Posts Tagged ‘Mira Nair


Hilary Swank Flies High With “Amelia”

The Ravi Report's official spot on the red carpet!

The Ravi Report's official spot on the red carpet!


The press lining up for the premiere of "Amelia" at the Paris Theater.

Hilary Swank is gifted. Mira Nair is remarkable, Richard Gere is  incredible,  Ewan McGregor is a star and “Amelia” is a terrific film. Plain and simple. Any more questions?

The recent premiere of the epic film at the famed Paris Theater in NY was proof that Swank, Nair, Gere & McGregor have enough star power to light up a dozen skyscrapers. The A Listers took to the red carpet and were mobbed by their fans, reporters, photographers and The Ravi Report was front and center to get the details.

Acclaimed director Mira Nair talking to the press about "Amelia"

Acclaimed director Mira Nair talking to the press about "Amelia"

Nair,  whose previous films such as  “The Namesake” & “Monsoon Wedding” have become box office sensations , spoke to The Ravi Report about  how she felt now that her most talked about film is  being release. 

 “I am so relieved to be here tonight and I think this film has the force of nature, Amelia, Hilary and myself in it,” states the acclaimed director who looked elegant dressed in a white sequined outfit complete with high heels which the director  rarely wears.

Nair also says that because it’s  an epic film, it required an epic amount of work and  only finished the film a few weeks ago. She  said she gave it “her everything” and in some ways it was  the most  difficult & longest endeavor she had ever engaged in.

“We shot around the world, we shot aerial action in a very real way not just with computers, we also made it an action adventure in addition to showing the world what Amelia was all about,” states the award-winning director.

Ravi Yande and Mira Nair pose for The Ravi Report

Ravi Yande and Mira Nair pose for The Ravi Report

Amelia Earhart really needs no introduction. We all know by now that the courageous and non-traditional woman who disappeared while flying over the Pacific in 1937  had the courage, stamina and guts of more than a hundred people put together and she was the first lady to fly solo across the Atlantic in 1928. We knew that the avaitrix was a risk taker, had an open marriage and refused to take “no” for an answer no matter what she tried to achieve in her short-lived life. Her legacy comes to screen via Swank. It’s also uncanny how much Swank resembles Earhart in the film.

The two-time Oscar-winning actress (“Boys Don’t Cry“(2000) and “Million Dollar Baby” (2005) ) spoke to The Ravi Report about the Oscar buzz that has slowly generated for the talented actress and her film.

Oscar winning actress Hilary Swank smiles exclusively for The Ravi Report

Oscar winning actress Hilary Swank smiles exclusively for The Ravi Report

“You know it’s very humbling and it practically leaves me speechless. It’s a great honor just to live my dream and be a working actor and to be in films like Amelia is enormous” she exclusively told The Ravi Report.

The iconic star Richard Gere has entertained the world for decades and critics are praising his role in the film. The superstar plays the role of Earhart’s devoted husband and long time supporter George Palmer Putnam. Gere does a phenomenal job.

Actor Richard Gere gives one of his finest performances in "Amelia".

Actor Richard Gere gives one of his finest performances in "Amelia".

Harry Connick Jr told The Ravi Report that he has been a long time fan of Swank.

“I got to know her a few years ago and man, I am a big fan of hers. I can’t wait until I see her portray Amelia which I think will be ground breaking” states the award-winning actor and singer. He also says that women are getting stronger roles in Hollywood films now and hopes the trend continues.

The film’s writer Anna Hamilton Phelan whose past films include “Girl, Interrupted” and “Chains” and “In Love & War“, says that she has been a fan of Amelia Earhart for years. The research  for the scrip, including reading  several biographies on the hero, was part of the process of writing the screenplay.

Screenwriter Ann Hamilton Pelan poses exclusively for The Ravi Report

Screenwriter Anna Hamilton Phelan poses exclusively for The Ravi Report

“She was a risk taker and reckless, she took risks she shouldn’t have taken. She had many insecurities.” states the award winning writer.

Phelan says that the first time she saw Swank in make up and costume, it took her breath away.Swank’s mannerisms and character transformation was so identical to Amelia’s that she said Swank was “just extraordinary in the role”.

“She makes my dialogue look great!” laughed the writer.

The film also stars British actor Joe Anderson, a very talented performer but  not quite a household name yet in Hollywood. He plays the role of Bill in the biopic.

Nair has done an amazing job with “Amelia”  and  many will agree that Swank is a true actress to the core with an incredible way of portraying  the legendary Earhart. The talk of Oscar for both Swank and Nair solidifies that both know how to pick and make films. This is one movie you don’t want to miss and it will be a damn shame if you do.

The Journey continues…





"Delhi 6" award winning team being introduced at MoMa premiere.

For a minute I thought I was back in Mumbai at some  glitzy movie premiere when I entered the world famous  Museum of Modern Art In Manhattan on Sunday February 16, 2009 and saw Bollywood movie stars, larger then life Indian movie posters and a line of fans dressed in silk saris and tunics waiting to get into the museum.  MoMa had welcomed  Bollywood for the first time with the  premiere of “Delhi 6″  along with the cast and director of the film, celebrities, Indian film devotees and of course The Ravi Report was front and center to capture all the exciting parts of the movie event.


Indian superstar Abhishek Bachchan enters MoMa for the screening of his film "Delhi 6"

“There he is!” screamed one very pretty Indian girl trying to get a glimpse of the “Brad Pitt” of India, Abhishek Bachchan the star of the film. “Please just one hug” shouted another stunning Indian beauty with almond shaped eyes among the hundreds of fans who showed up for the premiere.

The crowd had waited hours in line just to get a quick photo or hand shake (security permitting) of  Bachchan Jr, son of legendary and world famous Indian filmstars Amitabh & Jaya Bachchan. Dressed in a Hugo Boss suit complete with silk tie and silver cufflinks and sporting a new hair style, (for a role he is currently playing) Bachchan Jr. did the usual signing of autographs, posing for pictures and shaking hands among the well wishers who waited hours to catch a glimpse of  Indian film star in person who on Feb. 5 celebrated his 33rd birthday in NY. Married to global international star Aishwariya Rai, who recently had her own movie premiere of “Pink Panther”in NY,  the young actor whose decade long career in the Indian cinema industry has made him into one of India’s finest leading actors and part of what many term “Young Bollywood”.

Bachchan Jr. came  with the lead actress of the film, the ravishing Sonam Kapoor daughter of Bollywood top actor Anil Kapoor who has become an household name because of  his role as the host of  “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” in the Oscar winning film  “Slumdog Millionaire”. The father and daughter team have reached international fame from their hard work, talent and of course great movies.

Kapoor, dressed in a tradition red and black Indian dress, decked with  Indian jewellery, the stunning and very humble actress spoke to reporters about her role, loving NY and “Slumdog Millionaire”.
“I am so excited to be in NY especially with the film. New Yorkers have always embraced us (Indian films) so I am grateful to be here again” stated the Indian beauty.

MoMa welcomed Bollywood in full swing!

MoMa welcomed Bollywood in full swing!

Although Indian movie premieres  in NY are still few and far in between, they are slowly becoming part of the NY movie premiere culture. Only the  big budgeted films with box office appeal and of course big talent from India make it to NY but now due increased interest from the western audiences,  Indian films are getting global recognization more so now than ever before thanks to brilliant Indian directors like  Mira Nair, Deepa Mehta, Reykesh Omprakash Mehra and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Acclaimed filmmaker Reykesh OmPrakash Mehra being interviewed at this MoMa premire of film "Delhi 6".

Acclaimed filmmaker Reykesh OmPrakash Mehra being interviewed at the MoMa premire of his film "Delhi 6".

Acclaimed and internationally known director of “Delhi 6″, Reykesh Omprakash Mehra whose previous box office megahit “Rang De Basanti”was India’s official entry for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars in 2006 was heard telling reporters how this movie was extremely personal to him in many ways. More on what the film meant to him and his journey as a filmmaker in my in depth interview with Mehra and the stars  of the film in the next The Ravi Report.

One star missing from the premiere was musical genius A.R. Rahman who was in LA preparing for his Oscar night performance. The world knows by now that Rahman won two Oscars for his musical scores for “Slumdog Millionaire“. The music for “Delhi 6″ is simply awesome.

I really must commend MoMa for doing an outstanding job at the premiere. It was such a pleasure to see the world famous museum have such a strong  interest in Indian films and to embrace it with such style, elegance and respect. You must visit MoMa when you get a chance and membership has many, many benefits.

The special night also included international movie director Mira Nair, beautiful stage and screen  actress Sarita Chaudhury,  actor Manu Narayan from the superhit film “Love Guru” and several NY social personalities and business leaders.



NY Red Carpet Premiere: “Slumdog Millionaire: A Powerful Film With Early Oscar Buzz

New York: A glittering red carpet night at the Imagine Asian Theater in NY on November 8, 2008 when Hollywood and Bollywood came together  for the premiere of one of the most talked about movies so far this year “Slumdog Millionaire”.

Co-director Loveleen Tandon, Director Danny Boyle & screenwriter Simon Beaufoy

Co-director Loveleen Tandon, Director Danny Boyle & screenwriter Simon Beaufoy

Slumdog Millionaire” is an incredible and highly recommended movie and has the Oscar buzz to prove it.  The movie based on the novel “Q&A” by Vikas Swarup and screenplay written by the multi-talented Simon Beaufoy (The Full Monty) shows the world real India- a country where over a billiion plus people live, many in poverty who have dreams of making a better life for themselves and struggle daily to find the answer.  It’s also home to lavish Bollywood,  incredible culture, music, stylish fashion, global techology and of course people like “Jamal Malik”.

At the Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council star studded red carpet NY premiere hosted by founder Aroon Shivadasani,  I had a rare chance to interview the director of the masterpiece,  the highly acclaimed Danny Boyle who was surprised at the incredible reaction the film has received from the American audience in such a short time.

“I was always worried about the American audience reaction. I knew it would do well in England due to the strong connection we have with India but was a bit concerned about what western audiences would think” states the award winning director whose previous films have included “Trainspotting”,The Beach” and “28 Days Later”.

No need to worry here. All the major film critics have embraced it with open arms.

Slumdog Millioniare” was in fact  well received with festival audiences. It took home “People’s Choice Award” from the prestigious Toronto Film Festival this past September and almost every major newspaper has given the film a glowing rating. There’s a reason why the critics and audiences have taken to the film believes Boyle.

“The film depicts the main character Jamal as an underdog and a dreamer who fights to achieve his dream in everyway he can. I think the concept of rooting for the underdog is buried very deep into the American psyche which is why I  think the American audiences are appreciating it” states the award winning director.

Boyle says by living in East London for years he himself has been exposed to Indian culture but his personal experience in India during the filming was something he never had experienced before.

“I only really lived in Mumbai so I can’t really comment on whole of India but what I experienced, the people, the city is vibrant and has a great vibe all the time” states the director.

Without giving to much away, ‘Slumdog Millionaire” is about Jamal Malik (portrayed by newcomer actor Dev Patel who should make room for his Oscar staute) a slum child with no future but dreams of making it big. Through his life experiences, he meets dangerous people, makes friends and enemies and falls in love with the beautiful Latika (portrayed by the stunning newcomer Freida Pinto). Footnote: Both young actors have never acted before in a movie and being their first film, you can see how brilliant casting director turned co-director Loveleen Tandon has a keen eye for talent. Patel and Pinto are simply amazing.

Dev Patel & Freida Pinto at NY premiere.

Dev Patel & Freida Pinto at NY premiere.

Jamal’s life included a series of adventures, mishaps and complex situations that eventually help him  on the popular TV quiz show “Who Wants To Be An Millionaire”.  The “slumdog” becomes a chai seller for a calling center and like the rest of the world, gets hooked on to the show while working at the center. Jamal gets a chance to be on the show, starts to win money and soon becomes a target for the jealous and insecure host Prem Kumar  played by Bollywood megastar Anil Kapoor.

“Anil was great. He was a bit nervous working in an English movie although he speaks the language perfectly. I had never met him before and he helped out in many ways including guiding the studio audience during the scenes” states the director who also roped in other Bollywood top stars including Irrfan Khan (The Namesake” & “The Darjeeling Limited”) and top director/actor Mahesh Manjrekar.

Prem engulfed with jealousy & suspicion makes it extremely challenging for Jamal to continue on the show but goodness  prevails and Jamal ends up winning millions on the show bringing him unexpected fame, fortune and havoc. What happens next is what makes the story interesting and Oscar worthy.

The sold out premiere was also graced by internationally known and award winning movie director Mira Nair, beautiful actress Sarita Choudhury, TV star Maulik Pancholy and actor Ajay Naidu.

Slumdog Millionaire” is one movie you do not want to miss this holiday season and when it gets to the Oscars,  you, like the rest of the world, will root for “Jamal” to win!

Flickr Photos