Sunday August 19, 2018

John Shares the Reasons to Make Parmanu

"I didn't want to make an overtly patriotic jingoistic film... I am not here to make documentaries. I am here to make commercial films which give entertainment."

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There's a reason why John chose the subject.
John Abhraham's Parmanu was released on 25th May, wikimedia commons
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“Parmanu…”, which released on Friday, tells a story around the nuclear tests conducted in 1998 at Pokhran, Rajasthan.

There’s a reason why John chose the subject.

“I was very influenced by Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, and by the nuclear tests. It defined the trajectory in my life because of incidents that were associated with the sanctions that followed. I was planning to go somewhere, to a college, (but I) didn’t get through. There was anger at first, then the understanding came that this (nuclear status) can make India great… I started thinking like an Indian and started feeling like a nationalist,” John told IANS in an interview.

Why is there a need to tell this story to the audience today?

“I think today’s youth does not know what happened 20 years ago in May 1998,” John said. In his head, when he thinks of the most defining thing in India’s history after Independence, he feels it’s one when India had circumvented US satellites, fooled everybody and conducted nuclear tests right under their nose.

“It is the biggest case of nuclear espionage in the world, and it happened on Indian soil. I thought it was a story to be told. I asked myself, ‘Is this film very difficult to pull off?’ And then I smiled because I was going to do it. And because it was difficult to pull off, and was not a formula film, I decided to do it.”

To answer the question straight, John said: “When I decided to do it, I knew I wanted to make an engaging thriller like ‘Argo’, ‘Eye In The Sky’, like ‘Zero Dark Thirty’, where it doesn’t matter if the young audience cares what happened 20 years ago or not.

There's a reason why John chose the subject.
John said that he felt the need to become a producer because he didn’t get to see or act in the kind of films he wanted. Now he feels “empowered”. wikimedia commons

“But the by-product, like in any of my films – be it ‘Vicky Donor’ or ‘Madras Cafe’ — when you walk out, you walk out feeling that ‘Wow, I am proud to be an Indian… This is cool that India did this. I didn’t know this’. That’s what I wanted to achieve with this film.

“I didn’t want to make an overtly patriotic jingoistic film… I am not here to make documentaries. I am here to make commercial films which give entertainment.”

Marrying commerce with content was always his mainstay as a producer.

“To marry the two is the toughest thing, and I try to achieve it most of the times,” said the 45-year-old, who has clocked 15 years in the film industry, dabbling in movies as different as “Water” and “Dhoom”, “No Smoking” and “Garam Masala” or a “Taxi No. 9211” with “Dostana”.

Yet, he said he felt the need to become a producer because he didn’t get to see or act in the kind of films he wanted. Now he feels “empowered”.

“Our (banner’s) content is so curated and so researched that it’s very difficult to go wrong. Yes, everybody goes wrong with their choice, but the way we curate our subjects, we reduce the risk of the probability of failure.”

The business parlance in John’s conversation stems from the fact that he is an economics graduate and an MBA degree holder.

“In my life, I find it very important to tell the stories I want to tell. I want people to understand that I can make a difference to cinema, and being a management student, as they say, the higher the risk, the greater the profit. I will take that risk because very clearly, I am not afraid of failure. People leverage from their successes, I learn from my failures.

The business parlance in John's conversation stems from the fact that he is an economics graduate and an MBA degree holder.
John Abhraham and Diana in Parmanu, BollywoodCountry

“I’m one of those crazy guys who really enjoy failures. I have no fear in failing, and when you don’t have that, nothing can stop you,” he asserted.

“Parmanu…” has also left him wiser as a producer as he fought a legal battle for it.

“Choose your partners wisely to see where the money comes from or doesn’t come from. Just be smart about it and work with trusted people in the industry who can help you deliver,” he said.

This is also why John is trying to build his own “ecosystem”.

Arjun and Meher Separated: Arjun Rampal And Wife Meher End Relationship After 20 Years Of Marriage

“I’m creating a self-contained model in JA Entertainment where I get the best of the best to work together, hold on to each other and we create an army. But our USP will always remain the content,” added John, whose kitty is already full of diverse projects as an actor.

There’s “Satyamev Jayate”, “Batla House” and “RAW”. He is also looking forward to create an “Attack” franchise in the “real action…very Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis, Steven Seagal space”.

As for his ambitious project “1911”, about Mohun Bagan’s historic win against an English football club in 1911, the football fanatic says “it’s something close to my heart and I won’t let it go so easily”. (BollywwodCountry)

 

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Bollywood 2018: 10 Blockbuster Movies Of First Half Of The Year

Here are 10 movies of 2018 that made their mark in the industry

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Bollywood 2018: 10 Blockbuster Movies Of First Half Of The Year
Bollywood 2018: 10 Blockbuster Movies Of First Half Of The Year. flickr

Half of 2018 has passed and if we look back, we had a pretty decent year in terms of Bollywood movies. Many much awaited movies were released in the first half of the year and it’s time to review the year so far.  It’s the end of June and fans were waiting for the much-awaited Sanjay Dutt biopic which released this week. The movie created a lot of buzz before its release due to the actor-director duo and due to the fact that people will get to know about Sanjay Dutt’s life, covering everything from his childhood to the time he spent in jail and beyond. The combination of Rajkumar Hirani and Ranbir Kapoor worked like a dream. At the box office, despite not being a ‘typical Rajkumar Hirani family entertainer’, ‘Sanju’ will score tremendously and emerge as a Monstrous Hit! Don’t miss it!

Here are 10 movies of 2018 that made their mark in the industry:

Padmaavat: Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film ‘Padmaavat’ may have had a number of roadblocks leading up to its highly anticipated release, but there was no stopping it as it charged on at the box office. It earned an estimated Rs 284 crore net at the domestic box office. Deepika Padukone , Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh brought grandeur  and irresistible sensual appeal  to the film. Audience was impressed by its dazzling visuals and Bhansali’s composed and executed musical numbers.

Padman: PadMan was based on the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, who invented low-cost sanitary pad making machine and raised awareness about sanitary health among rural India. The film, starring Akshay Kumar, Radhika Apte and Sonam Kapoor, made approx. Rs. 78 crore. It was directed by R Balki and produced by Twinkle Khanna. Audience lauded Akshay’s performance and appreciated the makers’ bold take on a rather hush-hush subject.

Akshay Kumar in and as the Padman.
Akshay Kumar in and as the Padman. Flickr

Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety: Directed by Luv Ranjan of Pyaar Ka Punchnaam fame, the film earned Rs 107.81 crore and made its mark in the list of highest grossing films of the year. Starring Sunny Singh, Nushrat Bharucha and Kartik Aaryan, Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety opened to mixed reviews and was mainly slammed for a sexist approach. The film’s collections, however, grew on word-of-mouth and it became the first sleeper hit of the year.

Raid: Raid is a film that caters to public sentiment against black money and corruption. Ajay Devgn starrer opened to mixed reviews while Ajay and Saraubh Shukla received wide acclaim for their performances. The film collected Rs  100.05 crore, ultimately became a box office hit.

Bhaagi 2: The Tiger Shroff-Disha Patani-starrer Baaghi 2,directed by Ahmed Khan, was a sequel to Tiger’s 2016 hit film Baaghi that starred Tiger and Shraddha Kapoor in the lead roles. The film was inspired by Tamil film Kshanam. It was a superhit on box-office by earning an estimate of Rs 159 crore. The power packed action was loved by the audience.

102 Not Out: Director Umesh Shukla’s ‘102 Not Out’ was a slice-of-life film starring Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor in the lead roles. The veterans impressed everyone with their performances and the result was clearly visible at the box office. The total collection of the film stands at Rs 49.9 crore.

Raazi: Set against the backdrop of the Indo-Pak war in 1971, an Indian girl marries a Pakistani Army officer to spy for her country. Based on Harinder Sikka’s book Calling Sehmat, Raazi is an account of the life of Indian agents at that time. Unlike other ‘spy’ films, Razzi refrains from being loud or jingoistic. The Dharma Productions’ film collected Rs 120.90 crore and Alia Bhatt once again gave an outstanding performance as the lead.

Q. "Raazi" is your first political film. And you play a selfless woman ready to die for her country. Do such people really exist anymore?
Alia Bhatt, wikimedia commons

Parmanu: The movie tells the story of how India decided to become a nuclear state and about the people who made it possible. This John Abraham starrer made a mark at the box-office and collected Rs 63.68 crore, becoming his highest solo grosser. Actress Diana Penty was seen alongside John in the lead role.

Veere Di Wedding: The movie was about free-wheeling womanhood, a story of four friends, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Swara Bhaskar, Shikha Talsania. How they deal with love, marriage and heartbreak in their own unique ways. It was a box-office hit, it earned around Rs 69 crore.

Race 3: Though Salman Khan starrer was not liked by the public but the movie collected Rs 169 Crore. Race 3 failed to impress the audience but before the release of movie it was declared as super hit, but the movie tanked and people didn’t find Salman Khan charming in the film which used to be in his other films. Now, Race 3 has joined the league of lowest rated films of the world rated by IMDB.

Also read: BBC’s “Bollywood’s Dark Secret” speaks nothing

Though movies like Hichki, Beyond The Clouds, Omerta, Blackmail did not earn much but were highly liked by the audience. People have great expectations from movies like Kedarnath, Simmba, Dhadak, Gold and Zero which are yet to come. (IANS)