CARI Infonet

Title: Others Asian Country ~ Entertainment News & Info HERE! [Print this page]

Author: isabel    Time: 29-6-2006 10:43 AM
Title: Others Asian Country ~ Entertainment News & Info HERE!
hello kawan2 semua especially kawan2 yg hardfans bagi malay entertaiment around Asia....


Welcome to Malay News and Info Entertainment thread
~ Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, India & Filipino ~



thread khas utk kita semua berkongsi apa saja tentang latest news, articles, ranting drama dan etc berkenaan gan artis kegemaran anda semua.  Adalah diingatkan semua posting dan sumber yg anda perolehi adalah berpandukan peraturan dibawah ni..


Rules and regulations:



1.   This is only for latest news/info/chart related to Indon & Others Entertainment. You guys can put any articles, news, drama rating, Oricon chart related
      to actor, actress, singer and group.

2.   Make sure all sources is reliable and give credit. No gossip or rumoured news.

3.   News and info only in Malay or English. Please translate first before post.

4.   This is STRICLY for viewing. Any discussion please continue in artist thread





Selamat Berforum...:hug:

[ Last edited by  isabel at 23-6-2008 11:25 AM ]
Author: isabel    Time: 29-6-2006 03:32 PM
STARS INDEX

[size=-2]A
~John Abraham
July 13,2006 : John reveals his thoughts on his favourite female co-stars! Page 1

[[size=-2]b]B
~Amitabh Bachchan
July 17,2006 : Amitabh? Weakness Page 2

[size=-2]July 22,2006 : A Pervez beats Indian hearts bleating for Mumbai - Bachchan? appeal for aid to blast victims yields only ?26,000 with a Pakistani topping the list  Page 2

[size=-2]D
~Bobby Deol
July 21,2006 : Audiences want to see me in energetic roles Page 2

[size=-2]R
~Aishwarya Rai
June 21,2006 : AISHWARYA RAI SPEAKS OUT AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Page 1

[size=-2]July 1,2006 : Aishwarya Rai in Mistress of Spices Page 1

[size=-2]July 3,2006 : Ash turns down ?handramukhi? again! Page 1

[size=-2]July 16,2006 : Aishwarya Rai salutes the people of Mumbai Page 1

[size=-2]2006 : Aishwarya Rai Fans Introduce a Fansite to Ms World Aishwarya Rai, the Beauty of India Page 2

[size=-2]July 20,2006 : Aishwarya Rai Made to Lose, Gain Weight Page 2



[size=-2]~Hrithik Roshan
July 15,2006 : Hrithik Roshan beats superman! Page 2

[size=-2]July 20,2006 : Hrithik Roshan, dangerous stunts in Dhoom 2 Page 2

[size=-2]S
~Jackie Shroff
2006 : Jackie Shroff on why he has chosen to act in regional films Page 1

[size=-2]K
~Shah Rukh Khan
July 17,2006 : SRK: Crowned again! The King Khan will be crowned again Page 1

[size=-2]July 17,2006 : Mumbai blasts 'dastardly act': Shah Rukh Khan Page 2


[size=-2]~ Salman Khan
July 17,2006 : Salman Khan to Marry? Page 2


[size=-2]~ Amir Khan
July 19,2006 : Amir could face probe for shooting chinkara Page 2


[size=-2]Z
~Preity Zinta
July 21,2006 : Visuals of severed limbs will remain with me Page 2

[ Last edited by  isabel at 29-7-2006 03:08 AM ]
Author: isabel    Time: 29-6-2006 03:33 PM
MOVIE NEWS

[size=-2]June 26, 2006 : Beauty queens clash over freedom fighter films Page 1

[size=-2]July 5,2006 : Dhoom 2 and Don to be released during Diwali Page 1

[size=-2]July 6,2006 : Revealed: What Corporate is all about ~ The Rediff Interview | Madhur Bhandarkar Page 1

[size=-2]July 9, 2006 : An Odd Couple ~  Hema Malini and Naseeruddin Shah Page 1

[size=-2]July 10,2006 : Thief Hrithik takes over from Krrish Page 1

[size=-2]July 12,2006 : Bollywood pairs you may never see again in any movie Page 1

[size=-2]July 17,2006 : Rahul-Mallika? fight over World Cup!Page 2

[size=-2]July 17,2006 : Bollywood Eyes Germany for Newest Audiences Page 2

[size=-2]July 23,2006 : How film star date suspects were bust ~ Sunday Times staffers accompany police in sting operation that netted duo selling bogus events and fake tickets Page 2

[size=-2]2006 : THE CHARTBUSTER Actors Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and Abhisekh dancing to `Kajra Re.' Page 2

[size=-2]2006 : A different set of comics ~ Shah Rukh Khan is making the transition from real world to reel world to the comic world in Bollywood ComicsPage 2

[ Last edited by  isabel at 29-7-2006 03:18 AM ]
Author: isabel    Time: 29-6-2006 03:33 PM
OTHERS

[size=-2]June 30, 2006 : Star-struck fan spends QR1.5mn on gowns for Bollywood diva Page 1

[size=-2]2006 : Konser Amal untuk Yogya Digelar di Malaysia Page 1

[size=-2]July 9,2006 : Art rides Pakistan's roads ~ Owners express their style with ornately decorated trucks Page 1

[size=-2]July 17,2006 : Bollywood Metrosexual Mess Page 1

[size=-2]July 21, 2006 : Bollywood vixens with the sexiest belly buttons! Page 2


[size=-2]July 22,2006 : Simi to grill Jackie Chan on Rendezvous by Subhash K. Jha (Indo-Asian News Service) Page 2

[ Last edited by  isabel at 29-7-2006 03:14 AM ]
Author: ldg    Time: 2-7-2006 04:33 PM
Swiss jeweller takes a shine to Bollywood stars
By Amit Roy (Filed: 29/06/2006)

Chopard, the Geneva-based watch and jewellery company that is trying to expand its business in India, is encouraging some of the most glamorous Bollywood stars to wear its diamonds.

At Cannes this year, Chopard hosted a lunch for "the very pretty and fresh" Preity Zinta, a sought- after Indian actress, who turned up in a simple black dress to show off Chopard's diamond earrings and necklaces to best effect.

The 'Queen of Bollywood', Aishwarya Rai, a former Miss World who is often described as "the most beautiful woman in the world" - in many ways she is the face of modern India - has also worn Chopard jewellery, something done routinely at the Oscars by Hollywood actresses.

Chopard, which is excited by the consumer boom in India, has opened stores in Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai, Chandigarh and Hyderabad and will also do so in Bangalore.

One Indian businessman close to the Chopard management is the Antwerp-based diamond dealer, Rashmi Mehta, who said: "Chopard gets its diamonds from Russia, Belgium, New York and other countries, but the Indians are right up there with them."

Chopard's boss, Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele, co-president and creative director of the company, said: "Next to China, it's the fastest growing economy. There are a lot of rich, talented people in India. We are making contacts with Bollywood."

The contacts are being cultivated by Thomas Sczyrba, Chopard's area manager for India, who disclosed that, in Calcutta alone, nearly 30 Chopard watches had recently been sold. "Our watches go from $1,000 (?625) to no limit, but a popular model sells for $4,000 (?2,500)."

Sczyrba believes that although India has a long jewellery tradition of its own, Chopard's "trendy" image will appeal to the "young, affluent, educated, discerning and stylish Indians".

The company, which sponsors Sir Elton John's Oscar party, is hoping to fund a similar Bollywood event in Bombay in August, said Sczyrba, adding: "Next year in Cannes, we will hold a big Bollywood party." He also did not rule out product placement in Bollywood films: "Everybody follows what the stars are wearing. India has very big potential for us."

Chopard's plans will be of considerable interest to fashion magazines, notably Vogue, the industry's bible, which is due to launch an Indian edition soon, provided permission is given by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. It will be published by Cond? Nast whose managing director, Nicholas Coleridge, has made several trips to India.

"Vogue India will have 99pc Indian staff," said Coleridge. "Vogue always adjusts to the culture of the country where it's published."

India is blessed with beautiful women and Vogue's consultant in India, Alex Kuruvilla, has been pondering candidates, mostly royalty, writers and actresses of the likes of Arundhati Roy and Ms Rai.

These are also the kinds of women who will figure on Chopard's hit list.
Author: ldg    Time: 2-7-2006 04:35 PM
Star-struck fan spends QR1.5mn on gowns for Bollywood diva
Published: Friday, 30 June, 2006, 12:55 PM Doha Time


Sultan with the 25-odd dresses at his Doha boutique

By Rohit William Wadhwaney

A MUMBAI tabloid mistook him for a ?heikh? and a Dubai daily national wrote a three-page sympathetic article on him. However, Doha-resident Sultan is nothing more than one of the hundreds of men around the globe smitten by Aishwarya Rai, one of the world? most beautiful women.

However, one thing that sets the mediocre fashion designer apart from the rest of the Indian diva? fans is that he probably is the craziest of them all.

Sultan, who runs a boutique at Doha? Gharrafa Shopping Complex, has in the last eight years spent "about QR1.5mn" creating gowns dedicated to the former Miss World. The 25-odd rather loud gowns that Sultan has designed have Aishwarya? face or eyes painted on them.

The 38-year-old designer, who has lived in Doha for the past 10 years, claims he makes about QR10,000 a month on an average selling regular dresses to Qatari women.

And every penny of his earnings goes towards designing the not-for-sale Aishwarya gowns. Sultan hopes "one day she?l wear them."

Sultan has just returned to Doha from his hometown Mumbai where he had gone not to meet his wife or two daughters, but to woo his obsession.

For two full months Sultan spent hours each day outside the 32-year-old actress? home hoping to meet and present her with the gowns, better still, make her fall head-over-heels in love with the designs and himself.

Aishwarya, however, seemed least interested. Apart from the fact that the actress is hardly ever home, with hectic outdoor schedules in various parts of the world, Aishwarya? mother actually asked the watchman to have Sultan arrested.

Realising things were not exactly going as planned, Sultan returned to Doha more determined than before to carry on with his obsession.

"I can? help it. I? just crazy about her," he says. "My heart tells me what I am doing is right."

Sultan is currently making a 20-meter long crystal-studded dress with Rai featuring on it. He claims it will cost him approximately QR300,000. This at a time when Sultan? family back in Mumbai is struggling to make ends meet.

Needless to say Sultan does not bother to send any money to his wife and two daughters. Rather surprisingly, he has no regrets.

"Like I said, I am doing what my heart? tells me. No one else understands my pain, my love for her. Even my family. In fact, my family has totally given up on me. They know I? not going to change. They?e right," Sultan told Gulf Times.

Sultan? obsession gained publicity after Mumbai tabloid Mid-Day had an employee wear one of his Aishwarya Rai gowns and sent her to a Page 3 party. The loud design sparked a media frenzy.

Renny Jhaveri, the woman who wore the gown, was quoted as saying: "I initially hesitated wearing it. I go for understated clothes and this had Aishwarya in the front and Shah Rukh Khan on my back! I nearly called in sick, but my friends backed me up."

Sultan is, however, quite happy with all the publicity, feeling the actress is at least now aware of him. However, he is upset that the Dubai-based Gulf News reported that Aishwarya? mother wanted him arrested.

"Aishwarya will read that and she?l get angry," he says adding quickly "do you have her contact number or e-mail address? I?l apologise personally."

Sultan is currently trying his best to get hold of the actress? contact details - from making desperate phone calls to a few friends in Mumbai, to asking anyone he meets from the media. He wants to ask her for her measurements so that the QR300,000 dress he? making would fit her perfectly.

"I know she?l wear it someday," he says. "But even if she doesn?, I?l still go on making dresses for her. At least it?l make me feel she? near me."
Author: ldg    Time: 2-7-2006 04:42 PM
contact music

AISHWARYA RAI SPEAKS OUT AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE   
21/06/2006 17:13



Bollywood actress AISHWARYA RAI's new film on domestic violence has prompted an emotional recollection of the violence she suffered at the hands of an ex-boyfriend. Controversial movie PROVOKED explores a Punjabi woman's fight against abuse by killing her bullying husband, and her subsequent punishment by the courts. And Rai found the project the perfect vehicle to explore her own turbulent romantic history. The 32-year-old says, "We're all extremely aware of such violence and it's something I've experienced, too. "That's one of the reasons I wanted to be involved in this project."
Author: ldg    Time: 2-7-2006 04:45 PM
the age.com.au

Beauty queens clash over freedom fighter films
June 26, 2006 - 12:00AM



Two of India's beauty queen-turned actresses, Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai, will star in separate movies about the life of Rani Lakshmibai, a fiery freedom fighter.

Rai announced last year she would play Lakshmibai in a film with well-known director Ketan Mehta, and Sen said recently that she too had decided to produce and star in a film on the same subject.

"Why should I shelve my film because Ash is playing Lakshmibai in Ketan Mehta's film?" said Sen in an interview published in the Mumbai Mirror newspaper. "She will do it in her own way and I wish her all the best."

Bombay, India's entertainment capital, is also called Mumbai.

Sen described it as her dream project and said she intended to train in horse riding and sword fighting to prepare for the film.

"Recreating the era will be difficult but not impossible," she said.

Sen did not specify when she would start shooting, but said the movie about the Indian queen, who fought against British colonial rule in the mid-19th century, would be filmed from the angle of Lakshmibai as a mother.

"She fought her battle as much as a mother as a queen. She didn't want the British to kill her adopted son, Damodar Rao," she said.

Sen was crowned Miss India in 1994 while Rai was the runner-up in the same competition. Both went on to win world pageants - Sen as Miss Universe and Rai as Miss World.

In an earlier interview with the same newspaper, Rai had spoken about her commitment to the film.

"I would love to play the role of Rani Lakshmibai because I see her as a woman of strength, courage and affection," she said.

- AP
Author: ldg    Time: 3-7-2006 11:06 AM
June 29, 2006   

Coming up, this July

If June saw hits like Phir Hera Pheri and Krrish, July will see some interesting movies like Madhur Bhandarkar's Corporate and Vishal Bharadwaj's much-awaited Omkara hitting theatres.
Here's a look at what's on the menu.

Corporate

Cast: Bipasha Basu, Kay Kay Menon, Minissha Lamba, Raj Babbar
Director: Madhur Bhandarkar
Release Date: July 7

Bhandarkar says Corporate is the second of a trilogy that he began with Page 3, a take on the make-believe world of glamour and 'high society.' The small budget film without a big star cast -- featuring Konkana Sen Sharma as a journalist -- went on to become one of the big hits of 2005.

The filmmaker will now follow it up with his take on the corporate world.

He first offered the leading lady's role to Aishwarya Rai. But when it did not work out, Bipasha bagged the role.

From the director of such highly acclaimed movies as Chandni Bar and Page 3, Corporate seems worth looking forward to.

Text: Syed Firdaus Ashraf

Golmaal

Cast: Ajay Devgan, Arshad Warsi, Sharman Joshi, Tusshar Kapoor
Director: Rohit Shetty
Release Date: July 14

Rohit Shetty was out of action for nearly three years after his directorial debut Zameen, which was a surprise hit.

After the action-packed Zameen, Shetty tries his hand at comedy.

Ajay Devgan teams up with Arshad Warsi along with the original comedy king, Paresh Rawal.

The slick promos are already catching on, and Vishal-Shekhar's music is steadily climbing up the charts.

Let's see what the real thing is like.

Yun Hota Toh Kya Hota (top) & Ahista Ahista (below)

Cast: Jimmy Shergill, Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Ayesha Takia, Ratna Pathak, Saroj Khan, Paresh Rawal
Director: Naseeruddin Shah
Release date: July 21

After acting in more than 100 films, Naseeruddin Shah turns to direction.

And the industry is eagerly awaiting to see whether Naseer, the terrific actor, will be just as terrific a director.

Yun Hota... is a mixture of romance, thrills, comedy and drama. It has been extensively shot in New York. Naseer attempts to weave together four stories in his central plot.

Ahista Ahista
Cast: Abhay Deol, Soha Ali Khan
Director: Shivam Nair

Soha Ali Khan's standing in Bollywood has changed after this year's blockbuster, Rang De Basanti. From being tagged as Saif Ali Khan's kid sister, the actress has proved herself with RDB.

Ahista Ahista will be her first solo attempt.

Abhay Deol looked promising in Socha Na Tha, but unfortunately, the film sank.

All eyes are on this film, to see whether this young couple will make the next hit jodi.

Omkara

Cast: Ajay Devgan, Saif Ali Khan, Viviek Oberoi, Kareena Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Konkona Sen Sharma
Director: Vishal Bharadwaj
Release date: July 28

Omkara -- based on William Shakespeare's famous play Othello -- is the biggest movie of the month.

Not only does it have a stellar star cast, the director (Makdee, Maqbool) is being looked upon as one of the brightest in the business. Besides, the promos look very promising.

Saif, who plays the villain Langda Tyagi, has apparently given one of his best performances till date.

Will Omkara be even better than the original, as the actors claims it will be?

We will know soon enough.
Author: ldg    Time: 4-7-2006 09:42 AM
from Kerala News
Posted on 03 July

Akshaye Khanna signs Anil's new film

By Nitin N. Sethi, Mumbai: Good times continue to roll for actor Akshaye Khanna, who has just returned from a holiday to sign Anil Kapoor's new film starring Aishwarya Rai.



"It's been a nice and rejuvenating break. I am excited and looking forward to my forthcoming releases," said Akshaye, whose performance in "Mahatma Vs. Gandhi" is said to have wowed Anil.

After the success of "36 China Town", Akshaye is looking forward to the release of Ratan Jain's "Aap Ki Khatir", Anil's "Mahatma Vs. Gandhi" and Nikhil Advani's "Salam-E-Ishq", reports Bollywood Trade.



Akshaye's fan list includes Ayesha Takia, who can't stop raving about him since their last film "Shaadi Se Pehle" together, and Priyanka Chopra, who stars with him in "Aap Ki Khatir".

Akshaye is equally popular with his producers - from Ghai ("Taal" and "36 China Town") to Ratan Jain ("Humraaz", "Hulchul" and "Hungama"), all love to repeat him in their films.
Author: ldg    Time: 4-7-2006 04:40 PM
from paktribune

Ash turns down ?handramukhi? again!
Monday July 03, 2006 (1259 PST)



Not often does an actor get approached for the same role by different filmmakers at different points in time!  But Aishwarya Rai is no ordinary star, as obviously these movie moguls believe too.

She was recently approached by T Series to act in the Hindi remake of ?handramukhi?. Unfortunately, she had to turn it down once again due to date problems.

Says Bhushan Kumar of T Series, ?e had approached Aishwarya Rai for the Hindi remake of ?handramukhi?. Unfortunately, her dates could not be worked out.? Akshay Kumar is the other actor in the film, which will be directed by Priyadarshan.   

After Hours had earlier reported that Ash had been approached by four filmmakers for the remake the original Malyalam hit. Bangalore-based producer Dwarkesh, Chennai-based P Vasu, Hyderabad-based director Naren Aditya and writer Hyder, and a well-known Mumbai producer had all shown interest in remaking the South hit with Ash.

But she had no immediate dates to spare even then, as she was shooting for ?he Last Legion? in Russia and had other commitments such as ?mrao Jaan?, ?hoom II? and ?kbar-Jodha?.  

Ash? business manager Harii Singh confirms, ?es, Aishwarya was approached for a film by T Series, but we couldn? work out the dates this time. However, Ash would definitely like to do a film with them in the future.
Author: ldg    Time: 4-7-2006 04:46 PM
from the press

Lacking in spice
01 July 2006

MISTRESS OF SPICES (M) Directed by Paul Mayeda Berges
**? Reviewed by Margaret Agnew


SPICE GIRL: Aishwarya Rai in Mistress of Spices.
The Press


Who better to embody the idealised exotic appeal of Indian culture than the stunningly gorgeous model/actress Aishwarya Rai.

Marking Rai's second venture out of Bollywood into the mainstream American market, Mistress of Spices is based on the novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.

Rai plays Tilo, an Indian mistress of spices who magically helps her customers use the right spices to effect change in their lives.

Among her clients is a man who wants to control his own life, but may be endangering it as a taxi-driver; a grandfather alarmed by the modern ways of his granddaughter; a woman looking for a boyfriend and a teenage boy in need of a friend.

Her devotion to the spices means that Tilo must follow three strict rules: she must only use the spices for others, not her own desires; she may never leave the store so there is no danger of straying from the spices; and she may never touch another's skin. If she fails in her duty, the spices will punish her.

But when a scruffily handsome architect called Doug (Dylan McDermott) crashes his motorbike outside her San Francisco shop, she feels unusually drawn to him, despite a warning from the red chillies. Soon, she is tempted to break all the rules to see Doug again, and the spices begin to punish the people she's trying to help.

Mistress Of Spices is the directorial debut of Paul Mayeda Berges, who has been helping his wife, Anglo-Indian director Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham, Bride and Prejudice), make films for years, as a writer, producer and assistant director. Both Chadha and Berges wrote the screenplay for Mistress, which means that any laxity can be laid at their feet.

The movie starts with some over-the-top action and melodramatic slayings, then we slowly get to the romance, where Doug speaks to Tilo almost exclusively in deep-voiced whispers.

Unfortunately, despite the efforts of the cast and filmmakers to make this the next Chocolat or Like Water For Chocolate, Mistress of Spices lacks enough spice. While the two romantic leads are gorgeous in their own ways, they simply don't gel together, with the only spark coming when the chillies accidentally catch fire.

Magic realism is all very well, but for real cinematic magic we have to believe in the fairytale romance that the flick is trying to sell, and as the Black Eyed Peas put it: Where is the love?
Author: ldg    Time: 5-7-2006 10:09 AM
Regions no bar for this hero

Jackie Shroff on why he has chosen to act in regional films  



Actor Jackie Shroff means it when he says he has no qualms about acting in regional films. Proof of this, is his presence in the Bengali film Antarmahal directed by Rituparno Ghosh, the Telugu film Astram, and the Kannada film Care of Footpath. Shroff, who is away in London shooting for Priyadarshan's film, shares his `southern experience.'

Passionate about films: On his decision to act in Astram, he says, "One of the prime reasons, apart from the production unit, is the passion that people in Andhra Pradesh have for films. I also wanted to see whether people there would accept me in a Telugu film. They've seen my Hindi films earlier but this was different. I had to play a Carnatic singer."

More Telugu films: The actor says he is open to doing more Telugu films. "Why not? I haven't seen Astram since I've been travelling. I am waiting to see the response. If there are good scripts, you will see me more in Telugu films," he quips.

In awe: "I've said this often but I've always been in awe of the way actors are respected and idolised in the South. For actors in Mumbai, the respect actors like Chiranjeevi, Nagarjuna, Mohanbabu or Balakrishna command, is unimaginable."

Footpath: Shroff has also done a cameo for the Kannada film directed by 10-year-old film-maker Kishen. He reminisces, "I met Kishen at a function and was told that he is the youngest film-maker. I asked him what film he plans to make. He replied, Care of Footpath. I told him that before I became an actor, I too was in the care of the footpaths of Mumbai. I then asked him to call me if he had a suitable role for me. A few days later, he called and asked me to do a cameo - the Chief Minister of Karnataka. I was touched. I enjoyed shooting with such a young director who would call me uncle."

Multi-lingual: Language is not a problem, Shroff insists. "There are people to prompt you on the sets and teach you how to say the lines. Acting in other languages has helped me widen my perspective of cinema. When there are so many actresses from the North acting in regional films, why not we, male actors?"

More acceptability: "Actors are breaking free from their rigid images. This explains why Ajay Devgan, Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan have tried Bengali cinema. The audience today is more open."

SANGEETHA DEVI. K
Author: ldg    Time: 6-7-2006 10:14 AM
July 5, 2006
Dhoom 2 and Don to be released during Diwali




Shahrukh Khan at one point of time was one of the major stars in the Yash Chopra production house. The Chopra production house is extremely big and holds a lot of clout in the industry. Actors and actresses are more than happy to work with such a big banner.

However it was later rumoured that there was a fallout between one of their biggest stars Shahrukh and the Chopra production house. Shahrukh was a superstar, but the Chopras refused to pay him his price for films. Unfortunately for Shahrukh one of the oldest and biggest production houses was not going to bend and instead signed on Aamir for their film Fanaa. Now yet again Yash Raj Films is trying to gain clout for their next release Dhoom 2 which will release around the same time as the Shahrukh starrer Don.

Even though the Chopras and Shahrukh have patched up, the Chopra camp is taking no chances for the release of their next production Dhoom 2. According to distributor Amod Mehra ?ash Raj has booked all the main theaters all over India for Dhoom 2.? According to sources Yash Raj Films (Chopras) who were also distributing Rakesh Roshan? Krrish have got theater and multiplex owners to make a verbal deal. According to this deal those theaters that are screening Krrish currently will also have to screen Dhoom 2. The problem arises as both Dhoom 2 and Don are slated for a Diwali (October) release. Hence Don will have to be screened at fewer theaters.

However producer of Don, Ritiesh Sidhwani seems unperturbed by the Yash Raj strategy and says ? think there is enough room during Diwali for both films.? However according to sources from the industry when two big films clash they are bound to affect the business of the other. Nonetheless Yash Raj has a major clout over distributors and theater owners which was quite evident during the price hike for the screening of Fanaa. Hence the release of Don which releases during the same time is bound to get affected.

However Yash Raj Films completely denies making any verbal agreement with theater owners and claims that Dhoom 2 is a sequel to Dhoom which was a hit and the sequel will also star some big bollywood stars like Abhishek Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan, Bipasha Basu and Aiswarya Rai, hence there is no other strategy being used to lure audiences. Shahrukh Khan too is a superstar and has a huge fan following worldwide, hence it now remains to be seen whether Shahrukh can hold his own against the Chopra production house?
Author: ldg    Time: 9-7-2006 09:00 AM
Revealed: What Corporate is all about
The Rediff Interview | Madhur Bhandarkar
July 06, 2006


Madhur Bhandarkar

When Madhur Bhandarkar makes a movie, a kind of hush descends on Bollywood. A hush of anticipation.

After all, the filmmaker has given us such close-to-reality hits as Page 3 and Chandni Bar.

But the director says though he researches a lot for his movies, they are not based on real personalities. Like about his next movie, Traffic Signal, which will complete his trilogy on "the extreme parts of society," he says it will be about Mumbai's street children, and that Kunal Khemu, Neetu Chandra and Konkona Sensharma will feature in it.

He also tells you that he hit upon the subject during one of his weekly visits to Mumbai's famous Siddhivinayak Temple. He walks to the temple -- which is quite far from his house -- every Tuesday.

But more on that when the time comes; for now, let's hear about the film everyone is eager to find out more about, Corporate.

Over to the director.

About Corporate



I like to make films based on real-life characters -- characters you can see in day-to-day life. I had lots of leftover research material from Page 3 -- many corporate honchos feature in Page 3 parties --  which I thought could be used for my next movie.

I felt the business world has not been portrayed on celluloid well. Nobody has done a complete film on the corporate world. How they function, their style, their language -- these things have never been tapped in our movies.

I was anyway thinking of an idea to be made into a movie after Page 3, and I thought why not the corporate world -- the boardroom drama, the ups and downs, rival groups fighting for one-upmanship, the emotional turmoil of the employees...

That's when I thought of Corporate.

About Bipasha Basu

Bipasha Basu plays Nishigandha Dasgupta, a vice president in a firm. She has Minissha Lamba and Samir Dattani -- along with others -- working under her. The movie is about how she handles the corporate world and her relationship with Kay Kay Menon.

Actually I had Aishwarya Rai in mind and had spoken to her too. But she had date problems because of her foreign commitments. Aishwarya wanted to do the film as she loved the script and she asked me whether I could delay the project. But I couldn't, as all my other characters and my script were ready.

I appreciate Ash -- she did try to manage dates, but couldn't. I am definitely looking forward to work with her.

The next actress I thought of was Bipasha. But I didn't change an iota of the script. The character of Nishigandha Dasgupta is very much same as I wanted. I didn't want to repeat Konkana Sensharma as she already had a good role in Page 3 and the movie was a huge hit. I wanted someone contrasting.

A lot of people told me Bipasha was not the right choice. But when I narrated the role, she loved it. Recently she said in an interview that she would be mad to say no to me. It's a great compliment for me.

I had met Bipasha before Corporate and we would always tell each other that we should work together.

Bipasha is very punctual and disciplined. In fact, everybody was good on the sets. I have almost 50 characters and everybody was nice.



My sets are basically very lively -- there is a lot of humour and leg-pulling. I make serious cinema behind the scenes, I am very slapstick. That is one more reason why our movie was completed fast.

I think Bipasha did 100 per cent justice to the character. And I feel that once people see the film they will have a different perspective of her.

On whether Bipasha's character is inspired by a real-life person

I don't know why people always judge and scrutinise my movies. Why do they always feel that it is based on some real-life character? A lot of other filmmakers make movies but they are never questioned on all this!

I faced the same problem during Satta. People started saying that it is based on some politician and for Page 3 I had same problems. Let me tell you that Corporate is a work of fiction. No real-life character has inspired it.

About Kay Kay Menon

Kay Kay plays Ritesh Sahani. Bipasha and Kay Kay work in the same firm and on the same project. There is a very strong bonding between the two. Don't ask me whether it is based on real-life character or not, you should see the movie to know that!

Just because I researched a lot for my movie doesn't mean it is inspired from anyone. I wouldn't give anyone's reference. Let the audience decide.

I say my movies are inspired by real-life characters, but that doesn't mean I will have caricatures of characters.

People do speculate about it, but I don't know why only with my movies. Any commercial movie may have a cop, a businessman or any character, but when it comes to my movies people start speculating.

Kay Kay is a brilliant actor. When I thought of making Corporate, at first people discouraged me. Then they said if I want to make a movie on the corporate world I should have a big star cast. But I can't go with the regular norms of the industry. Any big star would have done the role, because the role is fantastic. It is intense and has great scope.

But I wanted Kay Kay and no one else.

About other characters

Raj Babbar plays Dharmesh Marwah, the managing director of Marwah International Private Limited. He is a god-fearing man. He wears the rings his godman advises him to. Even when he goes to sign a document, he calls up his godman.

Marwah's rival is Vinay Sehgal, the MD of the Sehgal Group, played by Rajat Kapoor. Sehgal is a stylish, Page 3 kind of person.

Both are into the food business.

The entire movie is based on Bipasha and Kay Kay. All others are part of sub-plots. Samir Dattani and Minissha Lamba have a cute love story between them.

I don't want to reveal too much about the movie. I want the audience to watch it.
Author: ldg    Time: 10-7-2006 09:01 AM
Art rides Pakistan's roads
Owners express their style with ornately decorated trucks

Associated Press
Originally published July 9, 2006

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan // Much larger than life, Miss World 1994 serenely gazes from a truck's back gate as body shop artisans create the vivid decorations that adorn the semis and other big vehicles that haul Pakistan's goods to market.
Along the country's roads, big trucks sport aluminum trim, bells, reflective tape of many hues and intricately painted tableaux including the oversized, placid visage of Aishwarya Rai, the former Indian beauty queen who is a Bollywood star.

Like the purple sunset airbrushed onto a 1970s van in the United States or the running lights and spinning hub caps of a teenager's car, Pakistani trucks are an expression of their owners' style and fodder for rivalries.

"It's a race among the owners. One gets a good-looking truck and the others have to do better," said Mumthaz Ali, a 72-year-old grandfather and owner of the half-finished truck bearing Rai's enamel-painted smile.

Ali was at a shop yard in Rawalpindi, where about a dozen trucks were getting makeovers amid a cacophony of bumper-hammering, belt-sanding and the sizzle of welders.

"Personally, I'm against this, spending all this money," he said of the $2,800 adornment that equals about six months of his earnings from the truck, which he has someone else drive. "I do it for my kids. This is a colorful world, and the kids demand it."

In many parts of the developing world, trucks, buses and taxis are elaborately decorated. Minibuses are painted with the images of religious leaders in Senegal, on Africa's westernmost tip, and stylish "jeepneys" ply the streets of the Philippines.

But few vehicles can match the intricate artwork in Pakistan.

Truck painting is part of a long tradition of decorative arts here. Riaz Ahmed, a noted Pakistani painter, called it a form of folk art and said it tells something about the people behind the wheel.

"These truck drivers spend much of their life on the roads, and when they are away from home they try to keep memories of their valleys, families and other dear ones with them in the form of paintings on the trucks," Ahmed said in a telephone interview from the eastern city of Lahore.

"If you see portraits of beautiful women, it reflects the psychological behavior of the truck driver. Since he is away from the family, he travels with paintings of women. You also see beautiful landscapes on the body of trucks. It indicates the love of the driver for his own valley."

Ali, the truck owner, is a little more pragmatic. He thinks it is an extravagance, but concedes that elaborate artwork on his truck can attract customers, boosting his earnings.
Author: ldg    Time: 10-7-2006 09:10 AM
Bollywood Press : Movie and Star News

July 9, 2006
An Odd Couple



Hema Malini and Naseeruddin Shah are as different as Sea and Sand. So, what do you think may happen if they come together onscreen? Some great chemistry. And, a great opportunity for the movie-lovers to watch an odd couple setting the big screen on fire. So all you guys who savored Hema Malini in ?aaghbaan? with Mr Bachchan, gear up to see her in Milan Luthria? next film ?atrick? with the flavour of the season Naseeruddin Shah.

Naseer has left an impact in Hrithik Roshan? ?rrish? and he is also ready with his directorial debut film ?un Hota To Kya Hota? which is releasing this month. Hema on the other hand is busy with Ravi Chopra? ?abul?. When Milan narrated the story of ?attrick? to Naseer and told him that he is considering Hema for the female role, Shah was very excited and told Luthria that if Hema agrees, then he would surely love to do it. Hema on her part was very excited too and said that if Nasser agrees then he would love to do ?atrick?. It was a double bonanza for Milan Luthria who signed both of them. It? a casting coup. Lucky guy.
Author: ldg    Time: 11-7-2006 04:56 PM
Bombay boffo
India's colossal film industry inspires Andrew Lloyd Webber musical


By Lisa Bornstein, Rocky Mountain News
July 10, 2006



The world's biggest film industry isn't in West L.A. It's farther west, by several thousand miles, in Bombay, India.
Little seen on big screens in the United States (DVDs are another matter), Bollywood films are boffo box office in the rest of the world.

Bollywood - the nickname given to the Indian film industry, dominated by Mumbai (formerly Bombay) - produces 1,000 films a year, more than twice the number of Hollywood. Each year, those films sell four billion cinema tickets. And yet, while most of the world has heard of Tom Cruise, few Americans are aware of Shahrukh Khan.

Andrew Lloyd Webber thought he saw a captive audience in those millions of fans, and along with film director Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth), he conceived of Bombay Dreams, the stage musical that has played London's West End, New York's Broadway and arrives Tuesday in Denver.

Both in the style of and about Bollywood musicals, the show tells the story of a poor young man who rises through the star-maker machinery. Before you go, there are a few things you need to learn about the Bollywood institution.

? Bindi: There are many interpretations of the small appliqu? some Indian women wear on the forehead. Some say it's a sign of marriage; others say it represents a chakra above and between the eyes.

? Gestures: You won't see much kissing in Bollywood movies; it's too risqu?. But you might see an actor tug on his ears, in a sign of apology. Touching someone's feet is a sign of respect, as is pressing one's palms together.

? Music: An average movie has as many as 10 full-scale production numbers in it. Songs are a mix of Indian instruments and contemporary pop and tend to end up as popular radio hits.

? Singers: Few Bollywood stars record their own music. Most songs are recorded by professional singers with the stars lip-syncing on screen. Singers have their own fans and get on-screen credits.

? 'Lagaan': The 2001 epic broke new ground for Bollywood films. It marked a marriage of Bollywood style with more serious subjects, dealing with the rebellion of Indian farmers against the harsh tax, or lagaan, imposed by the British. But it still made room for song and dance, and was Oscar-nominated for best foreign film.

? Aishwarya Rai: Winner of the 1994 Miss World crown, she is one of Bollywood's biggest stars, and Julia Roberts called her the most beautiful woman in the world. In 2004, she made her English-language debut with Bride and Prejudice. She'll soon be appearing with Colin Firth and Ben Kingsley in The Last Legion.

? A R Rahman: The composer of Bombay Dreams has lived his own: He's one of Bollywood's hottest composers. His first soundtrack, for 1992's Roja, brought multiple awards. He wrote the score for 2001 film Lagaan, nominated for an Academy Award. Rahman has sold more than 100 million soundtrack albums and composed music for more than 75 movies. Producer Andrew Lloyd Webber hired him to write the music for Bombay Dreams.

? Language: Most Bollywood movies are recorded in Hindi and the poetic language Urdu, with a smattering of English. Smaller (by Bollywood standards) industries in other Indian regions make movies in Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada.

? Item numbers: Song and dance numbers separate from the plot that feature one or two performers who are not the leads; for example, a nightclub scene with a performance may be an item number.

? Gossip: Bollywood fans make Page Six and US Weekly look like mere dalliances. Every romance, every moment in history, every scandal is well-digested by the many fan magazines and Web sites discussing the Indian film stars.

Information for this story was culled from "Bombay Dreams" press materials, bollywoodworld.com and bollywhat.com.
Author: QueenLove    Time: 12-7-2006 11:00 AM
Title: Konser Amal untuk Yogya Digelar di Malaysia
Jakarta, Dahsyatnya gempa Yogyakarta ternyata turut menimbulkan keprihatinan di hati masyarakat Malaysia. Untuk membantu meringankan beban korban bencana, konser amal pun digelar.

Konser bertajuk 'Force of Nature Concert for Jogja' itu rencananya akan digelar di Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, pada 19 Agustus 2006.

Meski digelar di negeri seberang, namun musisi Indonesia tetap ikut terlibat. Salah satunya adalah grup musik yang terkenal dengan hits 'Sobat', Padi. Demikian seperti detikhot kutip dari situs resmi Padi, Selasa (11/7/2006).

Jika 'Force of Nature Concert for Jogja' jadi dilaksanakan, maka itu adalah konser amal pertama untuk Yogya yang digelar di luar negeri. Di Indonesia sendiri, konser-konser serupa sudah kerap dilangsungkan.

Di antaranya 'Konser Kemanusiaan Peduli Jogja-Jateng' yang didukung ratusan musisi papan atas Indonesia, lalu ada juga 'Soul for Jogja' yang diprakarsai Glenn Fredly, dan konser sekaligus lelang amal '5,9 Skala Richter'.
Author: ldg    Time: 13-7-2006 10:13 AM
July 10, 2006
Thief Hrithik takes over from Krrish



From superhero to smooth-talking thief - Hrithik Roshan is getting an image makeover in his new movie Dhoom2.

The popular Indian actor? current star turn has him playing the country? first silver screen superhero - a man who leaps over buildings in the blockbuster Krrish.

But later this year, he?l be gracing the big screen in Dhoom2, the sequel to the 2004 hit Dhoom, as a suave gentleman with sticky fingers, although the actor is quick to note that his character is no villain.

?e is a suave, charming man of few words. He is intelligent,? Roshan said on Friday. ?e? another kind of superbeing.?

Dhoom2? plot is being kept under wraps, but Roshan said his character ends up on the wrong side of the law.

?e is quite fantastic in his own way and he? so good at what he does. There is no other way for him but to be a thief,? he said.

In the original, a policeman played by fellow star Abhishek Bachchan chases a gang that uses souped-up motorcycles to rob rich Mumbai businessmen.

Bachchan is back for the sequel, which also stars Bollywood actresses Aishwarya Rai and Bipasha Basu along with Roshan.

?hoom2 is much, much more than bikes this time. There are other kinds of sports and different kinds of wheels,? Roshan said.

In fact, the cast and crew are currently shooting action sequences in Swakopmund, Namibia, a world-renowned spot for sandboarding, which is like snowboarding but on sand dunes.

?? shooting my introductory sequence here. There is a lot of action - sky diving, sandboarding,? Roshan said. ? had to train a lot for it.?

After finishing up in Namibia, they?l head to Durban, South Africa, to wrap up the action shoots before returning in August to Mumbai.

Despite the fun he? having, Roshan said he misses his 3-month-old son and wife so much that for his next film, ??l try and plan shoots closer home.
Author: ldg    Time: 13-7-2006 10:28 AM
July 12, 2006
Bollywood pairs you may never see again

Aishwarya Rai-Salman Khan


Aishwarya Rai and Salman Khan made a fabulous pair in Sanjay Leela Bhansali? Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. But after their turbulent personal equation became public, there seems little chance of them signing a film in the future.

This is not the first hit jodi to fizzle out in Bollywood.

Here? a look at pairs you will probably not see anymore.

Many believe Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam is Aishwarya? best performance till date. Her chemistry with Salman was amazing, and no hero has been able to match up to it on screen.

The two will probably never make another film together. ?he Salman chapter was a nightmare in my life and I am thankful to god that all is over,? Aishwarya once said.

Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, a common friend, tried to patch them up by asking them to star in his film Bajirao Mastani. They refused, and the film has been since shelved.

Mallika Sherawat-Emraan Hashmi


Emraan Hashmi may have become a bigger star than Mallika Sherawat now, but Murder? ? the film that catapulted both to stardom ? success was largely due to Mallika.

With her low necklines and bold statements, Mallika won over audiences, and made it clear to one and all that Murder was the year? biggest hit all thanks to her.

Obviously, her co-stars Hashmi and Ashmit Patel were wounded. Even producer Mahesh Bhatt was upset.

Mallika moved out of the Bhatt camp, and till date, has not signed any film with the Bhatts or Hashmi.

Sanjay Dutt-Madhuri Dixit


Madhuri Dixit and choreographer Saroj Khan did what no other dance director could do. They made Sanjay Dutt dance beautifully for the first time in Thanedar. The song was Tama tama logey, ?omposed? by Bappi Lahiri.

Industry buzz was that it was not only the song that became a hit. The pair went on to do successful movies like Sahibaan, Saajan and then Khalnayak.

Unfortunately, with Dutt? brush with the law during the serial blasts in Mumbai in 1993, things cooled off between the two.

Madhuri never worked with Dutt again and though she plans to make a comeback in the industry, it seems unlikely that this pair will work together again.
Author: ldg    Time: 13-7-2006 10:32 AM
July 13, 2006
John reveals his thoughts on his favourite female co-stars!

When John Abraham first hit his name on the headlines winning the ?99 Gladrags Manhunt Contest, not many thought him to be film material. But after 4 years of struggle, John made a splash with his debut ?ism? where he featured alongside his real life love girlfriend Bipasha Basu. Since the time of his debut, John has remained a male sex symbol in Bollywood.



Though, his relationship with Bipasha has been going steady for almost 4 years now, rumours of him having an affair with his co-stars have made the rounds of tabloids more often than his performances. In a freewheeling exchange here, John clears the air about his status with his co-stars and also drops a lesson or two on making friends in Bollywood.



Pinning John Abraham for an interview is, well, trying to pin a moonbeam to the ground. Between walking the ramp for good friend cum designer Rocky S, doing the body mambo for Baabul and juggling ad campaigns, an interview is the last thing on his mind. But I prise him away from all the hullabaloo and coax him gently to talk on the women in his life?is heroines. After some gentle persuasion, John opened up. Not before adding, ? have nothing negative to say about any of my heroines. I? not trying to do good PR, because none of that will help me at this stage of my career. Each of my heroines has contributed immensely to my career.? Reproduced below are excerpts from a conversation.

Bipasha Basu
Perhaps the fact that she? also seeing me off the sets makes her my most cooperative co-star. She is also perhaps the most professional and accommodating actor I?e worked with. We also worked together in Aitbaar and Madhoshi. Bipasha? performance in Madhoshi was outstanding, unfortunately all the hard work she put in the film went unnoticed because the film was a disaster.

Tara sharma
She looks docile and sweet but at the same time she is very witty. Her biggest advantage is that she is like clay, a director can mould her any way he wants. During Saaya she did everything an actress would have been asked to do. She needed the right start with the right person.

Udita Goswami
She looked very beautiful in Paap. She had a look that made her different. Her short hair and lean frame worked. She has got one of the most beautiful bone structures. Pooja (Bhatt) did her best to push Udita and that was the best training ground for her.

Lara Dutta
When we were shooting for Elaan we had nicknames for each other. She used to call me, ?ey sidey,? and I would call her, ?ey item.? Though we are a little formal with each other, at the same time we are pretty cool too. Lara is more like a male buddy. In Elaan we had a lot of bike riding shots but with her I was never worried. She is a Jat. She would keep telling me, ?on? worry about me just get the shot right.?

Priyanka Chopra
She? one of the most professional actors I?e worked with. I?e never heard her say, ?O!? I don? think the word exists in her dictionary. She says yes to everything. Tell her the shoot will be extended and she will be fine. Even if it means that she packs up at two in the morning and her next shift is at six in the morning.
Author: ldg    Time: 17-7-2006 09:04 AM
July 16, 2006
Aishwarya Rai salutes the people of Mumbai



The gorgeous Aishwarya Rai has saluted the people of Mumbai for their strength, compassion, courage and sensitivity after the dastardly bomb blasts.

Ash was shooting for Mani Ratnam ? Guru in Chennai when the dreaded incident took place.

An entertainment website reports Ash as saying, ?vil will never get the better of good. It? very sad. I wish whoever has done it would understand the gravity of the situation and what they have done. But I salute the people of Mumbai for their strength, compassion, courage and sensitivity.?

Ash has always been associated with humanitarian deeds and has willingly contributed to the various tragedies that have struck the country.

Like Ash, superstar Aamir Khan was not in town when the tragedy struck. He was in Satara with wife Kiran.

Aamir doesn? wish to move on with life. ? don? want to move on. I want the guilty to be brought to light and punished for good. This just can? go on like this,? he said.

Aamir urged people to contribute heartily to the chief minister? fund. And will he be making some donations as well? ?urely, but I don? wish to make it public,? is all he has to say.

It seems Bollywood is not all about candyfloss and glycerin tears.
Author: ldg    Time: 17-7-2006 10:11 AM
July 17, 2006
Bollywood Metrosexual Mess

Muscle Mayhem


One would think it doesn? take much to look presentable, especially when you are a star. But here are some memorable filmi fashion faux pas unzipped! Salman Khan might be known for his bulging biceps but when brawn meets bling, it? not always a pretty sight.

Glamourous Fiasco


Jimmy Shergil? bottle blonde tousled mane vaguely attempts a rock star look, but ends up looking like a cross between a Baywatch extra and the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz. As for that shiny glitzy shirt, leave the glamour to the ladies, Jimmy.

Naked Nightmare


When Emraan Hashmi? not naked and takes a break from kissing, he dons clothes that make you wonder whether he? be more presentable without a shirt. Maybe he? forgotten how normal people dress. So that makes two things he needs to learn: how to dress and how to act.

Not Pretty In Pink


Ritiesh Deshmukh could top the list with his wannabe-metrosexual dressing. Pink, and that too hot pink? Is he trying to steal the show from the ladies? A true fashion disaster.
Author: ldg    Time: 17-7-2006 10:15 AM
July 17, 2006
SRK: Crowned again!



The King Khan will be crowned again - this time his overseas fans will be gracing him with an award. He? being honored in Britain by the Asian society, and SRK has a massive fan following in that part of the world.

Even when he? vacationing there, apparently ardent admirers wait outside his hotel to catch a glimpse of their favorite star. After a month-long break in London, SRK came back to home ground, only to rush back again for the award ceremony. But we?e sure the Khan isn? complaining; it? we who have to chase him around the globe. Well, for now we?l just wait for his triumphant return!
Author: ldg    Time: 17-7-2006 11:48 AM
July 15, 2006
Hrithik Roshan beats superman!



In the battle of the superheroes at the box office, the Indian superhero has won hands down over his Hollywood counterpart!

Hrithik Roshan? superhero act in ?rrish? has proved to be a bigger draw than the Hollywood film ?uperman Returns.

As far as box office collections go, the ?esi superhero? flick has far outdone the West? ?uperman film. This despite the fact that ?rrish? was in the second week of its run while ?uperman Returns? was in the opening week of its screening.

So, while, according to trade sources, ?rrish? grossed around Rs 11 crore in its second week with a per screen average of nearly Rs 5 lakh, ?uperman Returns? grossed nearly Rs 2.5 crore. What was more significant, however, was the fact that ?uperman Returns? had a per-screen average much lower than ?rrish? at Rs 4.25 lakh.

While the difference in the performance between the two films was not much in Mumbai where ?rrish? earned over Rs 2 crore while ?uperman returns? grossed Rs 1 crore from about half the number of prints as ?rrish?, in the Delhi-UP area, ?rrish? far outperformed the Hollywood film with its collections being a little less than Rs 2-0 crore as against just around Rs 40 lakh earned by ?uperman Returns?.

What was further surprising was the fact that even in areas of South India and Assam, where Hollywood films are generally preferred over Hindi films by the audiences, ?rrish? performance was far better than ?uperman Returns?. For example, while ?rrish? earned over Rs 15 lakh from Bangalore in its second week, the opening week? collections of ?uperman Returns? were a little over Rs 10 lakh.

In Assam, another area where business of Hindi films is generally not very good, trade sources said earnings of ?rrish? were expected to at least cross the Rs 25 lakh mark, making it the top grossing Hindi film in the North eastern state in the last five years.

Trade sources said collections of the Hindi dubbed version of ?uperman Returns?, which was released along with the original English version, were also quite dull.

According to the sources, the Hindi version of the Hollywood film could earn just Rs 20 lakh from Mumbai, while its collections in the Delhi-UP areas were Rs 13 lakh.

Perhaps the awareness that ?rrish? could pose a challenge to ?uperman? led the Warner Bros, which is distributing the film in India, to release the film on 300 prints in India, rather than 600 as decided earlier.

Meanwhile, the Hrithik Roshan Priyanka Chopra-starrer continues to create new box office records in its second week.

The film, which created box office history with mind-boggling collections of Rs 69 crore in its first week itself, making it the fastest money spinner in the history of Bollywood, is still drawing audiences in huge numbers to cinema halls.

The huge collections in the opening week, coupled with the fact that the film continues to run to packed houses makes it a certainty that ?rrish? will eventually turn out to be the biggest box office grosser in Bollywood in recent times.

Trade sources said the overall box office collections of the film are expected to cross the Rs 100 crore mark which makes it the highest grossing Bollywood film ever, the earlier one being Anil Sharma? ?adar-Ek Prem Katha?, which grossed over Rs 90 crore as box office collections.

The film also continues to go strong in the overseas markets.

In the United Kingdom where ?rrish? had collections of 210, 499 UK pounds (approximately Rs 1.5 crore) in its opening weekend from 46 cinema screens and figured at number nine in the UK top 15, the film has by and large maintained its position.

So while, in the second week, it was at number 12 in the UK top 15, the third weekend again saw it jumping two places to be at the number ten position.

The film had collections of 60, 344 UK pounds in its third weekend from 33 cinema screens with a per-screen average of 1,829 UK pounds. In fact, the film? total collections in the first two weeks were 551, 916 UK pounds (Rs 4.69 crore).

In the Unites States, the film collected 34, 859 Dollars in its first two weeks
Author: ldg    Time: 17-7-2006 12:40 PM
July 15, 2006
Tattoos - the ?n thing??



Tattoos seem to be the latest fad in Bollywood these days. First, Sanjay Dutt and Urmila Matondkar sported them and now Esha Deol went and got two of them.

Deol was proud to show off the Gayatri mantra tattoo on her right shoulder and an Om on her left at the music launch of Zayed Khan? forthcoming film ?ocky? this week.

It seems she has been contemplating the idea for some time, but it was not necessarily a planned event. She was introduced to Ronni Froberg of Funky Monkey fame, who did the tattoos about two years ago by her hairdresser Peri Patel, yet waited until now to get them done.
Author: ldg    Time: 17-7-2006 01:06 PM
July 17, 2006
Amitabh? Weakness!



The name Amitabh Bachchan reeks of power, supremacy and strength. But here? a surprise - the Big B has a small weakness too. There? something that totally melts that tough exterior of our superstar. You could scratch your heads really hard, but we?e sure you can? guess this one.

It? something as simple as ice-creams. Yeah, AB has a weakness for this frozen desert, and he can comfortably polish off three-four cones at one go. Apparently, Kajol once told him that cold cures cold, and ever since that day, even when he has a bout of cold-cough and sneezes, you?l see him feasting on his favourite flavors of ice-cream. Now we know of a way to ?elt? AB
Author: ldg    Time: 17-7-2006 02:01 PM
July 17, 2006
Salman Khan to Marry?



Marriage and Salman Khan ? the twain shall never meet.This seems to be true for Bollywood? favourite bachelor.

While promoting his latest film aptly titled Shaadi Karke Phas Gaya Yaar, the actor said, ? see very bleak future for this film.?

Those are rather honest words from Salman Khan about the film he hopes will release next month, after lying in the cans for nearly two years.

From Maine Pyaar Kiya to Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya and Mujhse Shaadi Karogi to Shaadi Karke Phas Gaya Yaar, Salman just cannot make up his mind.

?hat? my life ? full of contradictions. So I guess it comes naturally to me,? he said.

So moving away from the bleak topic of the film, it was time to talk about happier things ? marriage, for instance.

?arriage is quite a funny thing. Ekta Kapoor is making money out of it,? he said.

So when will Salman finally say ? do?? ?veryone says it? the best thing to get married and I say, ?eah right. Maybe I should try it one of these days.? By the way my dad is really happy because he? got two wives and they?e both happy too. They both get along fine,? said Salman.
Author: ldg    Time: 17-7-2006 02:23 PM
July 17, 2006
Rahul-Mallika? fight over World Cup!



Now with the World Cup over, actor Rahul Bose must be having some more free time on his hands. It? a known fact that Rahul is a sports buff, and while the world championship was on, Rahul would not as much as blink while watching a match, or so we hear. He ensured that he watched each and every game and was very much a part of the manic football fever.

Now while his co-actor of Pyar Ke Side Effects, Mallika Sherawat wanted to dub her part only in the mornings (because she believes that she is at her huskiest best then), Rahul, who used to stay awake till the wee hours watching the game, believed that he sounded too gruff in the early hours. In this time-battle, it was the director, Saket who came to the rescue and while Mallika dubbed for the movie in the mornings, he ensured that Rahul? dubbing in those early hours consisted of only a few lines, while his major portions were kept for later. Talk about football ke side effects, huh!
Author: ldg    Time: 18-7-2006 11:57 AM
17.07.2006
Bollywood Eyes Germany for Newest Audiences


German TV has fallen for the charms of Indian cinema and its stars, like Aishwarya Rai

Doe-eyed women in saris and sentimental love dramas topped the bill in Stuttgart as the German city hosted its third annual film festival devoted to Bollywood and its blockbusters.

The Stuttgart fair, which ended Sunday night, is where Indian filmmakers come to conquer Europe and the United States, both slow to succumb to the sub-continent's entertaining epics.

"The festival is getting bigger and bigger," Indian director and prolific film music composer Naresh Sharma told the AFP news agency. "People are really interested in Indian film."

This year, the event drew 7,500 visitors, a thousand more than in 2005, but below the 10,000 expected.

The audience is a mixture of devotees who avidly follow the careers of their favorite stars such as actress Aishwarya Rai, and industry players who come to look at the latest offerings from the world's second biggest cinema industry after Hollywood.

Bollywood's two European camps


Love plays the lead role in many Bollywood productions

"On the one hand you have those who know the names of all the Indian actors, and on the other hand those who want to keep up do date with Bollywood," program director Wiebke Reiss said.

The German festival program did its best to cater to both groups.

In four days, some 100 films were shown, ranging from the next big features and a large number of documentaries to short horror films and a retrospective of the works of Raj Kapoor, an Indian cinema idol of the 1950s.

Women came dressed in flowing silk saris and traditional jewelery as thousands of filmgoers sampled the spicy Punjabi and Gujurati cuisine on offer at a bazaar set up for the festival.

Goal is to find new German viewers


Bollywood is becoming a regular feature on German television

But Weiss said the idea was also to convert those who believed that Indian cinema had little more to offer than curry westerns or kitschy dramas, often up to three hours long, where love plays the lead role and characters regularly burst into song and dance.

These films -- big on sentiment but coy about sex -- have found a following well beyond India, notably in the Arab world where they pose far fewer problems for the censors than standard Hollywood fare.

German television channels have warmed up to the charm of Indian cinema, with the cable channel RTL II snapping up a number of titles. But the country's cinemas are another story. At the moment there are about 15 features showing and 30 for rent at video stores.

Language makes finding new audiences difficult


Some universal themes could do well in Germany

"In order to sell Indian works in Germany, the films have to be dubbed, and this is very expensive," Reiss said. "We still need to make European distributors aware of Indian films and convince them that these works can win the hearts of the public here."

She singled out "Mixed Doubles" by director Rajat Kapoor as a film with a universal theme that could do well in Germany. It deals with the difficulty of keeping the passion alive after 10 years of marriage.

The organizers plan to keep expanding the festival. Stuttgart and Mumbai (Bombay) are twin cities and 2008 will mark the 40th anniversary
Author: ldg    Time: 18-7-2006 12:02 PM
Mumbai blasts 'dastardly act': Shah Rukh Khan
July 17, 2006 12:57 IST



Bollywood director Karan Johar and superstar Shah Rukh Khan have condemned Tuesday's terrorist attacks on Mumbai.

At a joint news conference on the sidelines of a three-day long Bollywood extravaganza that concluded at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in central London on Sunday, Shah Rukh described the attacks as a "dastardly act."

Terrorism has become an international phenomenon, Shah Rukh pointed out: "It happened in New York, Madrid, London and now in Mumbai. It is a very sad situation. It is necessary to educate people, to take away the thoughts of violence from society."

Johar said attacks in Mumbai were a clear case of terrorism and people should face the challenges united.

Both Karan Johar and Yash Chopra noted that Bollywood was completely secular.

To a question on the non-resident Indians' importance for the industry, SRK said NRIs have been responsible in helping Bollywood make a breakthrough in the West.

Asked whether they would consider reducing the duration of Hindi films, Yash Chopra and Johar felt it would be difficult; Shah Rukh said it was worth considering.

Yash Chopra said it was not the length that mattered but the intensity of the film. "Music is part of Indian life and culture. We are not ashamed of our music," Chopra said.

"It was quite an awakening when Veer-Zaara was screened in Paris. When we went there, the entire area was jam-packed and we could not even enter the theatre where the film was being screened," the veteran filmmaker said.

Asked whether they produced films keeping the NRIs in view, Johar said: "We produce films which are emotional and attractive to Indians. Being an NRI is a status. They are Indians, whether they live in New York or Bihar. NRIs are more Indians in their heart than most of us."

Shah Rukh said, "Our films not only entertain, but they are for eternity. It is the only mode of entertainment for masses and length of the film is value for money."

Called BAFTA Goes Bollywood, the London programme included presentation and interactive sessions with Johar, SRK, Chopra, Aamir Khan and Preity Zinta.

A new book on Bollywood, called Lights, Camera, Masala -- Making Movies in Mumbai by Sheena Sippy was also showcased on the occasion

The 246-page book -- by daughter of producer Ramesh Sippy with text from scriptwriter Naman Ramachandran -- gives an insider's look at the glitz, grit and grandeur of the world's largest film industry.

Ramachandran called the book a celebration of contemporary Hindi cinema. The book documents the process of making a typical commercial Hindi film through the adventures of a pair of fictitious characters called Vijay and Ravi, who try to make a Bollywood film of their own.

Famous film personalities -- from seasoned scriptwriters like the Salim-Javed duo to megastars like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai and successful directors like Ramesh Sippy and Johar -- have shared their experiences and provided insights into filmmaking.

Lights Camera Masala also records the stories of the behind-the-scenes people who are such an intrinsic part of the Bollywood machinery -- a light boy, a make-up artist and a choreographer, among others.
Author: ldg    Time: 23-7-2006 03:02 PM
July 19, 2006
Amir could face probe for ?hooting? chinkara



Bollywood star Aamir Khan could be in trouble as Gujarat? forest department was planning to probe the charge that he violated the Wildlife Protection Act during the filming of his Oscar-nominated ?agaan? in 2000, officials said Tuesday.

A chinkara (Indian gazelle), protected under the act, was allegedly used for a scene in the film at Jam Kunaria village in the border district of Kutch, 375 km from here.

Forest officials were planning to file a case against Aamir, his former wife Reena and his present wife Kiran Rao for violating the law by filming the animal without permission.

Reena was executive producer and Kiran Rao was assistant director for the film that won critical acclaim apart from being a commercial success.

According to the forest officials here, Aamir had sought permission to shoot a scene with the animal, but the request was turned down.

The film, however, shows a chinkara in a scene.

The act prohibits even teasing or chasing a chinkara is punishable under the law.

?e have surveyed the spot on Monday where the film was shot. A detailed inquiry will be conducted and statements of all concerned people will be taken,? a forest official said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a forest beat guard has admitted that he had taken the crew to shoot a chinkara.

After the film? release in 2001, the forest department reportedly carried some preliminary investigation but it was soon given up.

The issue, however, came to light this month when the Gir Youth Nature Club, an environment group, registered a complaint.

The state police was earlier asked to re-investigate poaching charges levelled against another Bollywood star, Salman Khan, who reportedly killed a chinkara while shooting for Sanjay Leela Bhansali? ?um Dil De Chuke Sanam? in Kutch.

[ Last edited by  ldg at 23-7-2006 03:03 PM ]
Author: ldg    Time: 23-7-2006 03:05 PM
Aishwarya Rai Fans Introduce a Fansite to Ms World Aishwarya Rai, the Beauty of India

Being of fan of Aishwarya Rai, popularly known as Ash within the fans community, a fansite was introduced dedicated to Aishwarya Rai. Its www.aishwarya.info and is all about Aishwarya Rai.

(PRWEB) July 20, 2006 -- This former Miss World with the captivating blue-green eyes has captured the hearts and imagination of millions of both male and female admirers not only in India, but all over the world.

http://www.aishwarya.info is a website that contains complete information about the most beautiful women in the world that is Aishwarya Rai just for her fans. She is a beauty contest winner, a professional model, and an actress in Bollywood and Hollywood films.

Since winning the Miss World title, she has become one of the most popular stars of India's huge film industry known as Bollywood.

http://www.aishwarya.info, is an un-Official Aishwarya Rai website featuring the largest collection of High quality Aish photos, wallpapers and screensavers and much more about bollywood's hottest actor. This is a Fan Site created by an Aishwarya Rai Fan. The latest news, pictures, video clips, biography, links & much more including excellent Quality pictures and wallpapers of Aishwarya Rai.

Aishwarya Rai was born in Mangalore, in the South Indian state of Karnataka, to Krishnaraj Rai, a marine engineer, and Vrinda Rai, a writer. Rai began modeling on the side while studying architecture.

Aishwarya Rai won the Miss World title in 1994 at the age of 20. She soon became one of the highest-paid actresses in Bollywood, starring in hits from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam to Taal and Devdas. As a model, Ms. Rai has appeared in many Indian fashion magazines, including the Indian Vogue. In 2003 Ms. Rai was a member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2004, she was chosen as one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World.

www.aishwarya.info provides you an excellent quality pictures and wallpapers of Aishwarya Rai. The song "Kajra Re", which Rai performed in the film Bunty Aur Babli, was voted best song of 2005 and best choreographed song of 2005 in a poll by the Hindustan Times. She has won three IIFA Awards, three Z-Gold Awards, four Star Screen Awards, an EU's Global Diversity Award, three Zee Cine Awards and a Rajiv Gandhi Award.

Aishwarya Rai the sexiest female to be ever born and you can Find Pictures, Links And all you wanna know about her at: http://www.aishwarya.info. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but thousands of moviegoers around the globe see Aishwarya Rai as the ultimate example. Aishwarya Rai was the greatest star in the Bollywood film scene and brokeout to international stardom, with her role in Bride & Prejudice.

1. http://www.aishwarya.info/photo.html [Find Aishwarya Rai pictures]
2. http://www.aishwarya.info/pictures/Aishwarya%20Rai.html [More Ash pictures]
3. http://www.aishwarya.info/pictures/2Aishwarya%20Rai.html [Some more Ms World Aishwarya Rai pictures]
4. http://www.aishwarya.info/pictures/3Aishwarya%20Rai.html [And now even more Aishwarya Pics]

We are constantly adding more and more Aishwarya pictures to the website, to make it the biggest resource of Aishwarya Rai pictures.

###
Author: ldg    Time: 23-7-2006 03:24 PM
Report: Aishwarya Rai Made to Lose, Gain Weight
Thursday, July 20, 2006
  


NEW DELHI  ? It's been an up and down time for Bollywood mega star Aishwarya Rai lately ? weight wise, that is.

Her directors, not satisfied with having Bollywood's leading lady in their films, have made her lose weight, gain weight and lose it again for successive films, the Times of India newspaper reported Thursday.

Most recently Rai, a former Miss World often labeled as one of the world's most beautiful women, was asked to shed a few pounds for her role in the film "Dhoom 2," or "Big Bang 2," which is being shot in Namibia, the paper reported.

Rai's personal trainer Deepika is on sight leading "Ash," as she is known in Bollywood, through a two-hour workout starting at 4 a.m. every morning, the paper said.

"Deepika is with Ash in Namibia," Rai's manager Hari Singh told the newspaper. "Ash is a very dedicated actress and she is working to get into the skin of her role."

Rai had picked up some extra pounds for her role in the film "Guru," which she was filming before heading to Namibia for Dhoom 2.
Author: ldg    Time: 23-7-2006 03:25 PM
July 20, 2006
Hrithik Roshan? dangerous stunts in Dhoom 2



The much talked about film Dhoom 2 is going to be bigger and better than its prequel Dhoom. Reportedly, Hrithik Roshan has done a number of dangerous stunts in the film. He underwent training in everything from roller-blading, sand boarding and bike stunts. He also took some time off to learn snow-boarding in Dubai but then the perfectionist Hrithik says that he didn? get enough time to practice before performing in front of camera.

He wished he could have had more time to master it better. Hrithik has been shooting for these dangerous stunts for almost a week now, but says that he is having a great time doing it. Compared to Krrish, Hrithik says that the action in Dhoom 2 is far more daring and those are the kind of stunts that were never seen in Hindi films before.

Hrithik? character in Dhoom 2 can? exactly be called a Villain. It is rather a grey character. Currently, Hrithik is shooting for the climax of Dhoom 2 in Durban along with Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and Uday Chopra. The film is scheduled to release this November.
Author: ldg    Time: 23-7-2006 03:28 PM
A different set of comics


TO THE RESCUE: Batman

Revival

Frank Miller who revived Batman some 20 years ago with Dark Knight Returns is now mid-way through his 200-page book that he is writing, drawing and colouring. Called Holy Terror, Batman, Miller admitted that it is more propaganda than anything else. This time the caped crusader takes on the hidden blokes in the Afghanistan hills and hurts their evil designs on Gotham.

After jumping out of yellow and blue pages into skin tones and later full-fleshed screen and now the 3D Superman Returns, the reelism of the comic-book hero is more real than ever with the honourable exception of Bollywood heroes.

We hear, Shah Rukh Khan is making the transition from real world to reel world to the comic world in Bollywood Comics. But instead of chasing real life baddies, Shah Rukh will be a college student. with comic versions of Aishwarya Rai and Rani Mukherjee. The series is being brought out by Singapore-based Illustrated Comics.

But Indian movie stars turning comic book heroes is not a new thing. The pioneer in that genre is Amitabh Bachchan who was a masked crusader Supremo and took on the baddies. Created by Pammi Bakshi the comic didn't have many takers unlike the real Amitabh though Gulzar was the script consultant. Now, we have to wait and see Shah Rukh too will change and chase the goons on the railway tracks of Mumbai.
Author: ldg    Time: 23-7-2006 03:36 PM
Music made easy... and how easily!
VIVEK AHUJA


THE CHARTBUSTER Actors Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and Abhisekh dancing to `Kajra Re.'

I really do not understand what the lament is all about in the world of music. Why are so many people bemoaning the loss of the `good old' singers and composers and censuring the new generation of the same, which has given us so much to look forward to? Come now, don't say you are immune to the beat of Kajrare kajrare or MoheMohe Tu Rang De Basanti... ! Kajrare was top of the charts for ages, and had five-year-olds to above 50s upping the volume each time it was played.

That old is gold has a wealth of truth. I'm an avid fan of K.L. Saigal, Begum Akhtar and Pankaj Mallick, but that doesn't stop me from tapping my feet and humming modern film songs. With today's hectic routineswhere you are mentally in the office much before you reach it, give me Sonu Nigam, Mika, Himesh Reshamiya, Alka Yagnik, Alisha Chenoy, Kailash Kher... any day.

Best of both


This new genre of singers, lyricists and composers is almost cathartic to our over-wrought senses. You can listen to them and enjoy them any time, anywhere without strain. They allow you to mix business with pleasure. People complain that there is no depth in many of the modern singers' voices, that they are too nasal. Well, so was Saigal - remember Jab dil hi toot gaya and Babul mora - hot favourites even today! Mika's nasal Savan mein lag gayi aag hasn't stopped it from becoming a hit, has it? And who says that melody is no more? The new songs like Piyu bole from the film Parineeta, or Sonu Nigam's songs in Fanaa, or in Veer-Zaara are completely intoxicating.

Frankly, we're a lucky lot - witness to the best of the old and the new. We've seen the era when we could "stand beneath the boughs and stare as long as sheep or cows". When we had all the time in the world to select a record at leisure, wipe it with tender loving care and gently put the needle on it, then wait for the melodious strains to reach our ears. Then came the audiocassettes - far more convenient, of course - but getting stuck ever so often. And now? We literally have music on our person, often invisible! The ipod, CDs, DVDs, FM, radio give us sound quality as never before and convenient access too.

Good going


It's good going for the singers too. The new MP-3/4 technology, digital recording and the new software that prevents you from straying too far off-tune has opened up a world of opportunities. You don't have to be the best to sing - you can choose your own kind of song and music and the synthesiser will help you go a long way in making your own music, even a one-man show! Gone are the days when Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar had to be present in the studio at the same time for a duet recording.

At our doorstep


We're living in a multi-track world. Just look at the average person's day. Left to ourselves, we would have no time to relax or appreciate the sound of music. But now it's not merely at our doorstep, but ear-step, so to speak, and hands-free, so make the best of it. While it is good to be discerning, being over-judgemental, particularly in music, might just take the joy away from it. For music too is an expression, not merely of the voice and instruments, but of its times, our moods, our lives. The music of yore reflected a different kind of life. Today's music is a mirror of what we are, how we live, what we feel, our dreams and our struggles. I, for one, am glad to hear music that overwhelms me and sets me free from tension, even in that short span of commuting to and from work. Not only that, it binds me to all those unseen people who make such a difference to my life, when we tap our feet across caste, creed, colour, region, religion or language.

They say that change is the only constant in life. Well, cheers to that, and cheers to the ever-changing, wonderful world of music! To those of you who are still lamenting, I say, come out of that single-track mode and let the music set you free, no strings attached... .
Author: ldg    Time: 23-7-2006 03:37 PM
Audiences want to see me in energetic roles: Bobby Deol
Friday, July 21st, 2006

Mumbai - With ?haka Laka Boom Boom?, ?hoom Baraabar? and ?pne?, Bobby Deol, one of Bollywood? most self-effacing stars, is finally coming into his own.

Bobby? career is working out in more ways than one.

? have been working out religiously lately. You know that one push that you need to do the right thing? I knew I was neglecting myself. But I needed to get into shape for my boxer? role in Anil Sharma? ?pne?. That was reason enough to start working out. And now I feel more happy and comfortable than ever before,? Bobby, for long the star in exile, told IANS.

There is plenty of reason to feel pleased. Bobby has just completed a very unusual film called ?anhe Jaisalmer? directed by Samir Karnik who made ?yun? Ho Gaya Na? with Aishwarya Rai and Viveik Oberoi.

?t took me to a totally new territory. It is unlike anything I have done so far. I play Bobby Deol in the film. And the most surprising part of shooting in Jaisalmer was there were sandstorm and rains together.?

Years ago, dad Dharmendra had played himself in Hrishikesh Mukherjee? ?uddi?. Now it? Bobby? turn.

And if that honour hasn? turned Bobby? head, try this. A confectioner in Mumbai named Milinda has named a yummy multi-layered cake after Bobby.

?hen I heard about the cake I was flattered, honoured and very, very moved. You know we are a large family and we have birthdays all the time. This lady makes all our cakes.

? know she is fond of me. But I never imagined she? actually make a cake from all those ingredients that I love. I have a major weakness for sweets. And to me this is a truly emotional homage to my sweet tooth. I don? know if anyone else has a cake named after him.?

Bobby? cup of ?ow? runs over. After a lull of nearly three months when he has been working out and spending time with his two sons, Bobby is now into two major films.

?his month it? Suneel Darshan? film ?haka Laka Boom Boom?. Suneel has now moved to a different level. He is moving away from the family-oriented drama. He realises that today? films have to be targeted at the youth.

?ven I? asked all the time why I don? do more films like ?oldier? and ?upt?. I guess audiences do want to see me in young energetic films and roles. Suneel? new film will be a complete departure. Again, I play a role different from anything I have done so far. I must admit it has shades of grey in it.

? think our cinema is shedding its skin. Just as people apply facial creams and get facelifts to look younger, our films too are undergoing a change. I am definitely going to be part of that change.?

And if you think the excitement ends for this year with Darshan? unorthodox drama, here? more. Bobby teams up with Abhishek Bachchan in Shaad Ali? ?hoom Baraabar?.

? have never worked with Abhishek before, though I know him very well. Abhishek is great fun. He makes you laugh all the time. We came close to working together in Abbas-Mustan? ?umraaz?. I think he was terrific in ?uva?. I am looking forward to ?hoom Baraabar?.?

Some eyebrows have been raised about Bobby doing a film

for Yash Chopra whose banner Sunny had fallen out with after ?arr?. Bobby laughs away the old cold war.

?eople have to say something. Why do they need to dig into an old book of feuds for masala? I know my brother had a problem with the banner. But that is long forgotten. We have all moved on. Why hold on to the past specially when it is unpleasant??

Bobby talks with characteristic fondness about his family: ?e all live together. Now that I have stopped being the baby of the family, I feel responsible towards the family. I think I have become more mature in the last few years.?

He says he has learned from his past mistakes and is now picking roles carefully.

? admit I chose roles unwisely. But I don? regret doing any of them. One learns from one? mistakes. Today I am choosing very cautiously. I was very happy being at home for nearly three months. I needed to connect with my sons at this time when they are growing up.

? remember how Sunny bhaiya and I missed dad during our growing years because he was busy working for his family. I can afford to take it easy. But now it is time to get back to work. I am looking forward to working with Suneel again and with Shaad Ali for the first time.?

Bobby talks with some pleasure about ?pne?, which is touted as his family film.

?t is not exactly a family film. We Deols aren? producing it. For now we are happy just acting. When it comes to taking a financial risk in film production it? good to be a son-in-law instead of a father-in-law.

? ?pne? is a family-friend Anil Sharma? film. It is an emotional family film. It is about a father? dreams for his sons. Our dad, Sunny and I are together for the first time. Let? hope the audience is as excited about it as we are. We are looking at a Diwali release.?

Any regrets about being so laidback about his career?

?one at all. Some people make plans for their life. I didn?. I am happy with what I have got. Yeah, I missed out on some good roles like Mani Ratnam? ?uva?. But that? okay. What isn? meant to be in life won? be. Thankfully, I am becoming more comfortable with people outside the familiar circle. I am ready to break free.
Author: ldg    Time: 23-7-2006 03:42 PM
Visuals of severed limbs will remain with me: Preity
Friday, 21 July 2006

By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, July 21 - Ever chirpy actress Preity Zinta would have been happy if it wasn't for the July 11 blasts. Both her delayed films 'Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna' (KANK) and 'Jaan-e-Man' have been finally wrapped up within a day of each other.

'My luck is such, I tell you! Both films started in New York. Both got delayed together. Both continued shooting almost together. Both ended with me shooting for a part of a song. My dates did clash. But I sorted them out. Now 'Alvida...' will come out in August and 'Jaan-e-Man' later,' Preity told IANS.

Preity still can't get over the suddenness of the blasts.

'7/11 will go down as one of the darkest days in Mumbai. I was in court for the second hearing of my case against a tabloid. I had no clue what was happening even when I got out and was caught in the traffic.

'There was a huge ambulance in front of me. My phone was jammed. No one called, so I had no idea. It was only when I turned on the TV at home that I realised what had happened. I couldn't sleep the whole night,' said Preity.

'It's time we did something drastic, like New York after 9/11. The city has lost its rough edges. Earlier you couldn't walk freely in certain parts of NY. The streets are safe now. Crime has dropped. Mumbai shouldn't be an easy target.

'It is so sad to see the working class hit so badly. Visuals of severed limbs will remain with me. We feel so helpless. We seriously need to think of the city's security. Stop the unchecked influx of migrants in the city. Check the slums.'

Preity feels that instead of shutting down discos and pubs after such a tragedy the government should look at the root of the problem.

'How does that help anything? You need to clamp down on the root causes of such happenings. I can't imagine terrorists sitting in clubs after perpetrating their crime. What's the deal here?'

Preity's battle against a tabloid continues.

'The second hearing went well. The next hearing is in August. I am fighting for my right to dignity. It's the first time I had to look down at my toes in embarrassment (after a taped conversation purported to be between Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai were published in which Preity was allegedly referred to in the most unsavoury language and also refer to Salman's connections with the underworld)'.

'Happily female journalists have supported me in this fight. Whenever I leave the industry I should do so with my head held high.'

She has just shot a song for KANK with Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan.

'The film is over. We just finished a song. I danced my head off with Amit-ji and Abhishek. They are both so tall. I had to really crane my neck and feet to keep with them. This was my first song with the two.

'Amit-ji is outstanding. He wasn't well. His mom was in hospital. His house was flooded. And he was dancing away with me and Abhishek! If this isn't dedication, what is?

'We are just novices in front of Amit-ji. But I wonder what he must have been like when he was younger! I tend to grumble about little things like a broken down AC or a postponed schedule. Amit-ji never complains. I recently read the book on the making of 'Sholay' to get to know Amit-ji and Jaya Aunty.'

She gets sentimental about the KANK wrap up party.

'I was the first to leave after Amit-ji. I had to leave early because of my court case the next day. But we had a blast.'

Talking about her performance at International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards, Preity said: 'They wanted an Arabian Nights performance. I didn't have my own songs. So I had to dance to others' songs. But I got an amazing response.'

She is quite relieved after wrapping up KANK and 'Jaan-e-Man'.

'Now that both my films KANK and 'Jaan-e-Man' are over I can afford to fall sick. I feel some virus coming on. In fact, I almost collapsed in court. When I walked out of court I felt so ill.

'And my joy at the completion of my films is clouded by what happened in Mumbai. I am scared that Mumbai is getting used to such periodical attacks. There should be special time-conserving courts for terrorist cases. But the innocent people shouldn't be arrested and tried. Our judicial system is fine. I am just fighting a legal battle myself, so I should know.'

Preity is slightly wistful about not being part of the 'Salaam Namaste' team a second time around.

'Their film is called 'Tara Rum Pam Pam'. That was meant to be the title of my first film Siddharth Anand has Rani (Mukerji) this time. That is okay. I am doing Shaad's film 'Jhoom Baraabar Jhoom' with Abhishek. Rani was in Shaad's last film.'

After the premiere of 'Alvida...' Preity leaves for London for 'Jhoom Baraabar Jhoom'.

'I am really looking forward to it. I am working with my friends here. Abhishek and Bobby are my pals. Shaad, if you remember had assisted Mani Rathnam during my first film 'Dil Se'. The only new person for me in 'Jhoom Baraabar Jhoom' is Lara Dutta. I hardly know her. But she is sweet. This film will rock.'
Author: ldg    Time: 23-7-2006 03:49 PM
July 21, 2006
Bollywood vixens with the sexiest belly buttons!



Navel show has been a virtue of Bollywood? most famous actresses since the black and white era. Then with the onset of the bikini generation, body piercing came through as a rage. With sex appeal being spoken about more than ever before, it? a good time to tell who knocks whom when it comes to the belly show. In this episode, we present the sexiest belly buttons among the current crop of leading ladies. Sit back and tube through our list of Bollywood? sexiest belly buttons.


Esha Deol


It all began with producer Aditya Chopra? insistence that Antara must look authentic and get into the skin of the character she played in ?hoom?. Esha lost all that baby fat and what came through was a perfectly athletic belly. Self-confessedly among her most prized assets, Esha is undoubtedly the queen belly-babe of Bollywood. Cheers our no.1 belly babe.

Antara Mali


Of late if there has been one actress that has struck the audience eye for her perfect physique, it? gotta be Antara Mali. It? a pity, we are only talking belly buttons in this episode, coz we are sure Antara would make it to any list of sexy features. Considering her debut directorial bombed at the box office, it? a good time to let her know that we still fancy her with her power belly show.

Amrita Arora


This one generally has hairs let down, and her sensational navel left open for viewers. And though she may not have made it very big in Bollywood yet, we?e sure she?l give most lead actresses a complex with her softened belly look. Keep the show on Amu. We?e given you a coveted no.3.

Tanushree Dutta


Don? know if its part of her brief to her costume designer, but when Tanushree does a skin show on screen, the first thing you notice is her unusually sinuous belly dotted by a perfectly circular navel. Keep it going Tanushree.
Author: ldg    Time: 23-7-2006 03:52 PM
Simi to grill Jackie Chan on Rendezvous
Subhash K. Jha (Indo-Asian News Service)

Mumbai, July 22, 2006



Simi Garewal is off to Hong Kong to interview Jackie Chan for her popular talk show Rendezvous With Simi Garewal. It would be the Hong Kong star's first such television appearance with an Indian host.

"But I have repeatedly gone and got international guests on their home turf," said Simi who has conducted interviews abroad with Rupert Murdoch, Imran Khan and most recently steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal on her show.

Simi is looking forward to interviewing Jackie.      

"He is extremely popular in India. Our endeavour on Rendezvous is to always bring on guests who are a popular enigma in this part of the world.

"What's the point of talking to people who have come on every channel and have said everything about themselves?

"For this season of Rendezvous I have lined up Esha and her sister Aahana Deol, Aishwarya Rai, Lara Dutta and of course Jackie. Salman Khan will be my last guest this season."

With a film directed by Revathy on the anvil Simi is poised for a large-screen comeback. Her good friend Anil Kapoor, who has been on Rendezvous... with his wife for a rare together tete-a-tete, has asked Simi to do a guest appearance in his home-production Welcome directed by Anees Bazmi.

"I'm thinking seriously about it. He is not just a dear friend and also a very funny man. Anil has me in splits. I can't say no to friends like Anil who aren't just interviewees for me.

"Anil-Sunita, Suniel-Mana, Hrithik-Suzanne, Shah Rukh-Gauri these are couples I have known closely for years. They came on Rendezvous because they trusted me."

Any couple that has been hard to get?

"Boney Kapoor and Sridevi," said Simi promptly.

"Boney has been promising to bring his wife on my show for years. Maybe one of these days he'll actually keep his word."
Author: ldg    Time: 23-7-2006 03:53 PM
A Pervez beats Indian hearts bleating for Mumbai
- Bachchan? appeal for aid to blast victims yields only ?26,000 with a Pakistani topping the list  
AMIT ROY



Keith Vaz, the MP from Leicester East, and Bachchan on the House of Commons terrace. Telegraph picture

London, July 22: Rich Indian businessmen with their wives dolled up came to see Amitabh Bachchan last night at a House of Commons dinner which raised a paltry ?26,000 for the victims of the Mumbai train massacre.

They were shamed by Pakistani businessman Sir Anwar Pervez, whose cheque for ?5,000 was the highest individual donation.

But no one should have been surprised ? Indian fat cats in the UK are notoriously mean except when donating to charities which add to their personal glory. This is perhaps one of those occasions when the entire guest list should be published.

The idea of using the dinner to raise funds for the Mumbai victims was that of Bachchan? himself.

But he was courtesy itself when he told the assembled representatives of well-known business houses and Indian banks: ?t is the most memorable day of my life. I am extremely happy for all of your presence for a noble cause. While there can? be a value for human life, whatever little we can do to express sympathy to the bereaved families of the Mumbai bomb blasts will go a long way.?

Bachchan was presented with a sketch, depicting the Houses of Parliament in 1839, by Lord Goldsmith, QC, the attorney-general.

It had been signed by Tony Blair, the Prime Minister.

Over the last few days, Blair appears to have been one of the few senior politicians who did not find time to meet Bachchan, who was given appointments, at their request, by Jack Straw, the former foreign secretary and now leader of the House of Commons, and Alan Johnson, the education secretary.

He also dropped in at the foreign and Commonwealth office to see Margaret Beckett, the first woman to be foreign secretary.

Bachchan? visit, which was primarily to receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Arts from De Montfort University, Leicester, on Wednesday, has resembled more that of a Prime Minister than an actor.

When Bachchan came to see Straw at the Commons on Thursday, the 63-year-old actor was spotted by the Daily Mail? parliamentary sketch writer, Quentin Letts, whose job is to report proceedings as though they are theatre.

It is worth quoting his piece, headlined ?ven to touch his coat-tails might win votes?, for it is the view of someone who had never previously heard of the Big B.

It went: ?wo flashing tiger eyes, a long face, a grey-flecked beard. We had a striking visitor yesterday: the Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan. He is, I am told, the Charlton Heston, Kevin Costner and the Harrison Ford of Indian cinema rolled into one.

?all Mr Bachchan cut a magnificent dash in the VIP gallery. He arrived with a long-thighed stride and took his seat with a spine that could have been stiffened with stair rods. He stared down on the Chamber of the House of Commons and inhaled a cavern of imperious breath through his nostrils.

?he great Amitabh! East of Srinagar they quiver at his mere name. Large parts of Leicestershire are pretty keen on him, too. No wonder Keith Vaz (Lab, Leicester East) had an early day motion down praising him. Even to touch his coat-tails might win votes.?

Letts added: ?lot conventions of Bollywood include dramatic reversals of fortune, courtesans with ?earts of gold?, corrupt politicians (whatever they might be), starry-eyed innocents and love triangles. It doesn? sound so very different from Westminster, really.?

It is a miracle that Bachchan did not drown in treacle after reading the early day Commons motion which said: ?his House congratulates Amitabh Bachchan on being awarded an honorary degree from De Montfort University, Leicester; notes his towering contribution to Indian cinema, having received 10 Filmfare awards and being named BBC Star of the Millennium; recognises his work as a goodwill ambassador for Unicef and as former member of the Lok Sabha, lower House of the Indian Parliament and hopes the award will continue to strengthen ties between the UK and India.?

Just when it seemed he would escape without being asked the most important question of all ? no, not his views on terrorism or Lebanon but what? going on between his son, Abhishek, and Aishwarya Rai ? he was tossed a doosra at his news conference in Committee Room 10 in the Commons.

He was asked by a brave woman representing Movie Magazine: ?r Bachchan, I hope you don? mind if I asked a slightly personal question and I ask your forgiveness for it. My mother would like to know when is Abhishek going to bring a bride home??

Sadly, Bachchan spotted the doosra from the moment it was bowled and replied with the utmost gravity: ?eah, ah. As soon as I get to know, I will tell her.?

He could have left it at that but then, very, very curiously, added: ?ven I am not aware of what is happening.
Author: ldg    Time: 23-7-2006 03:55 PM
How film star date suspects were bust

Sunday Times staffers accompany police in sting operation that netted duo selling bogus events and fake tickets
23 July 2006

SASHNI PATHER


THERE is nothing suspicious about the white BMW driving past the entrance to the five-star Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton.

That? until I see a long-haired man peering out the open passenger-side window.

Sunday Times photographer Antony Kaminju and I are on the scene because we?e been told by a Johannesburg businessman, Geetesh Kuber, that a sting operation involving him and the Sandton SAPS to bust an alleged fraudster is underway.

Kuber alleges he was scammed out of a substantial amount of money by a man named ?usuf?, who pretended to be an agent selling dates with Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan and tickets for a concert featuring former Miss World Aishwarya Rai.

The bust is said to be going down at 3pm, when Kuber? mother, Shakuntla, will act as bait and meet Yusuf at the hotel? business centre.

Kuber is holed up with the police in the hotel? control room, while his mother, dressed in a maroon-and-gold sari, waits in the reception, her every move monitored by an undercover police team.

The woman? only contact with Yusuf has been telephonically, when she convinced him that she was willing to pay any price to see Rai in concert.

Yusuf has booked an office at the business centre and paid R208 cash for the use of the office between 3pm and 4pm.

We?e told to wait. At 3.15pm, Kuber calls us. ?ome to the business centre ... we?e got him,? he yells.

I run to the centre, expecting to find a middle-aged suspect trying to convince the police that they have the wrong man. Instead I see the occupants of the white BMW I had noticed earlier.

Mohammed Saleh, allegedly a.k.a. ?usuf?, is a gangly youngster, dressed in baggy white pants and a black-and-white shirt. He? unshaven and his hair is unkempt.

His friend, Shaheen Ebrahim, looks around wildly as police start firing questions at them.

Photographer Kaminju starts clicking away at the two suspects, but Kuber says we are from the Sunday Times. Saleh and Ebrahim hide their faces, Ebrahim with his jacket and Saleh with his hands.

The police, meanwhile, waste no time; the two are handcuffed and led through the foyer amid curious looks from hotel staff and visitors.

Outside, taxi drivers waiting for passengers have gathered to see what all the fuss is about.

A police officer explains to them that the two were allegedly ?unning a scam?.

Shakuntla tells us what allegedly happened. She says Saleh had asked her to pay him R20000 for tickets.

At this stage, Ebrahim starts shaking and hiding from the camera. Saleh looks frightened.

The pair are put into an unmarked police vehicle and taken to the Sandton SAPS.

When we get there, Saleh and Ebrahim are in an office. On the table is Saleh? silver attache case. Inside it are ?ickets? for the so-called Rai concert and a desk name plate with ?smail Tar? emblazoned across it.

Ebrahim denies having anything to do with the alleged scam, saying Saleh had asked him to drive him to Laudium earlier in the day and then to the Michelangelo.

??e been telling him for the past four years to get a proper job.?

Police tell us later that Saleh is unemployed and lives with his granny and aunt in Fordsburg. They say his father is a businessman who is in Dubai.

His aunt was apparently under the impression that Saleh had a legitimate job at an IT company. He got dressed every day to go to ?ork?.

While he is being questioned, Saleh lifts up his lowered head, his bottom lip starts to quiver and he starts to cry.

I then walked out of the office thinking that this pathetic image was a far cry from the glitzy, confident world of Bollywood, the very world that Saleh allegedly pretended he was in.
Author: ldg    Time: 1-8-2006 12:50 PM
Bollywood Press

July 23, 2006
Shahrukh Is a Cripple



The eternal loverboy Shahrukh Khan has been crippled. Don? get me wrong, and please control your heart if it is shattered, but the news is true. If only fictitiously. Gotcha! Right?ell, the rumour has now been confirmed. SRK has a slight cripple in one of his legs in KJ? ?abhi Alvida Na Kehna?.

It? not as if he always had the ailment. He went through this trough in life after having played his share of football and basketball, a la ?uch Kuch Hota Hai?. An accident gives him a limp-in-the-leg. And he gets crippled in the mind owing to this setback.

It would be interesting to watch SRK in a role where he is made out to be a bit of a weakling. With due respect to all the critics (Me included) one should stop pestering Shahrukh with this allegation that ?ey he does the same thing again and again. There? no variety. He can? go out of his comfort level of a Raj or Rahul.? What no one should forget is that each time SRK gets on the screen; he is a dynamite of energy.

There? something that is magnetic about him that pulls people to the big screen and spend millions to watch him woo his heroines. I guess it? a seasonal thing where as people say good things about one and not so good things about others. But I am not guessing when I say that SRK season is about to begin. And it will last the year end for sure.
Author: ldg    Time: 1-8-2006 12:52 PM
Telegraph India

Fans duped in SRK? name




Durban, July 23 (PTI): A teenager and his accomplice have allegedly duped South African fans of thousands of rands promising them a date with superstars Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai in Johannesburg.

Nineteen-year-old Mohammed Saleh, who uses the aliases Yusuf Ebrahim and Ismail Tar, and his 20-year-old accomplice were arrested at a five-star hotel in Johannesburg in a sting operation. They have appeared in court and have been released on bail.

Saleh has been accused of fleecing his victims of up to 60,000 rands (Rs 3,60,000) in exchange for false promises of a day spent with Shah Rukh and tickets to see Aishwarya live in a concert.

Police said Saleh had placed advertisements in several community newspapers in April in which he said Shah Rukh was for hire in South Africa from June 2006 to January 2007 for weddings, birthday parties and social events.

He placed another advertisement last month for a one-night-only concert with Aishwarya in Johannesburg in September. He also printed fake tickets for the concert, the Sunday Times reported.

Aishwarya is in Durban, shooting with Hrithik Roshan for the film Dhoom 2.

Saleh was arrested by the Johannesburg fraud squad last week after he attempted to elicit 25,000 rands (Rs 1,50,000) from a businessman at a five-star hotel.

The businessman who worked with the police to arrest the two ?gents? told the paper he was duped of 25,000 rands.

?e had made arrangements to meet at an office suite in Parktown (Johannesburg). I am getting married next year and wanted to give my future wife a surprise by having Khan there. He (Saleh) introduced himself as Yusuf and asked me to pay him 5,000 rands to secure a meeting with Khan, who he said, was in the country shooting a movie,? the businessman told the paper.

?n a second meeting, he told me that Khan was on his way and I could meet him right there. I paid him 20,000 rands to secure the deal. He then left to call Khan and I never saw him again.

?ive minutes later, I received an SMS saying: sorry for taking your money. I will pay you back in December,? he said.
Author: ldg    Time: 1-8-2006 12:56 PM
Times of India

Itsy-bitsy's in for Ash?
25 Jul, 2006 2103hrs  

Bollywood grapevine reveals that Ash and Priyanka are all set to sport bikinis in their forthcoming releases.

Come winter and our silver screen goddesses are going to set the mercury soaring. Former Miss Worlds Aishwarya Rai and Priyanka Chopra are reportedly going to sport bikinis in their forthcoming films. According to reports, Ash recently lost a lot of weight in the span of 10 days to fit the bill, we mean bikini. This is the first time Ash will be seen in a bikini. "We wanted her to look hot in the movie and the extra flab had to go," says Sanjay Gadhvi, director of Dhoom 2.

However, Sanjay is tightlipped when it comes to the itsy-bitsy question. "No comments," is all he will say to whether Ash will be seen in a bikini or not.

Meanwhile, following close on Ash's footsteps is Priyanka. She will be clad in the two-piece clothing while enacting the scene in Don that Zeenat Aman did in the original, way back in 1978. Priyanka's oomph factor is sure to be seen onscreen. However, this is not the first time Priyanka will be wearing the sexy attire.

She earlier sizzled in a bikini in movies like Andaaz and Aitraaz. "Yes, she is going to be sporting the Zeenat Aman look," confirmed Priyanka's secretary Chand Mishra. While the sources confirm that the lady is all set to raise the temperature, officially the answer remains 'no comments'. The only thing we can do now is wait to see whether Priyanka Chopra can match up to standards set by Zeenie baby!
Author: ldg    Time: 1-8-2006 12:59 PM
Naachgaana

I can't be complacent about 'Rang De Basanti': A.R. Rahman

Mumbai, July 26 (IANS) Music genius A.R. Rahman has gone into a fresh stratosphere after the success of "Rang De Basanti" and is looking to scale new heights with his upcoming national and international projects.

"I am doing the background score for Shekhar Kapoor's 'Elizabeth 2' - my first full-length score in a mainstream Hollywood production. There'll also be original songs from that era, the 15th century," said the composer who has also done the background music in Jagmohan Mundhra's "Provoked" featuring Aishwarya Rai.

However, Rahman doesn't allow success to overshadow his creativity.

"When I go abroad I find there's still such a big following for 'Roja', 'Bombay' and 'Lagaan'. I was never complacent about those. I can't be complacent about 'Rang De Basanti'. Otherwise I'll become a has-been," Rahman told IANS in an interview.

On the home front, he has Sanjay Gupta's "Chamki Chameli", Rajkumar Santoshi's "London Dreams" and Mani Ratnam's "Guru".

Excerpts:

How did... ... the "Rang De Basanti" soundtrack turn out so special?

Very rarely does one come across filmmakers who excite and enthuse you as much as Mani Ratnam, Ram Gopal Varma and Rakeysh Mehra. Just before shooting we did a workshop with all the music I had composed for my film. I discovered there was a slow song just before interval, which was a no-no according to trade pundits. They were wrong.

Earlier, I had thought people would walk out in "Tu hi re" in "Roja", "O paalan hare" in "Lagaan" and now "Lukka chuppi" in "Rang De Basanti". I was wrong. It all depends on how the director treats the music.

How did the music of "Rang De Basanti" evolve?

First of all, it was conceived four years back when I was doing "The Legend Of Bhagat Singh". And since "Rang De Basanti" was also partly about Bhagat Singh I was reluctant to do it. Fortunately, "Rang De..." got delayed. And because of the overdose of patriotism within the 'period' format, we reconsidered the entire structure of "Rang De...". In the first meeting we had with Rakeysh and lyricist Prasoon Joshi we decided we are going to make all the songs superhits.

There's always something special from you for Aamir.

Like "Mangal Pandey"? (laughs). Jokes aside, people did like the music. But my favourite "Maula", which was supposed to be in the whole climax, was chopped off after one stanza. There are so many factors that a composer can't control.

At that point of time it seemed Hindi cinema had nothing more to offer you.
No, that's not true. Some films, like Abbas Tyrewallah's I was banking on, got stalled. At that time my life was too complicated. I was doing a lot of travelling to outside India. I had "Bombay Dreams" then the stage version of "Lord Of The Rings". I was quite excited about doing new kind of work. I saw these as a natural progression in my international career.

And now I am doing the background score for Shekhar Kapoor's "Elizabeth 2". My first full-length score in a mainstream Hollywood production. There'll also be original songs from that era, the 15th century. Earlier I had done the background score for a Chinese music. I have also done the background music in Jagmohan Mundhra's "Provoked".

Your music has achieved that crossover which our cinema hasn't.

I hope so. Doing music for Deepa Mehta's trilogy "Fire", "Earth" and "Water" was also very satisfying. Though doing songs for these films was a kind of sacrifice for me. They were put in the background. Most of my fans hate that. They say, don't do that.

During our last conversation you had said Chennai would always be your home.

You never know. I am trying to cut down drastically on my travelling. The kids are growing up. I need to be with the family more often. A year back I didn't allow my kids to be anywhere me. Now they're all over the place while I compose. I think it's very important for them to absorb the ambience.

Are your children musically inclined?

They have just started learning classical music from Ghulam Mustafa Khan Saab. Just last week he came and took over their training.

Is doing the background score as satisfying as doing songs?

Unfortunately, that era when a composer could create something as durable and enduring as "Lara's Theme" (Dr. Zhivago) is almost over. But I'm sure great themes will come back.

Internationally my career did take off after "Bombay Dreams". Now, of course, I can compose for international projects from my home in Chennai.

Your slow pace used to be a problem for Bollywood filmmakers.

How can my working methods be a problem to anyone? Every person has his own rhythm of work. I believe Naushad saab did just only 47 films in his lifetime. And he never regretted it. And look at what he did to film music.

I've my own way of working. It's a matter of priority. When I'm not in control then the quality of work might suffer. I'm at my best when I'm in control of my work. Change, of course, is inevitable. That's why I keep renovating and innovating.

What are you doing in Hindi? Mehra has given you to do an entirely Indian classical score in "Bhairavi"?

This was one of the scripts we wanted to do earlier. Most of the work that I'm doing is for musicals. And yes, a period film too - Ashutosh Gowariker's "Jodha-Akbar".

I also have "Chamki Chameli", which Sanjay Gupta is producing and Shyam Benegal is directing. It's a full-on musical. I also have Rajkumar Santoshi's "London Dreams".

There I've to recreate British underground music-Punjab meets Southhall. I'm collaborating with music producers from Birmingham to get the London underground feel to the score. Right now I am doing Mani Ratnam's "Guru" where I'm again working with Gulzar saab.

"Guru" is again a period film.

"Guru" is partly period partly contemporary. No one wants to watch patriotic period films anywhere but on DVDs.

Do you feel "Rang De Basanti" is a new beginning for you in Bollywood?

When I go abroad I find there's still such a big following for "Roja", "Bombay" and "Lagaan". I was never complacent about those. I can't be complacent about "Rang De Basanti". Otherwise I'll become a has-been.

Do you think international success has eluded you?

It can't happen overnight. But I won't let my career in Hindi and Tamil films (suffer) for projects abroad.

What do you think of Himesh Reshammiya's music?

He fills a lacuna in Hindi film music, just like Nadeem earlier on. He's trying to mix a lot of genres. People like his music. It's good. There're audiences for large genres of films. And he's doing a good job.

Reshammiya says he won't sing for any outside composer except you.

I'm flattered.

Do you think you've achieved what you had set out to?

I didn't set out to achieve anything. It all happened on its own. I always go with the flow.
Author: ldg    Time: 1-8-2006 01:02 PM
Movie Reviews

Mistress of Spices
By mark harris

Publish Date: 27-Jul-2006

Starring Aishwarya Rai and Dylan McDermott. Rated PG.

This would be the best date movie of the summer except for one thing: Dylan McDermott. Despite his black-Irish good looks, the former star of The Practice generates the emotional heat of a dressmaker? dummy. So when he? asked to win an Indian woman away from a very demanding tradition, it? hard to believe that he could be the pretext for making this difficult leap of faith.

Mistress of Spices is the tale of a vegetarian sorceress who can only hear the chilies speak if she is willing to sacrifice all chance of personal happiness. Tilo (Bollywood superstar Aishwarya Rai) is not permitted to touch another human being, or even to leave her Oakland spice shop, lest the herbs and seasonings that she sells turn against her. To make matters worse, the spices will not wreak vengeance on her directly, but rather on the customers to whose emotional and physical needs she so attentively caters.

So when Doug (McDermott), a rootless architect who believes her to be the answer to all his prayers, starts relentlessly paying Tilo court, she is torn in more directions than just two.

Working from a novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, director- cowriter Paul Mayeda Berges (Bend It Like Beckham) manages to strike a nice balance between the story? naturalism and its magic-realist elements. The pace is never rushed, and most of the actors deliver entirely believable performances, a form of perfection that paradoxically underscores McDermott? inadequacies all the more.

Because the esoteric commitment is shown to be both efficacious and admirably selfless, shuffling it off is more complicated than simply cutting through the threads of a net of fundamentally stupid superstitions. It? actually a gift worth dying for, but then again, so is love.

So I guess that, even with McDermott gucking up the emotional gears, Mistress of Spices is still a pretty good date movie, especially for anyone struggling against tradition. They?l probably forgive the film anything (including you know who).
Author: ldg    Time: 1-8-2006 01:06 PM
Vue Weekly

FILM
HOW ABOUT CHEESE WITH THAT SPICE?
JOSEF BRAUN



Indian-American spice shop proprietor Tilo (Aishwarya Rai) possesses some unusual gifts; not only has she been psychic since she could walk, she seems able to virtually solve people? domestic, romantic or business troubles by merely giving them a few spice-based treatments.

She actually converses out loud with spices, roots and raw chillies. And she cooks a mean korma.

Alas, expert telepathic spice whisperer she may be, but Tilo? great powers come with great responsibilities. The rules of the spice mistress strictly forbid the use of the spices for fulfilling personal desires?ilo? not even to touch another person? skin. It? a tough racket for a Bay Area superbabe with enormous pale green eyes and a thousand variations on the longing gaze, and an even tougher premise for a movie that hopes to come within a mile of rising above the level of art house trash that Mistress of Spices is hopelessly mired in.

Spice markets I?e been to are usually enjoyably messy, crowded, fluorescent-lit havens for sensory overload, but Tilo? Spice Bazaar, in keeping with the film? New Age pretensions, is immaculately ordered, expensively furnished and tastefully arranged, with every ground spice formed into a perfect pyramid. That is until Doug (Dylan McDermott), a motorbike-riding architect hunk with designer stubble, begins to haunt Tilo? workplace (which she apparently never leaves) and causes arguments between Tilo and the chillies that insist she? on the verge of breaching her contract with whatever vague mystical overlord rules her destiny.
Though no chemistry is to be found between the two perfectly manicured stars, it? love at first sight, and surely Tilo is someone? idea of a perfect female love interest: she? beautiful, demure, totally sheltered, devoted to being servile and a virgin to boot. Her fantasies of love with Doug reflect her naivet?: she imagines them, their naughty parts tastefully covered with silk sheets, stretched across a bed of red chillies (trust me, not a great idea for one? tenderest orifices).

Made by the couple behind previous East/West themed crowd-pleasers Bend It like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice, Mistress of Spices shamelessly exoticizes ?he mysteries of the East? with complete disregard to crude clich? and is so dopily dependent on the charms of magic realism as to make Like Water for Chocolate look tough and complex.

It? definitely not sexy, its resolution makes no sense at all and its supporting performances (their characters once again rolling in the same old cross-cultural tensions) tend to be very stiff, while even McDermott seems unable to keep a straight face (which is totally understandable).

In short, more cheesy than spicy

Opens Fri, Jul 28
Mistress of Spices
Directed by Paul Mayeda Berges
Written by Gurinder Chadha, Berges
Starring Aishwarya Rai, Dylan McDermott, Nitin Chandra Ganatra
Author: ldg    Time: 1-8-2006 01:10 PM
another review for The Mistress of Spices

The Mistress of Spices **?
The scent of a Mistress
JASON ANDERSON

From Friday's Globe and Mail

The Mistress of Spices

Directed by Paul Mayeda Berges

Written by Paul Mayeda Berges and Gurinder Chadha

Starring Aishwarya Rai, Dylan McDermott and Nitin Chandra Ganatra

Classification: PG

Rating: **?

It's unfortunate that the film industry didn't embrace the vast possibilities of Odorama. That was John Waters's name for the scratch-and-sniff cards he passed out at screenings for his 1981 film Polyester. Though most viewers were relieved that no more movies came steeped in the aromas emitted by Waters's muse, Divine, they miss out on what The Mistress of Spices could have offered if it had some olfactory enhancements.

Set in a San Francisco Bay Area spice shop, this glossy romantic fantasy by the makers of Bend It Like Beckham and Bride & Prejudice emphasizes the pleasures of scent, taste and touch to a remarkably tantalizing degree. Yet these are pleasures that no film can directly convey, the quality of movie-theatre concession stands and the friendliness of fellow patrons notwithstanding.

The makers of The Mistress of Spices must use other means to intoxicate, the most effective being the beauty of Aishwarya Rai. The former Miss World and Bollywood screen siren plays Tilo, a young woman who was trained in the magical properties of spices as an orphan in India. She is sent to open a spice bazaar in Oakland ? there, she aids her clients by carefully dispensing such substances as black cumin seeds (good for protection), saffron (for relief of loneliness) and garlic (an unlikely but reputedly effective aphrodisiac).

As she is reminded by the red chili peppers with which she occasionally converses ? thankfully, we don't hear the peppers answer back ? her powers come with certain conditions. Tilo is not allowed to use the spices for her own gain, leave her shop or touch another person's skin. Her allegiance to the spices is tested when she sees Doug (Dylan McDermott), who, being a motorcycle-riding architect in need of a shave, is triply irresistible to the heroine of any modern screen romance.

Based on a novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, The Mistress of Spices aims for the same whimsical mix of magic realism, chick lit and gastronomical porn that beguiled viewers of Like Water for Chocolate and Chocolat. Clashes of culture and tradition figure as prominently as they did in the past collaborations of Gurinder Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges.

After co-writing Chadha's Bend It Like Beckham and Bride & Prejudice, Berges assumes directorial duties for the first time. (Chadha, who is also married to Berges, co-wrote the script with him and produces.) He clearly delights in the visual potential of Tilo's vibrant saris, the spices that are the tools of her trade and, most importantly, the faces of his two lead performers. Bollywood filmmakers know they can make a hit movie just by pointing a camera at Rai for an hour or two and Berges more or less uses the same strategy. Santosh Sivan's cinematography is rich with colour and movement and Craig Pruess's fine score enhances the breezy tone.

What nearly spoils the recipe is the abundance of clich? reheated from a thousand other romantic comedies. Equally unsavoury are the many overripe pieces of dialogue and the suspicion that most of the secondary characters are there merely to illustrate the movie's laboured lessons about the need to reconcile Old World traditions with New World freedoms. Such overbearing moments of triteness and earnestness mar an otherwise appealing confection. They also would have been easier to ignore had The Mistress of Spices come with a scratch-and-sniff card.
Author: ldg    Time: 1-8-2006 01:26 PM
naachgaana

JULY

July's almost over but we have Omkara, Vishal Bhardwaj's adaptation of Othello. Ajay, Saif, Vivek, Kareena, Konkana, Bipasha, Naseer - whew! #:-s



The movie's been mentioned a couple of times on Desi Train. Key elements - Vishal's basic story telling ability, Performances and ofcourse the music. Possible bang-ur-head elements - could turn out to have a veeeeery sssssslow pace, cross your fingers over that.

AUGUST

So what does the month of Leos have for us... that reminds me that I better buy two birthday cards for my parents' upcoming birthdays if I wanna spend the rest of this year in peace.

Anthony Kaun Hai? - Sunjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi get together for this assasin chases victim thriller set in Bangkok. Echoes of AKH? being a copy of Who is Cletis Tout? can be heard over movie sites and bulletin boards. Please don't look back at me - cause I have no idea how true the rumors are. And by the way I don't remember one scene of Who is Cletis Tout? even though I do very clearly remember seeing that movie.... except that I had my face sunk between the legs of my the then cute-stage-actress date... for most part of the movie.



But the one very strong and clear memory about "Who is Cletis Tout?" that I have is - for the first time I wanted to know if there was anything that helped one build a strong tongue muscle. 2 hours of non stop using your tongue between ? you-know-where will have you walking with a dropped jaw for the next two days. - Not that it has anything to do with the movie - the connection though is very strong... with the tongue exercise, not the movie.

Coming on AKH's heels is Darwaza Bandh Rakho - and yes, it's from the Factory - Ram Gopal Varma's production house. Surprise Surprise - it's directed by Chakravarthy - the guy who played the lead in Satya. And if you can hog your memory a little bit backwards you'll realize he also acted in RGV's Shiva. Yep. He was the guy who gets a thrashing from Nagarjuna in the college campus - the scene which had the famous taking a bicycle chain to beat up the goons - nonstop voilence served on a silver plate. The interesting thing about DBR, is the story where a group of thugs (Chunky Pandey, Aftab Shivdasani, Zakhir Hussain and Snehal Dhabi) kidnap a rich lady for ransom, land up in a middle class families home and spend the rest of the movie trying to prevent unsuspecting visitors from entering the house.



And closing the month of August will be the every prolonged, ever delayed, looking trash from each angle, but could turn out to be hit because it has Salman Khan in it - Shaadi Karke Phas Gaye Yaar. I saw the trailer of this movie in the theaters when I had gone to see "Black". And by the looks of the shoddy-from-every-angle trailer, I had made up my mind to wear ear plugs when the DVD of this movie is released and during that time I have to enter my Desi Store for groceries. Heaven help the guy, when Ketan, Chetan and Tapan start their focused selling pitch, urging the customer to rent the crappiest of movies from their store, which everyone eventually does. There is just no escape.



August should as well as be called KANK month of the year. Karan Johar returns after a long time with Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. Ok I'll admit this - I watched his first Kuch Kuch Hota Hai after it was released on video, as I had no stomach to go out in the theater and watch a candy floss thingy. And there were quite a few elements that impressed me in KKH. Then comes his biggie, the one which had 3 superstars in the same frame. Kabhie Khushi Kabhi Gham. It split me in two. On one hand certain portions were damn irritating and on the other hand, well I hate to admit this, but? I have cried on some other scenes.



So will I watch KANK? With a star cast that boasts of Amitabh, Shah Rukh, Abhishek, Rani, Preeti - sure... uh... no, not sure... who knows... :-??

The other movie to watch out for in August, that could as well as surprise one and all is Ahista Ahista starring Soha Ali Khan and Abhay Deol. New Director Shivam Nair. There is a certain attractiveness in the previews of this one. There is just the right element of innocence in the way the movie is projected in the previews. Add to that Abhay Deol's (first movie was the could have been very good was wasn't - Socha Na Tha) - very interesting project choices - Honeymoon Travels and 1:40 Ki Last Local - they absolutely don't look like the regular run of the mill products... So what does this make Abhay Deol? Bollywood's tamed version of Johnny Depp?... Time will tell.



The Jain producers (owners of a music company) bring in August a Dharmesh Darshan direction, Akshaye Khanna - Dino Moreo - Priyanka Chopra starrer - Aap Ki Khatir. Big movie because - Dharmesh Darshan seems to be a large figure (... yes and literally) in Bollywood. This is also the movie where Darshan, as per the rumors, seemed to have (homo)sexually harassed a crew member on the set. Ah! No, that should not be the reason to watch this movie.



Govinda returns! I didn't see anyone jumping with excitement. Ok so Govinda returns to the big screen Sandwich



And RGV has another movie pumping out of his Factory. The utterly gross trailer of which was discussed on DT. Shiva starring Mohit Alawat and RGV's current breakfast jam, Nisha Kothari. Some call it Shiva Part II, some call it James Part II (James Part II???? WTF!!) - I'll simply call it factory product part number $#%x



Dare to think of this combination - Rahul Bose and Mallika Sherawat??? No... well then you'll have to watch Pyar Ke Side Effects Brains meet Boobs? I'll have to watch this one.


Author: ldg    Time: 1-8-2006 01:41 PM
naachgaana

SEPTEMBER

If you thought August was heavy, then September starts with a WAM!!!

Lage Raho Munnabhai - the sequel to the sweet and balanced Munnabhai MBBS. Though the movie is not a sequel in the real sense it's supposed to be a 3 hour round of the adventures of Munnabhai and Circuit. You can conveniently forget that the first part showed Munna and Circuit having settled down and leading a family life. Idhar family vamily nahin chalega Mamu Skeptical. Sequels so far have been fairly disappointing, but it's a Vidhu Vinod Chopra production, so anything is possible.



After some of the made-to-be-instantly-forgettable movies like Unns and Bhoot Uncle, it's the turn of Mr. Sohail Khan to step into the ring... and I'm not just speaking hypothetically... his Aryan is about his role as a boxer (or is it fighter or whatever). The tagline for this is "The Unbreakable"... good for them. But if the movie's a dud, I hope theater owners have "unbreakable" chairs. If not, then it is my humble advise - for free (as always) - to replace their chairs with unbreakable ones. Insurance for theater property would not be a bad idea either.



Presenter : Mithun Chakraborty
Banner : High-Definition Motion Pictures
And the movie? Ladies and Gentlemen, please clap for the next Mithun-da. Mithun-da's own son - Mimoh (no points for guessing how the ultra complex word - Mimoh - was formed). Mimoh's entrance into Bollywood comes with the movie Jimmy Well it's been directed by Raj N. Sippy, so there may be (a little) hope. Who's Raj Sippy, you ask?



Raj Sippy could have become one of the best story tellers, master craftsman, technically brilliant director in Bollywood. Unfortunately it did not happen. To get a better idea of the spark of his once promising brilliance, watch his first movie - the gripping - Inkaar (1977). From a more commercial lens, you may know him as the director of Satte pe Satta

Sunny pa-ji returns with Naksha, along with Vivek Oberoi, Sameera Reddy and Jackie Shroff. Watch for Sunny pa-ji's cowboy hat, that he uses to cover his... errr... wig. Confused? Me too.



Nagesh Kukunoor returns after the success of Iqbal with his next - Dor and it has the Iqbal star - Shreyas Talpade, along with Ayesha Takia and Gul Panag (where have you been?)

Next in the line is Jaane Hoga Kya. So why is it on the list? Cause it's supposed to be a sci-fi thriller where Aftab Shivdasani plays a scientist (so utterly believable) and clones himself (mind boggling concept) and the clone goes missing (should we thank God or run for cover?)



And then follows the Jimmy Shergill starrer - Rehguzar. No reason to list it except that Jimmy and I were born on the same day (and I mean the "exact" same day? so he does share the same unlucky streak as oz) and I kind of like the down and out guys who keep fighting back with one good performance after another. Plus the beautiful title song is on the oz Drive Raaga list (bottom right sidebar).



September turns out to be the baap of August in terms of releases.

There's the much delayed (over 10 years?) Amitabh Bachchan starrer Zamanat followed by the Konkana Sen Sharma, Irrfan Khan starrer Deadline - Sirf 24 Ghante



Tanuja Chandra returns after a long time and no, she isn't coming out with a product produced at the Mahesh Bhatt camp. This time she comes out with a catchy title and an interesting cast of Sushmita Sen, Shiny Ahuja and perhaps for the first time in a double role - Moushami Chatterjee. Zindagi Rocks could have the zing, so badly missed in Bollywood movies.

There's another comedy whose title makes you stop. Amar Joshi Shahid Ho Gaya has been in the making for quite sometime. Hopefully it will retain its freshness. It stars Sunil Shetty and Om Puri in the lead roles.

An finally its the turn of Vishal Bhardwaj's completed but never released The Blue Umbrella... being released under the title of Chatri Chor Watch out for a stupendous performance from the one and only Pankaj Kapoor (which we kind of expect from him).

No it doesn't end here for there's a movie where Anupam Kher and Boman Irani come face to face, playing the lead characters in the movie. Yummy. Yep. And that's why Khosla Ka Ghosla makes its way on this groovy list.



Bollywood sure is catching on the concept of getting some eye popping, making you pause and look - titles. Risk. That's the name of this Vinod Khanna, Randeep Hooda movie. Directed by Vishram Sawant who made D-Underworld

[ Last edited by  ldg at 1-8-2006 01:49 PM ]
Author: ldg    Time: 1-8-2006 02:03 PM
OCTOBER

And just like September, October starts with a bang.

One of the first remakes to hit the Bollywood screens. Farhan "DCH" Akhtar's DON



Can the Don of 2006 better the Don of 1978? The movie is supposed to have elements of its own and there is talk that it isn't a blind remake of the original. For whatever negativities may be floating around on Don's uninspiring posters etc. etc... you know... Farhan Akhtar could spring a surprise. Especially, with the support of the original screenwriter of Don... his dad... Javed Akhtar.

This time it's her husband. I'm talking of Shirish Kunder, the husband of Farah Khan, choreographer and the director of SRK's last biggest hit - Main Hoon Na. So Kunder, who's been an editor so far, turns director with Jaaneman starring Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar. There's Priety Zinta too. And if this is some sort of a triangle love story, I'm gonna give it a thumbs down right now. Triangles have been beaten to death by Bollywood. It would take a genius to pull us into the theater with a story so triangle. I hope Kunder isn't making that mistake.



Well, with so many biggies up for release, how far could J.P. Dutta be? Not far... that if you live close to Rajasthan. Another director who had the elements of being a genius of a craftsman but never could become one. He's back with a remake.

Yep, October gives us two remakes. Two big ones. After Don, it's the turn of JP Dutta. He comes out with the remake of Muzzafar Ali's classic, the Rekha starrer, Umrao Jaan. Playing the title role is Aishwarya Rai while Abhishek Bachchan, Sunil Shetty, Arshad Warsi form the rest of the leading cast. Somehow I don't feel excited. Especially after watching Abhishek Bachchan's wig. Why oh why? Farookh Shiekh didn't need one in the original. So what makes Abhishek have this extra long hair(y) wig?

Bollywood overdoes it. Dutta's Umrao Jaan could prove the case in point.

But Dutta's overcooked product could well be balanced by one of the first attempts at this kind of a story - one I have high hopes from - Kabir Khan's Kabul Express. The story follows the journey of journalists John Abraham and Arshad Warsi - from Kabul to Pakistan. The trailers are tight and gripping and show that Kabir Khan knows what he is doing. I do hope. I surely hope this turns out to be the way I've envisioned it to be. Aditya Chopra sure knows what he's doing and I admire him for backing this project up.



If you are still trying to catch up your breath with the releases of October, wait till you hear what's up in November.
Author: ldg    Time: 1-8-2006 03:14 PM
NOVEMBER

Ravi Chopra returns with a family tear jerker. Sorry if you don't know Ravi Chopra. Quick History. Made Baghban with Amitabh and Salman. Man behind the tele series "Mahabharata". A few movies directed by him - Zameer, The Burning Train, Aaj Ki Awaaz. Son of the late B.R. Chopra (Who is BR Chopra? Quicker History: Made socially relevant movies right from the 50s to the 80s. Elder brother of Yash Chopra)

So Chopra after lamenting all over the press on the imprisonment of Salman Khan, will finally be able to release his next. Babul. The movie stars Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Salman Khan, Rani Mukherjee and John Abraham.

And he's back. Isn't 2006 turning out to be the year where a lot many are returning back after a hiatus? This one is - Vidhu Vinod Chopra - who returns after a looong time as a director again. Eklavya stars Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Jackie Shroff, Saif Ali Khan, Vidya Balan, Sharmila Tagore, Boman Irani, Jimmy Shergill, Raima Sen... WOW... this time it looks like Chopra is hell bent on delivering a hit. His last loved movie was Parinda, released almost 20 years ago. Can you believe it? The genius has not been witnessed again in the last 20 long years!



When everybody is "coming back", it's time to turn our view towards Rajshri Productions who have made out and out good to worse family entertainers. Sooraj Barjatya this time makes a movie not far from his comfort zone. Sorry. The subject looks like it "is" his only comfort zone. Vivaah stars Shahid Kapoor and Amrita Rao.



And November ends with a big bang. Tighten your seat belts, brace yourself for a Dhoom 2. Perhaps this would be the first time Bollywood introduces "2" in a sequel (if you tend to cast aside the title "Waisa Bhi Hota Hai - Part 2" which necessarily wasn't a sequel to anything). So we have the Yash Raj banner bringing in a sequel to Part 2 and by the looks of the initial publicity it's supposed to have double the fun and excitement. If you found the first movie a bore, then perhaps this one is not for you. Cast includes Hritik Roshan - as the bad guy, Abhishek, Uday Chopra (Family making movie, so he is in it), Aishwarya, Bipasha, Rimi... Dhoom Machale or Dhoom Dubale? November will tell.


Author: ldg    Time: 1-8-2006 03:25 PM
continued

Films Slated for Release in 2006: Bollywood's Big Cook Fest?

July 29, 2006
Desi Train

DECEMBER

This seems to be the lightest after a spate of heavy release months. So chill, take a walk, do some Christmas shopping, take your love out for a few nice evening dinners, learn Tantric sex, barrage oz with a chunk of emails - all on learning the art of Pickup, and take your gold-cover-hidden-from-all-diary out, wipe the dust off and open the pages to see the goals you had written in it for 2006. Scratch 2006 on the top of the goal list and rewrite in its place... "2007".

In the meantime, drop in your nearest Cineplex, if you think a Subhash Ghai production still holds a bit of an importance in your life. Good Boy Bad Boy starring E-me-ran Hashmi and Tushar Kapoor opens in December. Portrayed as an out and out comedy, it would not come as a surprise if it turns out to have each shot, frame, scene and angle that reminds you of the 136 comedies seen in the last two years.





But then, you can't tell if it will turn out that way. There is hope. The captain of this ship is Ashwini Choudhary - the director of the commendable Dhoop. So there is still hope. Hopefully.

Madhur Bhandarkar may just throw in another of his products at you this year. Looks like his Signal may be ready for release in December. Starring Neetu Chandra, Kunal Khemu, Konkona Sen Sharma - this Corporate moves to the cross streets of Bombay with Signal.

Nikhil Advani may just manage to squeeze in his next Salaam-E-Ishq in December. His second product, after Kal Ho Na Ho, he is already in the midst of a controversy where the story seems to be the exact copy of a script given to him by writer Reema Katgi (search Desi Train for a post on this controversy). Katgi herself is making a movie on the same script.

Advani's movie boasts of a huge starcast - Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Anil Kapoor, Juhi Chawla, Akshaye Khanna, Ayesha Takia, John Abraham, Vidya Balan, Govinda, Sohail Khan, Perizaad Zorabian, Shannon Esra, Aroon Bakshi, Anjana Sukhani and last but not the least Karan Johar!

Another movie with a list that has the who's who of Bollywood, may make its way in December. Ahmed Khan directed Fool and Final. The movie boasts of a cast that includes Sunny Deol, Shahid Kapoor, Sunil Shetty, Jackie Shroff, Javed Jaffrey, Paresh Rawal, Om Puri, Rajpal Yadav, Vijay Raaz, Razzak Khan, Vivek Oberoi, Bipasha Basu, Arbaaz Khan... WOW!!! Did we leave anyone in Bollywood out of it?



Somewhere all along, it does seem that Bollywood is seriously taking the Zero Unemployment policy. Everyone seems to be in every movie.

To end the year, K Sera Sera comes out with Bhagam Bhag. The good: It's directed by Priyadarshan. The bad: It's directed by Priyadarshan. The Ugly: It has a starcast that is no different from many of the movies you read above.





Akshay Kumar, Govinda (is he hell bent of doing 125 movies this year?), Lara Dutta, Tanushree Datta, Jackie Shroff (so should we take 2006 as the official year where Jackie dada comes out of his retirement?), Shakti Kapoor (scandal alert - stay away), Rajpal Yadav (Bollywood unofficially declared foundation for a movie. No. Not the script. It's Rajpal Yadav), Manoj Bajpai (TV to Movies back to TV and now back in Movies), Sharat Saxena, Sanjay Dutt (yes he's in a special appearance, meaning, the producers plan to finance some of his forthcoming movies), Paresh Rawal (The other unofficially declared foundation of a Bollywood movie), Sunil Shetty (Sidelined to Sidekick, Side effect: acting just go worse), Arbaaz Khan (Who you?), Manoj Joshi (Now I really mean it: Who you?)

And........ It's a wrap. I'm not sure if I have seen so many ambitious products lined up in 5 months ever in the history of Bollywood. That also means there's more money on the line here. It will either cripple or cut through and make its way to the mountains of Moolah. The journey begins today with the release of Omkara... so sit back, relax, grab a drink, get your feet up and enjoy the best of times a Bollywood fanatic may have had in a long time...
Author: ldg    Time: 1-8-2006 03:30 PM
Bihar Times

Bollywood on adulterous path?

New Delhi, July 30 (IANS) The times sure are changing. Gone are the days when most Hindi films would end with a snapshot of a gleeful bride and groom tying the knot in the presence of an extended doting family.

The Mumbai studio-based Hindi film trade is rewriting its script. Movies now begin with what happens the day after a boy meets a girl and they fall in love. In Bollywood of today, mistrust and infidelity are the reigning themes.

So much so that even a 400-years-old tale, "Othello", penned by William Shakespeare, has found relevance in this week's release "Omkara" by composer-cum-filmmaker Vishal Bharadwaj.

The film has bowled over critics and has all the makings of raking in big bucks, given its backdrop in India's most populous state of Uttar Pradesh.

Power performances by Ajay Devgan as a man besieged with mistrust, Kareena Kapoor who essays the role of his wife and Saif Ali Khan who spins a web of lies and deceit along with Naseerudin Shah, Konkana SenSharma and Viveik Oberoi have set Mumbai talking.

The bedroom politics that ensue in this flesh and blood drama in the backdrop of India's cow-belt have brought mainstream Hindi cinema closest to real life than ever before.

For some time now, Bollywood has been trying desperately to crack the code for a commercially successful though critically sound film. As if on cue, most filmmakers have latched on to films with betrayal and infidelity as the themes that save the day.

What began as plots that pivot on lust and libido in films like "Jism," "Hawas" or "Murder" where brave new heroines break conventions and shed clothes, are now more realistic depiction of human relations and modern Indian marriages.

Not so long ago, dream merchants had found promiscuity as the favourite excuse to unleash skin show. For some time it seemed audiences were showing remarkable maturity of thought, flexibility of morals and an eagerness to cater to the Satan within.

"Body knows no love, it only respects desire," screamed the taglines of the skin shows and crowd of cinegoers nodded in affirmation. Then came a slew of sex comedies where men would sow wild oats in Bollywood, as in "Masti" and "No Entry".

Now the skin shows and brazen sex comedies are giving way to mass entertainers that are nearly a reflection of today's society - a society that no longer identifies with glossy family dramas in which the united Hindu family is unabashedly celebrated and propagated.

Recently, a $370,000-budget film by Rajat Kapoor about a couple swinging in Mumbai titled "Mixed Doubles" that was expected to fade out grossed $730,000.

Even the most commercially successful filmmaker of our times, Karan Johar, has swayed away and with "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna" ("Never Say Goodbye"), he enters alien, high-risk territory - the modern Indian marriage.

After making "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham" with a tagline of "It's all about loving your parents," he has gone to "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna", which is being sold as "a love that broke all relationships".

The success or failure of "Kabhi Alvida..." will test how much audiences are willing to let go of the favourite family fantasy.

-*-

In "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna" for the first time Indian cinema's favourite romantic idol Shah Rukh Khan is depicted as the faltering husband of Preity Zinta. Set for release worldwide on Aug 11, with a budget of more than $10 million, it is one of Bollywood's big budget expensive and awaited films this year.

"Kabhi Alvida..." also stars leading screen goddess Rani Mukerji as a married woman who falls in love with Shah Rukh in spite of a doting husband Abhishek Bachchan.

A scene in the film has Amitabh Bachchan asking his daughter-in-law (Rani) to leave his son. Aishwarya Rai, similarly, almost committed infidelity in "Shabd" with a much younger Zayed Khan.

Clearly, realistic portrayals of marriage -- happy and otherwise -- are very much on the mind of Bollywood these days. Love is no more depicted as childlike in its innocence and na?ely disconnected from complications, emotional or sexual, says author of Bollywood-based books Anupama Chopra.

She adds that there are no national records available, but experts agree that divorce rates have risen significantly.

Over the years much media coverage has been devoted to urban stress, the new empowered Indian woman, the phenomena known as DINK (double income no kids) and DINS (double income no sex), the emergence of marriage counselling and, of course, high-profile celebrity break-ups.

Marriage is very much on the minds of Bollywood dream merchants. Likely to release next week is a Salman Khan-starrer "Shaadi Karke Phas Gaya Yaar". The star-crossed popular actor was also part of "No Entry", in which several husbands try to cheat on their wives and "Shaadi No.1", a blockbuster comedy, in which he betrays his wife and children.

-*-

"Shaadi Karke Phas Gaya Yaar" will be superstar Salman Khan's first release after he was found guilty of killing an endangered deer species. In the past, the actor's popularity has gone up every time he has faced turmoil in personal life.

His fans dig his image as a rebellious man who wears his heart on his sleeve. It remains to be seen whether this time around they come out in droves to watch his latest release for signalling their support for him. The film is not yet certain for release on Aug 4, given the increase in the actor's trips to courts and jails.

The film also stars Shilpa Shetty and is directed by K.S. Adhiyaman, who had made multi-starrer "Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam" that brought together Shah Rukh Khan, Salman and Madhuri Dixit.
Author: ldg    Time: 1-8-2006 03:36 PM
Rediff News

Images: Latest Bollywood posters

On Bollywood's walls
July 31, 2006

Bollywood hype never dies down.
Even as Karan Johar's larger-than-the-industry Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna prepares to release next week, here's a look at some exciting posters for other upcoming films.

Dhoom 2



Expected for Diwali, this mega sequel brings back Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra from the first film, adds Bipasha Basu and bad guys Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai.

Fireworks are obvious, as we can expect from this interesting multiple-torso poster.

Marigold



You might remember Ali Larter from movies like Legally Blonde and Final Destination? Here the hot actress stars opposite Salman Khan in his Hollywood debut.

Director Willard Carrol has attempted a breezy English romance in typical Bollywood style, and judging from the poster, he's got the look down pat.

Dus Kahaaniyan



When Sanjay Gupta hit upon the word Portmanteau (a film consisting of features directed by different directors), he would likely have cursed Ram Gopal Varma for beating him to the punch with Darna Zaroori Hai.

Gupta's Dus Kahaaniyan has a mixed lineup, featuring the legendary Shyam Benegal and critical rage Sudhir Mishra, Gupta himself, Apoorva Lakhia, Meghna Gulzar, Hansal Mehta and Jasmeet Dhonde. It's a varied collective indeed, especially in terms of experience.

And while it stars an equally eclectic set of proven actors and relative rookies, the truly curious question is -- how do seven directors make 10 films?

Deodhar Gandhi



Not much is known about Guddu Dhanoa's next Sunny Deol starrer, but we just couldn't resist bringing you this clutterbreaking poster for Deodhar Gandhi.

The film, incidentally the first Priyanka Chopra had signed, has been long delayed but apparently will be out soon enough. Let's hope it is as intriguing as the words scribbled on Sunny's face.

Eklavya



Paging William Shakespeare...

Even as Vishal Bhardwaj's Othello adaptation Omkara wows critics and shocks audiences around the world, Bollywood rumour mills are abuzz that Vidhu Vinod Chopra's closely guarded film might just be a take on the Bard's Hamlet.

Either way, this return to the helm for Chopra -- in a film starring Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan and Sanjay Dutt -- will definitely arouse audience curiousity.

Here's a first draft of the poster, when the film was tentatively titled Yagna.
Author: ldg    Time: 1-8-2006 03:40 PM
Rediff News

Who's better -- Ash or Sush?
Merril Diniz

July 31, 2006 17:25 IST



The subject has been, and still is, a hot topic of discussion ever since 1994. Sushmita Sen was declared winner at the Miss India contest and Ash (Aishwarya Rai), the runner-up. During these discussions, I have found myself furiously defending Sush, despite never having met her or being a Bollywood buff.

Still, at times, I would wonder. Was it true? Or was I paying lip service to an image created and further hyped by the media? I received my answers when I met Ms Sen at the recent launch of What Would You Do To Save The World? by Ira Trivedi, a former contestant at the Miss India Pageant 2003.

The venue was packed to the brim with the press and customers. Sush looked chic in a long black dress, black belt sporting a big silver buckle, denim jacket and subtle make-up. She was seated next to Trivedi and ad man Prahlad Kakkar. Cameramen were vying for a strategic view, customers were jostling for space and an elderly lady in a reserved seat was demanding that the media be shown the door immediately. The emcee tried her best to quieten the din, while enthralled fans kept shouting out 'Sushmita'.

Suddenly, a deep, husky voice rose above the noise: "When we go Sush, we go shooooo..." Silence. Sush had spoken.

She went on to welcome 'my little sweetie pies' (referring to a row of children sitting upfront) and the rest of the audience. This spontaneous reaction seemed to enthral the audience. I was impressed at her ability and, more importantly, her inclination to take complete control of a chaotic situation. During the course of the event, a garrulous old man jumped up and launched into a diatribe, something to the effect of "Don't you think beauty pageants contribute to the destruction of the universe...blah...blah...blah".

Sen stayed cool as a cucumber, applauding him for his concern for the environment and saying she wished there were more people like him. This was following by a gem that seemed to go very well with the audience: "If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything." Applause.

Trivedi's book is an autobiographical account of the author's experiences at the Miss India pageant. In a nutshell, they weren't good. She suggests the contest may be rigged to favour certain contestants. Sushmita described the book as 'humourous' and an 'honest account of the author's truth'. But, in the same breath, she mentioned that her own truth was very different. "Nothing is pre-decided," she said. "Aishwariya Rai was at the same pageant as me, and the nation expected her to win. But she didn't."

Would she advise young women to participate? "100 per cent," she vouched. "But it's not about wearing high heels and lipstick. Once you are on that platform, it's who you are that matters. Once you get the crown, so many people listen to you. You have a huge responsibility because you are loved by a billion people. I highly recommend it," she added, before going on to read a few extracts.

Next, Prahlad Kakkar read a chapter featuring a character known as 'Promod Kakre, India's mad 'ad-man'. His pupils dilated when he came to the bit that describes Promod as having a 'fetish for beautiful young things'.

As the event drew to a close, the weather outside grew temperamental. Still, the winds couldn't quite compete with the storm brewing within. As Sush started to leave the venue, cameramen made a beeline for her. A brawl broke out between them and security personnel. The actress made a quick exit, and we suddenly heard a crash -- the front door of glass was knocked down. There was a lot of shouting and some people were hurt.

Coming back to pageants, one thing is for sure. Many Miss Indias have come and vanished into oblivion since Sushmita won her crown. There can be just one Sushmita Sen. Her confidence, simplicity and charm made her the centre of the universe for many that evening.

Obviously, some things cannot be taught by experts. They have to come from within.

Photographs: Arun Patil
Author: ldg    Time: 1-8-2006 03:43 PM
Bollywood Press

August 1, 2006
Bollywood Sex, Beauty and Talents This is Called Deepshikha



This gal is swathed with whopping sex appeal and beauty. Her body curves, shiny eyes and heart-hitting smile are what cease the breath flow of the men. She leaves the men to yearn for her. Apart from her sexy image and beauty, Deepshikha is who talents are made. Yes, that? true. The actress - who has generated big waves on Gujrati, Marathi and Hindi cinemas ? is always rated as an actress of worth.

Deepshikha will now be seen in a film directed by Niraj Sahay. The makers have already started the shooting for the film but the title is yet to be finalized. Just one schedule is left behind for the shoot of the film. The gorgeous lass is playing a leading role in the flick and looks excited about the film.

On the movie, she feeds the kitty, ?t? a very substantial role. I cannot reveal much at the moment but I am one of the main characters in the film?.

This untitled venture also features Rajat Bedi, Aryan Vaid and Meera in pivotal roles. Deepshikha? another film, which is due to release, is ?ara? that is directed by Deepak Bari and stars Arbaz Khan and Hrishitta Bhatt along with her. This movie has been shot in Malaysia.

She has also been on every top show of TV and is currently doing many soaps on small screen. Deepshikha has gone global as well since she is anchoring a show on Bollywood Gupshup for a renowned Pakistani satellite channel ?eo TV?.

?ell done? Deepshikha, you have proved that you have all to hit the hearts from beauty, sex appeal to marvelous acting.
Author: ldg    Time: 1-8-2006 03:44 PM
Sify Movies

Nandita Das splits with second husband
IndiaFM | Tuesday, 01 August , 2006, 07:51  

Nandita Das, known for her earthy looks has split from her second husband, Soumya Sen. Sen, an ad man and Nandita had a quiet wedding ceremony, a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, things didn? really work out. This was her second marriage.

The talented actress has given memorable performances in films like Fire, Earth and Pitaah. She will soon be seen in Jagmohan Mundhra's Provoked alongside actors like Aishwarya Rai and Naveen Andrews.
Author: ldg    Time: 1-8-2006 03:46 PM
Nerve WS of India

It's raining multistarrers at the box office
Tuesday, 01 August 2006

By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Aug 1 - This monsoon, audiences are going to see more stars on screen than the ones obfuscated in the sky by the clouds.

Indeed, those whopping star-crammed multistarrers that were the order of the Friday in the 1970s are back in vogue.

And leading the bright pack is Vishal Bharadwaj's 'Omkara', which stars Ajay Devgan, Kareena Kapoor, Viveik Oberoi, Bipasha Basu, Konkona SenSharma, Naseeruddin Shah and Saif Ali Khan.

This has got to be the biggest multistarrer since Ramesh Sippy's 'Sholay' in 1975.

'And let's hope my 'Omkara' is as big a hit as 'Sholay',' said Bharadwaj.

'The profusion of stars in my film was completely dictated by the script. Every actor justifies his or her character,' Bharadwaj told IANS.

But the fact remains Bharadwaj made his previous film 'Maqbool' with no stars except Tabu. If 'Maqbool' hadn't worked so wonderfully, Bharadwaj would have cast art-house actors once again in 'Omkara'.

In fact, Akshay Kumar had turned down 'Maqbool' saying he didn't find the desi version of 'Macbeth' heroic enough.

'That's very true. I still haven't forgotten. I guess my script justifies the stars only because I could get them,' said Bharadwaj.

One director who has never had a problem getting stars is Karan Johar. And boy, does he cram them in!

If his last film 'Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham' reads like a who's who of the film industry, Johar's 'Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna' (KANK), releasing Aug 11, has everyone from Amitabh to Abhishek Bachchan in its roomy frames.

Commenting on the big stars in KANK, Johar said: 'I don't deny that my film has the biggest stars in the industry. Not just the two biggest stars Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan, but also Rani Mukerji, Preity Zinta and Abhishek Bachchan.

'The fact of the matter is that everyone goes to the cinema to see their favourite stars - the more the merrier. I guess I am lucky to have so many friends who are major stars.'

Amusing as it may sound, Johar's former associate Nikhil Advani has even more stars in his new directorial undertaking 'Salaam-e-Ishq' than Bharadwaj's and Johar's film put together.

'See, my film weaves a large number of different love stories together in one package. For every love story I needed a different couple. Whether it is Salman Khan and Priyanka Chopra, or John Abraham and Vidya Balan -- each pair is perfectly placed in the pastiche.'

If 'Salaam-e-Ishq' salaams star power, Sanjay Gadhvi's 'Dhoom 2' and Farhan Akhtar's 'Don' do even better.

'Dhoom 2' has Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai as the villain and the moll, besides Abhishek, Bipasha and others.

Farhan's 'Don' features stars like Kareena and Arjun Rampal in roles that were originally played by character actors.

'There are no character actors any longer, only actors and stars wanting to prove they can act. That's how we find a Tabu doing a peripheral part in 'Fanaa', or an Anil Kapoor in 'Humko Deewana Kar Gaye' playing what looks like an offshoot of Amrish Puri's tyrannical husband's act from 'Koyla',' explained Hansal Mehta who prefers to work with newcomers at this point of his career.

'I think the star system has had its day,' said Mehta.

Not if you go by the films that are ready to be unleashed in the second half of 2006. They are so crammed with stars you'd need calculators to keep track of them in the credit titles.

Not that stars ensure success. If they did, Ram Gopal Varma's 'Darna Zaroori Hai' would have been the biggest hit of the year and Anurag Basu's 'Gangster' would've sunk without a trace.

'What stars do is to bring audiences in. After that it's up to the director to hold audiences' attention,' said Bharadwaj.

Apart from 'Omkara' other star-studded extravaganzas are:

1. 'Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna' (Amitabh, Shah Rukh, Rani, Preity, Abhishek, Arjun Rampal)

2. 'Eklavya' (Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Vidya Balan)

3. 'Umrao Jaan' (Aishwarya, Abhishek, Shabana, Suniel Shetty)

4. 'Salaam-e-Ishq' (Salman, Priyanka, Govinda, Anil Kapoor, Juhi, John, Vidya Balan)

5. 'Jaan-e-Man' (Akshay Kumar, Salman, Preity, Anupam)

6. 'Dhoom 2' (Abhishek, Bipasha, Aishwarya, Hrithik)

7. 'Lage Raho Munnabhai' (Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi, Vidya Balan, Boman Irani)
Author: ldg    Time: 7-8-2006 10:13 AM
Rediff News

Bollywood's never had a year like 2006
Surajeet Das Gupta & Abhilasha Ojha
August 01, 2006 14:37 IST



There hasn't been another year like this for the movies in a long, long time. Why, there hasn't been another year like this, say old-timers, ever. A year that will sieve through a range of reigning idols to establish the new badshahs of Bollywood. A year when every producer and director worth his salt will light up the marquee, however briefly, to sink in ignominy, or ride the crest of success. A year when older talent must make way for the younger, the hungrier -- or not.

In 2006, by coincidence almost, every major actor (and alas, they are ageing, our Bollywood heroes) has at least two releases lined up -- films that will reestablish their iconic connection with the masses, or sign their obituaries and consign them to character roles forever. A year after most movies bombed at the box office, there's a great deal of hope, history and money riding on every big banner in town. This is Bollywood's comeback year. But which production house will survive the year to tell another celluloid tale, and which will perish?

In 2006, a few beautiful women worshipped by the nation may end up a footnote in Bollywood history, or light up the screen for a little longer. A year, then, on which the fortunes of Bollywood's richest, most powerful A-list will ride. In an industry where playback singers, choreographers, designers and lighting assistants offer prayers on Friday mornings to the deity that controls their destinies, 2006 is the year when Shah Rukh Khan is battling for survival and Aishwarya Rai praying for her career's longevity.

It is a year when Karan Johar is betting on his brand to create magic. A year when the movies are getting bigger, more expensive. A year when titans of the industry are clashing, and from the dust and ashes of defeat, a few good men will snatch victory, to make it to awards ceremonies next year.

No, ladies and gentlemen, 2006 is not just another year at the movies.

Weigh the facts. In 2006, Shah Rukh Khan's numero uno status is under serious threat. King Khan's only release in 2005, Paheli was a commercial dud. By comparison, Aamir Khan has already delivered two mega-hits in 2006.



Rang De Basanti and Fanaa have raked in around Rs 200 crore at the box office. Producers and distributors are now betting Rs 90 crore on Shah Rukh Khan's releases -- Don and Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna.

Waiting for their fortunes to unravel are other contenders -- Saif Ali Khan, Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan and Abhishek Bachchan. While Shah Rukh remains on intravenous drip till his new releases, joining him in the biggest blockbuster battle in Bollywood ever are top Bollywood directors Karan Johar, Farhan Akhtar, J P Dutta and Vishal Bharadwaj.

The pecking order for heroines is being disputed between Rani Mukherji, Aishwarya Rai, Kareena Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra -- all with interesting releases in 2006.

Not everyone will survive the year.

Behind the glitz and glamour, far removed from the audiences, there's blood on the floor. Controversies and epic battles are brewing. Take director Farhan Akhtar, whose Don was to be the big Diwali release. That is, until producer Yash Chopra decided to take him on with his mega movie Dhoom 2. Fine. Only Chopra went about booking multiplexes so aggressively, there were no decent screens left for Don. Just rumours, both camps hasten to explain; and last heard, a truce has been reached: Dhoom 2 will hit screens after Don.

But then, Bollywood is just another business. The unprecedented success of Krrish has already collected Rs 150 crore (and counting, according to director Rakesh Roshan), bringing it into the league of the top five all-time grossers of Bollywood. It has also brought actor Hrithik Roshan back into the reckoning. He will now take on Abhishek Bachchan in Dhoom 2, as the two vie for top slot for the country's most saleable GenX star.

2006 will change some star ratings forever. Kunal Kohli, who directed Aamir Khan and Kajol in this year's big hit Fanaa, says, "Audiences are going to sit back and take note of who will finally emerge as winners." Kohli's bets are on Aamir Khan who, he says, is already leading the race after two clear winners. Film critic Komal Nahta agrees: "It will be a crucial year for Abhishek, especially after Hrithik's success in Krrish. Both have big films coming up to prove their mettle."

It's another matter that 2006 also offers an amazing variety of films from big-league directors. "We have love stories, family sagas, even run-of-the-mill stories, but we also have directors who will execute them brilliantly," says Rakesh Roshan. "That, I think, is the magic of 2006." For producer Pritish Nandy, 2006 marks an important trend. "The day of domination of single film actors and actresses is now over. What we will now see are multi-starrers."

Big directors. Big actors. Big bucks. Before earning them, you've got to spend them. And budgets have never been bigger. Producers have together invested Rs 300 crore on 10 of the largest movies, an increase of 50 per cent over last year. In 2006, at least four films (compared to only Mangal Pandey last year) boast budgets of Rs 30 crore and over. The Rs 50 crore barrier has been breached once again with Karan Johar's Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. Last year, the biggest film cost under Rs 40 crore.

But then, movies are also making more money than before. Industry estimates show that, in the first six months of this year, net box office collections in the domestic market went up by 35 per cent as compared to last year. This year, three movies (compared to none last year) have already made over Rs 50 crore in net collections from the domestic box office alone, with half the year still to go. Overseas collections of at least three movies (Krrish, Rang De Basanti and Fanaa) have crossed the Rs 30-crore mark and, if Roshan is to be believed, Krrish is close to matching Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham's record of the highest grosser abroad (Rs 35 crore).

Executives at Adlabs (which has picked up overseas distribution of movies like Krrish and some other blockbusters) point out that the overseas rights for multi-starrers are being offered at Rs 8-9 crore, and are still being snatched up. Says Ronnie Screwvala, CEO, UTV, whose company is involved with film production and distribution: "Nine out of 10 movies today are not losing any money."

The easy availability of institutional money might have a lot to do with that. Sanjay Bhandari, a chartered accountant who helps producers get finance, says, "Nearly all the big budget movies this year have been funded, and these include Fanaa, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, Umrao Jaan, Dhoom 2, Don and Jaan-e-man."



Industry estimates that at least 30 per cent of the cost of the top 10 films (in terms of budget) has been raised institutionally. Producer Ritesh Sidhwani (Don) says, "As you have to return the loan, there is a need to plan out budgets, keep them under tight control and formulate marketing strategies, which helps us look at the film business more professionally."

Adlabs, a film processing, financing, production and distribution company, has funded nearly half the cost of Salman Khan-starrer Jaan-e-man. Says Manmohan Shetty, Chairman of Adlabs, "Earlier, you may have had a good project but no recourse to non-traditional finance. Today, there is more money, but fewer projects."

The growth of multiplexes has also helped in pushing larger box office collections, as has the increasing trend to push more prints in the market in the first week to reduce piracy. Nearly 55 per cent of Rang De Basanti's theatrical revenues came from the 80-odd multiplexes across the country, and Kunal Kohli agrees that 60-70 per cent of film revenues are generated in multiplexes.

And while only Mangal Pandey hit the market last year with 500 prints, in 2006 there are already three blockbusters (Fanaa, Krrish and Rang De Basanti) that have crossed the 500-print release figure. Karan Johar is expected to hit the market with a staggering 700-print release for Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna.

Big banners, big stars -- er, big stories? Well, no. Says Shetty, "Most blockbusters are made with well-known stars. No one is taking risks. You still have a love story with a 40-year old boy and a 30-year old girl. New talent isn't coming to the fore."

But with the box office sizzling, no one is thinking beyond 2006. "The coming six months will only get better," says Kohli. "You will get to watch the survivors at awards ceremonies next year." The others can sit back and relax -- the lifetime achievement awards are still light years away.
Author: ldg    Time: 7-8-2006 10:17 AM
Rediff News

Catfight to the finish
Surajeet Das Gupta & Abhilasha Ojha
August 01, 2006 16:14 IST

Continuing the feature on Bollywood 2006, we look at top heroines, each facing tremendous odds this eventful year.

RANI MUKERJI



Last year, she ruled Bollywood with a critically acclaimed performance in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Black, and as Babli to Abhishek Bachchan's Bunty in Shaad Ali's blockbuster -- also the year's biggest grosser. This year, she has Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna and Baabul (with Amitabh Bachchan) as her big releases, but will have competition from Aishwarya Rai, who is back in Bollywood after a hiatus.


AISHWARYA RAI
Rai's Bollywood success owes a lot to Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas). She went on to deliver some duds, even though she won critical acclaim in movies like Raincoat and soon-to-be-reeased Provoked. She warmed 2005 with a sizzling item song (Kajrare) last year, and is back in the reckoning with Dhoom 2 and the remake of Muzzafar Ali's classic Umrao Jaan. Will Bollywood's import to Hollywood still rule in 2006?

PRIYANKA CHOPRA
Of her six movies last year, only Bluffmaster and Waqt did above average business. This year, she has started off with flak for her performance in the super-hit Krrish. She's got Don with King Khan, where she keeps Kareena Kapoor company, but still needs a powerful performance to elevate her to the top position.


PREITY ZINTA
Salaam Namaste raked in Rs 29 crore to become the fifth highest grosser of 2005. Earlier, Veer Zaara did better with Rs 41 crore in the domestic market alone, but it was Rani Mukherji who walked away with all the accolades. It's now up to Zinta to recover lost ground in Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna and Jaan-e-man.

KAJOL
The semi-retired actress was last seen in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. Her return with Fanaa has been one of the reasons for the film's success, but she's unlikely to enter the rat-race full time.

KAREENA KAPOOR



A listless 2005 has made way for Don and Omkara in 2006. Though expectations from both movies are high, Kareena will have to share screen space with Priyanka Chopra (Don) and Konkona Sen Sharma (Omkara), indicating a struggle to gain a foothold in the list of toppers.
Author: ldg    Time: 7-8-2006 10:18 AM
India Daily

Hrithik Roshan says his son is top priority
Aug. 1, 2006

Popular Bollywood movie star Hrithik Roshan misses his 3-month-old son so much while filming away from India that he's planning to bring him on location next time. Roshan is due back in Bombay later this month after weeks away filming the action movie ``Dhoom2'''' in Swakopmund, Namibia and Durban, South Africa. ``He (Rayhaan) is undoubtedly the most important thing in my life,'''' Roshan told the Mumbai Mirror newspaper, commenting on his son. ``I have come to understand that fatherhood is probably the best thing that has happened to me,'''' he said. ``A smile from Rayhaan every morning gives me energy to work hard.'''' Roshan plays a smooth-talking thief in ``Dhoom2,'''' which also stars Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai and Bipasha Basu. His recent release ``Krrish,'''' where he plays a superhero who glides over water and leaps over buildings has been a huge hit across the country. Roshan will begin shooting a historical film ``Akbar Jodha'''' opposite Bollywood beauty Rai in September.
Author: ldg    Time: 7-8-2006 10:26 AM
Rediff News

Bollywood's new dancing queen
Anoothi Vishal
August 02, 2006 17:20 IST


Move over Farah Khan.

Hindi cinema is now dancing to newer beats. Ever since she choreographed the fabulous Pehla Nasha in slow-mo for Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikander, Khan became the undisputed goddess of dance for much of the film industry in Mumbai.

Now, a decade and a half (and directorial ambitions) later, the choreographer seems to have found a worthy successor.


Vaibhavi Merchant

Vaibhavi Merchant, just a couple of years into the film industry, is as much a bundle of energy as Khan and a trifle more initimidating -- if you go by reputations in the industry.

Actors who have struggled to replicate her 'perfect' moves on screen -- Ayesha Takia says, 'When you watch her you think if you are able to do it exactly, it will be perfect' -- will tell you how the petite frame and pleasant demeanour belie the tough taskmaster within who focuses not just on the technical movements but on everything else too. Right from the dynamics of the frame, the colours and so forth to camera angles and -- more importantly -- an actor's attitude and emotions.

But, first, rewind. If you have watched a lot of Hindi cinema lately, you would probably have realised that most hit numbers have one name in common -- Merchant's.

Starting from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (where she bagged a National Award for Dhol baje) to Lagaan (O re chori), Devdas, Rang De Basanti, Dhoom, Bunty Aur Babli, Fanaa and Krrish, Merchant has directed most of the popular dance sequences in recent times, including the spectacular Kajra re last year.

In fact, you could even attribute the unlikely casting of Aishwarya Rai in this quintessential 'item number' to Merchant. "Shaad (Ali, the director) was discussing who to cast for the number and the first name that came to me was Aishwarya's," Merchant says.



The choreographer seems to be a favourite with Rai (and vice versa) ever since she directed the actress in Aankhon ki gustakhiyan (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam).

Merchant is a staple with Sanjay Leela Bhansali too -- the latter is supposed to have gone to her father after the filming of Aankhon ki to tell him that 'without your daughter I would have screwed up,' or so goes the story. Indeed, the song done without any lip-synching on the part of the lead actors was beautifully conceived.

Now, Merchant is set to direct Rai in another film that will (hopefully) get the nation's feet tapping yet again. JP Dutta's Umrao Jaan, set for a September release (the filming has been completed), has Rai essay the role made memorable by Rekha in the Muzzafar Ali period drama set in Lucknow.

It is not just the actress who has a lot to live up to but also the choreographer -- and not just because of the highly stylised way in which Ali had presented the mujra in his version. The choreograher for Ali's film was guru Kumudini Lakhia (director Apoorva Lakhia's mother; Bollywood, after all, is one big family!), a well-known name in the circuit even if few may have heard of her otherwise.

Lakhia has also been Merchant's teacher and a big influence on her, a fact that she acknowledges when you ask her who (or what) has influenced her most. Merchant trained in Bharat Natyam before Lakhia taught her the nuances of Kathak -- "In Kathak, you need to move your body differently, just the upper half," the choreographer points out.



But despite the influence of her guru, one way in which Merchant's mujra will differ from what Rekha showed us will be in the fact that it will be definitely more lively, more pop, if you like. "J P Dutta told me just one thing, 'please don't make her (Rai) dance sitting down'!" Merchant says.

The film apparently has a breathtaking sequence where Rai dances (for Abhishek Bachchan) with the City Palace, Jaipur, where the film has been shot, as the backdrop.

But films apart, Merchant has been involved with another big project that is likely to win her even more of a name in the months to come. The Merchants of Bollywood, a first-of-its-kind musical inspired by all the hits in recent years (including Mehndi laga ke rakhna from Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge), is ready to make its debut in Britain this winter.

The show, written by Toby Gough, was originally an Australian production and was successfully put up in that country before finding British sponsors. It features 40 singers, dancers and actors and has not just been choreographed by Merchant, but is, in fact, loosely based on her life!

It tells the story of the ambitious Ayesha Merchant and her grandfather Shantilal and the clash of generations -- in true Bollywood ishtyle. Like her namesake on stage, Merchant too had to overcome a deeply traditional family in order to make it big in the film industry.

Despite the fact that dancing is in her genes -- she is dance director Chiniprakash's niece and started out assisting him while still in her teens, and her grandfather was the choreographer for the Dev Anand-Waheeda Rehman starrer, Guide  -- Merchant met with stiff opposition from her family when she announced her choreographing plans.

"Girls in the family were very protected," she says, "And, dance, ironically, seen more as a 'male thing.'"

Since then, obviously, Merchant's world and the world of Hindi cinema have both come a long way.
Author: ldg    Time: 7-8-2006 10:27 AM
Hindustan Times

Costume drama
Anamika Chatterjee & Bhawna Gera
New Delhi, August 3, 2006

Bollywood has always been in the forefront when it comes to setting style trends. And the public has paid homage by dressing up like its stars.

But now, TV is recreating the popular big screen looks. Haven? you checked out Shweta Tiwari of Kasautii Zindagii Kay doing an Aishwarya Rai from Devdas, or Shweta Salve of Left Right Left doing a Sushmita Sen from Main Hoon Na?

There? more ? Tina Parekh? bespectacled look in Kasautii? bears a striking resemblance to Preity Zinta in Kal Ho Na Ho, or Kanchi Kaul as Ananya in Ek Ladki Anjani Si, looks quite similar to Preity Zinta? character in the first half of Lakshya. Kanchi also plays a photojournalist in the serial.

Attempt to ape

TV actors sporting the big screen looks, however, don? feel they are aping. Shweta Salve, who stars as Dr Ritu Mishra in Left... sporting chiffon saris, says, ?ushmita? character in Main..., was such a hit that now whoever wears a chiffon sari is compared to her.But my character is different in terms of mannerisms.?

Nim Sood, who designed the Bengali-Paro look for Prerna in Kasautii..., says, ?e gave Prerna a regal Bengali look with traditional clothes. And Tina? soft character in Kasautii? is explained by her attire.? Says Kanchi, ??e been compared to Preity in Lakshya but that wasn? the brief given to me.?

Thoughtful coincidence

But does this all help the serials? Feels Sood, ?he style endorsed by TV actresses settles better with the masses because they see them everyday. Much before Bunty aur Babli, I had given a similar look to Urvashi in Kasautii... Now that she is coming back in the serial, I?e given her a new look.?

Priya Mishra, programming head, SAB TV, adds, ?t? a matter of sheer co-incidence. While Sushmita? character was high on glamour, Shweta? character in Left... is pivotal to the plot and will reveal many layers as the show progresses.? As long as it looks good and feels great, no one? complaining.
Author: ldg    Time: 7-8-2006 10:31 AM
The Telegraph

Cola heat on Aamir
- BJP targets actor in pesticide uproar  
OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
Friday, August 04, 2006



New Delhi, Aug. 3: Smash a few soft drink bottles and while going about it, don? forget to smash one, figuratively, in Aamir Khan? face.

In the middle of shrill and almost unanimous cries in Parliament for no less than banning soft drinks made by multinationals, the BJP took a sideswipe at thanda-matlab Aamir.

? want to ask Aamir Khan where all his ethical values have disappeared?? V.K. Malhotra, the party? deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, said.

Aamir, who endorses Coca-Cola, had earned the BJP? wrath by joining the camp of protesters against the Narmada dam and speaking up on the Gujarat riots.

Malhotra did not name the other big stars ? Shah Rukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan ? who promote soft drinks.

The other jewel in India? crown, the cricket team, also shines on the caps of soft drink bottles. Malhotra didn? mention the cricketers either.

He explained why. ?is (Aamir?) heart was bleeding for the farmers some time back. What happened to those sentiments when he went around promoting a product that caused immense suffering to farmers by depleting the groundwater table in several states??

In the outrage against soft drink companies after the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) tests showed high levels of pesticide in some bottles, the BJP and the Left spoke in one voice.

Gurudas Dasgupta, the CPI member, wouldn? be happy with banning just soft drinks. ?epsi, Coke and junk food should be banned,? he said.

Outside, footsoldiers of the BJP? student wing, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, broke soft drink bottles on university campuses.

Malhotra said: ?oke and Pepsi should bebanned. Their advertisements should be banned. All sports bodies, including cricket associations, should stop promoting Coke and Pepsi.?

Then he turned on Aamir. The BJP has led a campaign against the actor after he came out in support of Medha Patkar, who leads the Narmada Bachao Andolan, and criticised Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.

An undeclared ban was imposed on Aamir? Fanaa in Gujarat while Modi? supporters went around burning the film? posters across the state.

Malhotra carried on against Aamir for a while before he was interrupted with a question about the BJP? own track record on soft drinks. He had to admit that BJP-ruled states had not taken any action.

?e will find out what is happening in the states. We will definitely ask the states to take appropriate action,? Malhotra said.

He diverted the attack towards the central health ministry for not prescribing standards for soft drinks.

The first CSE report on soft drinks had come out in 2003, when the BJP was still in power. Parliament intervened and a joint parliamentary committee was set up to probe whether soft drinks contained pesticides. Towards the end of the same year, the committee recommended that standards should be set for permissible limits of various elements in the soft drinks.

The Bureau of Indian Standards was entrusted with the task. It was to come out with the recommendations on March 29 this year when the ministry prevented it from finalising the report on the ground that it would form its own committee to set standards.

The Congress said the decision to ban soft drinks lies with the states. ?his is a state subject,? said parliamentary affairs minister Priya Ranjan Das Munshi.

Das Munshi, who had a bitter argument with the CPM? Mohammad Salim on the issue earlier, said the Centre could not stop any industry in states.

?ncidentally, the first Coke plant was launched in Kerala by a CPM chief minister. It was expanded by the CPM in Bengal,? he said, taking a dig at his Left partners, some of whom demanded the ban on soft drinks.
Author: ldg    Time: 7-8-2006 10:33 AM
The Hindu

Project `Ramayana'
V. GANGADHAR

Rajkumar Santoshi emerges from hibernation with the epic. At Rs. 80 crores, it is the costliest Hindi film ever.


Rajkumar Santoshi

Bollywood and the film media are bound to talk when a leading director announces half a dozen major films with huge star casts and then goes into apparent hibernation.

Well, national award-winning director, Rajkumar Santoshi, who had announced several grandiose productions, has finally swung into action. His forthcoming ventures include `Ramayana' which will be made at a cost of about Rs. 80 crores, making it the costliest-ever Hindi film.

But then Santoshi always thinks big. Remember the huge budget for `China Gate,' which, however, did not fare well at the box office. But Santoshi is not one to dwell on the past.

`London Dreams'


People were wondering what had happened to his `London Dreams' for which, he was unable to get dates from Salman Khan. Now those problems appear to have been solved and the film unit will be leaving for London for a 45-day shooting stint from August 10. Santoshi clarified there will be no date problems with two of his major stars, Salman Khan and Ajay Devgan.

But Santoshi's magnificent obsession is `Ramayana' for which, he has now arranged the necessary finance. It was rumoured that the film would cost around Rs. 100 crores.

While the final budget is being worked out, the total cost should be in the region of Rs 80 crores. "The film needs immense preparatory work," explains Sanoshi, who is now busy finalising the costumes, script and the list of characters.

The cost is bound to be high in view of the planned spectacular visuals and the hiring of well-known Hollywood special effects teams and technicians. This is to be a no-expenses-spared kind of film.

With `Ramayana' very much on, it is only natural that Santoshi will shelve earlier plans to film another epic, `Mahabharat.'

This is bound to be an expensive production too and it is not possible to arrange for finance for two such big films.

Similarly, another of his plans to film the historical romance on Rajput prince Prithviraj and princess Sanyukta has been given the go-by because another producer is making a film on the same theme with Sunny Deol in the lead.

Further, there is also a current television serial on Prithviraj Chauhan.

On the cards


But Santoshi has a lot more items in his bag. There is an untitled film with an unusual theme starring his favourite hero, Ajay Devgan, and Priyanka Chopra.

"There are a lot of other interesting characters in the film, and we are now working to sort out date problems with Priyanka," says Santoshi.

Once these are finalised, he will turn his attention to `Ladies and Gentleman,' which will be a musical comedy.

For someone who has directed highly topical and socially-relevant films such as `Damini,' `Ghayal,' `Ghatak' and `Khakhee,' it must be rather difficult for Santoshi to postpone the making of a film like `Saamna' with stars like Ajay Devgan, Nana Patekar, Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai.

According to Santoshi, the film is still on the cards. Social issues and values are changing fast and 'Saamna' which has a lot of real situations, had to have changes in its script.

But Santoshi is confident that the film will be taken up when circumstances are more favourable.
Author: ldg    Time: 7-8-2006 10:35 AM
Mid-Day News

Ash's dad hospitalised
By: Ketan Ranga
August 4, 2006



Aishwarya Rai? father Krishnaraj (55) was admitted to Hinduja Hospital, Mahim, yesterday afternoon, after he complained of stomachache. He even vomited several times.

Last night, doctors operated on his small intestine. They say he suffered from some gastro-intestinal problem and acidity.

Krishnaraj was admitted to room number 15 on the 14th floor. After the operation on the fourth floor, Krishnaraj was transferred to the ICU. He is out of danger now.

Aishwarya? secretary Hari Singh confirmed the operation. Singh told MiD DAY that Krishnaraj came back to Mumbai two days ago.

?esterday morning, after several bouts of vomiting, he was taken to Hinduja hospital. A CT scan was performed. Later the doctors had to operate on his small intestine. He is now fine,? he said.

Aishwarya and her mother Vrinda were with Krishnaraj till late in the night. Aishwarya left the hospital at 3 am. ?rishnaraj was under sedation after the operation. He has been kept under observation,? said a source from Hinduja hospital.
Author: ldg    Time: 7-8-2006 10:41 AM
The Hindu

Not just a pretty face

An actress known to lend her voice to social causes and speak out against injustice, Preity Zinta, who recently kicked off the Godfrey Phillips Bravery Blood Donation Drive, awaits the release of her new movie, `Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna', says Madhur Tankha...

She is more than just a pretty face in the glamorous world of Bollywood. Also, she has the rare ability to speak up against injustice without bothering about the consequences. Hindi film actress Preity Zinta believes in the mantra of living life to the full and even takes time off to lend a helping hand to social causes.

Here in the Capital recently to kick off the Godfrey Phillips Bravery Blood Donation Drive, her razor sharp wit was more than apparent. "I was brought up to do things that my conscience told me were right. Since childhood, it has been ingrained in me to stand up against injustice. To be uncompromising about one's values is accepted as a characteristic of a brave girl."

Dismissing suggestions that Bollywood superstars associate themselves with social causes only when their films are about to be released, Preity retorts: "This is pointing a finger at someone who is doing a good deed. It is just coincidental that I have become the brand ambassador of Godfrey Phillips when my film `Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna' is about to hit the theatres. There is absolutely no correlation between this cause that I support and my upcoming film."

"Salaam Namaste" that released in 2005 was Preity's last film. No wonder the actress is banking heavily on the star-studded `Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna'. "It is a fantastic film and I have a fantastic role in it. The film has been delayed for a long time. However, I am happy that it is finally ready for release. It also got postponed by a few days because of the rains and subsequent floods in Mumbai. During the making of the film, Amitabh Bachchan fell ill. One has to keep juggling with dates as sometimes I also get indisposed. I am playing a fashion editor of a New York magazine, who is an ambitious and righteous girl but cannot express her emotions. She is completely focused on her work."

The chirpy actress is excited about her upcoming film that has been directed by Karan Johar as she got the opportunity to act and dance opposite the famous father and son duo of Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishekh Bachchan. "The rock and roll song with the two Bachchans was really hectic. This was my first song with them. They are both so tall but I had a blast while shooting with them."



Reckoned to be among the best actresses in the tinsel town, Preity has definitely moved away from her bubbly image in films like "Soldier". "God has been kind to me. In fact, producers and directors have come up with outstanding scripts and given me such meaningful roles. I think I have matured as an actress. Change is the only thing constant in life. Earlier, I was jumping around and used to be chitty-chatty. Now, I am more focused and am associating myself with issues that are not glamorous. I am also evolving as a human being," she adds.

Proud of the fact that she was part of the Bollywood contingent that recently visited an event organised by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in London to celebrate and explore Bollywood cinema, Preity says: "The British film industry gave Bollywood a chance to showcase its talent. Filmmaker Yash Chopra, director-cum-producer Karan Johar and superstar Aamir Khan also attended the function. As far as not attending the recent Osian Cinefan film festival at New Delhi is concerned, I was simply not invited to it."

Asserting that Bollywood like cricket is a religion in the country, Preity says: "People definitely identify you with a cause if you are an actor. The polio drive got a fillip after Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and I campaigned for it. Besides blood donation, women's empowerment and nationalism are also close to my heart."

On her fitness mantra, Preity bursts into a peel of laughter. "Well, I am fit because I have kept a trainer, who instructs me on my workouts at the gym. I am also trying to meditate but am not able to find time. However, I am confident that one day I will manage to find time for meditation," she says.
Author: QueenLove    Time: 9-8-2006 01:17 AM
'Force of Nature' gamit kehadiran Melly dan Padi
04-08-2006 12:52:22 PM
Radin Sri Ghazali  
Dua tahun tidak mengunjungi Malaysia,  komposer dan penyanyi terkenal dari Indonesia, Melly Goeslaw, bakal mengubat rindu di kalangan peminat-peminatnya dengan persembahan menerusi konsert amal Force of Nature Yogyakarta Quake Aid 2006, 19 Ogos ini.

Konsert amal Force of Nature tersebut akan diadakan di Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Club bermula jam 4 petang.

"Saya akan menyanyikan tiga buah lagu termasuk 'Ada Apa Dengan Cinta' serta duet bersama Kris Dayanti menerusi lagu berjudul 'Cinta'," ujar penyanyi yang sering membawa imej Harajuku (fesyen serta budaya jalanan yang berasal dari negara Jepun).

Melly berkata dia bakal membawa konsep futuristik menerusi penggunaan grafik secara digital ketika persembahannya kelak.

"Saya tersentuh kerana adanya negara seperti Malaysia yang mengambil berat terhadap keadaan kami di Yogyakarta sehinggakan sudi untuk mengadakan konsert seperti ini untuk mengumpul derma.

"Ini sedikit sebanyak dapat menyembuh luka yang ada pada kami," ujar penyanyi yang sudahpun bergelar ibu kepada dua orang anak ini.

Padi kembali untuk kali ke dua

Kedatangan kumpulan rock, Padi pula ke konsert Force of Nature ini merupakan persembahan konsert kedua mereka di Malaysia selepas Pesta Malam Indonesia pada bulan April yang lalu .

"Konsert ini lebih bermakna kerana ianya berkonsepkan amal untuk membantu mangsa-mangsa gempa bumi di Yogyakarta," ujar Fadli selaku vokalis utama kumpulan itu.

"Bukan sahaja kita dapat menikmati muzik yang enak pada malam itu tetapi boleh beramal untuk membantu saudara-saudara kita yang telah ditimpa musibah di Yogyakarta," tambah Rindra yang berharap agar peminat-peminat Padi dapat memeriahkan konsert.

Band yang terdiri daripada Fadli (vokalis), Piyu (pemain gitar), Ari (pemain gitar), Rindra (pemain bass) dan Yoyo(pemain drum) bakal berangkat ke Malaysia pada 17 Ogos demi membuat persiapan awal sebelum berlangsungnya konsert amal tersebut.

Jika pada konsert Pesta Malam Indonesia, Padi menampilkan penyanyi kecil yang bersuara besar, Rossa sebagai artis jemputan, band yang berasal dari Surabaya ini bakal berganding dengan salah seorang artis dari Malaysia pada malam 19 Ogos kelak.

"Kami gembira bangat jika kami diberi peluang untuk berduet dengan artis Malaysia. Tetapi semuanya masih dalam tahap perbincangan ," ujar Rindra yang tidak mahu menyamakan persembahan pada malam itu dengan gimik yang telah digunakan pada konsert Pesta Malam Indonesia.

Kumpulan yang diasaskan pada tahun 1996 bakal membawa lima buah lagu termasuk 'Menanti Sebuah Jawaban', 'Kasih Tak Sampai' dan 'Save My Soul'.

Konsert amal Force of Nature Yogyakarta Quake Aid 2006 turut menampilkan Ning Baizura, Camelia, Marcell, Pop Shuvit, Dayang Nurfaizah, Ruth Sahanaya, Zahid (AF), Ahli Fiqir, dan ramai lagi.

Tiket berharga RM80 seorang boleh didapati di Music Valley and Tower Records mulai 4 Ogos manakala kanak-kanak di bawah 12 tahun masuk percuma.

Untuk keterangan lanjut layari www.forceofnature.org atau hubungi 03-7960 0366.
Author: ldg    Time: 13-8-2006 12:14 PM
Indian Television

Zee Astitva Awards 2006 hails work of women in diverse fields  
(7 August 2006 6:00 am)

MUMBAI: Zee Telefilms Ltd and the Archana Trust Suburban hosted the Zee Astitva Awards on 5 August 2006 to honour the achievements of women in diverse fields. Specific to our country, where every girl has to struggle to make her mark, here are some inspirational stories that truly deserve to be honoured.

The show was kicked off with the lighting of the inaugural lamp by Zee Telefilms Ltd chairman Subhash Chandra Goel and chairperson Archana Suburban Trust Rajashree Birla along with other trustees.

The Chief Guest for the evening was (politician) Praful Patel setting the mood for the evening saying, ?n an era where women? achievements have equalled or surpassed that of men, it is truly a remarkable moment in our country that women are being able to overcome that hurdle. It is time for us to work together collectively for the betterment of our country.?

In an award show where the ladies ruled, performances included three of Zee? Lil Champs, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa? Twinkle and Sanchali, the Kasam Se sisters, Koena Mitra and Rimi Sen. There was also a special performance by lyricist, instrumentalist and ?onder tabla girl? Tina Sugandh, but before the night was over the sizzling Bipasha Basu got the crowd grooving to her latest item number ?eedi? from Omkara.

Awards were given out to women achievers in categories including social sciences, business, science and technology, health care, music fine arts, dance, sports and theatre among others. The hosts for the evening were Roshini Chopra and Ram Kapoor. However, chief guest Delhi chief minister Sheila Dixit was not present.

Each awardee has performed exemplary work in their respective fields, some of which goes unnoticed and therefore, the awards provided a platform to not only reward these courageous souls but also to inspire others. Starting the show, Nita Ambani presented the award for classical dance to Vyjayanthi Kashi while the awards for contemporary dance went to Tilottamma Koshy, who could not be present. In recognition of her contribution to drama, Veenapani Chawla was honoured in the area of theatre, while Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia stepped on to stage to give away to the award to Arpana Kaur for fine arts.

This was followed by awards given to Mini Menon for constructive journalism, Hasina Khan for social services, Dr Shobha R. Arole for healthcare, Dr Amrita Patel for business, Dr Firuza Parikh for science and technology. The authors award was given to Sivashankari and for sports, to chess champ Koneru Humpi. Of course in the music category, Shubha Mudghal was delighted on receiving the award from Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma.

Dr Vishakha Desai and Zerbanoo Gifford were honoured with the International Women of the Year award. The Lifetime Achievement awards were presented by Karisma Kapoor and Kumar Mangalam Birla to Mahasweta Devi, Ela Ramesh Bhatt and Dhondutai Kulkarni.

In addition, the Stellar Achievement Award was presented to three awardees, while awards for Outstanding Contribution to television, fashion and cinema were given to veteran TV actor Nina Gupta, model Dipika Padukone and Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai respectively. Aishwarya however was not present to receive it due to her father? illness.

The jury for the Awards included Rajashree Birla, Nita Ambani, Chanda Kochhar, Shreyashi Goenka, Sangita Jindal, Satya Saran, Anaya Goenka and Pheroza Godrej.

Besides representatives from Zee, like Zee CEO Pradeep Guha, Zee executive VP network sales Joy Chakraborthy and the Kasam Se and Sath Phere cast members, also present were FCB Ulka? Parameswaran, Anil Kapoor and Kishan Premnarayan.

The Zee Astitva Awards will be telecast on 19 August.
Author: ldg    Time: 13-8-2006 12:21 PM
Bollywood Press

August 7, 2006
Bollywood Star? Homes

Bandra is not called the queen of Mumbai? suburbs for nothing.

It is where some of Bollywood? biggest stars live.

BollywoodPress offers a glimpse of some star homes in Bandra:



Shah Rukh Khan? home Mannat, which faces the Bandra seafront, is an obvious tourist spot.

A sprawling bungalow, once owned by wealthy Parsis, Mannat is a heritage building. Buildings in this category are deemed important to the townscape and cannot be demolished.

Shah Rukh lives here with wife Gauri, their two children and SRK? sister.

The superstar is currently constructing a multi-storey building behind his home (seen behind Mannat in the photograph). Some reports suggest the building will house offices for SRK and close friends Karan Johar and Farah Khan

Some buildings away from Mannat is Galaxy Apartments, where Salman Khan stays.



Salman, who obviously doesn? care for bungalows and stuff, lives here with his parents Salim and Salma Khan, little sister Arpita, his youngest brother actor Sohail Khan, Sohail? wife designer Seema Khan and their son.

Another brother actor Arbaaz Khan and his glamorous model wife Malaika Arora-Khan live in Khar, a suburb close to Bandra. Sister Alvira and her actor hubby Atull Agnihotri also stay close by.

Aishwarya Rai occupies the 12th floor of Lamar, a building near Bandra? famous Mount Mary church.



Strangely, she is not the building? best-known resident.

That distinction belongs to a certain S R Tendulkar, currently the most famous batsman on the third rock from the sun.

Ash was brought up in Khar, a suburb close to Bandra, and went to the Arya Vidya Mandir school in Bandra, where she was, we hear, a bright head girl.
Author: ldg    Time: 13-8-2006 12:23 PM
Bollywood Press

August 7, 2006
DON ahead in the chase

2 months and 13 more days to go and ?on - The Chase Begins Again? already seems to be far ahead in the race; well at least in terms of the kick start of the film? promotion!



On this Diwali/Eid there as many as four films that have been lined up for release - ?aan-E-Mann?, ?mraao Jaan?, ?amilywala? and off course ?on - The Chase Begins Again?. While ?amilwala? is a relatively unknown flick that has been revived looking at Neeraj Vora? recent ?hir Hera Pheri? being a super-duper hit, J. P. Dutta? ?mrao Jaan? is still waiting for some hype to be built up. Meanwhile Sajid Nadiadwala seems to have been playing a waiting game for the promotion of his ?aan-E-Maan? to begin.

In the meantime producer Ritesh Sidhwani and director Farhan Akhtar have gone ahead and unleashed the 20 seconds promo of the film that has dominated all the music channels this weekend. No wonder the teaser has made an instant impact all over with people wanting for more!

This has indeed made Don move ahead in the chase for being the biggest film this Diwali/Eid and now the other three flicks would indeed have some catch up to do to match the might of King Khan!
Author: ldg    Time: 13-8-2006 12:24 PM
The Hindu

A brand new treat for film lovers
Madhur Tankha

NEW DELHI: Promising to provide film lovers with absorbing cinema, Planman Motion Pictures will soon be coming up with its two ventures "Mithya" and "Sunglass". "Mithya" is a story of the underworld which will be directed by noted model and actor Rajat Kapoor, who has recently hit the screens with his performance in acclaimed filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar's "Corporate".

The film stars Naseeruddin Shah, Neha Dhupia and Ranvir Shourie. The shooting of the film started this July. Rajat's first two movies were "Raghu Romeo" and "Mixed Doubles".

Noted Bengali filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh, who grew up in the City of Joy, and actress Konkana Sen Sharma will once again team up after "Dosor" to entertain the Indian movie lovers with the upcoming bi-lingual film "Sunglass" in Hindi and Bengali. After "Raincoat" that starred Aishwarya Rai and Ajay Devgan, this will be Rituparno's second Hindi film. Konkana Sen Sharma will be the heroine in both versions of the film.

This is the first time that Ghosh is coming up with a comedy and masala film with Planman Motion Pictures. The star cast also includes Madhavan, Naseeruddin Shah, Jaya Bachchan and Raima Sen.

This movie has four songs and the music is composed by the band `21 grams'. Planman Motion Pictures has presented a number of quality movies to film lovers this year. Their last black and white venture "Dosor", directed by Rituparno Ghosh, was a film that was highly acclaimed by both critics and masses.
Author: ldg    Time: 13-8-2006 12:26 PM
Indian Television

Sahara One, Endemol present Super Star reality show  
(7 August 2006 11:00 pm)

NEW DELHI: You think you look like Shah Rukh Khan. You think you move like Khan. You think you act like him. But for one night, can you make millions believe you really are Shah Rukh Khan?

Coming this September, Sahara One Television brings alive a brand new reality concept, Super Stars, in association with Endemol India.

The new show proposes to provide Bollywood fans with an opportunity to showcase their talent and perform as their favourite star.

This international format has seen a production of over 70-odd series in 20 countries across the globe under different names like Sound Mix and Stars in the Eyes.

The Indian version of this show kick starts with a five-city audition on Sahara One starting 10 August, 2006.

In each episode, contestants compete by copying their favourite artist as faithfully as possible.

?ndia is a nation obsessed with Bollywood. There are temples, clubs, associations dedicated to film actors. Dancing and singing is not only about performing; it? a passion that drives the souls of many. It? our endeavour to provide a national platform for such talent,? Sahara One COO Purnendu Bose says.

The jury for Super Stars includes Bollywood heavy weights like the gorgeous Urmila Matondkar and ace choreographer Shiamak Davar. There would be floating judges too for particular episodes.

The whole of August, Super Stars will do a nation-wide hunt in an attempt to unearth the flair people possess to be like their stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Rani Mukherjee, Saif Ali Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Kajol, Preity Zinta, Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Kareena Kapoor, Hritik Roshan, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan.

The contestants will be judged on three parameters - look and style, acting and dance --- and will vie for the ultimate honour: the title of Super Star.

According to Endemol India MD Rajesh Kamat, ?e are very excited to partner with Sahara One Television on this special format. It is a show people will connect with and it will feature people that they will connect with.?

Kamath added that they have received ?remendous response? from people. Aspirants aged 18 years and above can walk in and audition at the city level. This would be applicable to five cities that include Ludhiana (August 10-12), New Delhi (August 13-14), Kolkata (August 17-18), Bhopal (August 20-21) and Mumbai (August 22-23).

Hundred and twenty winners from the regional auditions will be invited to Mumbai and groomed by experts.

Sahara One Television is part of the umbrella brand Sahara One, whose other businesses include Sahara One Motion Pictures, which is India? largest player in the motion pictures business.

Endemol is a global leader in television and other audiovisual entertainment. The company creates premium entertainment ideas and sells them to the world's leading broadcasters. Subsequently, the company exploits the value of its brands across other media and communications platforms including mobile phones and the Internet.
Author: ldg    Time: 13-8-2006 12:31 PM
Usinfo.State.Gov

09 August 2006

"Bollywood Mania" Rising in United States
By Anita N. Wadhwani


Indian Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan, Aisharya Rai, and Abishek Bachchan perform at the 2005 International Indian Film Academy Awards in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (?P/WWP)

India's film industry sees strong growth in American markets the United States than films from any other country, according to the Internet Movie Database, an organization that tracks box office sales in several countries.

The increasing popularity of Indian cinema, often called ?ollywood Mania? by the press, is driving Indian filmmaking to new heights in terms of quality, cinematography and innovative story lines, critics say. As technical quality advances, moviegoers come in ever increasing numbers to watch the latest movies arriving from India? largest city. Entertainment Weekly reports that the now $8 billion film industry produces more than 900 movies a year in more than 20 languages, which makes India the world? most prolific film producer.

These melodramatic, flashy films typically run more than three hours and showcase Indian culture, dance, songs and, most important, romance. Whether set in the modern day or in colonial times, most films boast a lavish wedding scene, as authentic Indian weddings remain a highly valued tradition. For the Indian crowd, the music and songs are a major draw to the movie. Many films coming out of India have failed due to repetitive tones or unappealing lyrics. The pre-release of soundtracks is as strong a teaser for a movie to Bollywood fans as a video trailer is for many western moviegoers. Perhaps the most typical aspect of Bollywood films is the assured happy ending to give audiences an uplifting finale.   

BOLLYWOOD MEETS HOLLYWOOD

Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (Sometimes Happiness, Sometimes Sadness), known as K3G, was released in December 2001 in the United States and grossed more than $1 million in its opening weekend.  It ended its one-month run in the United States with $2.9 million in box-office sales. The appeal was not only the star-studded cast and the exotic scenes filmed at the pyramids of Egypt but the emotional story line of a well-to-do family torn apart when the eldest son rejects a prospective bride his father chooses and marries a woman of his own choosing.

Veer-Zaara, marketed to both Indians and Pakistanis, followed in K3G? footsteps with its November 2004 release in the United States, also bringing $2.9 million during a two-month period. The familiar plot of a Hindu falling in love with a Muslim was filled with unfamiliar twists and turns. ?easoned Bollywood fans will be in heaven,? said a New York Times film review.


Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan looks on during an event to promote the merchandise of his upcoming movie "Krrish" in Bombay, India. (?P/WWP)

The growing popularity of the films led to a joint Bollywood/Hollywood production, Bride & Prejudice, the adaptation of Jane Austen? Pride and Prejudice. It opened in the United States on February 13, 2005, and grossed $6.6 million by May 22, 2005. The film starred Bollywood idol and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai playing the part of Lalita Bakshi (the equivalent of Austen? Lizzie Bennet) with actor Martin Henderson playing the snobbish William Darcy. Rai is the latest Bollywood ?rossover? star in Hollywood, and will appear with actress Meryl Streep in Chaos, due out in 2007.

Currently, Bollywood smash superhero movie Krrish is competing with America? own Superman. According to the Los Angles Times, the Indian film brought in $643,000 (in 59 locations) in its first three days in North America, averaging about $11,000 per theater. It has been reported that tickets to the movie were sold days in advance and in New York, almost half the crowds were non-Asian. Globally the film brought in $15 million in its first week, an all-time record for an Indian movie. Krrish, released June 23, is now playing on 75 screens across the United States and has topped the $1 million mark.  It still is playing in select theaters nationwide.

MARKETING BOLLYWOOD IN THE UNITED STATES

For the South Asian community in major U.S. metropolitan cities like Chicago and New York, the names of Bollywood megastars Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachan are just as big, if not bigger, than Hollywood stars like Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt, but critics say much of the commercial potential of Indian movies remains untapped. ?f more improvements are made in marketing and distribution, Bollywood films can earn significantly more revenue,? explains Gitesh Pandya, editor of online movie sales-tracking site boxofficeguru.com. ?any of the bigger films are debuting in the Top 20 box office charts despite playing in only a few dozen theaters nationwide,? he added.

According to the U.S. operations of Yash Raj films, no more than 80 theaters in the United States show first-run Indian movies.

Pandya wants to bring more major Indian movie productions to the American media. ?here are so many more U.S. moviegoers who would love to see Bollywood films if they knew more about them, and had local theaters playing them,? he told the Washington File.

Over the past 10 years, Indian filmmakers have set their sights on the United States also when it comes to location filming. With growing numbers of south Asians migrating to the West, plot lines increasingly include scenes in America. A few recent prominent films made in the United States include Kaante (Thorns), Kal Ho Naa Ho (Tomorrow May Never Be), and Chocolate.

With its movie industry gaining popularity in the West, Bollywood enjoys instant access to American living rooms via ?ollywood On Demand? provided by Comcast Corporation, the largest cable television provider in the United States, and more movie titles are being offered through video rental companies Blockbuster Video and Netflix.  

These flashy, music-oriented films have influenced the first Bollywood musical to hit Broadway. Bombay Dreams, the story of Akaash, a Bombay slum-dweller who tries to make it big in Bollywood, was produced by the legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber, with music by composer A.R. Rahman.  It now is touring across the United States.

Not only have Bollywood films achieved million-dollar revenues in the United States, but Bollywood ?tar shows? featuring the much sought-after stars of Indian cinema sell out in cities across the country. These shows bring old and new films to life with songs from popular movies, live dancing, pyrotechnics, costumes and audience participation. It is a way for fans to connect with their favorite movies and embrace the unique culture of Bollywood.
Author: ldg    Time: 13-8-2006 12:35 PM
India FM

UTV to co-produce Akbar Jodha with Ashutosh Gowariker
By IndiaFM News Bureau, August 10, 2006 - 02:47 IST



There has been a lot of talk on the Ashutosh Gowariker directed Akbar Jodha. It's a known fact that Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan star in the film. But it was still unclear who would produce the film. Now, it has been confirmed that UTV will co-produce the film along with Gowariker.

The two have come together earlier for Gowariker's last film, Swades.
Author: ldg    Time: 13-8-2006 12:39 PM
Yahoo News

Coke, Pepsi struggle to find fizz in India
by Ed Lane
Thu Aug 10, 7:51 AM ET

NEW DELHI (AFP) - With a billion-plus people in a hot climate and a booming economy, India should be a choice market for Coke and Pepsi -- but the two cola giants have instead faced a very bumpy local ride.

The brands are in the midst of a publicity nightmare after an environmental group alleged that their sodas were high in pesticides, leading to full or partial bans in six Indian states.

But the issue is only one in a string of events that have kept the companies from getting a firm toe-hold in India, where stiff local competition has often seemed to get the better of the firms' global marketing juggernauts.

Pepsi paid millions of dollars for leading Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan and cricket star Sachin Tendulkar, while Coke nabbed former        Miss World Aishwarya Rai to endorse their drinks -- without getting all-star results.

"India is just a different market and strategies used elsewhere just don't work here," said Abhijeet Kunda, a consumer goods analyst with Indian brokerage Prabhudas Lilladher. "The star endorsements may just be a waste of money."

Coke and Pepsi hold about 95 percent of the market for soft drinks in India, according to industry figures, but profit has been hard to come by.

"One of the major challenges for them is to sell in the rural markets where volumes get spread out over a vast area," said Twinkle Saraf, a consumer goods analyst with Angel Broking in Mumbai.

"It's very hard to make money in rural India."

Coke moved aggressively to reach that market in 2003 by selling 200-mililiter (6-ounce) bottles at five rupees (11 cents), only to again rack up losses as Pepsi countered by offering more for less.

Both Coca-Cola and Pepsico were forced out of India in 1977, when a socialist government objected to a lack of local investors and an unwillingness to share technology such as Coke's top-secret formula.

The 16-year ban ended in 1993 with Coke coming back into India while Pepsi moved to sell colas through local companies before returning as a wholly-owned unit of the US parent.

Since re-entering India, however, the companies have lost money and been outwitted by local firms selling packaged juices in an expensive battle to lure as many as 300 million Indians termed middle class.

Coke has invested more than one billion dollars in India since re-entering, according to published reports, only to end up writing off 405 million dollars of the value of its bottling operations in 2000.

Pepsi has also posted millions of dollars in losses, according to local regulatory filings, but the company has managed to outsell Coke.

"The opportunity for both firms in India is huge. China is the only one other country with a billion-plus population," said a consumer goods analyst with a Mumbai brokerage who asked not to be named.

"However it is also a question of affordability, because soft drinks are still too expensive for most of India and have a Western association that is not always welcome."

Both firms have denied the pesticide allegations, and analyst Kunda said the soft drinks giants should be able to weather the storm.

The deeper problem, he said, is that newly affluent middle-class Indians prefer juices and bottled water.

"Coke and Pepsi came as novelties, but many Indians don't like the taste," Kunda said.

"They need to now keep reaching into small towns where distribution and other logistics are expensive, but they will continue to invest here because of the potential."
Author: ldg    Time: 13-8-2006 12:42 PM
India ENews

Rituparno gets Naseer, Jaya to work in Sunglass?
Friday, August 11th, 2006

Mumbai - Well-known Bengali director Rituparno Ghosh is highly elated after managing to convince Jaya Bachchan and Naseeruddin Shah - two of his favourite actors - to join the cast of his second Hindi venture Sunglass?.

I've been dying to work with Jaya Bachchan and Naseeruddin Shah. They are now part of my Sunglass?,? Ghosh told IANS.

?aseer is one of my favourite actors. And, in fact, I've planned a whole film with him in the central role for next year. For now he has kindly consented to be part of Sunglass?,I said Ghosh, who ventured into Hindi films with Raincoat?, starring Aishwarya Rai and Ajay Devgan.

Sunglass?, to be shot simultaneously in Hindi and Bengali, is Ghosh? first commercial venture. It also has Sanjay Suri, Konkona SenSharma and Raima Sen in the cast.

Naseer plays the owner of a curio shop who gives Konkona the pivotal sunglass that manoeuvres the story forward.

The actor par excellence, who says he is bored of film acting and looking with passionate amazement at a career in direction after ?un Hota To Kya Hota?, is all smiles at the cameo.

?itu is a director I admire. When he hesitantly asked me to play this cameo, I happily agreed. Right now film acting doesn? excite me at all. I just feel happy being in films for friends like I did recently in ?ixed Doubles?. It was a walk-on part. But I stood by Rajat Kapoor just as he stood by me.

?gain in Vishal Bharadwaj? ?mkara? it? a blink-and-you-miss-the-link kind of role. But there? a lot more in ?mkara? that I wanted to be part of. It? going to be a very important film. I? sure I?l enjoy working with Ritu. I admire Ritu. He is one of the finest filmmakers of the country.

[ Last edited by  ldg at 13-8-2006 12:53 PM ]
Author: ldg    Time: 13-8-2006 12:44 PM
The Bihar Times

Will India's Greta Garbo accept Dada Saheb Phalke award?

Kolkata, Aug 11 (IANS) Will she, won't she? She won't, say those who know Suchitra Sen intimately. She might, hope millions of Bengalis smitten by her unsurpassed beauty and screen aura of the black and white celluloid era. The enigma of Suchitra Sen, who many consider the Greta Garbo of Indian cinema, lives on.

Ever since Suchitra Sen's name came up for this year's Dada Saheb Phalke Award, speculation has been rife on whether the screen goddess of Bengali cinema would come out of her Garboesque seclusion of 28 years and accept the honour, which is presented by none other than the president of India.

These days the 76-year-old actress, whose legendary romantic pairing with late Uttam Kumar created box office history in Bengali cinema, is reportedly not well.

"I am very happy that she is the recipient of this prestigious award but I am really unable to speak for her. Please, I cannot say anything about this except for the fact that we are extremely happy with the announcement," Bollywood starlet and Suchitra Sen's granddaughter Riya Sen told IANS from Mumbai.

Riya's more successful actor sister Raima Sen echoed: "It is celebration time for us but I am unable to say anything on her decision. She is a private person and she does not like it when we discuss her in the media."

Raima Sen shares more resemblance with Suchitra than her mother Moonmoon Sen (Suchitra's daughter) or sister Riya. She last spoke about her enigmatic granny when she was essaying the role of a naive Ashalata in Rituparno Ghosh's "Chokher Bali", which also starred Aishwarya Rai.

"My grandmother gave me tips on preparing for the role," said Raima, who won accolades for her performance despite the presence of Aishwarya.

Added Moonmoon Sen: "I am so happy that Ma has been chosen for the award. But I am not sure if she would attend the award ceremony," she said.

"She won't," averred Gopal Roy, a close friend of Suchitra and the only Indian journalist who has some access to the living legend.

"She has shunned the world of glamour and recognition. She has many wounded feelings and is not keeping well these days either," said Roy, who wrote three books on Suchitra Sen - "Suchitrakatha" (Words of Suchitra), "Sonali Nayika Suchitra Sen" (Golden Heroine Suchitra Sen) and "Romantic Juti" (Romatic Pair).

Her oeuvre of Bengali films apart, Suchitra acted in Hindi films like "Devdas" (with Dilip Kumar in 1955), "Musafir" (1957), "Champakali" (1957), "Bombai Ka Babu" (with Dev Anand in 1960), "Mamta" (with Ashok Kumar and Dharmendra in 1966) and the phenomenal 1975 Gulzar film "Aandhi" where she starred opposite late Sanjeev Kumar (one of her few friends in filmdom), playing with ?an a female politician resembling late prime minister Indira Gandhi.

"She takes no interest in all this now. The life she leads now is spiritual and has been doing so for the past three decades. The last time I saw her was two years ago. Of what I know, not even her daughter and granddaughters can go to her room any time," said Roy, a former journalist with a news agency.

"Even in this age of media explosion, none can ever take a photograph of hers. Earlier she used to take a walk in the lawns of the house on Ballygunge Circular Road. But since 1996, when the house was demolished and an apartment building came up, she does not even venture for a walk," Roy said.

A follower of the Ramakrishna Mission order, Suchitra now spends time in meditation and prayer. In 1989, when Bharat Maharaj of the mission passed away, she was seen publicly walking all the way to the crematorium from Belur Math near Kolkata.

"I feel that Suchitra has many wounds. Once she was slighted here in Kolkata after her name was thrown up for inauguration of an international film festival.

"It is also true that Hiralal Sen, who is hailed by some as the pioneer of Indian cinema instead of Dada Saheb Phalke, was a relative of Suchitra Sen. Hiralal Sen, who made at least 25 films, including feature and ad films from late 19th century to early 20th century, was actually her uncle-in-law," revealed Roy, whose fourth book on Suchitra Sen is to hit bookstores soon.

Interestingly, Suchitra Sen is the first Indian actress to be awarded in an international film festival (best actress award for the Bengali movie "Saat Paake Bandha" at the 1963 Moscow film festival). She had also received a best actress award for the Hindi film "Devdas" in 1955 (she played Paro).

Suchitra Sen made her debut in films in 1952 with an unreleased film, but her first released film was opposite Uttam Kumar - "Sharey Chuattor" (Seventyfour and half), a comedy. The film became a box-office hit. It is remembered for launching Uttam-Suchitra as a lead pair.

They went on to become the icons of Bengali melodramas for more than 20 years, becoming almost a genre in themselves. Their performances in films like the 1961 classic "Saptapadi" are still most popular in Bengal.

Suchitra Sen retired from the screen in 1978 after a career of over 25 years.

Now it remains to be seen if the highest honour for a film personality can bring her out of seclusion.
Author: ldg    Time: 13-8-2006 12:46 PM
The Hindu

Hair for a friend

Bipasha Basu was in the Capital to inaugurate Ambika Pillai's salon at Ansal Plaza  


HEROINE'S CUT Bipasha Basu's new haircut is attracting attention

Cashing in on the trend of inviting celebrities to support a cause or launch a product, noted hair stylist Ambika Pillai invited her friend and film actress Bipasha Basu to inaugurate her salon at Ansal Plaza.

She chose the right day - Friendship Day.

Imported equipment

This plush salon is equipped with imported equipment from Italy to cater to the growing client needs. Twelve designer hair stations have been installed for women while men have a separate section. A separate beauty section is also installed for women, offering manicure, pedicure and similar facilities.

"It is great to be here in Delhi on the occasion of Friendship Day with a friend," said Bipasha, who turned up in a black suit sporting a new look with short razor cut.

"It is a designer salon but more than that it's the fulfilment of Ambika's wish to have a modern salon in a shopping mall with all the equipments to take care of her clients," added Bipasha.Ambika, who has shifted her salon from Panchsheel Enclave to the upmarket Ansal Plaza, said, "For 10 years I have been working relentlessly to maintain the quality and creativity of my art. From handling 20 clients a day, we have grown to become the most talked about salon in New Delhi."

She continued to add, "Ask me where I see myself 10 years from now, and I would say in every nook and corner of India,"

As for her fringe cut, Bipasha revealed she was sporting the new look for Abbas Mustan's forthcoming flick. "I also needed a refreshing change," she quipped.

Her raunchy numbers in Vishal Bhardwaj's Omkara may be eliciting wolf whistles, but she chooses to call them "classy dance numbers".

Now Bipasha is looking forward to the release of the sequel of Dhoom where she would be seen with Aishwarya Rai for the first time. Among the other guests present on the occasion were National Award winning actor Shobana, designers Manish Arora, Rohit Bal and Tarun Tahiliani.

ANWAR AHMAD
Author: ldg    Time: 13-8-2006 12:47 PM
India ENews

Madhavan replaces Sanjay Suri in Sunglass?
Saturday, August 12th, 2006

Mumbai - Rituparno Ghosh? Hindi-Bengali bi-lingual Sunglass?, which went on the floors this month, has a surprise last-minute leading man - R.Madhavan.

The actor, who is wrapping up his work in Mani Ratnam? Suru?, is all set to step into the leading man? role in the Hindi version. Madhavan is over the moon, despite being asked to step in at the last minute.

Shooting with Ritu is such a joy! My god! What a director. He's so gentle and yet so definite about what he wants. It? just my luck that I had these dates because another project of mine got cancelled. God? ways, I guess,? Madhavan told IANS.

There are four filmmakers I've been dying to work with - Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Karan Johar, Aditya Chopra and Ritu. Though I don't follow Bengali, I saw Ritu? ?hokher Bali? and flipped for Ash (Aishwarya Rai). If only he make me look half as good ? ha ha.?

Ghosh had earlier signed Sanjay Suri for the bi-lingual.

Said Ghosh: Earlier I had Tota Raichaudhary for the lead in Bengali and Sanjay Suri in Hindi. But when Sanjay read the first draft of the script, he had certain reservations about the character. We thought it was best to part at that point and work together again on another project.

Is the script grew, I needed a man with a mischievous smile, a naughty flint in the eye and a devilish demeanour. A married man caught with his hands in the cookie jar. Someone who wants to get seriously naughty after five years of marriage.

The role seemed tailor-made for Maddy (Madhavan). I approached him with much trepidation, since there was no time. To my luck he agreed. Maddy is a wonderful boy and a terrific actor with great comic timing. We are having a ball shooting.?

Madhavan talks very highly of Konkona SenSharma, who plays the female lead in the film.

It's not just the temptation of working with Ritu. It's the entire team. I've never worked with Mr. Naseeruddin Shah, Jaya-ji and Konkona. I saw Konkona in ?mkara?, and fell in love? with my wife? permission.

? think she's amazing. Just having her stand in front of me on camera is inspiring. And we make a great pair. And I've never done a bilingual before.

[ Last edited by  ldg at 13-8-2006 12:51 PM ]
Author: ldg    Time: 13-8-2006 12:49 PM
Bollywood Press

August 12, 2006
Bipasha? flight grounded at London airport!



Bipasha Basu has suffered many traumatic events, but what happened yesterday on her trip to New York is something she will never forget.

Thanks to the foiled terror attacks in the UK on Thursday, Basu was stranded at Heathrow airport for six hours before her flight finally took off for New York. She spills the beans on her nightmarish experience.

Says Bipasha, ?e were in transit (USA via London) when one of the cabin crew got a call from Australia asking if we were fine. That? when we got to know that there was news of terrorists planting bombs in the planes. Rocky and I made some calls and one of the first calls was to my mom. She was panicking when I spoke to her.?

Once the plane landed at Heathrow airport, she discovered that the airport was packed with stranded passengers.

?e could see the crowds from the plane itself. We were not allowed to disembark from the aircraft but had to wait in the plane for six hours,? says Bipasha, adding, ?urs was an Air India flight, that? why we could reach New York. I heard that most of the American and British airlines were still stuck at the airport. We landed in New York at 9.30 pm. We would have landed earlier but there was heavy rush at the airport and clearance took a lot of time.?

The trauma

How did her friends and family react? Bipasha shudders, ?t? scary to think that you can get blown off mid-air! My mom, who had no news of what was happening to me, was frantic till I called her up and told her I was safe.

We were getting messages from people asking if we were all right, and that? when it struck us how terrible the situation was. We could have had a bomb in the plane and would have been blown apart without us even knowing about it.?

Security risks

But Bipasha is all praise for the security arrangements at international airports. ?he security measures are fantastic but it? frightening to think that terrorists can still get past them. No matter how many precautions you take, your life is still exposed to risk.

According to the new safety rules, the aircraft crew was carrying transparent plastic bags with passports and other important papers in it.

Thanks to the rules, we are not allowed to carry any kind of liquids as the terrorists had planned to plant liquid explosives. Our luggage was checked thoroughly.

Travelling has become very dangerous nowadays. Anything can happen anywhere? says the actress, before signing off. She returns to Mumbai on August 18.
Author: ldg    Time: 13-8-2006 12:54 PM
Hindustan Times

Bollywood baddies rule the roost
Piyush Roy/ HT Style
Mumbai, August 12

Being bad works best in Bollywood - at least when it comes to getting critical wows and the audience? at tention. Both Saif Ali Khan (Omkara, Being Cyrus) and Sanjay Dutt (Anthony Kaun Hai) have proven it with their recent releases.

On Omkara?  posters Saif as Langda Tyagi has a larger presence than ?ero? Ajay Devgan. John Abraham as the stylish crook was similarly more appreciated in Dhoom. Come November, Dhoom? director Sanjay Gadhvi assures us that Hrithik Roshan as the bad guy in Dhoom 2 will whip up no less a fan run than his superman act in Krrish.

So why does one cast the conventional hero or heroine in a negative role? ?y having dashing villains, you veer audience sympathies towards their characters,? says Gadhvi. Agrees, Raj Kaushal, director of Anthony Kaun Hai, in which Sanjay Dutt was chosen to play a hitman because ?here was no villainy on his face?.

The credit for kicking off this trend goes to Shah Rukh Khan, who with his ?90s trilogy of Baazigar, Darr and Anjaam, made filmmakers aware of the box-office potential of a hero in negative roles, says Gadhvi.

While the focus may now be on creating ?umane? baddies, they still don? escape the villain? fate in the end.
Author: ldg    Time: 13-8-2006 12:59 PM
Arab News

?ing Khan?
Emine Saner | The Guardian
Thursday, 10, August, 2006 (16, Rajab, 1427)



I have been waiting for Shah Rukh Khan in the lobby of a central London hotel for an hour. The PR looks apologetic. ?e? not very good in the mornings,? she says. What can he be doing? His hair? Maybe it? just that he is the biggest film star in the world and that is enough of a reason in itself to keep people waiting. In the UK, few people outside Asian communities and Bollywood fans have heard of him (he sells out the vast Wembley arena in minutes when he comes here to perform song-and-dance routines from his films).

Shah Rukh Khan (also known as ?ing Khan?) has been in more than 50 Hindi films and has won 13 Filmfare awards, regarded as the ?ollywood Oscars.? He is the biggest star in Hindi cinema and this means billions of fans (Bollywood has a global audience of 3.6 billion; Hollywood has 2.5 billion). In India, where he lives with his wife and two children in Bombay, he can? leave his house without six bodyguards (the hysteria that follows him makes Beatle-mania look like a librarians? convention).

When he finally does appear, he is dressed in a black suit and an expensive white shirt and is shorter than I expect. His hair is a deep black, puffed up and slicked back ? perhaps this really is why he is late ? and he smells delicious, all fruity and woody (he has his own perfume). He is softly spoken and holds my tape recorder up to his mouth during the whole interview, like a microphone, and talks into it with an accent that bobs gently up and down like a boat on a calm sea. I start to swoon, but that might be all the coffee I have drunk while waiting for him.

We meet days after the train bombings in Bombay which killed 207 people; an Islamist group claimed responsibility. As one of India? most high-profile Muslims, Shah Rukh hasn? experienced any backlash. ?? not religious in terms of reading namaz (prayer) five times but I am Islamic,? he says. ? believe in the tenets of Islam and I believe that it? a good religion and a good discipline. There are a lot of people who misinterpret Islam, some in terms of understanding, others in terms of their actions. We need to somehow arrest the thought of violence, we can? only keep on arresting people (after terrorist attacks) because they are nameless, faceless zombies.
Author: ldg    Time: 13-8-2006 01:03 PM
continue...

Shah Rukh is in London because BAFTA is hosting a Bollywood weekend. (Later, I go to the BAFTA headquarters for the party to launch the weekend and when Shah Rukh appears, grown women rush toward him squealing.) The Indian film industry is the most prolific in the world ? some 900 films are produced every year. In 2004, the industry was worth $4.5 billion and it is expected to grow at 18 percent every year. In a country where nearly 80 percent of the population live on less than $2 a day, cinema provides an escape (some tickets cost mere pennies). It also provides an important cultural link for the Indian Diaspora ? the 20 million non-resident Indians, some second and third generation who might never have visited India. In the UK, the most successful Bollywood films regularly take more than ?2 million at the box office, and Shah Rukh has starred in eight of the 10 highest grossing.

Bollywood films do cross over into mainstream Western cinema ? Lagaan, starring Aamir Khan, was nominated for an Oscar in 2002 and Devdas, a romantic tragedy starring Shah Rukh, was nominated for a BAFTA and was the first Hindi film to be shown at Cannes ? but for an average Western viewer, Bollywood films still seem alien. In most, there are three hours of overacting, clunky dubbing, storylines as cheesy as mutter paneer, song-and-dance routines and dream sequences. In recent films, costumes are stuck somewhere in 1985.

? keep hearing that our films are escapist and unreal but I find our films the most real in the world,? says Shah Rukh. ?e don? have people going up in a rocket and single-handedly blowing up a meteor. We don? have a president on Air Force One saving the world or things coming out of people? stomachs. Our fantasies and escapism are real. It? just people singing and dancing in the street. If England had won the World Cup you would have seen people singing and dancing like that.?

Shah Rukh lives in a huge white mansion behind gates in Bombay? most expensive area with his wife Gauri, 35, son Aryan, eight, and daughter Suhana, six. He has six bodyguards but he only needs two when he is in London (his ?eople? won? allow him to go on a walkabout in Brick Lane or Southall because they would need police to control the inevitable crowds). He travels in cars with blacked-out windows. Doesn? he miss having a normal life? ? don? want to have a normal life,? he says. ?(Actors work) half their life to get recognized, then spend half their life wearing dark glasses so people don? recognize them. I don? like wearing dark glasses. I? happy with the fact that people know me. I want people to scream and shout at me, I want people to trouble me when I? having lunch, I like six bodyguards around me. I love being a star. I find it very strange when people who are famous say they don? want to be photographed. I don? want to be photographed first thing in the morning, I don? want people peeping into my bedroom, but besides that, it? a wonderful life.?

He is not an obvious Bollywood hero. He can dance but he can? sing (his songs are dubbed) and he is not as good-looking as other Bollywood stars such as Hrithik Roshan. Charisma, of which he has tons, can surely get you only so far. Why is he so successful? ? don? know,? he says, and I? surprised because many people have told me that he is famously arrogant. ?y actor friends keep telling me I? the longest-running fluke they know.?

Unlike many Hindi cinema stars who come from film dynasties, Shah Rukh is self-made. He was born in Delhi. His father ran a transport company and his mother was a magistrate, and Shah Rukh went to a private school. He was 15 when his father died from cancer; his treatment had been expensive and the family business collapsed. His mother worked day and night to build the business back up but never insisted Shah Rukh follow her into it (she died before Shah Rukh became famous). He didn? grow up wanting to be an actor ? he played cricket and hockey but injuries put a stop to that ? though he did watch a lot of films. ?e watched every Indian movie but I was more into MTV, Flashdance, Bill Cosby. For me, Indian movies were a little loud and garish; quite tacky.? The first film he saw after he graduated (with a degree in economics) that made him think he wanted to be an actor was Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, a film about star-crossed lovers, starring Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla. ? didn? think I was as good-looking or as cool as they were, but somehow I felt I could do it.?

By then, he had met Gauri, a model from a Hindu family. Their romance was the stuff of a million Bollywood scripts ? her family weren? keen on Shah Rukh, but he won them over with charm. After moving to Bombay, Shah Rukh landed a role in a soap opera and then came to the attention of Bollywood casting directors. ? was told many times that I couldn? be a romantic hero because I was married,? he says. ? was told not to tell anyone.?

I scoured the Internet for scandal about him but could find nothing. ?? just good at hiding things,? he says and smiles. ? have security. There are nude women, and animals also, but nobody gets to see it.? He works with some of the most beautiful women in the world. Doesn? his wife ever feel threatened? ?hen you go through a profession like this for 16 years without having other women saying they are bearing my child, I think that? long enough to say, ? don? think he? going to wander off now.? My liking and respect for women is so immense, it goes far beyond just getting into their beds.?

Most Bollywood films are still chaste ? until quite recently, sex scenes consisted of shots of petals rubbing against each other, bees sucking honey from a flower or the rustle of a bush to denote anything more passionate than a peck on the cheek ? and Shah Rukh never kisses his lovers in a film. ? feel shy doing it,? he says. ? feel uncomfortable with so many people watching. If I? uncomfortable doing it, it will look odd and I?l never be happy watching it.?

How long will he get to play the romantic lead, though? He is 40 and, although he looks young, he confesses to dyeing his hair. He is Bollywood? most bankable star but there are new, younger actors coming through. Last year wasn? Shah Rukh ? best. His only release, Paheli, didn? do as well as expected, despite being India? official entry to the Academy Awards, so this year is crucial if he is to hold on to his ?ing Khan? status.

Things look hopeful ? he stars in Karan Johar? Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (Never Say Goodbye), out in the UK this Friday and already this year? most expensive Bollywood film. ? have had such success, I would be being ungrateful if I started being competitive,? he says. ?n my heart and my mind, I get up in the morning thinking there is nobody making a better film than I do. I say that to myself because I have to work that much harder.?

It is hard to work out how much of a fortune Shah Rukh has amassed (he won? say, but it is vast). Does he ever feels uneasy that he has so much? ?? hard-working in terms of what I do for money. I don? take money for a lot of things, in spite of what people think,? he says, although like most Bollywood stars, he promotes a range of products, from soft drinks to watches to soap, and he was reportedly paid ?300,000 to dance at the wedding of the son of the steel billionaire Lakshmi Mittal.

?? wealthy because I work fast and earn fast. I don? sit back. I do a lot for people ? I build stuff for people and I look after the sick ? but I don? talk about my wealth and the wealth I give to the poor. And it? not out of guilt. Somewhere in the Qur?n it says that if you do charity for a reason, it? not charity.? He says he never wanted to move to Hollywood, although he has gone to meet producers. ?t? not as if Steven Spielberg is waiting for me at LA airport,? he says. ?here are actors in Hollywood who look better than me, speak better than me, act better than me. Maybe not dance as well as I do. But apart from that I don? think there? any reason why I should be cast.? I don? think he needs any more fans ? half the world? population know who he is. ? want to be famous all over the world,? he says, then corrects himself. ?ctually, I want Indian films to be famous all over the world.
Author: ldg    Time: 13-8-2006 01:05 PM
Arab News

Who Else Is Big in Bollywood?
Samrana Hussain |The Guardian
Thursday, 10, August, 2006 (16, Rajab, 1427)



Aishwarya Rai: By the age of 32, Aishwarya had a tulip named after her and dolls in her image, and she was voted one of the most beautiful actors in the world. This former Miss World is an international face of L?real. Having wowed Bollywood audiences for more than a decade she has crossed over to Hollywood with films such as Bride and Prejudice and Mistress of Spices.

Madhuri Dixit: Until Ashwariya arrived, Madhuri was the reigning queen of Bollywood. In a male-dominated industry she was the first female actor to headline a film and choose her leading man. A trained classical dancer, she acted in more than 50 movies. Now 39 and living in the US with her husband and two children, she is rumored to be planning a comeback and reportedly turned down a part because it involved nudity.

Kareena Kapoor: This 26-year-old hails from the famous Bollywood Kapoor clan (think of the Redgrave dynasty) and is known for her midriff-baring tops. In 2004 she became embroiled in a kissing controversy (kissing in public is frowned upon in India). She said photographs of her kissing her boyfriend in public had been doctored, but later accepted they were true.

Rani Mukerjee: Has topped the Filmfare awards (an annual list of India? most influential people) for the past two years. She appeared at the closing ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, as part of a performance showcasing Indian culture. In 2006, she celebrated her birthday with the students of the Helen Keller Institute for the Deaf and Blind. She befriended members of the institute, when she was preparing for her role of a blind and deaf girl in the movie Black.

Amitabh Bachchan: The granddaddy of all Bollywood actors, Bachchan? career spans four decades and more than 150 films. In a 1999 BBC poll, voters named him the superstar of the millennium, ahead of Sir Laurence Olivier and Cary Grant. His comeback at the start of the decade began when he hosted India? version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? The highest-paid actor in Bollywood shows no sign of slowing down as he heads for his 64th birthday.

Hrithik Roshan: Known as the Indian Sylvester Stallone, Brad Pitt and Michael Jackson rolled into one. His breakout film in 2000 caused mass hysteria, which came to be known as Hrithikmania and led to him receiving 30,000 marriage proposals on Valentine? day in 2000. In the same year he earned $5 million from product endorsements.

Salman Khan: Known as Bollywood? bad boy, Salman? life has been colored by a series of legal and relationship problems, the latest of which resulted in a court issuing a notice against him for filing a false affidavit in connection with his gun license. His turbulent relationship with Aishwarya Rai filled gossip columns and the endless tantrums traumatized her enough to give a press conference in spring 2003, in which she declared that she would never work with him again for personal reasons.
Author: ldg    Time: 13-8-2006 01:07 PM
The Mercury News

Bollywood tackles epic love story
Posted on Sat, Aug. 12, 2006

Director Ashutosh Gowarikar will begin shooting a period romance next month starring top actors Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai, newspapers report.

The movie is a 16th-century love story between a Muslim emperor and a Hindu princess, Gowarikar told the Times of India. The film will be shot in palaces and forts in western and northern India, the newspaper reported Friday.

``It's a love story about one of the biggest alliances of the 16th century,'' he said. Titled ``Akbar-Jodha,'' the movie will be released next year.

The film centers on how an arranged marriage between Emperor Akbar and his wife turned into love, spanning their lives from the age of 13 to 28.

``We have always known that Jodha and Akbar married and Salim was their child, but what about how the relationship came about and a sharing of cultures,'' he told the Hindustan Times newspaper.

Gowarikar's films include the Oscar-nominated ``Lagaan.''
Author: ldg    Time: 20-8-2006 03:31 PM
Bollywood Press

August 16, 2006
Aishwarya Rai Stunning!

Aishwarya Rai made Mehar Shah? day, when the little girl met the stunning actress at the premiere of her film, Bride And Prejudice in New York City.

In the picture, clicked by Mehar? dad Rajiv Shah, you can also spy director Gurinder Chadha in a pink outfit.



Unfortunately, Bride And Prejudice didn? do as well as Chadha? blockbuster hit Bend It Like Beckham. Ash, however, went on to star in Chadha? husband Paul Mayeda Berges? directorial debut, Mistress Of Spices, which also sank.
Author: ldg    Time: 20-8-2006 03:41 PM
Bollywood Press

August 15, 2006
Bipasha Basu harrassed physically and mentally



Bollywood star Bipasha Basu has publicly accused two organisers of an India Day parade at Edison Township, New Jersey, of harassing her physically and mentally.

The movie star was scheduled to lead the parade ? organised by the Indian Business Association ? on Sunday, August 13, through Oak Tree Road, a centre of Indian businesses, as Grand Marshall.

Much to the chagrin of the estimated 10,000 Indians who thronged the parade that started at 3 pm, she did not turn up.

The organisers said she would join at the stage at the end of the parade, which was led by Edison Mayor Jun Choi, Congressman Frank Pallone, Woodbridge Mayor Joseph Vitale and others. Woodbridge is another town in New Jersey.

Before the parade reached the venue near Middlesex Avenue in Iselin, New Jersey, Bipasha appeared on stage.

? wanted to attend the parade, but I could not,? she said, adding that she was harassed physically and mentally in the car by two people who were taking her to the parade.

After the bitter experience, she could not turn up for the parade, she said.

Initially, many thought it was a joke. But the sultry Bollywood star insisted it was no joke and that she was telling the truth.

The organisers tried to cut her speech short, but she asked the people if she could speak and the people said ?es.?



She said the event is to celebrate Independence Day of not only men but women also.

? am coming from a profession that deserves respect. I also deserve respect,? she said.

At this point, one of the organisers intervened, and she stopped speaking.

?ee, they do not even want me to speak the truth,? she said, leaving the stage in protest.

The accusation and her sudden exit were noted only by a few people as the parade was still in progress. So it did not become a talking point at the event, which was largely successful and peaceful.

Satish Poondi, an Indian Business Association spokesperson, told that the organisation is taking Bipasha? allegation very seriously.

?e are a respected organisation that functions since 1991. We have to conduct a thorough investigation as to what happened. Till then we cannot comment much on the allegation,? he said.

Bipasha has not made a formal complaint to the organisers, he said. The alleged incident could cause a criminal investigation, but she has not lodged any complaint with the police either.

Poondi said Bipasha had breached the contract with the Indian Business Association. According to the contract, she was to attend the programmes on time.

?he came two hours late for the programme organised on Saturday night and did not turn up for the parade,? Poondi said.

Bipasha arrived in the United States on Saturday. Poondi said he did not have contact information for her or details of her itinerary.

He said the results of the investigation will be made public . ?e cannot call somebody guilty till it is proved,? he said.
Author: ldg    Time: 20-8-2006 03:43 PM
Bollywood Press

August 16, 2006
Rocky - another rebel without a cause



An angry young man trying to change society? that not very new storyline forms the premise of the Zayed Khan starrer ?ocky - The Rebel? that releases Friday.

It is a story of today? youth, fighting to make this world an ideal place to live in.

The film revolves around Rocky (Zayed Khan), a rebel who can? stand injustice, social discrimination and so on.

While fighting corruption, something as old as history books, Rocky has to face opposition from his father who tells him to stay clear of matters that don? concern him.

But Rocky turns a deaf ear to his father? advice, arguing that this kind of irresponsible attitude was destroying society.

Rocky? family manages to accept their son? ideology. But destiny has something else in store for him and he finds himself in murky waters waging a battle for survival.

What does the ultimate battle in Rocky? life hold for him?

Zayed has yet to establish himself as a bankable actor. So far, no film with him as a solo hero has worked.

The track record of Suresh Krissna, director of ?ocky?, is not impressive either. He made duds like ?ove? with Salman Khan and Revathi, ?agruti?, which also had Salman with Karisma Kapoor, and the Kamal Hassan starrer ?bhay?.

?ocky? might go that same way.
Author: ldg    Time: 20-8-2006 03:46 PM
Bollywood Press

August 16, 2006
Will Don be Special?



Now that Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna has released, the next Shah Rukh Khan film that is awaited with great anticipation is Don .

?on? has SRK going for a complete makeover from cynical Dev Saran in Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna to the suave and stylish Don.

SRK is quoted by a website as saying about the film that is a remake of the Amitabh Bachchan starrer Don (1978) : ?on of 2006 is ?imilar?, though not ?ame? as Don from the past. The subject remains the same but Farhan Akhtar has given the film a completely different treatment.?

But SRK emphasized that the best part of ?on? is its beginning and its end.

?he best part of the film is its beginning and its end. It is going to completely take you by surprise, believe me! The rest of the film has great moments too but it is the beginning and the end that makes it? special,? SRK said.

?on? is scheduled for a Diwali/Eid release on October 20, 2006.
Author: ldg    Time: 20-8-2006 03:48 PM
Bollywood Press

August 16, 2006
Shah Rukh Khan? concert postponed in Mauritius!

The mega event ?raze 2006′ which was going to be held on Saturday 19 August 2006 at the Anjalay Stadium with Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Zayed Khan has been postponed. The new date will be announced shortly.

According to the communiqu? issued by the organisers (Entertainment Quotient and Pro Global Concept), it states that many necessary equipments and special firework products from London will not arrive before the show. This is due to the incidents which happened recently in London with the disruption of the terrorists? plot of the flights.

The organisers and producer (CineYug Entertainment) have promised a bigger event with more surprises. Mauritian fans will have to wait longer before Shah Rukh Khan? first concert in the beautiful island.

Meanwhile, ?abhi Alvida Naa Kehna? is doing very good business in most parts of the island since its release on Friday.
Author: ldg    Time: 20-8-2006 03:51 PM
Bollywood Press

August 18, 2006
Karan Johar is not a pervert, says Amitabh



Women think Sexy Sam is very, very sexy. Comment.
Well, that is what he was supposed to be as per the script. I find it improbable, but if there are some women who find Sam to be very, very sexy then it? the triumph of a design conceived by Karan.

Did you have any reservations about playing the naughty Sam?
Not at all!

How did you prepare for the role?
I didn?, Karan did. He hired me to portray on screen his preparation. It was his story, his concept and his execution. He guided me through it quite deftly, I might say.

Did you have any reservations about Sam turning into an ?ld pervert??
Once I am on board a project, I do not fear its concept or its execution. I only fear my own incapability. If you have seen the film, and I trust that you have, you will appreciate the fact that all these wonderful adjectives that you or others like you, devise, to articulate a character, do not fall into the creative process of the director? mind. Perverts would think of perversion. And Karan is most certainly not a pervert.

Is Amitabh jealous of Sam? He seems to have everything, including a beta like Abhishek.
The most common mistake that invariably all questionnaires envelope, is when they seek parallels between reel and real. Cinema is a world of make-believe.

Characters involved in the screenplay and the story of such a world are fantasticated and hopefully, interesting props. Finding an equation between the two worlds is unfair. But even if it was not, and you were seeking a response, I would not tell.

The best compliment you got for the role? And from whom?
I couldn? possibly divulge. It? too personal. Telling you would send it across the world.

One thing Sam could teach Amitabh and vice versa?
This question and some of the others that follow are all falling in the realm of what I have expressed earlier. Equations! But if you were to push me for an answer, I would immodestly say, that I would not require coaching classes from Sam. And why on earth would I share my wiles with others!

Considering this is a very different character from the ones you?e played before, did you discuss it with Jaya or Abhishek?
Jaya and Abhishek had access to the script much before I did. Karan is family and he discusses his work with Jaya as an elder.

She was not too keen that I do this film and expressed her reservations to me. I went ahead and did it because, a) it? Karan Johar and Dharma productions, for God? sake! b) I would never have had the heart to defuse Karan? enthusiasm as he narrated the character to me.

Were you embarrassed mouthing any of the dialogues?
No. They did not invite embarrassment.

Name one friend Amitabh has, who he shares a bond with, like Sam and ?handigarh?.
You?e getting really presumptuous, aren? you!

Which older man would you be ? the one from KANK or the one from Nishabd?
This is a premise perhaps premature? let Nishabd be out, then we can talk about it.

Do you believe that people should separate, rather than live in an unhappy marriage?
My beliefs are guided by my own personal will. It? codes and conduct cannot be generalised for public consumption. The story chosen in the film raises points perhaps, for after-viewing debate. And this really could become very long-winded and inconclusive.

The director chose a topic that perhaps dwelt in his mind along the lines of the question you ask. He put it across to the world, draped it in three hours of story telling. It is his take. Marriages, happy or otherwise, can each have their respective situations and motives.

I know what my take is. Through KANK, you now know what the director? perceived take is. They could both be right. They could both be wrong. Or, one could be right and the other wrong. This is life?aby! Funny things happen here.

Some critics have not found your flamboyant role acceptable. Would criticism prevent you from doing other such roles?
I note with great sincerity my faults, as would I imagine, other creative artists. And at the end of the day we would want to reach a stage where both the audiences and the critics would express satisfaction. Bold roles? What is that? Specify! Poor boy falling in love with rich girl and battling all social norms to win and marry her? Bold? An ordinary dock worker striving to find his own space, dignity and right by taking on an existing, powerful and unconstitutional adversary? Bold?

An honest and law-abiding police officer, challenging, fighting and destroying single-handed a corrupt system, nurtured by equally corrupt politicians? Bold? A father-in-law propagating and succeeding in giving a new life to his own widowed daughter-in-law through remarriage? Bold? What is bold?

Do you ever feel trapped in a staid image? In Hollywood, actors over 55 are redefining sexiness.
How odd! You started by acknowledging my sexiness and flamboyance in KANK and the appreciation it was getting from members of the superior sex. You now talk of ?eeling trapped in a staid image?.

Perhaps your ?uperiority? got the better of you! Just kidding! But, truly, there is no image. It is not boring, and certainly not staid.

There is more variety now than ever before in my career. I am pleased and fortunate. And, for the love of everything that is divine and sane, do not make the West a referral for all things bright and beautiful in our part of the world. They are okay, we are okay! They can do without us. We can do better without them!

Would you do a film where you and Abhishek/Hrithik/Shah Rukh would be competing against each other romantically?
Great idea! Would you please tell Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Yash Chopra, Karan Johar or Ram Gopal Varma about this? And don? forget to recommend me.

Seriously though, there has been an effort by a prominent director to make a project, where an ageing Ashoka the Great marries a much younger girl, and where his own son from an earlier marriage gets romantically involved with a younger-than -him, step mother.

The writer had researched extensive historical facts on this.

Your favourite pin-up girl?
Why would I want to put up a poster on my wall? If ever there was one, and there were to be an inclination, I would rather make an effort to go and meet her directly.

Also, the fact that there hasn? been one has saved a great deal of space on my walls, which I might add are somewhat happily crowded with photographs of my granddaughter, grandson and my daughter. And let me tell you, they would give any of the top models a run for their money!

If a beautiful woman at a party commented on your sexiness, what would you say?
? think we need to sit down!
Author: ldg    Time: 20-8-2006 03:55 PM
Bollywood Press

August 18, 2006
Arjun Rampal robbed in London!



Arjun Rampal has been hard at work completing the shoot of his maiden home production, I See You. The film, directed by debutant Vivek Agarwal, is being shot in London.

But recently, Rampal got the shock of his life when he came back to his room at the Washington Hotel in Mayfair to find that his safe had been robbed. Not just the contents, the entire safe itself!

Arjun disturbed

Says Arjun, ?t? true, but I don? want to talk about it.?

However, producer Shabbir Boxwalla, who is a close friend of Arjun?, elaborates on the incident. ?he Washington Hotel at Mayfair is a very reputed one. We don? know exactly what happened.

Apparently, two thieves walked into his room when he was away shooting and walked away with his money, a very expensive watch, the entire unit? air tickets and Arjun? passport.

Not satisfied with just the contents, they ran away with the entire safe! Fortunately, Arjun got a temporary passport from the embassy so that he could come back.?

Concierge attacked

Says a source close to Arjun, ?rjun is very disturbed about the incident, but he is happy that his wife Mehr and children were not in the room. The police was very cooperative and promised their support in catching the thieves. The hotel? CCTV has captured their faces so it shouldn? take much time to trace them.?

The source adds, ?he thieves took out his safe from the wall and were walking away with it when the concierge thought they looked suspicious and cornered them. They hit him on the head with the safe and ran away. He was hurt so badly that he had to get four stitches.
Author: ldg    Time: 20-8-2006 03:58 PM
Bollywood Press

August 18, 2006
A very modest Bipasha Basu



Reader Chirag Nagpal, a trainee pilot in Vancouver, was bowled over by Bipasha Basu, when he bumped into her at Mumbai airport.

The actress and designer Rocky S were travelling to Dubai, while Chirag was on his way to Los Angeles.

Bips readily agreed to be photographed, and when Chirag asked for another picture with her, she asked, ?ou want to take another picture in case I looked bad??

Well, we?e blown over by her modesty too
Author: ldg    Time: 20-8-2006 04:00 PM
Bollywood Press

August 19, 2006
Shah Rukh Khan was embarrassed doing role in KANK



Bollywood leading man Shah Rukh Khan says he felt uncomfortable taking on the role of a husband who leaves his wife and child for another woman in his latest film.

Khan usually plays the reliable son or the devoted father and said it was difficult to play a man who turned away from his family in ?abhi Alvida Naa Kehna,'? which hit theaters last week.

He told Cine Blitz magazine that infidelity wasn? what ? good man'? would do.

? was embarrassed doing some scenes of this film, I felt shy doing them ? I am not a prude but I felt odd,'? said Khan, who has been married for 14 years and has two children.

The movie about troubled marriages, directed by well-known filmmaker Karan Johar, also stars Amitabh Bachchan and his son Abhishek, Rani Mukherjee and Preity Zinta.

Khan had some words of wisdom for those tempted by extramarital relationships: ? think you have to work very hard after marriage to make it work. You can? go on believing that love will continue to take care of it.'?

?nreal expectations'? ruined relationships, he told the magazine.
Author: ldg    Time: 29-8-2006 02:01 PM
Bollywood Press

August 22, 2006
Aishwarya Rai Fully Loaded For Dhoom 2



Despite her fragile appearance, actress Aishwarya Rai has performed bold daredevil stunts in the new action thriller Dhoom 2, movie? director, Sanjay Gadhvi said.

He told a newspaper that Rai trained for months for the action sequences in Dhoom 2.

A former Miss World, Rai has acted in more than 30 movies. In her most recent film, she played a woman who kills her husband after 10 years of abuse.

Gadhvi did not give details about the stunts in Dhoom 2 and the plot of the movie, a fast-paced film about cops and robbers, which has been kept under wraps.

?sh has a lot of guts. She has done some awesome stunts in the film. She did power yoga for two months and has a perfectly toned body,? Gadhvi said.

The movie, which was filmed in Namibia, South Africa and India also stars Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan and Bipasha Basu.

Gadhvi described the movie, to be released later this year, as ?igger, better? and ?aster and more furious? than the original Dhoom.




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