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Posted: 17 February 2007 at 10:20am | IP Logged

No saas bahu for Pankaj Kapur

Director Pankaj Parashar's 'Karamchand', India's first detective show is back after two decades. Actor Pankaj Kapur, who played the carrot-munching detective, will essay the protagonist yet again. Sushmita Mukherjee, who played his awestruck secretary Kitty, however has been replaced by actor Sucheta Khanna.

Kapur, who is apprehensive about playing 'Karamchand' (Sony) again says, "When 'Karamchand' was first aired, there was only one channel. During the past 23 years, the audience has watched many such serials. Unless you give them something novel, it is very difficult for a project to click these days."

Though Kapur did not want to do a second season of 'Karamchand', he relented because he has a long association with director Parashar. Kapur adds, "Pankaj kept on pestering me for the last one and a half year. For the first time I am readdressing a character. I insist on the script. If it is not good, I tell Pankaj that we should rework on it. I pick up the writer's thoughts and interpret the character the way Pankaj wants it."

Kapur has an axe to grind with channels, which he feels have forgotten their social responsibility. "Why project a bunch of lies to the layman? Making money is not everything in life. Indian culture is being misrepresented on almost every show. There is more to life than saas, bahu and sindoor. There is no brand identity as far as the channels are concerned. The staple diet of mainstream cinema stands good today in serials too."

Incidentally, Kapur has films including Rajkumar Santoshi's 'Halla Bol' (plays a theatre activist) and Bhawna Talwar's satire 'Dharm' (opposite his actor wife Supriya Pathak) coming up. Presently, Kapur is also working on a script and is all set to make his directorial debut.

http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?NewsID=1080358

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Posted: 17 February 2007 at 10:44am | IP Logged

k...K...K...all the way

(Courtesy:www.hindu.com)

New shows have been launching with such alarming frequency of late, that you need to be a confirmed couch potato to catch at least half of them. The best of last week's lot has been Filmy's Kaun Banega Champu, that not only does a brilliant job of spoofing KBC, but has also done a promo that takes off on the SRK promo for the original. Sunil Grover does a competent job of playing Ruk Ruk Khan, down to the last little mannerism (he needs work on that stuttering laugh, though). And Suresh Menon is expectedly brilliant as the assorted celebrities he is expected to play sitting on the 'pot seat' (the seats are actually designed as commodes with the flush tanks for back rests). This week, he was Sunjay Dutt as Munnabhai, pretending to have the Mahatma as his companion in the audience, and whipping out his revolver at every wrong answer. It was funny, witty without going over the top, although it can't get many marks for originality!

Koffee with Karan, on the other hand, was a tad bland. Kajol, Rani, Shah Rukh and Karan all seemed to have conferred earlier on the quips and witticisms that would make for sparkling conversation. If only Karan would move out of his comfort zone (Kajol, SRK...) and bring in some real candid conversation with film folks he may not be necessarily pally with, it would make for a real zinger...

Karamchand returned to screens after two decades, and no, he hadn't changed one whit. One wished he had, though. The deadpan expressions, the rude 'shut up, Kitty' et al are all in place, but they feel curiously dated. The story of a murdered laundry owner could have come straight out of the 1980s, with minor modifications. Audiences today are used to faster pace and smartly outfitted detectives. Star One's DON was somewhat like a latter day Karamchand, riding his bicycle and wearing his school boy satchel. Quirky, but clued in. Sadly, Karamchand seems caught in a time warp.

Shah Rukh Khan too slipped into his comfort zone when buddies Karan Johar, Farah Khan and others turned up to share the V Day KBC episode with him. The episode sparkled with SRK in his element and the participants being equally witty. Regular episodes the rest of the week just paled in comparison. One gets the funny feeling that SRK is tiring of playing the grand entertainer on the show, but is carrying on gamely, nevertheless....

http://us.indiantelevision.com/special/boxpopuli/y2k7/feb/bo xpopuli7.htm

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Posted: 20 February 2007 at 2:53am | IP Logged
Kitty not watching Karamchand

Two decades after India's first TV detective went off the screen, he's back, chewing carrots and barking at Kitty.

But Karamchand is older now and Kitty is no longer Sushmita Mukherjee, the bubbly, slightly rotund and very daft sidekick whose masochistic interplay with Pankaj Kapoor brought the serial alive.

What does she feel now about the new edition of the serial, herformer 'boss' and her replacement? We called her after the first episode and she said: "I haven't seen it, but I'll try to watch the second."

We called her again over the weekend, but she hadn't watched the second one either. "Actually I was busy in my shooting..." Sushmita hasn't met Kapoor in the last three years and what bonds
remain from the old serial do so only in the collective nostalgia of its viewers.

Asked what the difference between new Karamchand and old Karamchand was, the serial's maker Pankuj Parashar said: "If you watch it you'll know the differences. The stories are different in each episode. And we've included all the stuff that's running on TV now: emotions, drama, fiction, reality, everything! And of course there's the new Kitty."

"Karamchand is still the same however, and hasn't given up his habit of eating carrots. Pankaj (Kapoor) and I decided that we should come up with something new for the present generation which has not seen the old Karamchand. So we have created that atmosphere by bringing younger actors in the show."

But not all actors on the show will be young. "We will start shooting with Nassiruddin next week. He will shoot for only one episode and plays a lawyer. I have asked Dimple, but she hasn't confirmed yet."

What else is different?
1) Karamchand now has grey hair
2) So far, he hasn't been nibbling on carrots
3) Kitty doesn't keep insisting to her boss that he's a genius and he in turn has stopped saying "Shut up, Kitty."
4) Karamchand has retro wheels, a 1950s 'Dukkar' fiat, but new tech bling: microcameras and such
5) And lastly, old Karamchand was a half hour show, now it's an hour.
 
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Posted: 21 February 2007 at 7:20am | IP Logged
Nasseruddin Shah to do a cameo
in Karamchand


SET seems to have struck a gold mine with the relaunch of Karamchand, the carrot munching detective serial. The show has not only interested the audiences but also one of the most accomplished actor of our times--- Naseeruddin Shah Adds the versatile actor, "I used to regularly watch the first season of Karamchand. I think, it created a new genre with a likeable character in the lead. I always wanted to be a part of it, so this time when director Pankaj Parashar spoke to me about a cameo appearance, I grabbed it. "

Naseer will appear as a lawyer in a murder case, in the upcoming episode to be aired on 10th March. "The best part is that the audience will not be able to know whether I am on the defence or the prosecution side till the end. My character is one of a legal shark who knows all the loop holes in the law and always gets his way", says the actor.

Naseer and Pankaj Kapur go a long way. They first met in 1973 when both did a play together and since then have acted in Jalwa Mandi, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron and more recently Maqbool.

Elaborating further on his role, Naseer says, "I respect Pankaj as an actor and am happy to do a serial where he plays the lead. But unfortunately, we only have one scene together. I would actually love to share more screen space together. But then finally it's the director's call. I am also a bit surprised as to why Sushmita was not retained as Kitty since she has played a crucial role in making the original show a big success. Sucheta, who plays the new Kitty has a challenging job fitting into the shoes of Sushmita."

When queried on why he doesn't do more of television, the actor says, "I find the medium too taxing, you have to do a certain number of scenes every day, which I regard too much of a strain. Also, till now not too many interesting scripts have come my way which will encourage me to work that tad harder. It's really sad that the same old stuff is being recycled. People defend their lack of creativity by saying that the audiences are lapping up the current saas bahu sagas. You cannot blame the public because if you keep giving them the same content they are bound to get addicted to it."

Whenever this actor turned director gets a little time he watches cricket, news and old films on. He adds, "I avoid watching serials for they end up going nowhere and besides if you miss one episode, you loose the link as well".

Finally the actor says that the second season of Karamchand is going to be equally exciting as the earlier series. Well, can we dispute what the experienced actor has to say? Not at all!!

http://us.tellychakkar.com/y2k7/feb/21feb/news_nasheer.php

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Posted: 24 February 2007 at 7:28pm | IP Logged
Who's it gonna be this time?



   "As an actor, it is a good experience to revisit a character that I had done twenty-two years back and get feedback from the audience," says Pankaj Kapur, describing his take on playing Karamchand after so many years. "The good part is that the character Karamchand will remain intact. He will still rely on his unique logic to solve cases despite hi-tech gadgets or advances in forensic science," he adds nostalgically. In tonight's episode: a convicted serial killer Ramdev escapes from the State Psychiatric Hospital and another killing spree starts! Karamchand gets roped in. After the first murder, they realise that the modus operandi matches the one used by the serial killer before he went to jail.
   Karamchand is upset with inspector Bakhtavar Patel, the security in-charge of the hospital for the lapse in security. The lady doctor Dr Rita Kapoor, who was treating the serial killer is scared of getting murdered as he used to threaten her.
   The killer keeps sending riddles to Karamchand to give him a clue as to where and who the next victim will be. And one such riddle hints at Kitty, Karamchand's assistant, being the next target! Who's behind the serial killings — Ramdev, inspector Bakhtavar Patel and Dr Rita Kapoor.
   Enter Bano Jasoos Karamchand Ke Saath contest to help Karamchand solve the case. SMS KC to 2525 and make your guess. Catch the winner being announced in the next episode! Karamchand airs every Saturday at 9 pm on Sony Entertainment Television.
 
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Posted: 03 March 2007 at 6:46am | IP Logged
Why Karamchand 2007 is a let down

I was waiting to catch the first episode of Karamchand, starring the carrot -chomping detective played with such freshness by Pankaj Kapur in the 1980s. The ads before the episode were full of tempting questions: Where had he been all these days, gosh! - 20 years? What had he been up to?

Unfortunately the questions were not answered by the end of the first episode. It tried to make it sound as if the intervening years had not happened at all. And that the leap of 20 years (that Ekta Kapoor strives to add in her serials) had never taken place at all. Kapur strives manfully to breathe the character back to life. However, too much water has flown under the Nizamuddin bridge for us to accept Karamchand back with the same fondness, as we had missed him.

First, Kapur looks old. The typical Karamchand mode of dialog delivery and hand gestures that made the 1980s detective seem so different, look depressing on this fifty-something detective. Of course, in the 1980s, we saw Jeremy Brett play Sherlock Holmes on Doordarshan too.

Karamchand was the exact opposite to Jeremy Brett's cool and composed take on the great detective (one of the best in an impressive list of actors to play the 221B Baker Street resident, IMHO). Karamchand would run out of exact words to say, a stark contrast to Sherlock Holmes, who always found the right words. Of course, it did not make him seem like a bumbling idiot, but rather as someone whose words could not keep up with his thoughts.

And then there was the carrot. In the non-health conscious 80's, Karamchand ate carrots - and I guess convinced a fair number of until-then dubious school children like me about the virtues of the vegetable. Popeye hadn't smashed his way onto the Indian TV screen to extol the virtues of spinach yet and therefore Karamchand seemed like a radical contrast to the pipe-smoking (and occasionally opium smoking) Holmes.

However, today Karamchand seems like an anachronism of that age; like VP Singh trying to make his presence felt in UP.

Kitty, for example - the new actress who plays the dumb assistant to the detective has little or no effervescence to not turn the character into a caricature. And the only thing she seems to be there for is to say the predictable last sentence to her boss "Sir you're a genius" to which he will invariably answer, "Shut up Kitty".

Or take Pankuj Parashar's direction. In the 1980's when the camera hardly moved, Parashar's unusual camera angles and use of shadows and lighting marked him out as a different talent. He took that talent to mainstream Bollywood too, with Naseeruddin Shah as hero (!!) in Jalwa (remember the giddy camera movements during the title song sung by Remo Fernandes?) However, the same camera angles look childish today.

In all, the context has changed but sadly by the look of the first episode, nothing much by way of content has changed on Karamchand. The second coming of the detective does not take the show to another level and therefore disappoints one even more. All that it has done, is awaken our memories of the past and make it more painful for us.

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Posted: 03 March 2007 at 6:48am | IP Logged
Solve this beauty mystery!




   "It was very nice to work with director Pankuj Parashar again," says Rohini Hattangadi, who plays Chitrakala Awasti in tomorrow's episode of Karamchand and she adds, "I've done two films with him in the past. Since I've been a part of the series in the first season as well, it was a very nostalgic feeling shooting for it this time. The episode itself is one which is very different from other Karamchand episodes."
   The episode opens with Chitrakala Awasti who runs a training institute for aspiring young girls wanting to take part in beauty pageants. Four girls from her training centre are among the finalists. Finals are round the corner and suddenly one of the girls, Payal, is missing. Not wanting to inform the police, Chitrakala calls Karamchand to investigate. During the investigation he finds that one of the four girls is married and is hiding her true identity. Watch Karamchand reach to the bottom of this drama.
 
What was the reason for Payal's absence?

A.
She was kidnapped B. She was murdered C. She ran away D. She was disqualified Enter 'Bano Jasoos Karamchand Ke Saath' contest to help Karamchand solve the case. SMS KC to 2525 and make your guess. Catch the winner being announced in the next episode of Karamchand—every Saturday at 9 pm only on Sony Entertainment Television.

http://epaper.timesofindia.com/



Edited by Manoj_Tina fan - 03 March 2007 at 6:49am
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Posted: 03 March 2007 at 8:32pm | IP Logged

Rajat Sharma grilled filmstar turned politician Shatrughan Sinha on India TV's Janta Ki Adalat this week. This show too reeks of the same malady that afflicts the re-introduced detective saga Karamchand. Two decades ago, it touched a chord with the audience, made you ask for more. Today, the formula seems insipid, the pace is slack. The viewer does not have the patience to sit through a tedious 'grilling', which has probably been discussed beforehand by the still-smiling Sharma and his 'victim'. News channels have become a 24-hour-a-day adalat (court) in any case. Sharma needs to have a fresh look at the formula, which once made him a household name.

http://www.indiantelevision.com/special/boxpopuli/y2k7/mar/b oxpopuli9.htm

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