films are on the subject of terrorism. Do you believe cinema may awaken the public opinion - particularly in India - to this issue?
- I don't know whether it awakens the people or not. It does affect some. I hope we can affect the public conscience, sadly nothing does. People are selfish, in the sense that they are all trying to survive, they always treat such things as it does not happen to us. The job of cinema sometimes, when it is socially and politically conscious is to just hold the mirror and show us what's happening around us. We can't do more than that. Except “Black Friday” and “Aamir” all the films I have made have largely been personal.

C.H. – “No Smoking” is probably the most experimental Hindi movie ever made. Something in it seems reminiscent of Fellini's way of depicting grotesque situations or characters. What experience did “No Smoking” represent for you as an unconventional film-maker?
A.K. - I enjoyed making "No Smoking". It premiered at the Rome film Festival in 2007. It was my most personal film, I cherish it more than most. More than all my films. It was my story in the sense it was about my battle with authorities with the morality and the censors. Indians could not read into it and that was disappointing. Over a period of time it has found its place in film schools and with film buffs but main stream industry still has not accepted it. I enjoyed making it but sadly what it did was that its failure at the box office led to a lot of film makers not being allowed to do their own thing. Any original voice was curbed owing to No Smoking's failure.

C.H. - What made you cast John Abraham as the lead actor? Is it true that you asked superstar Shah Rukh Khan to play the main role before deciding to cast John Abraham?
- John was the only choice who wanted to do it and understood the film. Shah Rukh Khan showed interest but wasn't sure it was worth it.

C.H. - The soundtrack of “No Smoking” is definitely one of the very best the audience has heard in recent times. Tell us a bit about the experience of working with composer Vishal Bhardwaj. Did the fact that he is also a film director facilitate your collaboration?
- Vishal was not just the composer of the film, he was also one of the producers. He made the film possible. Vishal was also the composer of “Satya” and my first film as the director, “Paanch”. My relationship with him has always been that of a master and the irritant disciple. Me being the latter. I try to push him and he pretends being irritated but loves being pushed. He has shown more faith in me than most. It is always very satisfying to work with him because he always brings out a new sound to his music for my films.

C.H. - "Dev D" is an enchanting film with an extraordinarily fresh script. We are aware that it was based on a concept put forward by Abhay Deol. What motivated you to work on that particular project?
- My identification with the subject inspired me. I was going through my own separation and divorce at the time and I was depressed and was drinking, abusing substance at the time I wrote it, and I also found love in the actress who played Chanda (Kalki) during the filming. All my various contradictory emotions flowed into the film.
C.H. - The development of the different characters in "Dev D" reflects intense dedication. Weren't you afraid of being too daring?
A.K. - It all just happened naturally. I didn't know I was meant to fear anything. May be my naiveté, may be the innocence. I just did what I felt and was feeling. It just came through.

C.H. - Many of us have not yet seen “Gulaal”. Would you please introduce the film to us?
- I wrote “Gulaal” when I was at my angriest in 2001. When all my films were banned and "Water" was shelved and I had this huge issue with the way our government dealt with freedom of expression and the political state of the country. I went away from Bombay, to Rajasthan and on my walkman was only one CD, of “Pyaasa”. It kept playing in the loop. “Gulaal” emerged out of that. It is a take on what India has come to vis-√†-vis how a free India was imagined by the poets, of the pre independence.

Part 2: Anurag Kashyap on Italy

C.H. - You have expressed your interest for Italian Cinema in the past. Please tell us which aspects have touched you the most.
- De Sica. Vittorio De Sica made me a film maker. It was a retrospective of his films in 1993 that inspired me to be a filmmaker. I was 20 then, by 23 I wrote my first film "Satya". What touched me the most was the realism of it all then. How Italians were so similar to us in the way they deal with life and family et al. Later I discovered Fellini, and that was ecstasy. That showed me that there are no boundaries to imagination and no curb on what you want to say. It doesn't matter if what I say is embarrassing, juvenile, unintelligent or incoherent as long as it is my voice and it comes across. Then slowly I discovered Antonioni, Rossellini, Rosi and lot more. The discovery continues with “Il Divo”, “Gommorrah” , "The Best of Youth" et al.

C.H. - What is your opinion on contemporary Italian Cinema?
- I love Sorrentino. I love his films. He is the best and most powerful new Italian voice. I also loved Michel Placido's “Romanzo Criminale” I saw it at Tribeca. His daughter acted in the film that was written by the director of “Aamir”(*). “Best of Youth”, “The Past is a Foreign Land”, “My Brother is the Only Child”, “Days and Clouds” are some of the recent films I liked very much. I even enjoy the “Giallo” (**) from the 60's 70's.
(*) "Barah Aana", featuring Violante Placido. (note by Cinema Hindi)
(**) Detective stories. (note by Cinema Hindi)

C.H. - What would you say Italian and Hindi Cinema have in common?
- Family bonds. And the way the women are in the films.

C.H. - Your film "No Smoking" was screened at the Rome Film Festival two years ago, generating rave reviews. What are your memories of that experience?
- I loved every bit of it. My memories of Rome of "No Smoking" are the only good memories of that film. My daughter was with me during that time and I loved showing her around. It was a memorable week and the great audience reception that I will never forget.
C.H. - You have been called upon to be a member of the jury at the next Venice Film Festival. Two of your films – “Dev D” and “Gulaal” - will also be screened off-competition. How are you feeling about the opportunity to participate so actively in the festival?
A.K. - I am as excited as a child, and sometimes I find myself trying to curb my enthusiasm. Biggest fear is that everyone will find out that deep down I am a child, who is more a film buff than a filmmaker. "Dev D" is an indirect tribute to Fatih Akin, whose film is in the festival, which I will get to see before anyone in the world. Jacques Rivette, Tornatore so many filmmakers who have at various points in my life inspired me are going to be there with their new films. I will be like a kid in the candy shop. I am happy and proud.

C.H. - Please, give us your opinion on why the Italian audience should watch Hindi movies. Are there any particular films you would suggest to the Italian audience as a maiden Hindi film experience?
- Italian audience should watch Indian films because they will relate to them. They should discover Bimal Roy and Guru Dutt.

C.H. - Do you believe there is a possibility of developing a serious partnership between India and Italy in terms of film making? Have you ever given thought to shooting in Italy or with a partially Italian cast or film crew?
- Absolutely and I believe it is happening. Sonali Kulkarni has acted in Italian films. An Italian filmmaker is currently making a film in India based on an Indian short story and our Grand Master Mani Kaul is planning a film on Rossellini. There should and will be more collaborations.

Part 3: Anurag Kashyap on Indian Cinema

C.H. - Hindi Cinema seems to be undergoing an in-depth evolution. It treasures some of its traditional elements while it also takes inspiration from Western Cinema, but above all it is experimenting new paths. In your opinion:

a) When did this change start taking place?
- Somewhere it started with “Bandit Queen”(*). But it was slow. In last three years it has become a wave with a lot of new filmmakers, who are essentially outsiders to this family business, and have started making films.
(*) Film directed by Shekhar Kapur in 1994. (note by Aline Khan)

b) What direction will it take?
- That depends on how much courage we have to take the risks we should be taking. It seems to be heading towards an era of reinvention and introspection and a lot of new voices are emerging out of that, but we still lack the production and distribution backup to this new cinema from India.

c) Which film traditions will Hindi Cinema leave behind and what new elements will become a solid part of it?
- Hopefully we will surpass stardom. You will get to see more of India and Indian struggles and way of life and politics in the new Indian cinema. Hopefully even the escapist cinema that we make will also have a relevance. We definitely won't leave behind our traditional song and dance and celebrations, but all else will be more meaningful and relevant. It is starting to get less fantastical and more real. And hopefully I will get to do what I want to do.

d) Which are the films and the film-makers (apart from you) involved in this change?
A.K. - There is Vishal Bharadwaj, Aamir Khan, Raju (Rajkumar) Hirani, Rakeysh Mehra, Dibakar Bannerji, Nishikant Kamat, Navdeep Singh, Shimit Amin, Shriram Raghavan and many more.

C.H. - Do you think it is possible that Hindi Cinema will be taking the world by storm in the future, marking a New Era in which Indian Cinema dominates, therefore replacing Hollywood?
- Yes I have always had that belief based on the fact that while the world has exhausted their subjects and stories to tell. We are yet to explore ourselves.

C.H. - Please, tell us something about your work with the great director Ram Gopal Varma.
A.K. - I wrote three films for him, “Satya”, “Kaun” and “Shool”. He was the man who inspired the whole generation of us who are making films today. I learnt what I had to while working on “Satya”.

C.H. - Two very talented actors, Kay Kay Menon and Abhay Deol, have starred in your films. Please, tell us about your experience working with them.
A.K. - These are the two Star actors I have worked with. While Kay Kay chooses the most challenging roles, Abhay chooses the most challenging films. There are many more great non star actors I have regularly worked with like Aditya Srivastava, Vijay Maurya, Deepak Dobriyal, Mahie Gill (who you will see in both “Dev D” and “Gulaal”) and Kalki Koechlin.

C.H. – “Delhi-6”, directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, will be the third Hindi film screened at the Festival. What is your opinion on Mehra's work? Some of your followers have found similarities between elements of “Aks” and “No Smoking”. Would you say that “Aks” influenced you as a film maker?
- I wouldn't say “Aks” influenced me as a film maker, because at the beginning of it, even I was involved with it. But I have a very high opinion of Rakeysh Mehra both as a film maker and as a social, intellectual person. I have very high regards for his films and especially "Delhi-6", which is my favourite Rakeysh Mehra film.

C.H. - Aamir Khan is considered an unconventional actor in spite of being a huge Hindi film superstar. Would he be someone you would look forward to working with and why?
A.K. - I want to work with Aamir Khan and hopefully I will in “Bombay Velvet”. He is a courageous man who has truly changed the way our audience looks at our cinema, just by being part of such films and backing them all the way.

C.H. - Do you often watch “Indian non-Hindi” films? If so, which of these films and/or directors would you recommend?
- Yes I do when I know of them. I saw "Subrarmanyapuram", a great Tamil film recently and a lot of new Marathi cinema, that in recent times has seen a great resurgence.

C.H. - Do you believe that 'Indian non-Hindi' cinema is capable of generating the same impact on Western audiences than Hindi films have?
- Yes. Provided it gets the same platform. Sometimes I believe the regional cinema in India has more potency and courage than Hindi cinema.
Cinema Hindi wishes to convey our gratitude to Mr. Kashyap for his generosity in granting us this exclusive interview.
(A special thanks to Aline Khan for pushing the team forward to request the interview and for her assistance in English).

Friday, January 16, 2009




Action Replay

Akshay Kumar, Aishwarya Rai, Neha Dhupia,
Ranbir Kapoor


Agyaat 2



All The Best 2

Bipasha Basu, Fardeen Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Ajay Devgan

Allah Ke Bandey


Anjaana Anjaani

Priyanka Chopra, Ranbir Kapoor, Anupam Kher

Atithi Tum Kab Jaaoge

Ajay Devgan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Ritesh Deshmukh, Paresh Rawal

Be Positive - No Entry 2



Amitabh Bachchan, Imran Hashmi, Lara Dutta, Shahid Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor

Chance Pe Dance

Shahid Kapoor, Genelia D'Souza

Delhi To China

Paresh Rawal, Rajpal Yadav, Raju Sriwastav, Shahid Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Isha Koppikar

Dhoom 3


Don 2 - The Chase Continues

Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Arjun Rampal, Isha Koppikar, Saif Ali Khan, Om Puri

Dostana 2

Katrina Kaif, John
Abraham, Abhishek Bachchan,
Ritesh Deshmukh, Shreyas Talpade

Dulha Mil Gaya

Shah Rukh Khan
(guest appearance), Sushmita Sen,
Fardeen Khan, Ishita





Golmaal 3

Kareena Kapoor, Ajay Devgan, Arshad Warsi, Tusshar Kapoor

Hello! Hum Lallan Bol Rahe Hai

Rajpal Yadav, Preeti Mehra, Manoj Joshi, Ketaki Dave, Ravi Jhankal, Bomi Dotiwala, Makrand Anaspure

Hera Pheri 4

Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty

Hide N Seek

Purab Kohli

Housefull ( 

Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone, Lara Dutta, Arjun Rampal, Ritesh Deshmuk, Jiah Khan

Idiot Box

Sushant Singh, Hrishita
Bhatt, Jyoti Gauba, Milind Gunaji, Upasna Singh, Surendra Pal


Arshad Warsi, Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah


It's A
Wonderful After Life




Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai




Emraan Hamshi

Karthik Calling Karthik

Farhan Akhtar, Deepika Padukone


Kaun Bola?




Hrithik Roshan , Barbara Mori, Kangana Ranaut

Krrish 2

Deepika Padukone, Hrithik Roshan

London Main Kya Hua?

Paresh Rawal, John
Abraham, Katrina Kaif, Mugdha
Godse, Upen Patel, Preity Zinta, Abhishek Bachchan

Milenge Milenge

Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor


Mr. India




Arjun Rampal, Shahid Kapoor, Esha Deol, Konkona
Sen Sharma, Rani Mukherjee

Munnabhai Chale Amerika

Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi

My Name Is Khan

Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol


Paan Singh Tomar



Patiala House

Akshay Kumar, Anushka


Gaya Kaam Se




Phillum City



Pyaar Impossible

Priyanka Chopra, Uday Chopra, Dino Morea





Race 2

Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Anil Kapoor, Sameera Reddy, Akshay Khanna




Amitabh Bachchan, Ritesh Deshmukh, Sudeep, Paresh Rawal


Red Alert
- The War Within



Right Yaa Wrong

Sunny Deol, Irrfan Khan, Isha Koppikar






Sharafat Gayi Tel Lene



Singh is King 2

Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif


Siddarth Narayan, Aditya Pancholi, Ankur Vikal, Anupam Kher, Seema Biswas

Teen Patti

Amitabh Bachchan, Ben
Kingsley, R. Madhavan, Raima
Sen, Shraddha Kapoor

Tees Mar Khan

Akshay Kumar, Akshaye Khanna


Toh Baat Pakki




Salman Khan

Wanted 2

Salman Khan