Filmi Fundas

Filmi Fundas

‘People’s perceptions have changed now’Recollecting : Sharmila Tagore

She touched the heights of fame as a Bollywood actress in the 70s, but Sharmila Tagore has said she was considered a “bad influence” on girls and asked to leave school when she stepped into the film world. Sharmila, who made her movie debut with Satyajit Ray’s Apur Sansar in 1959, said she had to face a lot of criticism those days, but people’s perceptions have changed now.

“I am amazed at how things have changed. Acting in films those days was not considered respectable, much less a career option but today, Bollywood is so popular that many can look at it as a career option,” said the 64-year-old at the Jerusalem Cinematheque in Israel before the screening of her film, Kashmir Ki Kali as part of the three-week India festival.

Narrating how she was spotted by Ray for Apur Sansar, Sharmila said that while it brought her fame, on the downside she was seen as a “bad influence” on other girls. She faced opposition at college as well, when she was inundated with offers, and decided to quit studies following nagging questions regarding falling attendance.

Sharmila’s father Gitindranath Tagore, however, always backed her choice right from the beginning when he agreed that she would act in Ray’s film.

She said her decision to later move to Mumbai was met with severe criticism in native Bengal, but the actress has no regrets as “it gave her wider visibility and she also had her fair share of meaningful roles”.

Her bikini act in ‘An Evening in Paris’ (1967) is today seen as path-breaking in Bollywood, but Sharmila received flak at the time, being the first actress to have donned a swimsuit on screen.

Sharmila tried to change her image in the wake of intense criticism following the scene, but her then boyfriend, cricketer Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi stood by her.

“Then there was a lot of criticism, though it is seen very differently now. In order to win the hearts of the audiences, I tried to change my image,” said Sharmila.

When asked how Tiger Pataudi reacted to it, the former  Censor Board chief said he was supportive. Reminiscing on their affair, the actress recounted how they used to telegram each other those days and during Pataudi’s Australia trip and she “talked more to the operator than him as the calls would go through London.”

Accompanied by her husband on her first visit to Israel, the noted actress will be meeting and talking to Bollywood enthusiasts here. Renowned names like Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Zila Khan, Namita Gokhale, Reba Som, Tarun Tejpal and Urvashi Butalia, besides several other dance, theatre and visual arts group would also be performing in what is considered the biggest Indian cultural festival in Israel till date.

Depp’s occupational hazard

Hollywood superstar Johnny Depp, who is likely to return as Captain Jack Sparrow for a fifth time, finds the popular character an “occupational hazard”. The 47-year-old actor says that playing the ‘swashbuckling buccaneer’ has become like his second nature.

“It happens pretty organically, he comes right back — he just sort of arrives, he’s actually never too far from the surface, that’s one thing, that’s maybe an occupational hazard in terms of being an actor— that all these characters you play do exist inside there somewhere. But he’s fun to play (sic),” the actor said.

Depp has played the character in four films and admits that the reason he keeps returning to the character is its universal appeal. “I get a real kick out of meeting people of all ages.

They all take away something from the films and from the character, and that’s just such a boost,” he added. Depp also feels there is a lot of room to develop the character further. “For me as an actor, it just feels like there’s a lot more with the character that I can do, it feels limitless in a way,” Depp said.

Disney already has a script for a fifth film in the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ series and producer Jerry Bruckheimer says he is keen to make another episode.

But Depp reportedly wants to take a break before returning for another adventure story.

Record-breaking launch

Director Luv Ranjan and producer, Abhishek Pathak, were very sure that they wanted fresh faces for this film. They explained how important it was for the script that the entire star cast of the film should have a livewire connection not just on screen but off screen as well.

“There was a certain commitment that I wanted from the cast when it came to time as well as total dedication to only one film. It was a must that they spent time with each other both on and off the sets. Though the budget was not a constraint, what was of real importance was to establish a certain camaraderie between the cast and crew member,” explains the director.

The auditions went on for days before the final team was selected. Kartik, Rayo and Divyendu were cast opposite Nushrat, Sonalli and Ishita. When quizzed about how he came on board for this movie and about the newbie cast, producer Abhishek Pathak said, “I was smiling throughout while reading the script and even fell off my chair on at least four-five junctures. I knew I had to make this film. Of course there was a thought of taking established actors but then we wanted each of these characters to form a bonding in real life as well.”

Abhishek also revealed that the flick marks the debut of not only the cast and director apart from himself, but first-time crew members too. New technicians, production designers, a new director of photography, music director and lyricist as well are working on the film.

Sources that have seen the film in its making are buzzing with excitement at their final product as they feel that the combination of this entire team of newcomers has worked.
The movie is a fun and cutting-edge story of youngsters and their modern take on relationships. Pyaar Ka Punchnama is out in theatres on May 20.

It’s cooking time

Daniel CraigJames Bond’ actor Daniel Craig turned chef on the set of ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ but ditched the role when the entire crew queued up. A popular website reports that Craig eventually called in caterers when word of his delicious meals spread on the set.

“I cook a few steaks and suddenly there are 50 people there. Then I didn’t bother and got some catering people in,” said Craig. The actor plays wrangler Jake Lonergan alongside Harrison Ford in the upcoming action movie, based on the popular 2006 graphic novel of the same name. 

Paris mocks Lindsay

Socialite Paris Hilton has taken a jibe at Lindsay Lohan on her new reality show by mocking the Lohan’s involvement in an alleged necklace theft. The 30-year-old hotel heiress took a potshot at Lohan in her new show ‘The World According to Paris’ after a woman at a homeless shelter mistook Hilton for the troubled star.

Hilton handed a pair of earrings to the woman who told her, “I’m going to give them to my sister as soon as I get back to Oklahoma and I’m going to tell them that Lindsay gave them to me. I thought you were supposed to be in rehab?” The ‘House of Wax’ star corrected the woman and joked about Lohan. She said, “I’m not Lindsay! If I were her, I’d be stealing the earrings, not giving them away.”

Lohan has reportedly branded Hilton “mean” for making fun of her. “Paris is mean.
You don’t have to make fun of serious matters in people’s lives to be funny,” Lohan reportedly told her friends. Hilton and Lohan have had a bitter relationship since 2006, when the latter was accused of getting too close to Hilton’s ex-boyfriend, Stavros Niarchos.