Regional Cinema Is Here To Stay – Teeshay

Teeshay Shah is one of the few popular faces on the small screen who is also making his presence felt on the big screen. After last year’s much appreciated movie The Perfect Girl, Teeshay is ready with his new movie I Wish. With the advent of high content regional movies like Duniyadaari, Timepass, Natsamrat, Sairat and Chello Divas doing great business at the Box Office. I Wish is one of the most anticipated Gujarati movies of the year. Here is an excerpt from our recent conversation we had over a cup of hot tea and cookies.


It’s great to have you back on CWS (smiles)
It’s a pleasure to be featured on CWS (smiles) I was looking forward for this interview.

How sweet… so tell me… I am all ears to know what is your new movie I Wish all about?
I Wish is about the struggles of a couple in love before and after marriage, and how they redeem themselves and their love, with music as a backdrop because the character I am playing “Vismay” is a budding rockstar and music is all that he knows.

With I Wish Team
With I Wish Team

After dabbling in mainstream Bollywood and Television, what was the thought behind doing a regional movie?
Well there are is tremendous talent all over the country and amazing stories hidden in every part of India which filmmakers want to express, plus over the last couple of years regional cinema is really standing its own ground and being noticed because of the talent which is there. I have been wanting to do something challenging always and I Wish gave me another opportunity to do so.

After Sairat and Natsamrat Bollywood is facing some serious competition from regional movies, what are your thoughts on this? Why is this happening?
People today are so exposed to internet and social media that a good product can never be ignored, and this will only grow. There is tremendous scope for telling unique stories and it  is reaching today’s audiences too. People want to watch good cinema and fresh stories and there is tremendous talent out there to feed the audiences with it. Hence, I believe regional films are here to stay.

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As Chello Divas was a big hit in Gujarati there might be some tremendous expectations from I Wish. Is the pressure bogging you down?
We had lots of crowds gathering when we shot outdoors. Even within the industry there is tremendous buzz, which is exciting because we know we are giving them something absolutely fresh and unique. It’s not fair to compare our film to Chello Divas because both the films are absolutely different and as far as the pressure is concerned it will always be there but we are a young and passionate team and have given it our best. We had a lot of fun while filming and that at the end of the day is important.

What can the audience expect from this movie?
The audience can expect a fresh young love story which has its ups and downs which everyone will relate to. It is an entertaining movie with some tremendous music to stay true to its genre of being a musical.

What are your future plans?
Nothing has been planned yet. I just want to take it one step at a time. Enjoy each day and have fun with the work I pick up.


Movie Review: The Perfect Girl – Small Movie, Big Heart!


Apart from the much awaited Hero starring Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty, this week also saw the release of The Perfect Girl, starring relatively new to movies Teeshay and Tara Alisha Berry. What Hero couldn’t achieve this small movie with a BIG heart did, i.e. ENTERTAIN!

The movie starts with a unique and quirky parody on the ‘anti-smoking‘ commercial that is run before every movie for public interest which always bugs me to the core. Here they have shown how unrequited love is equally dangerous to your health :).

Now coming to the story. Jay (Teeshay) is a single 35-year-old guy staying with his parents with no purpose in life. Although he aspires to become a filmmaker one day. His parents are bride hunting for him and his mother feels that solution to all his problems is marriage. However, oblivious to people closer to him, Jay had a chance encounter with a girl – Vedhika (Tara Alisha Berry), 14 years back in Goa at a bus stop.  After spending some time together, sparks fly between Jay and Vedhika and soon they begin to fall for each other as they realize they are perfect for each other. However, as destiny has other plans in store for them, they cannot take their relationship forward. Years later they do cross each other’s path but what happens after that? Would Jay and Vedhika come together and explore a life together or will they move on in life? Will destiny give them another chance? Watch the movie to know the answers.

Coming to performances, Teeshay and Tara both are apt for their parts and they bring life to their characters – Jay & Vedhika with their brilliant performances. Tara is cute, bubbly and loveable. She gets into her character effortlessly and makes the character of Vedhika her own. The chemistry between the lead pair is quite electrifying and you want to see more of them together onscreen. The story and screenplay are quite simple however the dialogues in parts showcases the quirky sense of humor of the director / writer.

Prakash Nambiar has done a decent job with his directorial attempt and shows a lot of promise. With a nice script, bigger budget and wider release he will shine out in his future projects. Music by Siddharth Mahadevan and Soumil Sringarpure is quite fresh. Cinematography by Girish Kant is good capturing the Goan locales imaginatively through his lens.

On the whole, it is a decent attempt by the entire team and I am sure the youth will connect to the movie if promoted well. In short, it is a SMALL movie with a BIG Heart that ENTERTAINS!

My Verdict: ***

Movie Review: This ‘Hero’ is a BIG Zero!


I am a BIG Salman fan but that does not put me away from writing an honest feedback about any film where he is involved in any capacity like in the case of this week’s release – Hero produced by him.

If Bajrangi Bhaijaan gave Salman Khan Films accolades and box office success then I am sorry their new venture is a disappointing fare. With huge expectations I entered the movie theater to see the much hyped remake of Subhash Ghai’s 1983 classic that kick-started the careers of Jackie Shroff and Meenakshi Sheshadri. However, where the yesteryear movie scored high i.e. the script department and direction, the remake loses heavily.

The Nikhil Advani directorial starts with the heroic entry of Sooraj (Sooraj Pancholi) who is a gunda with a golden heart who cannot see any injustice. He beats the henchmen of Changezi (Chetan Hansraj) and then immediately later goes clubbing where he meets Radha (Athiya Shetty) and sparks fly between them after he shows her some of his dance moves.

On the other hand Sooraj’s ‘Baba’ Pasha (Aditya Pancholi) gets imprisoned for killing a journalist by Radha’s Baba (Tigmanshu Dhulia) who is the Inspector General of Police, causing friction between the two senior citizens. IG is adamant of nailing Pasha with hardcore evidences and send him to jail for a longer time. Result? Baba tells his black sheep oops sorry ‘Sooraj’ 😉 to kidnap Radha and keep her hidden safely somewhere away from her family. Immediately Sooraj gets into action by disguising himself as a police-escort and kidnaps Radha.

In the snow-clad mountainous environs, ‘cupid’ plays its own games and strikes his arrow at the youngsters making them fall deliriously in love. In-spite of knowing Sooraj’s reality Radha stands by him. Would Radha’s love reform Sooraj and make him show his back to the world of crime, and his Baba? Would IG be able to nail Pasha forever? What happens to the young ‘Prem Deewane‘ are few questions answered during the course of the movie.


Performances of both the debutantes are average, although Sooraj shows some promise in the action scenes. Tigmanshu Dhulia is a total misfit (I feel directors should just mind their job which is to direct rather than exploring other avenues – more on this topic, I will save it for another day and another article). Aditya Pancholi still needs some crash course in acting.

Music is a sore point here. If the original had some wonderful songs then the remake has nothing to harp about. I honestly feel that they should have taken the original songs and remixed it (something what they did with the story). The cinematography by Tushar Kanti Ray is good while the action sequences choreographed by Ravi Varma and Dave Judge is wonderful.

Nikhil Advani seems to be quite uncomfortable directing a movie which is not conceptualized by him and it is quite evident. Hero is a huge let down making Nikhil’s previous disasters Salaam-E-Ishq and Patiala House seem classics in front of this remake.

Overall the movie is a below average fare and might not even appeal to hardcore masala movie viewers.

My Verdict: **

Chai With Shai Xclusive: Is Varun Dhawan Tara Alisha Berry’s ‘Perfect Boy’?

After featuring ‘The Perfect Boy’ Teeshay, how could I stay away from his ‘Perfect Girl’ Tara Alisha Berry? However, reaching out to this angelic beauty with a mesmerizing smile is no easy task. Presently filming for Vikram Bhatt’s ‘Love Games’ in Cape Town, we decided to Skype. Instead of the customary Cutting Chai Taasha (that’s how Tara is fondly called) decided to sip on her Green Chai while I sat with my favourite cup of brew as we chatted like overtly excited teenagers.


Taasha is not new to limelight. Although she started her career in a Telegu movie starring alongside Naga Chaitanya and Tamannah, she was well appreciated for her wonderful act in the movie ‘Mastram’ apart from getting accolades for her portrayal of Ashalata in Anurag Basu directed series ‘Stories By Rabindranath Tagore’ for Epic Channel. Here are excerpts from our interesting cross-continent chat.

From Mastram to Choker Bali to The Perfect Girl how has your journey been?
It has been absolutely amazing. I am blessed to be working on projects which I believe in 100% and where each team is so passionate about what they are doing!

How did you bag The Perfect Girl?
A common friend recommended me to Prakash. I went to meet him, auditioned and got the part (smiles).

In one line how will you describe your character in The Perfect Girl?
Vedika is a very reserved person who is trapped in a lot of emotional turmoil, but doesn’t let the world see it, meeting Jay is cathartic for her and she comes into her own after meeting him.

Any funny incidents during the shoot?
Yeah (laughs) I remember these two guys who used to follow us to every location and ask us to take pics with them and sign autographs. Also they used to ask our director and AD’s to take their auditions for a role in the film! (continue to laugh)


Well that’s funny (laughs)… So did they bag any role yet?
No idea.

So how was Prakash as a director?
He is wonderful. He is very clear about what he wants from his actors. Also he is someone who knows his characters in and out so he can tell you exactly what the motivation is and thought behind everything the character does or says. It was a pleasure working with him!

Do you believe the concept of a ‘Perfect Guy’ exists?
(Laughs out loud) Not at all! I don’t believe there is anyone who is perfect for anybody. Relationships take a lot of hard work. Although you can definitely adjust and work on them to make them “perfect” but I don’t think any person is perfect for another.

Okay let’s assume that A Perfect Guy concept exists in this world then who would be yours?
Hmmm (pauses) My perfect guy!

Come on give it a thought
See I have no idea but there are things I would look for in a guy. He must be kind, positive, generous of heart and spirit, and should always be there for me, no matter what!

How open are you when it comes to experimenting with characters and looks? How about a role like what Priyanka played in Aitraaz or Bandini by Nutan?
I would love to experiment! I love Nutanji and would LOVE to explore a role like that.

Future ahead?
I am currently in Cape Town, obviously that’s why we are Skyping (laughs) shooting for Vikram Bhatt’s next called “Love Games”, I have also completed “Gun Pe Done” directed by Abhik Bhanu which should release soon and a Bengali short film called “Moreechika” directed by Madhur Tyagi.


Okay now Tara I am going to ask you few questions where I want you to answer in one word
Alright (smiles)

(After taking a deep breath) Yup!

Who amongst Varun Dhawan, Siddharth Malhotra, Sooraj Pancholi, Teeshay is closest to your description of a Perfect Guy?
Hmm (thinks for a second) Well I am a huge fan of Varun! So Varun (smiles)

Who is hotter Teeshay or Varun Dhawan?
Javier Bardem (bites her tongue)

That was not an option (smiles)
Yeah but I find Javier HOTTER (laughs)

Smart Girl (winks) Okay next… Akhilesh Jaiswal or Prakash Nambiar?
Prakash Nambiar!

Tollywood or Bollywood?

Alia Bhatt or Shraddha Kapoor the better singer?
Alia Bhatt.

Naga Chaitanya, Teeshay or Rahul Bagga your favorite co-star?
Rahul Bagga

One Night Stand or Steady Date?
Steady date (giggles)

Sunny Leone, Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt – who has the best figure?
Deepika Padukone


Who looks better without a shirt – Hrithik, Salman, SRK, John?

Aha! Great choice (winks) Okay what’s your ‘Wildest Fantasy’?
Let that remain wild (laughs out loud)

Favourite Romantic Jodi
Salman and Madhuri

Dream role?

Who is your closest competitor?
Myself! (laughs)

Aha Nice… (smiles) Your dream director?
Vikram Aditya Motwane

Favorite Author?
You (laughs)

You made my day (beaming). I give you full marks for that!

Again let me remind you, The Perfect Girl is releasing tomorrow so guys and girls please go and watch this sweet little movie at a theatre near you. If you do then I am sure you will definitely find your own Perfect Girl and I am not referring to Tara here 😛

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…

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?

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

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;


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 😉


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. 

Phantom Movie Review: Naam Bade Aur Darshan Chote


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: **