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Chai With Shai: Who’s Teeshay’s Perfect Girl and why he needs a deserted island?!

IMG_20141003_044544The Perfect Girl is already creating a lot of buzz everywhere with its amazing promos, songs and fresh cast. Today I have the leading man of The Perfect Girl – Teeshay sitting with me discussing his long journey from commercials to commercial movies in a very short span. Here are excerpts from my discussion with my bestie and the upcoming heart-throb of Bollywood who is already making many young girls swoon with his charm and smile.

Commercials to TV serials to theater to now mainstream cinema, how did this journey happen?
You forgot anchoring and teaching acting at an NGO and directing short plays (laughs). Well the transition happened in a flow, I didn’t plan it. I guess GOD is on my side, He wanted me to experiment with everything before the big game. All these things lead to one another and each one has its own charm and learnings which I adapted to and took away as experience.

How much did you prepare for this role? Any inspiration / character you had in mind to refer to?
Well this film required me to be spontaneous because there is a lot of give and take as far as the scenes are concerned. I just had one week to prepare after I signed the film and there were few workshops and readings with my co-star Tara Alisha Berry before we started shooting. Therefore, we decided to just feed of each other rather than prepare individually.

What is The Perfect Girl all about?
It’s essentially about how two teenagers accidentally meet, spend time (the girl is reluctant initially but the guy with his charm convinces her to spend at least 10 minutes and give him a chance) and realise they are perfect for each other. But at that age people have dreams, ambitions, goals, family pressures, etc. therefore they have to part ways. Many years later the guy crosses the path with the same girl in a crowd but by the time he realises who she is, the girl disappears in the crowd. The film is about whether LIFE gives your FIRST LOVE A SECOND CHANCE.

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How different is the character played by you in this movie compared to your characters in the previous movies and serials?
In this movie I was fortunate enough to play both young and old JAY (my character in the movie) who are poles apart personality wise because of life’s experiences. However, his mature and responsible demeanour along with his wicked sense of humour remain intact. The combination of all three characteristics is something that differentiates from all the other characters I have played so far.

How did Prakash discover you?
Well that is an interesting story. The casting director of the film Neha Pandey had seen my work somewhere and she recommended me to Prakash who then looked up my pictures on Google. After he was convinced that I suited the part look-wise that’s when he contacted me on Facebook with the synopsis of the movie. I was completely sold on the concept and the very next day I met him and auditioned for the role. After a couple of days, precisely a day before my birthday, I was signed the movie (smiles).

Amongst Alia, Shraddha, Tara, Kriti Sanon who is closest to your description of a Perfect Girl? Why?
See, among all the names you took, personally I know Tara very well. So theoretically it would be Tara but if you ask me to choose one stating that they are similar in real life as they appear on reel then Kriti Sanon. A friend of mine used to be her manager so I know about Kriti ever since she started modelling. She is a down to earth and very talented girl and I adore her.

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What is your wildest fantasy when it comes to pleasing your Perfect Girl?
Give me a deserted island first (laughs).

What are the qualities you look in your Perfect Girl?
Down to earth, easy to talk to, unassuming and intelligent. Oh yeah a bit sexy too (winks).

A bit?
Well… (blushes).

Who is your dream date?
Jennifer Lawrence from Hollywood and Katrina from Bollywood.

Okay let’s have a rapid fire…
Cool.

Who is hotter Tara or Alia?
Alia is HOT, Tara is beautiful.

Well just one name please…
You will put me in trouble…

Okay… (smiles) Khan of all seasons – Aamir, Salman, Shah Rukh?
Shah Rukh.

Vishal Mahadkar or Prakash Nambiar?
VISHAL NAMBIAR (winks).

Smart (smiles) Ranbir Kapoor or Ranveer Singh the better actor?
Ranbir.

Your closest competitor – Varun Dhawan or Sooraj Pancholi?
This will make me sound pompous but if you put a gun on my head then VARUN DHAWAN (laughs).

Everest or Hotel Gulmohar Grand?
Gulmohar Grand.

One Night Stand or Steady Date?
Steady Date.

How will you end your first date with your Perfect Girl – with a kiss or …?
I will end it by dropping her to her house… rest God knows (throws his hands up and laughs).

Arranged Marriage or Love Marriage?
Love Marriage.

Movies or Television?
Movies, Movies, Movies.

The Perfect Girl starring Teeshay and Tara Alisha Berry directed by Prakash Nambiar will be releasing on 11th September 2015.

Chai With Shai EXCLUSIVE: An Old Australian Lady inspired The Perfect Girl – Prakash Nambiar

Monsoons are here and so are some high-profile movies releasing one after another every Friday. In midst of all the big budget extravaganzas, is a small movie ‘with a BIG heart’ – The Perfect Girl directed by debutant Prakash Nambiar, that is slowly getting noticed as it holds its tiny little head high as the release date nears.

On a drizzling Sunday afternoon I caught up with Prakash over some piping hot chai and pakodas, and chatted everything under the sun along with his debut movie. Here are some excerpts of our conversation;

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What is The Perfect Girl all about?
The Perfect Girl is a story about a couple who meet in the tourist town of Panjim, Goa, fall in love and part ways. They cross each other in a crowd 14 years later but the memories of that meeting have faded away. The guy gets a feeling that he has seen her somewhere, but by the time he realises who the girl was, she gets engulfed in the crowd leaving no trace.

How did your affair with Bollywood start?
It started with Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai produced by YRF and directed by Sanjay Gadhvi. I was a multimedia designer back in 2001 and bagged the project for doing their movie websites and interactive press CDs. The more I got involved in my work, the more I got attracted to the magic of Bollywood.

How did The Perfect Girl (script) take shape? Any real life inspirations?
There were many inspirations. The germ of the idea came in 2006 when I met an old Australian lady in Panjim. We talked for over an hour and we enjoyed each others company. She had to leave for Bangalore, and after she left I realised we didn’t even exchange our names. That’s when the idea of two people falling in love over a conversation came into my mind. Then a couple of days later I walked into the inner lanes of Panjim and was mesmerized by the architecture. I realised nobody had ever exploited Goa’s architecture in any of the films. During that time I happened to see Richard Linklater’s Before Sunset although I hadn’t seen Before Sunrise then. And then the idea took shape into The Perfect Girl.

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How did you discover Teeshay and Tara for their respective roles?
Through auditions. Tara was referred by a friend, while Teeshay was found by our casting director

Can you narrate some funny incidents that took place during the shoot?
There were many. But I particularly remember about two guys who were following Teeshay and Tara everywhere we went. They wanted to act in our film and finally we took a hilarious audition after which they were convinced they would become good comedians. Today they have found their footing in Bollywood.

We have heard Siddharth Mahadevan as a singer. How did he get associated with this project as a composer?
I met him and Soumil Shringarpure at a narration of a film that I had written dialogues for. He made us hear some of the compositions they had done for few Marathi films and I immediately felt a connect with their music. The project we met didn’t materialize and they came on board for The Perfect Girl 🙂

What is the USP of your movie?
The USP is its freshness – the cast, the music, the framing, the dialogues, the concept in short everything. The brief to everyone was to keep it simple and fresh. Besides that the point where the boy and the girl meet, the film happens in real-time.

What can the audience expect from TPG?
A fresh film which will warm your heart, make u smile and make u believe in the possibility of a perfect partner… well, only if u r single 😉

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What are your feelings now as TPG is getting released finally?
The feeling is of contentment. The day we started the film to this day where the movie is releasing has been a huge learning curve. This film is like a film school for us till the completion and an MBA in marketing (laughs). All throughout we have used all our resources as efficiently as possible, be it filmmaking or P&A. What we could do within the resources available at our disposal, we have done it, now its time to let go and let the film embrace its destiny.

So in a nutshell, there is a feeling of contentment for what we have achieved and anxiety about where this film would take itself and each one of us in its journey over the box office.

Who is your Perfect Girl in real life?
My wife? That’s the safest answer i can give.

What’s next?
Have a script ready… but that’s after the release of this film.

The Perfect Girl produced by Udit Shivraj Pathak and directed by Prakash Nambiar is releasing at a theatre near you on 11th September 2015, so mark it on your calendar guys. It’s time to shower your love and appreciation to a small film with a BIG heart. 

Movie Review: ‘Welcome Back’ to Mindless Comedies!

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Anees Bazmee is a name who is associated with many comedy movies as a writer as well as a director. His last movie to release was Ready starring Salman Khan and Asin in 2011. This week he makes a comeback with the sequel to his Blockbuster comedy Welcome (2007) that starred Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif.

In Welcome Back, Anees has retained the three main characters from his previous movie i.e. Dr. Ghungroo (Paresh Rawal), Majnu Bhai (Anil Kapoor) and Uday Bhai (Nana Patekar), and added new characters to take the Welcome series ahead.

The movie is set in the picturesque Dubai where the now-transformed-but-still-single bhais come to know that Uday has one more half-sister Ranjana (Shruti Hasaan) who is of marriageable age. The bhais decide to look out for a suitable boy for their sister and marry her off. However, Ranjana meets Ajju bhai (John) who is a Mumbai based goon and step-son to Dr. Ghungroo (Paresh Rawal) and falls in love with him. In order to impress Uday and Majnu, Ajju ‘disguises’ himself as a decent, sober, well-mannered guy when he comes to Dubai. But when the Bhais realize the true identity of Ajju they seek the help of the deadly Wanted Bhai (Naseeruddin Shah) to eliminate Ajju.

To add more fun many other characters are introduced in the plot like Maharani (Dimple) and Babita aka Rajkumari Chandni (Ankita Shrivastava) who are actually con-women and are out to trick the Bhais and run away with their riches.

On the whole there is nothing new from the previous movies apart from few new twists and turns, and characters to add some fun element. This is a brainless comedy so please do not try to seek logic, just sit back and enjoy the movie for a hearty laugh.

Coming to performances Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar and Paresh Rawal are outstanding and every sequence and scene rises above the script with their performances. John Abraham is average, Shruti Hassan is decent, Ankita Srivastav is okay, Dimple and Naseeruddin Shah are outstanding, and Shiney Ahuja in his comeback movie is again average. The direction by Bazmee is as usual – Good. The dialogues are ordinary but when mouthed by the trio (Anil Kapoor, Paresh Rawal and Nana Patekar) they sound quite hilarious.There are few hilarious sequences in the movie especially the one at the cemetery. The music by Mika Singh, Anu Malik, Meet Bros & Anjjan is average and none of the songs stand out however, the background score by Adesh Srivastav is brilliant.

On the whole if you are a big fan of mindless comedies then go for it!

My Verdict: ***

Phantom Movie Review: Naam Bade Aur Darshan Chote

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Too many expectations and hype were attached with this week’s release Phantom directed by Kabir ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ Khan starring Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif however, the movie falls flat on its face.

Kabir Khan is synonymous with movies that have a background of terrorism whether it is Kabul Express, New York and Ek Tha Tiger the only exception being Bajrangi Bhaijaan which was an emotional story about a good Samaritan trying to help a mute girl accidentally left behind in India get back home – Pakistan.

Phantom tells the story of a shamed Army office Daniyal (Saif) living a life of anonymity and who is yearning to get his stripes back. parallelly a covert intelligence group is seething at the Center as they feel that a suitable revenge was not meted out for the 26/11 carnage. Therefore this group takes it on themselves to punish those terrorists who were responsible for the carnage as they feel that getting permissions from official quarters will never come.

It so happens Daniyal is recruited for this mission and he is sent along with Nawaz (Kaif) across continents to find the four main kingpins who masterminded 26/11.

The movie is adapted from Hussain Zaidi‘s book Mumbai Avengers however it has been co-written by Kabir Khan and by Parvez Shaikh of Queen fame for the screen. The performances are average whether it is Saif or Kaif, even a matured actor like Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub loses the plot and hams throughout the movie mouthing some of the most silliest dialogues.

Coming to the other departments of the movie I must applaud cinematographer Aseem Mishra for capturing every frame brilliantly. The background music by Julius Packiam is superb. Apart from Afghan Jalebi there is no other song composed by Music Director Pritam that is worth humming. Editing could have been crisper. Direction is okay compared to Kabir Khan’s previous movies.

On the whole this movie might not appeal to everyone and might not be a huge earner like Kabir Khan’s previous movies.

My Verdict: **