One of Asia's most popular actors by the late 1940s, Kapoor sustained his reputation for two decades, starring in and directing a host of Chaplinesque comedies such as "Shri 420" (1955) and "Awara" (1...
Bollywood star Anil Kapoor's radical Indian TV remake of U.S. action show 24 has been branded a runaway success. The Slumdog Millionaire actor produced an Indian version of the crime series, which premiered in the country on Friday night (04Oct13), and several fellow stars have praised the show.
Director Kunal Kohli took to Twitter.com to write, "24 is a new dawn in Indian TV. Can we pls pls (please) have more shows like this? enough saas (mother-in-law) bahu (daughter-in-law) sagas pls (sic)."
Actress Preity Zinta also tweeted, "Watched 24 on TV tonight & was amazed at how wonderful its turned out! Congrats 2 (to) Anil Kapoor & Raj Nayak 4 (for) changing Indian TV for ever."
Kapoor, who plays Jai Singh Rathod in a role similar to Kiefer Sutherland's famous character Jack Bauer in the series, reported earlier this year (13) that he redesigned the U.S. show to appeal to Indian audiences.
The actor also played Middle Eastern President Omar Hassan in the eighth and final season of the original 24 in 2010.
The versatile Indian actor was rushed to Mumbai's Breach Candy Hospital on Friday (12Aug11) in critical condition, and died on Sunday (14Aug11) of kidney failure.
Famed for his lighthearted touch in movies, he made his Bollywood debut in 1954, and was part of the Kapoor acting dynasty, which included his successful actor brothers, Raj and Shashi, and their father Prithviraj Kapoor, a well-known theatre personality.
His notable screen credits include Junglee and Professor.
Kapoor is survived by his wife and two children.
Based on the novel Q&A this sharp adaptation tells the tale of a young man Jamal Palik (Dev Patel) who becomes a contestant on the Indian version of the hit game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and ends up being accused of cheating. As we see him beaten into admitting that he “knew” the answers the film darts back and forth in time to show how he came to this place and exactly where the truth lies. We see how Jamal and his brother Salim (Madhur Mittal) joined by their female friend Latika (Freida Pinto) grow up in one of the country’s worst slums where they must resort to a spree of petty crimes in order to survive. Later we catch up with them in their teens as they conduct tours of the Taj Mahal and make up tall tales for the unsuspecting visitors. Out of desperation their crimes get more intense as Latika gets herself into big trouble. By the time we get to Jamal’s appearance on the game show it’s clear he has learned what really counts as the tension-driven sequences have him answering questions at a furious pace by the dubious quizmaster (Anil Kapoor). Using a cast of largely unknown actors director Danny Boyle has created an ensemble that exudes freshness and vitality. Outstanding performances come from all the kids who play the main characters of Jamal Latika and Salim at three different ages. They are countered by the adults in the story who also make the most of their juicy roles -- particularly Indian superstar Anil Kapoor playing the shady host of the game show. His scenes on set opposite Patel’s 18 year-old Jamal are riveting and suspenseful beyond any thriller. Both actors play a telekinetic cat-and-mouse game with complete believability. Patel is terrific a real find as is the gorgeous Freida Pinto as the older Latika. Equally effective is Madhur Mittal as the crime-bent older Salim. Irrfan Khan as the determined inspector has his own intense moments while interrogating Jamal. Serious-minded movies rarely get to show off such talented younger actors but Slumdog is virtually a treasure trove in this regard. Danny Boyle’s direction is vibrant alive and pulsating with originality. This director has shown great aptitude for tackling all sorts of different genres from the dark drug-filled Trainspotting to the light-hearted family fare Millions. He’s even done zombies with 28 Days Later. With Slumdog the Brit tackles a completely foreign culture to his own and effortlessly engages us in the plight of these characters. The filmmaking is crisp and cutting-edge with an array of colors and editing choices that put us smack into the center of the story. Cutting back and forth seamlessly between the game show tapings and the flashbacks slowly filling in the answers to Jamal’s ultimate fate Boyle has crafted a completely original movie-going experience. Ending it all on an upbeat note there’s a great Bollywood-type pop number that ranks as the best musical sequence we’ve seen on film all year. You are guaranteed to leave the theater on a high.
Raj (Ranbir Kapoor) is a charismatic young singer-musician who comes to a small--but very glittery--Indian town. He meets up with a beautiful prostitute (Rani Mukherjee) who falls for the lanky Elvis-influenced singer but who keeps him at arm's length to protect his innocent charm. But she helps him find a place to stay with a lonely old woman (Zohra Sehgal quite spry despite being 95 years old) who begins to love him as son. Raj's inherent happiness infuses everyone around him as we see in a variety of song-and-dance numbers but everything changes when he meets the remarkably gorgeous Sakina (Sonam Kapoor) one night as she stands on a bridge in the rain. She waits for her missing lover a man who has promised to return to her on the one-year anniversary of their parting. That moment will happen in a few days' time; meanwhile Raj woos her each night and falls madly in love with her. As the fateful night approaches the big question looms: Will Sakina change her heart and eschew her mysterious lover for Raj or will our hero's heart be broken? Saawariya is the debut film for both the leading actors Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor but it is not the first touch of the film industry for either. He is the scion of India's most famous acting family and he's a natural charmer with his cute visage and lanky yet muscular build. In fact there's even a cheesecake sequence in the film the centers on him as he lip-synchs a wistful romantic tune while wearing a sheer sarong draped around his private parts. He's definitely good eye candy but he pales next to the luminous beauty of Sonam Kapoor she of a distant branch of the same illustrious family. As the shy and chaste Sakina the actress merely has to appear and look into the camera and moviegoers feel like swooning. Her dark eyes light-brown skin and perfect features make it impossible to look at anyone else on the screen; she is completely mesmerizing. The problem with the film is not with these two obviously talented actors. Instead it comes from the form of the film an obviously staged musical fantasy that owes much of its look to Baz Luhrman's Moulin Rouge. While often visually arresting the fake sets and canned music are frequently jarring and add to the general feeling that we are watching a music video rather than a fully fleshed out romance. Consequently it's hard to take anything that happens in the film to heart as it all seems like a faux flick. Sanjay Leela Bhansali is an award-winning Indian director who conceived Saawariya as what he calls “an exotic love story.” Based on a Fyodor Dostoyevsky short story his film takes that Russian tale of unrequited love and transforms it into a musical romance filled with songs that sound vaguely Western vaguely Indian and are completely corny--in any language. He has fashioned a cartoonish film one that never quite draws us into the belief that Raj truly loves Sakina. It's a sort of “romance light” flick looking pretty but without any emotional substance which means that once the novelty of seeing the stylized sets hearing Indian songs and reading the subtitles wears off Saawariya becomes a bit of a slog toward the not-too-surprising dénouement. Touted as the first Bollywood film to come to American under the auspices of a major American studio (Sony/Columbia Pictures) unfortunately Saawariya is probably not the movie that is going to cause a sudden surge in fascination with all things Indian. But considering how many films the Indian film community churns out every year it is likely to not be that last one to arrive on our shores. Let's hope the next one will be a more palatable offering.
One of Asia's most popular actors by the late 1940s, Kapoor sustained his reputation for two decades, starring in and directing a host of Chaplinesque comedies such as "Shri 420" (1955) and "Awara" (1956). Brother of actors Shashi and Shammi Kapoor and son of silent actor Prithvi Ra Kapoor.