Monday, April 09, 2007

Dragging Mira's name(sake) thru the mud

During my pre-movie research of 'The Namesake', I found out to my absolute horror that initially Mira Nair had wanted Rani Mukherjee and Abhishek Bachchan to play the parts of Tabu and Kal Penn respectively. However, it was only after watching it that I could totally see how brutally our friendly neighbourhood Bunty and Babli would have murdered the movie.

So here is Sayesha Smitten showbiz kitten, taking you back in time to an afternoon in the living room of Mira Nair, while she is in discussion with Rani Mukherjee and Abhishek Bachchan about her upcoming movie 'The Namesake'.

Mira - Thank you for coming over to hear the script, Rani and Abhishek.

Rani - Thanks, Mira. It's a great honour to finally meet you. We were wondering why you considered us for your movie, since you never cast mainstream Bollywood actors.

Abhishek - Oh yeah, is it because we’re over-rated, incompetent idiots who can’t get out of the lame and dreamy world of Bollywood and do some real acting?

Mira – Errr… let’s start off with the basic plot of the movie. It's about this man Ashoke Ganguli who marries a girl called Ashima and they migrate to the US. They have a son whom they name Gogol Ganguli. It's about the journeys of three people - of Ashok who's trying to set up home and hearth in the US, of Ashima who's trying to know and love the stranger that she got married to, and of Gogol who's trying to live a normal life with an abnormal name. Here, take a look at the script.

Rani and Abhishek flip through the script.

Rani - So tell me, what are the songs like?

Mira - Oh yeah, we have a couple of nice slow numbers, mostly lullaby-types in Bengali with minimum accompaniments.

Rani - Oh no, not that. That is toh the background score. I'm talking about real songs.

Mira - Real songs?? What do you mean?

Abhishek - Arre Rani, Mira's not familiar with how Bollywood movies work yaar!

Rani - Oh sorry! Mira, I meant the dhikchik dhikchik songs.

Mira - Huh??

Rani - And you should totally get Aish for the item number! She did the Kajrare number in Bunty aur Babli, and it was such a hit! And you know what's the best part?

Mira - What?

Rani (winks at Abhishek) - She'll give you a discount! Hubby-to-be's in the movie, you see.

Abhishek (smiles at Rani) - Awww you! But I need to ask Mom and Dad first.

Rani - Yeay! Do it now, do it now!

Mira - Uhh...

Abhishek calls Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan, and talks to them in hushed tones.

Abhishek - Okay, I spoke to them. Done. They agreed. Of course we will discuss the fee later. Dad will call you about that. But you have to film the item number before 20th April.

Rani - Why's that?

Abhishek - Oh, because Mom and Dad wouldn't allow Aish to wear item song clothes after the wedding na...

Rani - Oh yeah, I totally understand.

Mira – Guys! Guys! Listen to me! There isn’t going to be an item number!

Rani & Abhishek - WHAT?! A movie without an item number? Does that happen? What did you call us for?

Mira - Well, I wanted a Bengali actress to play the part of Ashima. And I thought Abhishek would fit the role of Gogol.

Rani - Wait a minute now, I'm Ashima and Abhi is Gogol?

Mira - Yeah, why?

Rani - I play Abhi's MOTHER in the movie???

Abhishek (under his breath) - Oh boy.

Mira - Errr... yeah.

Rani - And who plays my husband?

Mira - Irfan Khan.

Rani - Who the hell is that?

Mira - Errr... here. (Shows Irfan's portolio)

Rani - This guy??? This guy plays my husband??? I cannot believe this! Mira, you're getting this dorky fella to play MY husband??

Abhishek - Errr.. Rani, calm down. Give him a chance yaar. You remember who played your husband in 'Raja ki aayegi baaraat'?

Rani - That was when I wasn't a star! And you shut up, Abhi, you're not being asked to play a 45-year-old woman!

Mira - So are you saying you wouldn't consider the part?

Rani - Would you consider kicking out this Irfan guy and getting Hrithik?

Mira - No way. No one but Irfan is playing Ashoke.

Rani - Well, if that's the case, I think I'll go for Karan's 'Kabhi Alwida Na Kehna' instead. The storyline sucks but I get to wear Manish Malhotra's costumes. Oh wait, are you by any chance getting Manish Malhotra to design the costumes in your movie?

Mira - Err.. no, I don't think so.

Rani - Well, that's settled. Good bye then.

Mira - Uh... bye?

Abhishek - Hmmm... well? Let's move on to my role?

Mira - Okay, but before we discuss further, I must tell you there's some nudity in one of your scenes. Do you want to call Aishwarya's family and ask them if they're okay?

Abhishek - Naah, I can do anything. It's only Aish who can't have such things after our wedding. Indian tradition, you see.

Mira (dryly) - Sure... I see...

Abhishek - So who's going to replace Rani then?

Mira - Errr... I'll have to ask Konkona or Tabu then.

Abhishek - Hmmm... any other options? Someone more glamorous?

Mira - Like?

Abhishek - I dunno... Mallika? Then I can run and run and run!

Mira - I don't think so.

Abhishek - By the way, are you serious about the whole 'no item number' thing?

Mira - Of course I'm serious, Abhishek!!!

Abhishek - Ok ok calm down. Just checking baba. So there's no item number... In that case, you think you can give Aish the role of Maxine?

Mira (looks aghast) - What?! Maxine's role to Aishwarya?? No, I can't!

Abhishek - Why not??

Mira - Because... geez... because Maxine is an American girl, Abhishek!

Abhishek (looks at his nails and sulks) - Oh, but Aish is considered pretty international, you know.

Mira (holds head in hands) - No, Abhi, no. Aish can't play Maxine.

Abhishek - Hmm... well, I may have trouble accepting the role then... cos I have to find work for Aish na... you know how it is... in Bollywood no one wants to cast married actresses.. so I told her that she wouldn't have to look for work after the wedding. I'd get her roles in my movies. Also, I can keep an eye on her, you know. I mean with Salman out of jail and all that...

Mira - Sigh... Would Aishwarya want to play Moushumi instead?

Abhi - Sure, why not! Oh wait! (Looks at script). Naah, nude scene. We go back to Maxine's part for her?

Mira - No no no! And NO!

There is an awkward silence in the room, followed by the sound of Abhi keying in Rani's number on his mobile phone.

Rani - Oh hi, Abhi! So are you taking up the weird movie?

Abhi - Hey, do you think you can get me a role in that movie of Karan's you're doing?

Rani - Of course! You know Karan. He'll kick anyone out to cast a friend. No problem, I'll tell him.

Abhi - Thanks a ton, Rani! You're such a good friend!

Mira is sitting on the couch, still holding her head in her hands.

Mira - So?

Abhishek - Mira, don't mind ok? I think I'll give it a pass. Catch you later. Byee!

Mira (slowly waves at him without looking up, and then mutters under her breath) - Sigh... And they ask me why I don't hire mainstream Bollywood actors for my movies.


To be or not to be .. said...

lol .. that was funny ..

Namrata said...

again a funny post (as always)...

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

GOLD! since nobody else said it.

ha ha ha ha ha ha

Bivas said...

//Sayesha Smitten showbiz kitten
lol at that...but then the entire thing was so funny :-)
seemed like a koffee with mira kind of a thing with Aby-baby still wanting to run for the Mallika babe ;-)

PizzaDude said...

Haa Haa.. I so agree with bivas :D

HaRi pRaSaD said...

Hehehe!! Nice fun...hmm..but isn't Rani quite a good actress? I dunno..she seemed to act well in "Black" and also "Hey Ram!" You saw the latter?? By the way have you seen Superstar's "Shivaji" stills?!!! Its a rage here! The entire state is waiting with bated breath for its release! And you know something? His renumeration for the movie is more than twice that of your BigB,SRK,Hrithik put together!!!

Superstar Rocks...

Sayesha said...

#To be,

#Senti Indian,
Thanks! :P

#Ipanema Gal,
Oye you're still lurking in the bar?? Jao jaake padhaai karo! :P :P :P

Hehehehe! That one's inspired from 'Goodness Gracious me'! :P


Rani's good but sometimes over-rated. I haven't seen Hey Ram, but I thought she was highly over-rated in Black. I personally did not like her performance in Black, I think a lot more homework needs to be put into a role like that... if this was made in Hollywood, the actress would have spent months observing people who have such disabilities to really get into the skin of the character. Rani's portrayal of Michelle (though way better than what her peers would have done) was kinda unnatural I felt.

//His renumeration for the movie is more than twice that of your BigB,SRK,Hrithik put together!!!

Erm, first of all I dunno who Shivaji is. Are you referring to Shivaji Ganesan or Chhatrapati Shivaji or a third famous Shivaji? Secondly, what is Superstar? Thirdly, what do you mean by "YOUR" Big B, SRK, Hrithik?? I'll take the latter two, but Big B is so NOT MINE! I dun like him! :P

t said...

I saw Namesake; bo-ring it was. The book, they say, is better than the movie.

And can you believe I havent checked out youtube ever?? :( Work sucks sucks suckssssss!

Neihal said...

I agree Rani is good but over-rated. And I am so pissed by this Bachchan family monopoly.

Sakshi said...

Too funny. I spewed coffee all over.. let me go and clean it up..

*still LMAO*

HaRi pRaSaD said...

U dunno who "Superstar" is? ..."Superstar" is?..."Superstar" is?...(echo effect) Gosh!
Well...he started off as a carpenter, then became a bus conductor, slept on the platforms of chennai while looking for work, got a small role of 10 minutes in his first movie,made his mark as a villan, then a hero and then went on to become the undisputable superstar of Tamil cinema. His disastrous flop movie earned 20 crores which was far ahead of the greatest hit of the year...

Presenting to you

Sigh! The lenghts one has to go for his hero...

Siddhu said...

Superstar. There is only one superstar.

The man who cannot act.

The man with 'style', whatever that is...


Sowmya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sowmya said...

God,You are wicked!! :D

Poor Abhi... calling mom and dad, it seems... :))

And Abhi promised Ash that she won't have to look for work? I thought it was the other way :P


Sayesha said...

I liked it. :) I thought Irfan Khan was mind-blowing. :)
ps: Dude, you really need to get on Youtube. Or at least check out my 'video of the week' posts! :P

Yeah man! The combined branding is so annoying! :/


Oh boy. I just checked Rediff. Have you taken a look at the costumes?? I think Govinda is about to kill himself. :|

Sheesh! You're a fan too?? :'(

//God,You are wicked!! :D

Aaj pata chala? Hai ram, ab tak ki sari mehnat bekar? :O

//And Abhi promised Ash that she won't have to look for work? I thought it was the other way :P

We all know what happens to the careers of actresses after they get married, don't we? :)

satish said...

I gotta admit sash bhai, movie sucked big time for me. I felt like an idiot, not able to comprehend what the director had to say. I so wanted to like this movie. Uper se mere ek sau panchaas rupaye! :((

dharmu said...

superly awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanu said...

This maybe exactly what happened... that make it all the more funnier...

Manchus said...

I just have 2 words for this blog.


bellydancer said...

Oh my! I can hear the three of them having the discussion! Hilarious (",)

veena said...

lol that was brilliant! guess the result of experience in writing and in watching tonnes of movies :)

Anusha said...

Bwah! Awesome! Though, to be fair, I don't really think Rani is like that in real life. I would've said the same about Abhishek, but then he went and made the decision to marry Ash, so I don't know what to think of him anymore. Sheesh.

I liked the movie too. Having read the book, I think the movie did full justice to it. It does drag a bit, but the great thing is that the book does too, in exactly the same way. There's no big plotline, and yet everything comes together in the end, even though you're left wondering what "everything" is, exactly. Heh. It's...different. In a good way. :)

Aaaand there's my review for the month. I should do this for a living!

How do we know said...

he he...have been reading ur blog but not commenting for a while, but this one takes the cake.

Yep, Rani was NOT superb in Black. She was like u said in a comment, completely unnatural.

And Abhi promised Ash she wont have to look for work? Like someone else also said, i thot it was the other way round.

Guess what? Can't help wondering what my eternal fave Hrithik would have done with the movie.. sigh! anything for a chance to see him again on stage. If only he was born to the Bachchans!!

Vijay said...

For once, i did not find your post funny! Yes i am surprised myself, cause some of the posts have been hilarious. This one not upto the mark.
Some inconsistencies - Rani IS a very good Actor. Abhishek maybe not but he is improving a lot - was impressed with his work in Guru. I loved his work in Sarkar too!
I think Mira Nair should be credited for the best item song ever in Bollywood - how could you forget the Chunari Chunari item song in Monsoon Wedding???!!!!
I know the post was in good jest but i am just pointing out some inconsistencies.
Haven't seen Namesake yet!

Sayesha said...

Hahaha... too bad yaar, I thought it was beautifully made :)

Thanks! :)


Thanks :)

Thanks! :)

Thanks! :P

I liked the movie, and I'm now a big fan of Irfan! And if the book is exactly like the movie, maybe I'll give it a pass. Will try and look up 'The overcoat' though. :)
ps: Actually yeah, to be very fair, Rani isn't that bimbotic! :P

#How do we know,
//And Abhi promised Ash she wont have to look for work? Like someone else also said, i thot it was the other way round.

Like I said in an earlier comment, that never works. Poof! Married actresses always go out of work like that! Sad but true :(

//Can't help wondering what my eternal fave Hrithik would have done with the movie.. sigh!

Noooooooooooo! He'd have broken into dance in the middle of the movie! :P

//i am just pointing out some inconsistencies.

Well, thanks for your input but I feel that what you have pointed out are not inconsistencies in the post, they are mere differences of opinion. What do you think? :)

//Rani IS a very good Actor.

Well, I think that the only reason why Rani is considered a very good actor is because the others suck so bad. I don't have to be a fan because you are, eh? :)

//was impressed with his work in Guru

Well, and I wasn't. Haha! :D I totally didn't like Abhishek's acting in Guru. :)

//I think Mira Nair should be credited for the best item song ever in Bollywood - how could you forget the Chunari Chunari item song in Monsoon Wedding???!!!!

Well, firstly, I thought Chunari Chunari (the original) was from Biwi number one? :) Please don't give Mira Nair undue credit - she has enough of it under her belt. Secondly, I don't think it was the best item song ever in Bollywood. Aha, difference of opinion again! :)

Thisisme said...

hey..this was a gud post!:-)) n i cant even think how cud mira think of rani n aby's baby! for me..rani is an above avg actress..better than the rest but not awesomely great!..abhishek..errr..papa ka beta hai..less said the better..he has got everything in life coz of his n biwi too :P:P..m sure if he wasnt aby's baby..aish wudnt have given 2nd glance to him :P:P
and as for namesake..i dunno abt the book..but i saw the movie and i personally think Irfan ROCKS!!! he is such an AWESOME actor! the movie drags a lil bit in the middle..but nonetheless..i LOVED IT :-) n thankfully some1 has done justice to that powerhouse of talent called Irfan! n abt his luks..well..i lurrvvvee those deep eyes of his..since many many years :-) *sigh*

Garam Bheja Fry said...

hehe!! phunny posht!!

Mira nair's questionnaire!! :D

Bunty and babli can't survive minus the dhikchik dhikchik in their movies. and talking about the kajra re girl..she gives tuf competition to the wax dummy she has at tussauds.. :P

Sayesha said...

Hehehe... Join the Irfan fan club! :D

#Garam Bheja Fry,
Thanks! :P

//she gives tuf competition to the wax dummy she has at tussauds.. :P

Oh nooooo! My ideaaaaa! I was gonna write a news report about how there was a mix-up when Aish visited madame Tussauds, and the statue was escorted to the car instead. And that's why Aish got good reviews for her acting in 'Provoked'! :P :P :P

Vijay said...

Inconsitency or Mere difference of opinion? Well, i will read your post again and get back on that :)

To be really fair I am NOT a Rani fan. The only movie i have seen of hers is Black well that and KANK(but lets not talk of KANK) and i cried! Only Bad actors or Good actors have ever made me cry and i still think she is a very good actor! Although i must say i tend to like most Bengali actresses ;)!!!!

ok, Wot about Abhishek in Sarkar???

Well, Chunari Chunari (original) was not an "item" song really was it? Hey, no offence to Mira Nair, but i still would give her due credit for this adaptation! ;)

Vivek said...


Have you considered writing comedy scripts for main/side stream Bollywood movies??? Either you could get rich, or at least get a "bharat ratna" posthumously!!

qsg said... item numbers in The Namesake? Jaao mein nahin dekhti yeh movie! They should have atleast had Abhi do an item number! Gosh!

great post...

Black Tulip said...

ROTFL the whole Aish-Abhi part is especially hilarious. What hypocrisy man, and u've said it all so wonderfully. i hope Aish takes a stand against Amitabh's double standards after the marriage.

HaRi pRaSaD said...

Hahahaha! Holy Cow! You compared "The second highest paid actor in Asia (after Jackie chan and all set to become the highest)with a Sissy like Govinda!!! Who said stars have to come only in Armani Suits? If a guy in his late 50's wearing a Pink suit with white wig is able to generate enough mass hysteria in the southern parts of this country to give the heros of other languages sleepless nights...well...and u compared him with Govinda?? Oh God...

Sayesha said...

Oooh KANK made me cry too. Cos I could not believe my KJ had let me down so bad! :P

//Well, Chunari Chunari (original) was not an "item" song really was it?

Well, the definition of 'item number' has changed in the last decade. Earlier, any upbeat song that appeared randomly in the movie was an 'item number' so the Sush-Salman original would have qualified. I'd say the current definition of an item number would be something like "a catchy song with no relevance to the movie featuring a dance by a hot chick in skimpy clothes who, much to your disappointment, shall not appear in the movie after that song".

Thanks! :)

//Either you could get rich, or at least get a "bharat ratna" posthumously!!

Posthumously????!!! :'(

Hahahaha! Well you can stand up in the theatre and do your own item number if you want! :P

#Black Tulip,
Thanks! :D

Hahahaa! I merely said that Govinda would have a heart attack. No comparison with anyone. :P

Unknown said...

Good one. I found it as a very creative way of touching the storyline of Namesake, AbiAsh, a dig at the current "bollywood" film patterns and last but not the least KANK, all in one story. Keep it up.

I just started reading your blog after some heavy recommendations from one of your readers. And you didnt disappoint. :-)