Vanity Fair

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Compiled by Sunaina Kumar

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Raking in the moolah Salman Khan
Raking in the moolah Salman Khan
Photo: Fotocorp

B-Town’s Big Fish

If trade pundits are to be believed, then Rs 200 crore is the new Rs 100 crore. With Ek Tha Tigergrossing Rs 200 crore, Salman Khan just set the bar higher for the so-called Rs 100 crore all-boys club of B-town. The club is notorious for setting new standards of mediocrity with every film, but who cares, as long as the box office is ringing. If you’re wondering who are the actors who’re likely to be unsettled with the news, then think of Ajay Devgn, Hrithik Roshan, not to mention the other Khans, Aamir and Shah Rukh.Salman, though, makes it look too easy. Expect his next film to notch up an additional Rs 100 crore. Just like that.

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Frenemies Forever

Foedom In Bollywood

Our advice to Farah Khan and Shirish Kunder: find a publisher and pitch a version of How to Win Enemies and Torment People. The ‘torment’ part is simple, think of their collective filmography: Tees Maar Khanand Jaan-e-Mann. As for winning enemies, they’ve shown special talent. Now that the on-again, off-again friendship with Shah Rukh Khan is on again, Akshay Kumar, hero of Kunder’s Joker, has reportedly sworn off the couple. We’ll wait for the kiss and make up.

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What’s In A Name?

Will they please give it a title and get it over with? For those who care, the day is not far when the world will finally know the title of the new Yash Chopra romance, which till now has been called ‘A Yash Chopra Romance’ in its trailer. Apparently, 27 September,Yash Chopra’s 80th birthday is when the world will be enlightened. Meanwhile, film journalists have speculated on possible names, ‘London Ishq’ and ‘Yeh Kahaan Aa Gaye Hum’ are the favourites. Are we to believe that Chopra is genuinely confused on what to call his film? Or is this the worst idea of the publicity department of Yash Raj Films. Here’s our suggestion: ‘Yawn’.

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Last year 4,153,237 people got married. Shouldn’t that be an even number?

Amitabh Bachchan (On knowing his Math)


‘I make films, not entertainment products’

WHO Lucknow-born Sudhir Mishra is an award-winning director, filmmaker and screenwriter. He is based in Mumbai and is best known for directing critically acclaimed films such as Dharavi, Chameli, Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi.

Sudhir Mishra, 53, Filmmaker
Sudhir Mishra, 53, Filmmaker
Photo: Shailendra Pandey

Does your cinema have a particular message?
I have this funny feeling that the world we live in has the potential to be a much better one. There’s a little thing called duty, a small price to pay for the privilege of being a part of it. A sense of responsibility compels me. The world is as good or bad as I am. I look to create a connection with people through my stories.

What is more important — the love story or its larger context?
I don’t separate life and love. Part of filmmaking is conscious and part is subconscious. The two blend into each other too much to make a distinction, which is how it often happens in the real world. The storytelling formula requires both key ingredients, which are indispensable, both, to each other and the larger story arc.

Where does the line between creative freedom and catering to the audience lie?
You must be a medium of sorts for your stories. At the same time, you also hope that the finished movie is commercially successful. I want my stories to engage people. I try to connect my own experiences with those of the audience. Every filmmaker, from indie hacks to Steven Spielberg, wants their movies to make money. There are two kinds of cinema swimming around in this industry: films and entertainment products. Both are valid but I don’t make entertainment products.

How do you work within Bollywood’s parameters?
I make films that allow me to make other films. I hope the money invested will yield a profit. You don’t always have to say something socially pertinent; sometimes, you can tell a lighter tale. Too much heavy-handedness makes for bad filmmaking. I want to engage an audience, not coerce them into philosophical reflection or political activism. What I don’t like is mimicry: people trying to copy the way Western films deal with sombre themes, for films set in India. That’s why I like Anurag Kashyap’s work. Despite its darkness it is vibrant, exciting and original.

Neel Sood

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