‘Ta Ra Rum Pum’ : success, love, tragedy and hope

“Ta Ra Rum Pum”, Yash Raj Films’ first release of the year, coming out next week, is about a man, his family and how they overcome the obstacles that life puts in their way.

Shot mainly in the US, it has Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukerji in lead roles who are coming together for the first time after their hit flick “Hum Tum”.

The story goes like this:

Rajveer Singh (Saif) is a pit-crew worker in a racing team with a passion for driving. One fine day, his potential is discovered by team manager Harry (Jaaved Jaaferi). The same day, he accidentally meets a music student Radhika (Rani) who he falls for instantly.

After this his life goes for a speedy change. He gets drafted into ‘Speeding Saddles’ – a failing racing team – and transforms from Rajveer Singh to “RV”, the racing car driver.

His racing career takes off instantly and his love life also blossoms following a whirlwind romance. A few months later, he is both a happily married man and one of the country’s best racers.

Fatherhood and greater success both follow and soon he becomes the No. 1 racing driver in the US. He is also blessed with two precocious kids Priya (Angelina Idnani) and Ranveer (Ali Haji).

But life’s unpredictability catches them unawares. A bad racing accident and RV is hospitalised for a few months. Once out of the hospital, he tries to put his life back on track but realises that he has been mentally scarred by the accident and has lost his edge.

His life now takes a turn for the worse and after a string of failures he is forced to auction his house and move with his family to a run-down Bronx-style neighbourhood.

The family struggles to survive, living a life they are not used to, using a mixture of fantasy and cheerfulness to pull through in the face of adversity. But an incident forces RV to reclaim the life that was taken away from him.

Can he once again, and perhaps for a last time, face his inner demons on the racetrack?

To direct the stunt scenes, the producers roped in acclaimed Hollywood stunt coordinator Steve Kelso who has apparently done an excellent job.

The music of Yash Raj films builds up pre-release hysteria, but there is no such response to the songs of “Ta Ra Rum Pum” which are penned by Javed Akhtar and composed by Vishal-Shekhar.

Both Rani and Saif are coming on the big screen after a long gap and hopefully Siddharth Anand creates the same magic he did with “Salaam Namaste”. Indo-Asian News Service.

Rani Mukherji and Preity Zinta to play ‘Holi’ on KBC with Shahrukh Khan

Mumbai, Feb 17 : Shahrukh Khan really created a wonderful Valentine’s Day on the newly launched Kaun Banega Crorepati, and now he is planning the same for the ‘Holi’. It is said that he will host the show on ‘holi’ with two sexy ladies on the hot-seat, Rani Mukherji and Preity Zinta.

One advantage of having Bollywood’s reigning superstar Shah Rukh Khan as the host on STAR Plus’ popular game show “Kaun Banega Crorepati” (KBC) is he can convince all his buddies to come to the hot seat.

After the star-studded Valentine’s Day special, Shah Rukh has just recorded yet another special episode for KBC. This time it’s for spring festival of Holi, featuring his two co-stars Preity Zinta and Rani Mukerji. The episode went off like a charm. A source from the set told IANS: “There were rumours about a fallout between Preity and Rani who were once best friends. But Shah Rukh has a special knack of making all his heroines feel special.” “Earlier this week on ‘Koffee With Karan’ Shah Rukh actually made Kajol and her cousin Rani – who self-admittedly don’t socialise together – sit together on one sofa and be civil to each other. Now on KBC, Preity and Rani got along like a house on fire.” Though the exact prize money won by the two leading ladies is not known, the sources said they won close to Rs.50 lakhs together.

” I would love doing parivarik films ” : John Abraham

After his mind blowing performance in ” Baabul “, John Abraham would like to play more roles as the ‘ Rajat ‘ in the film. John admits, ” I was under pressure, but, it all came from within me. I have done something I had never done before. Mr Ravi Chopra has showed great faith in me by casting me in Baabul “.

Bollywood’s sexiest star, John accepts that he was quite nervous and under pressure before the release of his first family drama , ‘ Baabul ‘. He further said, “All of them have proved themselves in mainstream cinema. I’m new to this set-up. It made me nervous in the beginning. I had to break my mind-set as an actor. I hope I’ve been able to carry off this kind of cinema. ”

Although John’s role was of ‘Rajat ‘ (the man who wants to marry the widowed Rani) was tough to cast, John did wonders at it. He exclaimed, “I heard the script. It moved me to tears. If a script sounds good all the characters will shine. The important thing is to not fall so much in love with your role that you forget the larger picture. In Baabul everyone contributes to the emotions and drama.”

John loves and is fond of small children, he admits,”When you’ve the kids on your side, you get the moms and dads as a bonus.” He had great excitement working with such huge mainstream actors like Amitji, Hemaji, Rani and Salman.

John supports the main theme of the film, he says, ” We come from a generation that believes everyone has the right to live with dignity. I see no problem in a woman getting married again. I can’t understand how anyone can be prevented from re-marrying.”

Baabul : movie review

When you have everything going for you, including a top star-cast and a powerful socially relevant theme, it isn’t easy to mess things up. But “Baabul” does exactly that.

Film: “Baabul”; Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Rani Mukherjee, Salman Khan, John Abraham, Om Puri, Sarika; Director: Ravi Chopra; Rating: * 1/2

Just why or how director Ravi Chopra manages to make a monumental mess out of a potentially explosive drama is a matter worthy of an inquiry commission.

Years ago Raj Kapoor had cast Padmini Kolhapure as a carefree girl who’s transformed into a weeping widow in “Prem Rog”. She finally marries her beloved from the past amidst a tumult of societal protest.

Writer Achala Nagar adopts the same framework but she forgets that times have changed and widow remarriage isn’t quite the burning issue it used to be two decades ago, especially in the case of modern families like the one shown in this film.

The first half of the film, where Avinash (Salman Khan) marries Mili (Rani Mukerji), is replete with loud celebratory songs. The choreography, artwork and cinematography are more suited to the social dramas of the 1960s than a contemporary work.

It’s shocking to see how clumsily Ravi Chopra handles the familial inter-relationships and how much of his inspiration comes from tried-and-tested cinema.

The buddy-buddy bonding between dad Amitabh Bachchan and son Khan has been done in films as diverse as Vipul Shah’s “Waqt” and Karan Johar’s “Kabhi Alvidaa Na Kehna”, not to forget Yash Chopra’s “Kabhi Kabhie” in a much earlier decade.

It’s in the second-half when Bachchan goes husband-hunting for his widowed daughter-in-law that the director gets a grip on the main drama. It may not be too late to salvage the widow’s wrecked domesticity but it’s certainly too late to save the film from its catastrophic conventional drama.

“Baabul” is filled with superfluous scenes of family bonding, seen mainly through clumsily choreographed songs. The characters are too busy posing and preening to get under the skin of the roles.

Bachchan and Rani, however, make a genuine effort to light a spark in the dark. There are flashes of genuine drama between the two after Avinash’s death but moments of tragic resonance are often frittered away in pursuit of glamour.

Ravi Chopra’s previous film “Baghban”, about old age and negligence, worked mainly because of the superb chemistry between the lead pair – Bachchan and Hema Malini.

In “Baabul”, one feels Bachchan and Hema Malini are being forced to fake the couple’s camaraderie. Their singing and dancing fails to recreate their “Baghban” magic.

As for Nagar’s dialogues – it’s been a while since we heard anyone in a mainstream Hindi film scream, “Ruko … yeh shaadi nahin ho sakti!”. That’s what poor Om Puri, playing Bachchan’s super-conservative brother, is reduced to doing.

Puri should consider himself to be lucky. At least he gets to speak. Some of the supporting cast, including Sarika who plays a silently suffering widow, barely get to open their mouth in this otherwise over-talkative film.

Salman and John, as the two men in the leading lady’s life, are cocky and self-conscious respectively. The clothes they wear, the songs they sing and the dialogues they mouth could probably be held responsible.

The onus of sustaining the drama falls entirely on Bachchan and Rani. The latter’s growth as an actor since Sanjay Bhansali’s “Black” has been steady and remarkable. Rani proves that she is far ahead of her contemporaries despite the film’s basic flaws. If you must watch the film, watch it for Rani!

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