Ladies and Gentleman

Director Siddique will take a malayalam film titled Ladies and Gentleman, which stars Mohanlal in the lead role.

“The story revolves around Mohanlal and four young girls in his life,” says the director.

It is a fun film, which will also carry a social message.It seems Siddique has just completed the script but is yet to complete the casting for Ladies and Gentleman.

Meanwhile he will also begin shooting his next Bollywood flick with John Abraham soon!

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  1. Raw action has returned to rule the box office. Howhas this genre evolved and do we need to be at par with Hollywood

    What do the following films have in common – Wanted, Dabangg, Bodyguard, Singham and Agneepath?Answer: All of them wowed the box officewith an adrenalin rush of action. But it wasn’t the slick and edgyHollywood-style action that worked forthese films. They took us back to the good old dhishoom-dhishoom era, whichthe Indian audience has always loved. So our actors hit the gym and pumped iron to regale us with fist fights and every imaginable form of raw action. Result: It’sleft the audience wanting for more.

    Action sequences are quintessential to Hindi films. We have always lookedup to a hero capable of taking on the bad guys. Thus, we’ve adored actors like Amitabh Bachchan who ruled the action genre during the ‘70s and ‘80s. In the‘80s and ‘90s, Sunny Deol, Sanjay Dutt, Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff took action films to an altogether different level withfilms like Ghayal and Tezaab. This was followed by films featuring Ajay Devgn and Akshay Kumar flexing their muscles too. Then the action continued with films like Karan Arjun featuring Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan.

    Now, after a span of a few years, rawaction is back with a vengeance and has caught up with the audience in a bigway. But how long will this trend last?

    We spoke to people from the Hindi film industryand here’s what they had to say…

    Nishikant Kamat, Director

    Raw action is not the only thing that canattract the audience.It’s all aboutchange. At onepoint, there was awave of comedy,then came therom-coms. But this wave keeps changing. Currently, there is a wave of action films, which will remain constant for may be three to four years.

    Change isinevitable in life and a natural progression.If you ask me about Hollywood, well,we are nowhere near their standards and have a lot to learn from them. Forinstance, the Hollywood film Lord Of The Rings was in post production for three years. I don’t think it is feasible in Indiato have a film in post production for that long. Budgets are a huge constraint inHindi films. If we have flexible budgets, it would be a lot easier for us to matchHollywood standards.

    Siddique, Director

    Trends in filmschange and it’sa cycle. It varies from comedy to family-oriented films to drama,horror and soon. Now, it’sthe turn of rawactionfilms.This trend will last for a year or two, who knows? But the audience likes variety.

    We cannot compare ourselves to Hollywood.The Indian audience likes exaggerated action, which is not appreciatedby the overseas audience. But we have brilliant actors in our industry who havean international audience too. We are yetto reach the level of perfection in actionfilms as Hollywood, but will soon matchtheir standards.

    Vidyut Jamwal, Actor

    Action films have evolved a lot overthe years. Whilea few years ago,it was all aboutaping the West and making our films look like Hollywoodmovies, now it’s all about making fight sequences look real. We do use cables and harnesses for our films too but theessence is to make the fight look convincing.

    Action films are doing well evenat the box office and one of the main reasonsis people can relate to them. Gone are the days when we had over-the-topfight sequences. Today, it’s about rawaction. Heroes usually undergo a strenuoustraining regime for these scenes andthat adds to the film’s ‘wow’ factor. I have learnt Kalaripayattu, an Indian martial artfrom Kerala, when I was three years old. It is one of the oldest fighting systems in existence and it helped me when I wasshooting for the action scenes in Force. Raw action is here to stay.

    Allan Amin, Stunt Director

    All this raw action hascome from theSouth Indian films, which theaudience enjoys. I think theaudience will likewatching suchaction in thenear future too. This has been proved byfilms like Force, Players and Agneepath though these films have used stylised action too.

    There are a few genres likeromance, action and of course the songand-dance sequences that never fail towork with the Indian audience. So regardless of how realistic the film is, these things will never change. But if we overdo raw action, the audience will get bored. That’s why you blend stylised action withraw action. About matching Hollywood standards,we are almost at par with them. Today,we have the same technology, cameraand stuntmen as theirs. What we don’thave is a flexible budget. The day wehave that, we will be competing with theWest.

    Subhash Ghai, Director / Producer

    Action means activeness, energyand power. Whether it isan animated film, VFX or anactor doing theaction scenes, action willnever go out of fashion. This genre may take a breakfor a while but it will be back. Raw actionhas its own charm in mainstream cinema especially where the wholefilm is based on people and emotions.Raw masala films are working rightnow and they will always work but the script must be strong enough to supportthe action.

    Today, Hindi action movies are followingthe Hong Kong action moviestyle – larger than life and animated fantasies. You find such ridiculous stunts rather amusing. It is not fair to make comparisonswith Hollywood. We have our own positive and negative sides. At times,we are better and at times we areshort of the desired effect and style,in terms of big budgets, cinematographers, makers, technology and of course artists.

    Tinu Verma, Stunt Director

    In Hindi films, comedy, rom-com,suspense and thriller, all these genres work. Now is the boomtime for action films. This trend was started by Salman Khan. Everything thatwe see on the big screen is connectedto the life of the audience. This wave ofaction films is here to stay for at least another four to five years. Sanjay Dutt, Akshay Kumar and Shah Rukh Khan areall going to bank on action films. The audience relates to these films. One can’t compare Hindi films with Hollywood. They work at an altogether different level. They have huge budgetsand are highly advanced. We candefinitely take inspiration from thembut should not try to imitate them.

    Sanjay Gupta, Director

    I don’t thinkaction films willever go out ofstyle becausepeople aroundthe globe love to watch them. The more you bringin a variety ofaction, the morethe audience loves it. Films like Dabangg and Singham had raw or South-styleaction, while Agneepath and Players were stylised. People loved both types ofaction. With my film, Shootout at Wadala,we will be introducing a new kind of action to Hindi cinema.

    Ratan Jain, Producer

    Raw action will continue to woothe audience asthey are different. An action scene becomes spicier with theactors’ expression and style.The audience also appreciates raw action. So I don’t think action, whether it’s raw orstylised, will ever go out of fashion because action and music is somethingthe Indian audience loves. You findthem in regional films too.

    But in India, you can’t show an action or a fight sequence without a reason. There has to be a reason for itand it has to be properly emoted. Speaking of different types of action, I think we are doing really welland are doing a variety of films. For example, Singham’s villain Prakash Raj’s character was funny as well as negative, and although Ajay Devgn didn’t engage in fisticuffs with him, he did fight with the other characters.

    Sanjay Dutt in Agneepath wasunrefined and very harsh but he wasas strong as the hero. And they had fist fights, which was required by the script. So, we have different kinds ofaction scenes and the audience has always loved watching them in India. Hollywood has great expertise and we are learning a lot from them. There are so many people from thereworking here now. Even for Tezz, wehave hired Hollywood technicians so that we can learn new techniquesand adapt the same. I don’t think weare lacking in the quality of action orstunts compared to Hollywood. It’sjust that our budgets are not as highas theirs.

    Jai Singh Nijjar, Action Director

    Trends in Hindicinema keepchanging. Currently,we arewitnessing anaction trend. After a point,this trend too willbe replaced byanother trend, like comedy, romance or drama. If we compare our action to Hollywood films, we are not far behind. Hollywood films have a world market but our films don’t.

    In the Hindi film industry, budgets are a huge constraint. It all depends onhow much the producer wants to spend.Take for instance a film like Krrish…where Rakesh Roshan had spent anexorbitant sum to hire the Hollywood action team. Nevertheless, we are makingprogress and will be able to match their standards soon.

    Sonu Sood, Actor

    I believe thathaving just twoto three action scenes are greatif the script isgood. A script should hold theaction. It should blend into the scene. I think raw action has made acomeback after a long time. There wasa time in the ‘70s-‘80s when action wason a roll. Now since it’s back, it will stayas long as the scripts are good.

    The audiencealways loves good action, whether raw or stylised. The Hindi film industry has come along way and we are not lacking or laggingin the field of action. Our stuntmen, technology… everything is advanced. They are now trained even in the safety aspect. So we have a different set of people for safety when we shoot an action scene. In years to come, I am surewe will watch a greater variety of action.

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