Ode – 8 : To Daniel Day-Lewis


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           FEBRUARY 27 , 2013           08.20 P.M.

Daniel Day – Lewis won the Oscar for the Best Actor [ Male ] for Steven Spielberg’s ” Lincoln ” [ 2012 ] and created history . He became the first and only male actor of Hollywood to get three Oscars in the main lead category . His other two Oscar-winning roles are My Left Foot ” [ 1989 ] and ” There Will Be Blood ” [ 2007 ] .

Daniel Day-Lewis

I first came to know about Daniel in 1989 . In 1989 I came to Mumbai and took admission in Ashha Chandra’s acting classes . That year’s Oscars were announced and Ashha Ji had a show of ” My Left Foot “ for all the students of her academy . We were watching the movie and were mesmerized by the performance of the lead actor Daniel Day – Lewis . It was my first encounter with Daniel  . After watching ” My Left Foot ” , I was forced to believe that the protagonist is paraplegic in his real life too . My perception changed when I saw his next movie , ” The Bounty “ . Later on I watched ” The Last of The Mohicans “ and ” Gangs of New York ” and I became a life-long fan of the actor . ” Lincoln “ only fortifies my admiration and regard for the actor . It speaks volumes that a British and Irish national Daniel , plays the most revered character of American history so convincingly .

Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln

Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln

English: Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth Presid...

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


He is one of the most acclaimed actors of this generation . His work has earned numerous awards, including five nominations for the Academy Awards, which resulted in three wins, respectively, for his portrayals of Christy Brown in My Left Foot (1989), Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood (2007), and Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln (2012), a feat which makes him the only male actor in history to gather three wins in the leading category.

Cover of

Cover of My Left Foot (Special Edition)

Cover of

Cover of There Will Be Blood [Blu-ray]

Lewis has also been nominated for six BAFTA Awards, with four wins, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three Critic’s Choice Awards, as well as garnering seven Golden Globe nominations, winning twice.

Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis (born 29 April 1957) is an English actor with both British and Irish citizenship. The son of Poet Laureate Cecil Day-Lewis and actress Jill Balcon , he was born and grew up in London . Despite his traditional actor training at the Bristol Old Vic, he is considered to be a method actor, known for his constant devotion to and research of his roles. He often remains completely in character for the duration of the shooting schedules of his films, even to the point of adversely affecting his health .

He reportedly demanded and got 1 year for preparing the character of Abraham Lincoln . He read almost 100 books written about the president and gave new interpretation to the character . He made his voice high pitch instead of booming voice of Lincoln . Needless to say that his interpretation is totally accepted by the puritan critics and lapped by the discerning masses .

Filmography of Daniel Day-Lewis :


1982 Gandhi Colin
1984 The Bounty John Fryer
1985 My Beautiful Laundrette Johnny
1985 A Room with a View Cecil Vyse
1986 Nanou Maxo
1988 The Unbearable Lightness of Being Tomas
1988 Stars and Bars Henderson Dores
1989 Eversmile, New Jersey Dr. Fergus O’Connell
1989 My Left Foot Christy Brown
1992 The Last of the Mohicans Hawkeye (Nathaniel Poe)
1993 The Age of Innocence Newland Archer
1993 In the Name of the Father Gerry Conlon
1996 The Crucible John Proctor
1997 The Boxer Danny Flynn
2002 Gangs of New York Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting
2005 The Ballad of Jack and Rose Jack Slavin
2007 There Will Be Blood Daniel Plainview
2009 Nine Guido Contini
2012 Lincoln Abraham Lincoln

My admiration for him grows every time when I go through this filmography . Such variety and such array of histrionics is unparalleled in the annals of cinema .

As an acting tutor I wish and desire to produce at least one Daniel Day-Lewis in my life-time . My acting academy ,  Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , would feel a sense of accomplishment if it could boast of at least one alumni like Daniel Day-Lewis . Until then it is endless wait .










Ode – 7 : To Ranbir Kapoor & ” Barfi ”

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           OCTOBER 27 , 2012           00.45 A.M.

Few days back I wrote a blog about my association with Karan Johar’s latest movie Student Of The Year ” . Whole film industry is celebrating its super success . I , as an Acting Trainer or Acting Tutor , was also happy for my personal students Varun Dhawan and Shekhar Ravjiani . Twitter handle of Taran Adarsh amplifies the super success of ” Student Of The Year ” :

taran adarsh taran adarsh ‏@taran_adarsh

#SOTY has 48 cr Week 1, superb! http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/trade/top5/id/908/date/2012-10-26 …

” Student Of The Year “ is still continuing its stupendous run at the box office worldwide . Today I got one more happy news about my another student Ranbir Kapoor’s latest hit filmBarfi ” . It was released last month . Apart from being India’s official entry at the Oscars , ” Barfi “ garnered 100 crore at the box office and entered 100 Crore Club of Hindi Films .
Through the twitter handle of Mr. Taran Adarsh I got to know that ” Barfi “ has now become the third biggest grosser of 2012 . It has surpassed ” Agneepath “ and is third only to ” Ek Tha Tiger “ and ” Rowdy Rathore ” .

#Barfi is the 3rd highest grosser of 2012, after #EkThaTiger and #RowdyRathore. Both #Barfi and #RowdyRathore are UTV films… contd.

Oct taran adarsh taran adarsh ‏@taran_adarsh

#Barfi 4th Week – 11 cr, 5th Week – 4 cr. Total: 120.62 cr nett. 3rd biggest grosser of 2012. Overtakes #Agneepath in India and Overseas.

It is rare distinction . Ranbir Kapoor deserves special mention for the choice of his films and portraying different and difficult characters with conviction and rare finesse . I am simply amazed with his brilliance . His understanding of life is amazing . Still he gave me this note , while I was working with him as his private tutor for Saawariya , his debut film .

Ranbir Kapoor's Hand - Written Note to Me

Ranbir Kapoor’s Hand – Written Note to Me

He has written ” looking forward to learn life from you “ . It is sheer humility . He knows life better than me and some morons , who claim to know everything . Still he wanted to give credit to me . It shows his impeccable upbringing and sense of respect for his Acting Coach , Acting Tutor or Acting Trainer , whatever title you would like to proffer me .

Success of ” Barfi “ is remarkable because ” Ek Tha Tiger “ and ” Rowdy Rathore “ are mass entertainers . They are typical Hindi pot – boilers . But ” Barfi “ is different . It is not a box office masala film . It is not that kind of entertainer . Still it is this year’s third biggest grosser . It shows Ranbir Kapoor’s rising super – stardom . I am so happy for him . From ” Saawariya “[ 2007 ]  to ” Barfi “[ 2012 ] , his 5-year-old journey is meticulous and well strategize journey in the hazardous killer field known as Hindi Film Industry .

With Ranbir Kapoor before " Saawariya "

With Ranbir Kapoor before ” Saawariya “

I would like to congratulate Ranbir Kapoor on behalf of  all the current students of Vidur’s Kreating Charakters and Vidur’s Kreating Charakters family on this occasion and for this well – deserved super success . It is very proud moment for an ordinary Acting Trainer of Mumbai like me .








Ode – 6 : To Ms. Tonthoi & Manipuri Films

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JUNE 05 , 2012           00.45 A.M.

Does the name Leishangthem Tonthoingambi Devi ring a familiar bell ?

Does even Tonthoi ring a familiar sound ?

Does this photograph even remotely remind you of anybody ?



I know the answer is , NO .

Now just go through this photo of 59th National Film Awards .

Tonthoi Receiving Best Supporting Actor's Award

Tonthoi Receiving Best Supporting Actress Award

Who is the girl receiving award from Vice President of India ?

I know , the answer will again be a firm , NO .

And this is unfortunate . This is shameful . This is disgusting , to say the least .

I would like to add that when I say this , I don’t exclude myself . My crime is greater . My sin is rather unpardonable . Because I belong to film fraternity . I train actors . And I am doing this job since 1990 . If I , in spite of being a part of the film industry for 22 long years , do not know or recognize  Tonthoi , the National Award winning actress from Manipur , what could I expect from common public ?

When the 59th National Film Awards were announced , I went through the list . I was happy for Vidya Balan . But I did not care to know or remember that the National Award for Best Supporting Actress went to a Manipuri actress , Ms. LeishangthemTonthoingambi Devi a.k.a. Tonthoi . Everyone knows that Vidya Balan won the award forDirty PictureBut ask even the connoisseurs about Tonthoi and her film . Even they will fail to name the Manipuri film for which Tonthoi won the award . I came to know about the film through a recent article of Times of India . Name of the Manipuri film is ; ” Phijigee Mani ” .

Leishangthem Tonthoingambi Devi

Leishangthem Tonthoingambi Devi

Leishangthem Tonthoingambi Devi

Leishangthem Tonthoingambi Devi

It is unfortunate . We are appalled when we hear some voices of cessation  in some North – Eastern state . We squirm when we hear that 7 states of North East India is different from India and should be allowed to secede . At that time we become nationalists . But a 24-year-old actress from Manipur wins National Award for her film and we fail to know the name of the actress and her film .

I don’t know about others but I am ashamed and I cannot pardon myself . Through this blog I offer an open apology to Tonthoi , Manipuri film industry and people of Manipur .



Of late Manipuri film industry is a robust industry . It produces 30 / 40 films per year . To not know about Manipuri film industry is shameful .

History of Manipuri Films

Manipuri movies were properly made from 1972. Earlier these were mostly documentary in nature. Feature films came into vogue much later.

The first Manipuri movie was ” Matamgi Manipur ” [ 1972 ] . It was directed by Debkumar Kumar Bose. It was one of the Manipuri movies that received the President`s Medal in 20th National Film Festival in 1972.

Some of the other notable Manipuri movies are as follows:

” Brojendragee Luhongba ” [ 1972 ] : Directed by S.N Chand the film won the Best screenplay Award in the 1st state Film Festival in 1984.

” Lamja Pasuram ” [ 1974 ] : This flick was directed by Aribam Shyam Sharma.

” Ngak-E-Ko Nangshe ” [ 1974 ] : It was a S.N. Chand film.

” Saphabee ” [ 1976 ] :  Directed by Aribam Shyam Sharma it bagged Rajat Kamal for Best Regional Film at the National award ceremony in 1976.

” Olangthagee Wangmadasu ” [ 1980 ] : 4 years later history repeated itself with this film when it bagged Rajat Kamal for Best Regional Film in 1980. This particular Manipuri movie was directed by Aribam Shyam Sharma.

” Imagi Ningthem ” [ 1981 ] : another film by Aribam Shyam Sharma , it grabbed the Rajat Kamal for Best Regional Film at the National Awards ceremony (1982), Best Feature Film Award in the 1st Manipur State Film festival, Grand Prix Award at Nantes International Film festival in France (1981) and National Award for Best Child Actor (Master Leikhendra). The film was also screened at several international film festivals.

Other Manipuri movies are : ” Khonjel ” [ 1981 ] , ” Wangma Wangma ” [ 1981 ] , ” Paokhum Ama ” [ 1983 ] , ” Sanakeithel ” [ 1983 ] , ” Thaba ” [ 1984 ] , ” Langlen Thadoi ” [ 1984 ] , ” Yairipok Thambalnu ” [ 1984 ] , ” Iche Sakhi ” [ 1986 ] , ” Kombirei ” [ 1989 ] , ” Ishanou ” [ 1990 ] , ” Ingallei ” [ 1990 ] , ” Paap ” [ 1991 ] , ” Khonthang ” [ 1992 ] , ” Sambal Wangma ” [ 1993 ] , ” Thambal ” [ 1993 ] , ” Madhabee ” [ 1993 ] , ” Mayophygee Macha ” [ 1994 ] , ” Sanamanbi Sanarei” [ 1995 ] , ” Sanabi ” [ 1995 ] , ” Khamba Khamnu ” [ 1995 ] , ” Kanaga Hinghouni ” [ 1996 ] , ” Khamba Thoibi ” [ 1997 ] , ” Chinglensana ” [ 1997 ] .

Amongst these ” Sanakeithel ” [ 1983 ] , ” Ishanou ” [ 1990 ] , ” Sambal wangma ” [ 1993 ] , ” Mayophygee Macha ” [ 1994 ] , ” Sanabi ” [ 1995 ] , won National Awards (Rajat Kamal) .

[ I have taken information about Manipuri films from various sources and sites available on internet . ]

I have very little connection with Manipur . I have just one student from the province . His name is Prasanjeet Sinha .

Prasanjeet Sinha

Prasanjeet Sinha

I hope to rectify this error soon . I would be visiting Manipur in near future . I promise to interact with the Manipuri film industry . This blog is a baby step in that direction .







Ode – 5 : To Satyamev Jayate [ B ]

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JUNE  03, 2012           11.10 P.M.

Let me make it clear in the beginning . This is not my original blog . Mr. Arsh Jaikrishan , a friend of mine , send me this on BBM . I got this today , when I finished watching the 5th episode of today’s Satyamev Jayate ” .

I was peeved at the response of some of the critics of the show . You have every right to disagree with the format and content of the show . You have every right to not watch the show .You have every right to dislike Mr. Aamir Khan as an actor  . But attacking him on personal front and on his personal life is crass , crude and vulgar .

I am happy that Mr. Arsh Jaikrishan and people like him are spreading a right and positive message . ” Satyamev Jayate “ is a path-breaking show and it must be encouraged in every possible way .

As for I am concerned , I have already written a blog on ” Satyamev Jayate ” . I am providing the link :

Ode – 5 : To Satyamev Jayate http://wp.me/ptyXI-20W

Aamir Khan with The Logo of Satyamev Jayate

Aamir Khan with The Logo of Satyamev Jayate

” Satyamev Jayate “


Mr. Arsh Jaikrishan

” Rather than Appreciating Aamir , Majority of Doctors are taking on his personal life and his earnings . So Let me make it very clear about the money and Sacrifices hez put into making SATYAMEVJAYATE !

1.) Aamir Khan (AKP) spent 32 cr in d making , research n promotions of SMJ.

2.) Aamir ended the contracts with 6 brands worth Rs. 116 cr.

3.) Aamir Paid 23 cr to the brands as a penalty of the breach of contract.

4.) In return he will get 46 cr (3.5 cr per episode) from Star plus , which also includes the pay of AKP team of around 500 members.

5.) He could ve easily earned 3 cr per episode by doing a quiz show

6.) Delayed the 45 cr most awaited film of 2012,Talaash.

7.) He did Satymev jayate becoz he wanted to make it and not for money.

8.) We never said that Satyamev jayate is a perfect show,its an honest effort thats it : Aamir Khan.

The Reason all these things are’nt out in media coz He is not a self praising person!

Share if You Truly Respect AAMIR KHAN’S SINCERE EFFORT. “

English: The present banner of Aamir Khan Prod...

The present banner of Aamir Khan Productions

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.







Ode – 5 : To Satyamev Jayate [ A ]

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MAY 30 , 2012           01.15 A.M.  

In this age of television almost all the stars of Indian silver – screen have already made their television debut . Aamir Khan was the only exception . On May 06 , 2012 he also made his TV debut with his Talk ShowSatyamev Jayate and created history .

English: The present banner of Aamir Khan Prod...

The present banner of Aamir Khan Productions

Aamir Khan with The Logo of Satyamev Jayate

Aamir Khan with The Logo of Satyamev Jayate

His television show ” Satyamev Jayate “ was aired simultaneously on Star Plus and other channels within Star Network along with  D.D. National . In the history of Indian Television , it is the first show to achieve this feat . Apart from Hindi , it is dubbed in Tamil , Telugu , Malayalam , Marathi and Bengali .

Till date 4 episodes have been out and they dealt with various burning social issues :

1st Episode – May 06, 2012 –  ” Daughters Are Precious ” [Female Foeticide

2nd Episode – May 13, 2012 –  ” Break The Silence ”  [Child Sexual Abuse]

3rd Episode – May 20, 2012 – ” Marriage or Marketplace ” [Dowry] 

4th Episode – May 27 , 2012 – ” Every Life Is Precious ” [Medical Malpractices]  

6 May , 2012  - 1st Episode

6 May , 2012 – 1st Episode

13 May - 2nd Episode

13 May – 2nd Episode

As expected the show garnered 4.27 TRP . First episode was viewed by 9 crore people .Riding on the wave of public sympathy and word of mouth publicity , ” Satyamev Jayate “ , topped the popularity chart . It created positive buzz and generated public outcry on the issues it dealt with .

As expected , rivals and critics and jealous friends and die – hard nay – sayers panned the show . They started finding faults with everything related to the show .

A minister in Rajasthan government lashed at Aamir Khan and said that instead of hosting the show , he should come to Rajasthan and work for the people . May I ask what is his job ? Why is he elected ? Aamir Khan brought an issue in his notice . Instead of acting with alacrity and acting against the culprits , he is finding faults with the show .

There was some comments in the press that Aamir Khan is charging fee for hosting the show . May I ask why should he not charge his professional fee ? Instead of hosting some inane show like his contemporaries , he is hosting a show which is bringing some burning social issues for public debate .

A journalist tweeted that Aamir Khan should think about his first wife and only then talk about these issues . May I ask why is he so concerned about Aamir Khan’s first wife ? Two adults mutually decide to terminate their marriage without acrimony and bickering and moreover his first wife is not accusing Aamir Khan for cruelty or anything , then why is this journalist raking up a private issue ?

A journalist of Hindustan Times wrote that instead of making people cry , Aamir Khan should try to create laughter . 4th episode was not weepy at all . It was entertaining and at the same time informative  . Her criticism about the near perfect reaction and well – timed teary eyes also fail to impress . When you are narrating a personal tragedy , you don’t need acting skills . Tears come naturally and reaction is instantaneous . Her criticism is cussed and lacks sensitivity .

According to me above mentioned criticisms are result of some jealous minds and envious rivals . ” Satyamev Jayate “ exposed their mediocrity and they are now naked in the open . So their factotum and some paid – journos are fanning the falsehood .

There was a news item that the show failed to generate viewership and that the TRP is only 3.01 . But soon final verdict was out and now it is a known fact that the actual TRP is 4.27 . According to Television Audience measurement the show reached out to 4.96 million people . 1 lakh people tried calling Aamir Khan during the show .

Several topics related to the show were trending on twitter and were among top 5 . Even before the first episode ended , it got 2,254 tweets on micro – blogging site ,  twitter . Due to huge and unprecedented traffic the official website ; http://www.satyamevjayate.in crashed as soon as the first episode ended . On Google Trends also the show was top search in India . The show’s official page on Facebook has received more than 9,71,000 likes .

Hindustan Times conducted an online poll where 88% viewers have voted that they liked the show . 7% remained undecided and only 5% felt that the show failed to impress .

6th May 2012 - !st Episode of Satyamev Jayate

6th May 2012 – !st Episode of Satyamev Jayate

Need I say anything more ? But there were some honest and saner voices also .

Some eminent personalities like ; Siddharth Basu and Newspapers like ; Hindustan Times and Wall Street Journal have compared the show with Oprah Winfrey Show . To compare ” Satyamev Jayate “ with Oprah Winfrey Show is a great honour . I totally agree with the view .

Winfrey on the first national broadcast of The...

Winfrey on the first national broadcast of The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986







Ode – 4 : To Anusha Rizvi


I wanted to write about Anusha Rizvi and her film ” Peepli [ Live ] ” ever since I watched the film. My initial reaction was of shock and awe. I was unable to believe that a journalist-turned-director, who is a first timer, can make such a poignant film about rural India. It is so well-written and treated with such a sensitive way that after the film gets over, you are unable to believe that the story of Natha is over. It speaks volumes about the legendary conviction of Aamir Khan also, who backed the film to the hilt and saw to it that it gets a mainstream release. But had the film been a mediocre one, any amount of publicity, any amount of hype would have been gone awry. So in my opinion, the stupendous success does not stand only at the door of  the producer of ” Peepli [Live ] ” . Aamir Khan deserves full marks for agreeing to produce the film. He should be congratulated for having implicit faith in a debutante and a wannabe director Anusha Rizvi. But Anusha Rizvi also deserves distinction marks because she could justify the faith imposed in her by her star producer and his banner.



Image via Wikipedia


She becomes the second Indian, after Satyajit Ray, whose debut film is going to the Oscars. Isn’t it incredible? ” Pather Panchali ” and ” Peepli [ Live ] ”  have few things in common. Both the films are the debut films of their directors and both the films depict the story of rural India. Recent Hindi films have been city centric and since the new crop of the directors are ignorant of our rural ethos, their films are based in urban India and they cater to urban people only. ” Peepli [ Live ] ” beaks this rule and that too quite poignantly and successfully. Like Satyajit Ray’s ” Pather Panchali ” it portrays rural India’s poverty, misery and simple way of life. It portrays the forgotten village life of India’s approximately 5,75,000 villages.


Apu and his sister Durga running to catch a gl...

Image via Wikipedia - Famous Scene Of Pather Panchali


Rural India has fascinating stories to tell and this debutante director Anusha Rizvi decides to tread the unbeaten path and succeeds impressively like her predecessor legendary Satyajit Ray.


Satyajit Ray.

Image via Wikipedia


Aamir Khan is also unique in a way that his first film as a producer ” Lagaan ”  was a village-centric film. It was India’s official entry to the Oscars and it was selected also in the foreign films category. Only 5 Indian films have qualified for the Oscars so far. incidentally ” Peepli [ Live ] ”  is Aamir’s 4th film, which is selected for the Oscars – ” Lagaan” ,  ” Rang De Basanti “,  ” Taare Zameen Par ” and now ” Peepli [ Live ] “.


Bhuvan (Aamir Khan) with his cricket team cons...

Image via Wikipedia - Aamir's Cricket Team in Lagaan


I have become a huge fan of Anusha Rizvi and wish her all the success !



Udaipur – Rajasthan – India






Ode – 3 : To Manoj Night Shyamalan

Manoj Night Shyamalan’s new film ” The Last Airbenderwas released this week and as has become the fashion, it has been unequivocally and mercilessly panned by the critics. I am so anguished by this behaviour of learned critics that now I am turning into a follower and I am becoming a biased fan of Mr. Shyamalan. I always wonder, why the western critics are so vehemently against Mr. Shyamalan and why almost all his films are invariably panned ? Let us have a look on all the films which he has made so far:

1 – PRAYING WITH ANGER – ( 1992 ) :

He made this film while he was still studying in New York university. He borrowed money from his family, friends and from relatives and apart from writing the script, also acted in it. It was not released commercially, so I am not counting it or taking it in reckoning.

2 – WIDE AWAKE – ( 1998 ) :

Six years after making his first amateurish film, Mr. Shyamalan made this film which was released commercially. Though it got completed in 1995, it was released in 1998.

3 – THE SIXTH SENSE – ( 1999  ):

This third film of Mr. Shyamalan is his first commercial success. It was released in 1999 and it is Mr. Shyamalan’s biggest hit so far. Made with the budge of $ 40 million,  it earned $ 660 million worldwide. It was nominated for Academy Awards in 6 categories including best picture, best director and best original screenplay. Starring Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment, this film is the 6th biggest grosser of all times in Hollywood history.

4 – UNBREAKABLE – ( 2000 )  :

This 4th film of Mr. Shyamalan was made with the budget of $ 73.2 million and it grossed $ 244 million worldwide. Bruce Willis again worked with Mr. Shyamalan along with Samuel L. Jackson.

5 –  SIGNS – ( 2002 )  :

This Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix starrer had budget of $ 72 million and it grossed $ 635 million worldwide. Incidentally this film is Mel Gibson’s most successful film ever and is the highest grosser of Mel Gibson’s career.

6 – THE VILLAGE – ( 2004 ) :

This Joaquin Phoenix starrer was made with the budget of $ 71.6 million and it grossed $ 256.2 million worldwide. It was nominated for one Academy Award, though it was panned by the critics.

7 – LADY IN THE WATER – ( 2006 ) :

This film was a definite flop and it could not recover its cost. The ignominy of  the matter was that it was nominated at 27th Golden Raspberry Awards in 4 categories. I do admit and  consider that it is a bad film.

8 – THE HAPPENING – (  2008 ) :

Though panned by critics this film grossed $ 163.3 worldwide. It was the 3rd highest grosser of that year.

9 – THE LAST AIRBENDER – ( 2008 ) :

This film got released this week and its box office result is still awaited. Its budget is $ 150 million and it’s opening weekend collection is  $ 70 million .

Out of 9 films, his first film was not a commercially released film. So out of remaining 8 films, the result of his latest offering is still awaited. So if we go through the statistics of remaining 7 films, he has given only 1 flop and  6 blockbusters. Isnt it an enviable record ? Isnt it praise worthy ? Isnt it commendable ? For western critics it is not . They call him ” one track pony ” and they decorate him with all sorts of pejoratives. They have already written his obituary. He is subjected to this kind of ridicule in spite of his enviable track record. All the films of a maker can’t be  masterpieces. No one can claim to have 100% track record. So why western critics so vehemently oppose him and why almost all his films are invariably panned ? I am copying and pasting an article, published in THE SUN to substantiate my point :


Entertainment Movies

The downfall of M. Night


Last Updated: July 10, 2010 2:00am

M. Night Shyamalan (<A HREF=
M. Night Shyamalan (WENN.COM file photo)

HOLLYWOOD — It was a particularly sizzling July afternoon during the summer of 1999 when I trudged across the Disney Studios Burbank lot toward my appointed destination.

To tell the truth, by then an air-conditioned screening room held a lot more promise than what was being shown — some new Bruce Willis thriller.

After all, Willis hadn’t exactly been box office dynamite in recent years, what with stuff like The Siege and The Jackal.

So I selected a seat positioned directly beneath an air vent and settled in just as the lights started to go down.

Some two hours later I was effectively chilled — and it had absolutely nothing to do with the A/C.

It had everything to do with The Sixth Sense.

By the time it officially hit theatres a couple of weeks later, the drama with the killer twist ending and the haunted kid who saw dead people was well on its way to becoming a pop culture phenomenon.

Everyone was asking, who’s this M. Night Shyamalan guy and where did he come from?

A decade later, they’re asking why he’s still here.

Because, in recent years, with the exception of, say, Signs, his subsequent output has become increasingly ridiculous, not to mention eye-rolling pretentious.

M. Night has fallen.

From the laugh-out-loud ludicrous big reveal of The Village (his final association with Disney) to the laugh-out-loud ludicrous (period) Lady in the Water to the just plain inept The Happening, each new film seemed to bring Shyamalan to fresh artistic lows.

Along the way, a succession of studios took the bait, only to be left holding the bag when audiences would ultimately catch on to the fact that the latest effort “from the director of Sixth Sense and Signs” was no Sixth Sense or Signs.

Not only could Shyamalan no longer justify the rare, hands-off autonomy he had earned from studio execs thanks to those early successes, but he was running out of places willing to bankroll another of his cloaked-in-secrecy scripts.

With last weekend’s arrival of The Last Airbender, meanwhile, came the hope that, since the subject matter originated, not from Shyamalan’s once-fertile imagination, but from a hit Nickelodeon animated series, the downward spiral might be curbed.

But while the special effects were decent, the movie as a whole earned him his worst notices yet.

That it nevertheless opened over the traditionally lucrative Fourth of July holiday weekend with a solid $70 million was attributed mainly to the marketing powers of Paramount Pictures.

Determined to protect its $150 million production investment, the studio pumped in almost as much for a worldwide awareness campaign pulling out all stops to get fans of the original series into theatres over the weekend ahead of the nasty warning Tweets.

The majority of those who turned up over the weekend were males under the age of 25 who had been big fans of the animated series and were likely in the market for something — anything — other than The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.

Or maybe they were just in it for the air conditioning.


Michael Rechtshaffen is a Canadian entertainment writer based in Los Angeles.


After reading this article, can you still feel that this criticism is fair and not biased ? If his recently released film collected $ 70 million in the first weekend, is it proper to say that audiences are going just to spend some time in the air-conditioned hall ? Sorry, I have tolerated enough and I am not going to take this insult any more. Western press is biased and they are behaving like  racists of worst kind. You may not like the film, you may not like the direction, but you can’t write the obituary of an artiste whose track record is so impeccable. Every director can make bad films. Every maker has given damp squibs. But no critic can say that a particular artiste is finished. In Mr. Shyamalan’s case this is happening too often and too soon. Mr. Shyamalan is a master craftsman and barring one or two , all his films are  blockbusters. Alfred Hitchcock also made same kind of films throughout his life and no one called him ” one track pony “. Some of his films today look mediocre, but to say that he was a mediocre director, would be blasphemous and will be considered a sacrilege.

American media sang paeans to ” SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE ” , which was definitely a mediocre film. Since it was made by a British , it got many Academy Awards. But an Indian Mr. Shekhar Kapoor or a P.I.O. ( person of Indian origin ) Mr. Manoj Night Shyamalan are panned and their films are ridiculed mercilessly and vehemently. If this is not racist behaviour, then can anyone enlighten me, what is it ?




Ode – 2 : To Aparna Sen

“ The Japanese Wife ” got released this Friday. I watched the film and was awe-struck. Ms. Sen has mastered the art of telling poignant stories with finesse and a distinctive touch of her own. Unfortunately I am yet to meet her personally but I became her ardent fan, ever since I saw her first film “ 36 Chowringhee Lane ” in 1981. The last shot of the film moved me to tears. The hurt face and teary eyes of an aged Anglo-Indian teacher walking all alone in the lane on a Christmas night, with a cake in her hand and a feeling in her heart that she was simply used by her students, still haunts me. I was traumatized then. This role played by Jennifer Kapoor is so well etched in my memory that I am unable to forget it even today, a full two decades later. I am a teacher myself and I know that there are some students who don’t reciprocate your love and feelings. They just use you to further their goals and aims and pretend to be nice to you but when their work is over they simply fly away like birds, without caring for the branches of the tree where they made their nests and where they spent some memorable moments of their lives. They have so many other skies to fly into, so many other heights to scale. Who cares for a decaying, dying, old, leafless tree, which gave them shelter, when they needed it most. Birds fly away without even looking back. Same thing happens to a teacher also. I have personally experienced it some times. A female student of mine, whose film got released this Friday, didn’t bother to reply back, when I sent her a congratulatory message on twitter. Another student of mine, whose second directorial venture was released last week, ignored my congratulatory tweet. At the trial show of Sadiyaana female student of mine saw through me. Is it demeaning to say “ hi ” to your teacher/trainer ? Does it take too much time to tweet and say thank you ? Is it too tedious a thing ? A teacher doesn’t need or demand anything but it makes them happy when they see their students working successfully in various fields. I empathized with the teacher of “ 36 Chowringhee Lane ”. She was used because she had a place and her students were in need of it for their sexual escapades. They used her nicely and dumped her without qualms. I will never ever forget that film. “ 36 Chowringhee Lane ” is part of my life. If a film maker can touch your life with a film, I think she/he had succeeded in her/his endeavour. I was crestfallen when that year’s National Award went to Rekha for “ Umrao Jaan ” instead of Jennifer Kapoor.

“ 15 Park Avenue ” is the next film which I watched after “ 36 Chowringhee Lane ” . Once again I was mesmerised. Film had breathtaking camera work and some marvellous acting by Waheeda Rehman, Shabana Azami, Rahul Bose and Konkona Sen Sharma. Konkona gave marvellous performance as a schizophrenic girl. Again the end of this film moved me to tears. I remember that next day I had to spend hours explaining the real meaning of the end of the film to my students. They were thoroughly confused and I had to explain it to them.

And now “ The Japanese Wife ”. It is very moving and touches you deeply, if you have a heart. Some critics wrote that it is slow and boring. They further wrote that in days of internet and facebook, who will write letters. I would have appreciated their point of view, had the film and its characters were based in New York or L.A. This is a story of a teacher who works and lives in Sundarbans. In the primitive and pristine village of Sundarbans, where modern civilisation is yet to descend, do you expect a school teacher to be net-savvy ? Do you really think that he can tweet his feelings to her beloved in Japan and can communicate with her through a webcam ? Even now when I go to my native place in Uttar Pradesh, life stops after 8.00 P.M. There is no electricity, no internet. If this can happen in U.P., what can you say about Sundarbans ? I would like to submit very humbly that facebook or twitter is not the only thing in life. Letters had its own charm and nostalgic value. I still remember how eagerly I used to wait for a letter from my home, when I was in a hostel or came to Mumbai to be a part of the film industry. May be in this age of internet boom, one is hooked to networking sites like facebook or twitter, but letters have a charm of their own. May be for some techno music is flavour of the season, but Raveendra Sangeet has its own charm, soothing effect and longevity. May be for some lovers of fast and riveting cinema, “ The Japanese Wife ” is slow and boring but for me it is sweet and soothing like Raveendra Sangeet, sonorous like a Sonata and as melodious as Lata Mangeshkar and Hemant Kumar singing in tandem.

Thanks a lot Aparna ji for making such poignant films. Your creative genius is an inspiration for me. I am not alone in my praise of your film. I am quoting a tweet :

RT @taran_adarsh: Just back from ‘The Japanese Wife’. Emotional & moving experience. Brilliant performances by @RahulBose1, Raima, Moushumi & Chigusa Takaku.



Ode – 1 : To Dibakar Banerjee

I write open letters to my students, when they accomplish something exceptional in their respective fields. But what about people whom I don’t know. Writing an open letter to them would be unethical, preposterous and foolish. I decided last night that instead of a letter, I should write an Ode to them. It would be befitting to their stature and genius. My first ode is to Dibakar Banerjee, as his new film released this Friday.

Basically I love traditional cinema. I grew up on the films of Bimal Roy, Raj Kapoor, Mehboob Khan and Guru Dutt. Much later, I started liking films of Yash Chopra, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Manmohan Desai and Sooraj Barjatya. My knowledge and sense of cinema grew as I grew older. But still it was very traditional and conservative.

Post Yash Chopra Hindi Cinema boasts of names like Aditya Chopra, Karan Johar, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Ashutosh Gowarikar and Rakesh Omprakash Mehra. I enjoyed their films; art and craft both. I thought that this is the zenith of Hindi films. But I was proven wrong by some avant-garde film makers, who cropped up in recent years. Their film making style is totally different and they shook my belief and foundation on which I had built my edifice. I was forced to acknowledge their genius and appreciate their work.

Anurag Kashyap, Anurag Basu, Raj Kumar Hirani, Shimit Amin, Shri Ram Raghvan, Madhur Bhandarkar and Dibakar Banerjee are some of the avant-garde film makers and brightest stars of the new,  brave Hindi Cinema. Since Dibakar Banerjee’s film LSD ( Love, Sex aur Dhokha ) got released last Friday, it is pertinent to write my first ode to him.

He is three films old – “ Khosla Ka Ghosla ”, “ Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye and “ Love , Sex Aur Dhokha ”. He belongs to Delhi and spent his formative years there. He worked as a copy-writer in an advertising agency and learnt film making from Pradip Sarkar. He is a tabla player and amateur painter also. He came and settled in Mumbai in 2003. His first film “ Khosla Ka Ghosla ”, which he made on a shoe-string budget in 2006, was a finest chronicle of modern Delhi society. After the release and success of the film he was held as a new Hrishikesh Mukherjee. But he chose to tread a new path and in 2008 made Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye ”. Both the films got National Awards.

His latest, Love , Sex Aur Dhokha is a completely different film. It has three different stories interwoven into one. This kind of film making started in Hollywood with “ Crash ” and later on fortified by “ Babel ”. In India also Anurag Basu made “ Life In A Metro ” following the same format. “ LSD ” follows the same pattern. But it differs in style. Hand held camera, dim and realistic lighting and realistic atmosphere makes it a different film. Shekhar Kapur , India’s only genuine export to Hollywood, says, “It is one of the most innovative films to come out of india “. Few years back, it would have been difficult to make or even conceive this kind of film. But now it is fast becoming a norm. Still it is brave to try something so different and so unconventional. It needs guts and courage to tread such a slippery path. And Dibakar Banerjee had  tried to tread that path and achieved the impossible.

Hats off to this avant-garde film maker. As a connoisseur, I salute this genius called Dibakar Banerjee.




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