Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia had not made any public appearances together in a long time

There have been some rumours flying thick and fast about our original Zing Thing and her man of the moment. And you can't really blame people, especially since Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia had not made any public appearances together in a really long time.

Why hasn't Ness been around Preity at any of the many high-profile dos she's attended in recent times? What happened when Ness flew down to be with Preity in New York, where she was shooting, and allegedly got into an argument with her? Too many questions, no precise answers: and you had the perfect recipe for a pot-boiler. Add to it, speculations about Ness's mother Maureen Wadia's unquestionable sway over her son. "Ness is his mother's boy," says a socialite, "And it is no secret that Maureen has had her issues with Preity." Concerns have also been expressed at how two obviously temperamental individuals can continue a relationship without triggering any firework.

"Ness is short tempered, and when he got involved with the controversy about allegedly beating up his security guards, one wondered how Preity would take it," questions a source. There is the other group of course, that pooh-poohs it all. "They are very much together," says a gentleman belonging to the 'optimistic camp.' "In fact, they even attended Salman's Eid do as a couple and partied till the morning!" Another source, close to the Wadias defends Ness, "He's been busy with his real estate business, and he has a lot more to do than pose for the paparazzi, you know!" When contacted Preity, true to her spirit, rubbished the rumours, reiterating that they have been attending their usual rounds of private parties.

So, have Preity and Ness survived just another rocky patch in their relationship? Well darlings, going by what Miss Zinta and her well-wishers have to say, one would be tempted to think so.


Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd. - Movie Preview

Character Sketch

Oscar Fernandez (Boman Irani) and Nahid (Shabana Azmi)
They are a middle aged couple who have married at an old age. People around them make fun of them but they are not really bothered about it. They have come from a tough background and had faced difficult times earlier. They are keeping their past behind and searching for a future with each other.

Partho Sen (Kay Kay Menon) and Milly Sen (Raima Sen)
This couple comes from a small town in Bengal and has different sensibilities than the rest.

Pinky (Amisha Patel) and Vicky (Karan Khanna)
Pinky and Vicky are from Delhi and are poles apart. While Pinky is a talkative sort, Vicky is quieter.

Madhu (Sandhya Mridul) and Bunty (Vikram Chatwal)
This is a crossover couple with the husband being an NRI while the wife is a Mumbai girl.

Hitesh (Ranvir Shorey) and Shilpa (Dia Mirza)
This is a young couple from Gujrat. Their story raises a question of what is more important in life – love or marriage. It challenges the social norms and traditions.

Aspi (Abhay Deol) and Zara (Minissha Lamba)
They are the most perfect couple. But there is a big twist that comes in their story towards the end.


Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. aims to be a wholesome family entertainer. It is about married couples on a package honeymoon to Goa. Exciting and cheerful, this vacation is a subsidized option for a lot of dreamers on the brink of their new life.

The film opens with six couples, a guide, a driver and a handyman riding in a bus from Bombay to Goa. The narrative humorously unfolds seven different stories that explore the nature of love and human relationships. Woven into the hectic four day honeymoon schedule is a radio show – “Pyaar Ke Lamhe”. The jockey plays the role of an omniscient narrator and discusses individual characters, revealing secrets about them and their past.

From the time the bus leaves Bombay, a man on a bike follows them all the way to Goa. We don’t know who this mystery man is. He is dressed in leather and a helmet throughout, until one day….


“Kareena Kapoor is a rare film star,” said Amrita

“Kareena Kapoor is a rare film star,” said Amrita Rao on being asked about Kareena Kapoor’s opinion that she makes the best on-screen pair with Shahid Kapoor. Amrita added that in an industry when female co-stars seldom compliment each other it takes a large heart on Kareena’s behalf to have said such a thing. And, what about her chemistry with Shahid? “We started our career together in our first hit film ‘Ishq Vishq’ and we have acted in several films thereafter. We get along well and it reflects on screen too,” replied the chirpy actress.

Shahid and Amrita will be seen next in Sooraj Barjataya’s ‘Vivah’ releasing this Friday. The duo can be seen all over right now be it the television promos, huge print adds sponsored by a diamond company or interviews. Yes, the two do make a cute couple. Although they haven’t been able to give a hit after ‘Ishq Vishq’ yet their comfort level is palpable and who knows ‘Vivah’ may do the trick for them.


Riteish is happy just being a 'man' again

Source: IBNLive

Riteish Deshmukh is aiming for the funny bone with his latest comedy and this time children are invited as well. But after the shooting of Apna Sapna Money Money, Riteish is happy just being a 'man' again.

Aarti Kapur Singh: A comedy yet again but this time children can enjoy it too.

Riteish Deshmukh: Yes, thankfully children are invited, too, now.

Aarti Kapur Singh: So, your sapna is also money, money?

Riteish Deshmukh: I guess in the film every character dreams of making more money and why not.

Aarti Kapur Singh: To what extent would you go in the dream of acquiring money. In this film you have crossed-dressed to do so, was it easy being a woman?

Riteish Deshmukh: It’s always difficult being a woman and it takes a lot to be a woman - right from waxing, threading to wearing a wig and contact lenses. Even trying to find a proper wardrobe was not easy and at the same time try and not look hideous.

Aarti Kapur Singh: So, has your respect for women gone a few notches up after playing a woman on screen?

Riteish Deshmukh: It's not a few notches, it's way way up. And now I totally respect the fact that women take so much time to get ready because I used to take at least two hours to get ready for each shot.

When I waxed my hands I said, 'Oh my God! This is too much'. But at the end of it a waxed hand of a girl is much better than a man’s hairy hand.


"Apna Sapna Money Money" this Friday

After the hit sex comedy "Kyaa Kool Hain Hum", director Sangeeth Sivan is back to entertaining audiences with the sitcom "Apna Sapna Money Money" releasing Friday.

Sivan's narrative focuses on the lives of a mechanic, a conman, a club dancer, an upright cop, an obsessed father and his homely daughter, a ruthless gangster, a deadly don and his moll who are running after precious diamonds hidden somewhere.

Lets meet the bunch of madcap characters:

Arjun Fernandez (Shreyas Talpade) is a mechanic whose world spins around his garage, his dog and his love interest Shivani Pandit (Riya Sen). But Shivani's father hates Arjun and uses all the tricks to keep him away from his daughter.

Danny Carlos (Jackie Shroff) is a ruthless Bangkok based-underworld don operating in India through con girl Sania Badnam (Celina Jaitley), who exploits her sexuality to get power and money.

Ranaji (Chunky Pandey) is an angry man because he and his group have been conned; he is on a mad hunt to find the man who cheated him.

Julie Ramiyaa (Koena Mitra) is a gorgeous club dancer with a heart of gold.

Kishan Devsaxena (Ritiesh Deshmukh) is a master of disguise who cons innocent people to make money.

Pt. Saiyabol Shastri (Anupam Kher) is a stubborn man running after Kishan.

Then there is Mata Prasad (Rajpal Yadav), who worships the character Sarkar from a Bollywood film and nobody dares to stop him from becoming like Sarkar.

Namdev Mane (Suniel Shetty) is an honest and courageous cop who has one single motive in life -- to put criminals behind bars.

All these people eat, drink, sleep and worship money, an obsession that creates hilarious moments.


VIVAH is a simple film about 2 sensibilities coming together

Sooraj Barjatya's VIVAH starring Shahid Kapur and Amrita Rao deals with the concept of arranged marriage. It beautifully captures myriad moments cherished by a couple from engagement to marriage.

"VIVAH is a simple film about 2 sensibilities coming together and discovering each other to an extent that they know more about each other than themselves. It's going back to innocence for me. This film is based on a real life story and like all my films; VIVAH also has an emotional climax. It is my toughest film so far," enthuses Barjatya.

The role of Poonam seems tailor made for the beautiful Amrita Rao who plays a coy, demure bride in VIVAH. She is overwhelmed at the opportunity of working with Rajshri Productions. "VIVAH is God's gift to me. My long cherished childhood dream of working with Sooraj ji has been fulfilled," says Amrita.

And what is her take on love marriage v/s arranged marriage? "I think marriage is the most important decision of life. It's really not about love or arranged marriage. One needs to spend adequate time with the person, know him/her completely and faith in your partner is ofcourse very important," opines Amrita.

Barjatya's quintessential Prem is back but this time around it's Shahid Kapur. Playing Prem was an honour and a responsibility he says. "I had many questions in my mind when Sooraj ji narrated the script to me. The film is about arranged marriage, a concept very alien to a 25-year-old guy like me. I mean I've never formally met a girl for a 'rishta' or ever had that kind of a meeting in my life, though I've seen it around me in my family and friend circle. But that's about it."

"VIVAH traces the journey from engagement to marriage, an area completely untouched today. I'm sure after seeing the film people would identify with it. They'll be like 'Oh! This has happened to me or this is what I told you the first time we met," adds an elated Shahid.

Well we believe you Shahid...

The film is a heart-warming story of commitment and unconditional love and will take you through many magical moments.

VIVAH releases on 10th November.


Aby's new 'Mehbooba' Urmila

Bollywood director Ram Gopal Varma's 'Sholay' gets more colourful with Abhishek Bachchan joining its already exuberant oeuvre of casting coups.

Abhishek will dance and lip-sync Ganesh Hedge's version of R.D. Burman's 'Mehbooba o mehbooba' while Urmila Matondkar will groove to the funky tune. Amitabh Bachchan, playing Gabbar, will watch the flamboyant razzmatazz.

In the original 'Sholay' Helen danced, Jalal Agha crooned and Amjad Khan looked on. Abhishek will therefore play Jalal Agha's part.

'Abhishek is delighted to step into the cameo. If you remember he was originally cast as Veeru. But he had to beg off due to date problems. When Abhishek heard Ganesh Hegde's track he immediately offered to perform in the song with Urmila. He's really excited about it. He himself volunteered to do it,' Varma told IANS.

Urmila, who played Abhishek's sister-in-law in Anupam Kher's 'Om Jai Jagdish', is very excited about having both the Bachchans together for her dance.

'The primary difference between the other Amitabh-Abhishek songs like 'Kajra re' ('Bunty Aur Babli') and 'Rock 'n' roll soniye' ('Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna') is that the father and son have been highly interactive in these songs. In my film they might not even look at one another.'

The film has Ajay Devgan as Veeru, Mohit Ahlawat as Jai, while Mohanlal will be seen in the role of Thakur.

For the female leads, Varma has roped in Sushmita Sen to play the widow and Nisha Kothari as Basanti.


Abhishek-Aishwarya pair is on a roll

First film, after their real-life affair started hitting headlines, ‘Umrao Jaan', released recently in theatres with no impression on box office. And the two films, namely, ‘Dhai Akshar Prem Ke' and ‘Kuch Na Kaho', they had done before they got romantically linked up, also had failed to hit the bull's eyes. But it's not enough to the Bollywood filmmakers to rethink about the potential of Abhishek-Aishwarya pair. There are two upcoming films in the pipeline, ‘Dhoom 2' and ‘Guru' having Abhishek and Aishwarya together in the leads. Also there is buzz that Ram Gopal Varma wants to cast them together in ‘Sarkar 2', which will go on floor in the middle of next year. And if the rumourmongers to believed, country's one of the biggest production houses, Yash Raj Films is signing them up for their next project, supposed to commence in coming months. Truly, Abhishek-Aishwarya pair is on a roll.


'Tara rum pum ' & 'Guru' postponed

The highly awaited film Guru starring Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai has been postponed by a week to end of December. It also has a possibility of releasing in the first week of January. Sources from Kaleidoscope Films who are distributing the film have confirmed the news. They stated the reason of delay of the film was to avert the clash with Bhagam Bhaag, which releases on 22nd Decmeber. Also another reason that could have led to this delay is the fate of two biggies Don and Jaan-E-Mann, which released on Diwali. Nevertheless Madras Talkies claims that they never gave an official release date for the film.

Also another film which has been postponed to April 2007 is Yashraj Film’s Tara Rum Pum. The film was rumored to release in January but Yashraj Films seem to be in no hurry to rush the release of the film. When contacted, the officials at Yashraj Films refused to comment on the issue. Apparently they want to capitalize the holiday period around in April.

Meanwhile Kabul Express will release in mid December. Kabir Khan says “My film will release on the 15th of December”. Well let’s wait and watch and hope the best for all the films.


Manisha koirala in "Anwar" with her bro Siddharth

Manisha Koirala has been missing from the movie scene since a long time. She will soon be seen on screen now. And interestingly, this time with her brother Siddharth Koirala! Siddharth who made a dismal debut in the skin flick Fun – Can Be Dangerous Sometimes changes track with a social and meaningful cinema – Anwar.

Siddharth plays the title role of Anwar who is trapped inside the temple while Manisha plays the role of the electronic journalist who tries to capitalize on the event for her channel. This is the first time that the real life brother-sister will be sharing screen space.

Anwar is about a young man Anwar, an artist, who leaves his home and everything he knows in order to escape a world he no longer recognizes. He finds himself trapped inside a temple and in the process exploited by people with vested interests.

The film is produced by Rajesh Singh under his banner of Dayal Creations Ltd and is directed by Manish Jha who made the critically acclaimed Matrubhoomi last year. the film also starts Nauheed Cyrusi, Vijay Raaz, Yashpal Sharma, Rajpal Yadav and Hiten Tejwani.


Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Rajput community doubting the authenticity of Ashutosh Gowarikar’s ‘Akbar Jodha’

First, it was the nawabs of Lucknow expressing reservations against ‘Umrao Jaan’. Now, it’s a section of the Rajput community doubting the authenticity of Ashutosh Gowarikar’s ‘Akbar Jodha’.

Ashutosh might have done his research on his history inspired Hrithik Roshan-Aishwarya Rai starrer – the love story of Mughal emperor Akbar and his Hindu wife Jodhabai. Now some Rajput associations are insisting that Gowarikar is distorting history, claiming that Jodhabai was never married to Akbar!

Renowned historian Irfan Habib had earlier said, “There wasn’t any historical character called Jodhabai. If there was, she was certainly not Jahangir’s mother (Jahangir aka Salim was Akbar’s son). Jahangir doesn’t mention his mother in his memoirs either.”

Rajput Sabha and Rajput Karni Sena, two associations from Rajasthan, are questioning the authenticity of Ashutosh’s script. They have allegedly demanded to see the script. Apparently they won’t allow anyone to portray the Rajput community in a wrong manner.

When contacted, Ronnie Screwvala, UTV, producers of ‘Akbar Jodha’, said, “I think you should speak to Ashutosh Gowarikar about this, because he’s the one who’s doing the research on the subject.” However, Ashutosh was unavailable for comment, in spite of repeated attempts.

Interestingly, Mughal-E-Azam, which is considered such a classic, also shows Jodhabai as Akbar’s wife.


The House of Commons to host IIFA 2007

The House of Commons will on Wednesday play host to the official announcement of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) weekend and the IIFA Awards in Yorkshire in June 2007.

Amitabh Bachchan, IIFA’s brand ambassador, will be speaking at the reception alongside dignitaries, including secretary of state, Tessa Jowell, leader of the house, Jack Straw, and the High Commissioner of India to the UK, Kamlesh Sharma, to celebrate IIFA Weekend’s return to the UK. As the leading location for investment in Europe, dignitaries will be speaking about the economic benefit for both national and regional business partnerships with India. One of the key members of the Indian delegation is Sanjeev Aga, President of Birla Nuevo, one of India’s leading investors in Britain.

The House of Commons launch event will be followed by a five-city launch the next day in the company of the Mayors of York, Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and Bradford, who will
flag off the IIFA Weekend announcement along with Mr. Amitabh Bachchan.


I did the 'Yeh mera dil' song in Don only because of Shah Rukh, Kareena

Kareena Kapoor's ultimate dream is to do a full-on love story with Shah Rukh Khan. Says Kareena, "Frankly speaking, I did the 'Yeh mera dil' song in Don only because of Shah Rukh. My ultimate wish is to do a love story with Shah Rukh. When Farhan Akhtar offered me the song I wondered if doing a guest appearance was right for me. But the temptation for doing a song with Shah Rukh got the better of me."

And now Kareena is glad she did the song. She adds, "It got me noticed. My niece Samaira has become my biggest fan. She dances to the song. And the minute she sees me, she starts singing it."

Although Kareena is listening to scripts every day she has given her nod to only two new projects. She says, "I can't do run-of-the-mill films any more. I've done enough films without conviction. And it shows in my performances. Unlike my sister Karisma, who could look convincing in any role, I've to be convinced to look convincing. That's why I've said yes to only two films Mani Rathnam's Lajjo and Zoya Akhtar's forthcoming film."

Mani's film has been pushed forward from January 2007 to April 2007. "Mani needed more time to prepare after Guru. So I've more time to prepare," says Kareena.

She's highly excited about working with a female director for the first time. "Can you believe, in five years of my career I've never worked with a woman director? I came close to working with Deepa Mehta once. But that's it. So I'm really looking forward to working with Zoya Akhtar."

About her pairing with Hrithik Roshan in Zoya's film, Kareena is nonchalant. "It was the script and not the co-star that determined my decision to do Zoya's film. I agree Hrithik and I have failed as a pair in some films. But that's because the scripts failed. I've never believed in a steady co-star. That's why I've worked with everyone from Ajay Devgan in Omkara to Rahul Bose in Chameli."

Talk of Omkara brightens Kareena. "It's one film I'm truly proud of. I'm looking forward to working with Vishal Bharadwaj again. He's one of those rare directors who knew how to tap into my potential. I need directors like Vishal and Mani Ratnam to come forward and give me a chance. That's why I've taken a long break to get my act together. I don't want to look back on my career with any regrets."


Aishwarya, Abhishek & Big B in same car

When Aishwarya Rai arrived at a five-star hotel for the music launch of Mani Ratnam's Guru, the air was already abuzz with talk of her impending marriage to Abhishek Bachchan. That she arrived in the same car as Abhishek and Amitabh Bachchan, only emphasised the Bachchan family's acceptance of her. According to our source, since the actress is busy with dress rehearsals for Ashutosh's film Akbar Jodha, she requested Abhishek to pick her up from her residence. "Ash was surprised to find Amitabh Bachchan in the car," says our source.

A Bollywood actor and a close friend of Abhishek reveals, "The marriage is definitely on. They might behave like it's not, but this time both families are serious about the marriage. Early next year, the Bachchans are expected to make a formal announcement." Aishwarya and her family are invited for all family events at the Bachchan residence nowadays.


Salman walked the ramp with Miss Universe

It was one of those rare occasions when actor Salman Khan and his girlfriend Katrina Kaif made a public appearance together.

This time it was to support fashion designer Sanjana Jon's fashion show for AIDS awareness where Miss Universe 2006 Zuleyka Rivera walked the ramp.

“Get tested, it’s in fashion. That’s the message I want to convey to Goa. That is my real purpose behind coming here,” Zuleyka said.

But as expected, it was Salman Khan who stole the limelight when he took the ramp.

Although Katrina didn’t walked the ramp with him, the audience didn't miss the opportunity to quiz the actor on his marriage plans.

“What has it (marriage) that got to do with you? Are you planning to get married on the same date, same time or do you want to marry me ?” Salman asked the audience.

Of course, he did speak about the topic of the day AIDS awareness but in his own style. “You need lots of protection. You better be careful. It’s in fashion,” he said.

However, the very fashionable star confessed that fashion shows like these only make him uncomfortable.

“I want to do it from heart. I won’t do this for fashion. I wear torn jeans and t-shirts and i'm bare-chested most of the time. I don’t care about fashion,” he said.


Sanju is very emotional about his friends

Sanjay Dutt's emotional if impractical decision to cancel all shootings until the court verdict on his TADA case, was put on hold on Wednesday.

Dutt made an exception and shot for Apoorva Lakhia's Shoot-out At Lokhandwala for just one day.

"And that too, only because he's shooting for his dearest pal Sanjay Gupta's production. It's got nothing to do with director Apoorva Lakhia," reveals a source.

"When Sanju realized that the combination shots with Mr Amitabh Bachchan and 35 other members of the cast for which he was needed, would be impossible to arrange again, he immediately agreed to drop his rule against shooting until the court verdict.

Sanju is very emotional about his friends, and would do anything for them. In fact he'll be playing Sanjay Gupta in a film that Gupta will direct. It recreates the whole episode from Gupta's life when he had a near-fatal car accident," reveals the source.

Sanjay Dutt shot throughout on 1 November at Mumbai's Eliphinston College in front of hundreds of cheering bystanders. He was in good spirits and kept joking and laughing between shots. His rapport with the Big B was apparent all through.

Both father and son Bachchan dote on Dutt and would never say no to him for anything.

Dutt is the co-producer of Shoot-out At Lokhandwala.


“I haven't married yet,” says Mallika

Contrary to the current rumours that Mallika Sherawat is leading a secret marital life, the Bollywood seductress recently claimed in an interview that she hasn't married yet and she's virgin. “I haven't married yet,” told Mallika confidently while rubbishing off the rumours. As per rumours, Mallika's husband is a pilot. Also there's buzz that Mallika is quite aged than she pretends to be. But Mallika in no situation will agree that. Will Mallika remain an 18-year-old virgin always?
God knows.


A sequel to Salman Khan starrer ‘Tere Naam'

If everything goes right, a sequel to Salman Khan starrer ‘Tere Naam' can go on floor by early next year. Salman Khan and Bhoomika Chawla starrer this film, released in 2003, was a huge blockbuster. As per source, the film's producers, looking at the success of sequels like ‘Krrish' and ‘Phir Hera Pheri', have decided to make the sequel.
This time also director Satish Kaushik will be given the directorial reign. And Salman Khan will play the lead again. However Bhoomika Chawla can be replaced by a top grade leading lady, a source said.
To remind you, ‘Tere Naam' was promoted as Salman Khan's real-life story and which contributed a lot to the curiosity and success of the film.


Lets do in hollywood style

Hollywood often does it and now, it’s happening in Bollywood too. Hollywood studios have released several keenly-anticipated films on a Wednesday, so that the film has a 5-day bountiful weekend. Nikhil Advani has decided to follow suit with SALAAM-E-ISHQ, which hits the marquee in January next year.

Initially slated for a 26th January, 2007 release, Nikhil has decided to re-schedule its release by bringing it two days earlier -- on 24th January. Yes, SALAAM-E-ISHQ will release in India on Wednesday, simultaneously with its Dubai release. The other international markets -- U.S., U.K. and South East Asia -- will see a Friday release.

“Why not capitalize on a 5-day weekend?” Nikhil smiles, “In any case, 26th January is a national holiday [Republic Day] and if we bring the film on Wednesday, you can be assured of a whopping first weekend business.” Meanwhile, the music of SALAAM-E-ISHQ will hit music stores on 2nd December.

In the past, GARAM MASALA, KYON KI… and SHAADI NO. 1 had also hit the screens on a Wednesday, but that was primarily to cash in on the Diwali festivities.


Monday, November 6, 2006

"Don ki kabr khodna mushkil hi nahi, namumkin hai"!

It has been more than a fortnight since 'Don' has released and by now it is crystal clear that the film is a success. How BIG is the success actually would be ascertained in another fortnight or so but the fact remains that King Khan has struck again....and in style - pun intended! This success is sweeter than many other blockbuster hits this year for multiple reasons:

a) Comparisons with Amitabh Bachchan's 'Don' were inevitable b) Detractors of Shahrukh Khan were hell bent on calling KANK as a failure, at least amongst the audience if not the box office performance wise, and for them one wrong move [read Don] by Khan was a reason to hit the final nail in the coffin. c) It was a twin edged sword to remake 'Don'. Make it exactly the way it is and daggers would have been out to actually question the very essence of remaking the film. Alternatively do something different and there were fears of brickbats that would be thrown to question the reasons behind changes to a classic.

But as we can say now, "Don ki kabr khodna mushkil hi nahi, namumkin hai"!

This is because Farhan Akhtar indeed succeeded when it came to point c) which made the other two just follow suit. Apart from SRK's act, if there is something that deserves fill marks, it indeed has to be Farhan's writing, especially in the second half. This is where the entire fun lies and you realize it more when you watch the film second time.

Yes, you read it right – the second time!

Because once you know the film's plot and the double bill of twists that come [first in the interval and then the climax], you know what Farhan was up to. He drove the audience to a point where they felt 'so what!' and then suddenly came up with a master-move that left the audience [well, most of it] truly and positively stunned!

WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for those who haven't watched 'Don' still!

Ok, so first half of the film was going good, in fact quite entertaining. Yes, we know that this is about Don and ACP DeSilva. We realize that the film is high-tech, what with cool gadgets, golf courses, derbies, fast cars and the likes. We are given some pleasant moments with new sequences such as those featuring Chunkey Pandey! We also like the fact that the film takes a different terrain altogether with a plot revolving around fallout of International gang lords and stuff alike. Yes, it is 'masala fare' with a contemporary dose and it is fun as guided by the narrative.

The intermission point brings on a twist with DeSiva turning out to be Vardhan, a drug lord who wanted to rebuild the empire. Hmmm, fine, fair enough. The twist is good and is rather stylishly treated [reminding one of Rajiv Rai and Sanjay Gupta films] but then it was not 100% unexpected. There was always a 25% chance of something like that happening, especially with an expectation of at least one twist in the tale by Farhan Akhtar.

So what next? This is what makes one wonder with the mystery behind the plot out. With Farhan's version of 'Don' meeting the point where Chandra Barot's 'Don' ended, one looks forward to what next is in the storyline. It does seem to wonder that Farhan has actually made the sequel to the original in his remake version and one is reasonably entertained till the film's end approaches.

And here comes the mother of all twists. Something which was completely unexpected. Something that was not seen in any Hindi movie as far as one can remember. Something that made one start looking at 'Don' in a different manner altogether.

And why not? After all Don turned out to be a man who is the biggest double crosser of all. A man who fooled the world (and the audience) that he was Vijay when he had actually committed his look-alike’s murder in the very same hospital where he was recuperating. 'Don' is 'Don' throughout 'Don' and not a single soul barring love of his life, Anita [Isha Kopikar], was aware about that! One of the biggest 'double-cross' games ever was being played right in front of everyone's eyes and they all were taken on a ride.

The man behind the game - 'Don'. 'Don', jise 11 mulkon ki police pakadne ki koshish kar rahi hai this par kisi ko samajh nahi aaya ki usse pakadna mushkil hi nahi namumkin hai!

This is what makes one revisit the film a second time. What was Don thinking when he entered his den once again as Vijay posing as though he had lost his memory? What was going on his mind when he encountered Priyanka? What were his reactions when he realized that DeSilva is actually the man who is his biggest competitor on earth - Vardhan?

One can't help but appreciate Farhan's mastery as a writer and executor on watching the scenes re-fold in front of you. Best written scene is the one where Don is actually made to realize by Jasjit [Arjun Rampal] that he has been set up by DeSilva. While everyone around him, including audience, sympathizes with Vijay, the sinister mind of Don is actually wondering that how could it have happened to him – the biggest evil of all! 'Nahi Aisa Nahi Ho Sakta', he says when facing the hard truth. He is someone who is least concerned about being sent to his own den; he is worried more about the fact that his empire is in danger.

A couple of normal looking scenes start sounding a lot more meaningful (and powerful) when seen wearing Don's hat. Remember the scene when Don is sent as Vijay to his gang. While the entire gang tries to revive his memory, he feigns ignorance to everything around him and lies down on a bed. Enter Anita who quietly hands him over a glass of water. A simple eye to eye contact followed by grasp of a hand sans any conversation means a lot. Don is tired after a long battle, wants to take some rest and just needs the support of his lady love! And to think of it, in first viewing it seems like a scene that could have been easily chopped since it hardly made any difference to 'Vijay's life'! Anita's support is visible again in the pre-climax when she says, "Darling, Aaj Vijay Ki Zindagi Ka Aakhri Din Hoga! " And we as audience were half-fooled to believe that she may actually be conversing with Narang [Pawan Malhotra] when the fact was far from true!

There is another subtle scene that may have gone unnoticed by a few even on second viewing. Picture this: Don enters the school where Deepu [Arjun Rampal's kid] studies and just stands at the entrance to have Deepu rush to him. While from Vijay's angle it seemed to be a pensive moment, if one looks at it from Don’s point of view, it is quite expected since how else could he have actually reached out to Deepu when he hadn't seen him in his life? Deepu runs to hug him and after a momentary hesitation Don realizes that he is the boy. Were varied expressions on SRK's face always there? Yes, but they became visible and much more apparent only when seen the second time around. A poignant moment comes when Deepu tells him that he has changed. Don has nothing more to answer than say, "Haan, tumhaare Vijay chacha sach mein badal gaye hain". Now could it be more suggestive and direct than this?

His scenes with Priyanka too are not devoid of clear messaging of his true identity. When Roma tries to kill him in rail yard, the two have an engaging fight. Don tries to explain that he is not what she actually thinks [fair enough, we knew he is stating himself as Vijay], but when push comes to shove, he gets her down and in a moment of rage mouths "Ab main tumhe batata hoon main kaun hoon". Just when you thought he would repeat that he is Vijay, DeSilva enters and does the necessary. So far so good. The only difference here is that if DeSilva wouldn't have come in, Roma would have been history. Why? Because Don would have told her that he is indeed Don and killed her right away! Was that apparent in the first viewing? Naah!

All in all, it makes for a thrilling impact when one watches the film a second time viewer. This is when you wear a different hat altogether, that of a Don instead of Vijay, you know the entire plot and above all you see the characters behaving in a different perspective altogether.

Let the detractors of 'Don' be damned, the fact is that the KING IS BACK. And to think of it, this too is mouthed by SRK when after getting back his memory, he announces to his gang while sinking in a sofa along with Anita - I AM BACK!!

Effects of a second time viewing....huh!


Rani Mukherji goes in for a makeover with Sabyasachi

Designer Manish Malhotra has just lost a client. Actress Rani Mukherji has shifted her loyalty to designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee. Beginning with Baabul, she will now exclusively wear Sabyasachi's creations.

Rani's association with Manish Malhotra dates back to her Kuch Kuch Hota Hai days. Styled by Manish, Rani got the much-needed second lease of life in this film, and became a star from a 'badly-dressed' fresher. But that was then.

A source says, "Manish was designing costumes for Kajol in KKHH, when Karan requested him to work on Rani's costumes too. Critics had criticised Rani for being badly dressed in films. So, she wanted a designer who could give her a complete makeover." Finally, Manish consented (which had disappointed his best friends Kareena Kapoor and Preity Zinta then) and gave Rani a complete makeover.

Soon, Rani became a name to reckon with in Bollywood. "Gradually, Rani started wearing Manish's outfits for social gatherings too. Soon they became friends and thereafter, all her directors knew that Rani's costumes were to be made by none other than Manish Malhotra," says our source.

Some say that it's only monotony that has forced Rani to go in for a new designer. Apparently, she feels that her look is getting repetitive. "Rani is still very fond of Manish as a person, but she has been wearing Manish's clothes for too long. She wanted to do something really different for Baabul. Incidentally, Ravi Chopra wanted Manish to design clothes for Rani, but she put her foot down and insisted on Sabyasachi," our source reveals.

Rani's demand that only Sabyasachi design her clothes in Baabul surprised director Ravi Chopra too. When contacted, director Ravi Chopra said, "It was Rani who suggested Sabyasachi's name for my film Baabul. We wanted to work with Manish, but finally we had to drop the idea because he was working with Rani in Kabhie Alvida Naa Kehna. I was skeptical about the fact that the costumes might look the same. In fact, even Rani wanted to change her look. She seems to be very fond of Sabyasachi and insisted that we work with him."

Was Sabyasachi able to step into Manish's shoes? "I think Sabyasachi understands Rani very well. Rani has three different looks in Baabul. That of a girl, of a married woman and, finally of a widow who is remarried. I was very clear that I didn't want the kind of stuff Rani has been wearing over the years," said Chopra.

After Baabul, Rani is so impressed with Sabyasachi's work that she has even decided to recommend his name to Aditya Chopra and other top-ranking producers.

Naturally, this has upset Manish Malhotra. Detractors feel that Rani is promoting Sabyasachi to ward off competition. Manish will continue working for Preity and Kareena, while Rani will create magic with Sabyasachi.

Sabyasachi, of course, couldn't have asked for more. "Rani is a dear friend of mine and I am glad that she wanted me to design her outfits in Baabul. She has the right kind of attitude to carry a particular costume. I am looking forward to work with her in future," said Sabyasachi after the music launch of Baabul a week ago.

We tried to get in touch with Rani for her version, but she was unavailable for comment.


One Amazing Night

According to Amitabh Bachchan, every time he is summoned on stage for a performance, he still gets butterflies in his stomach. "The last time I was on stage it was for ‘Kajra re’. I still suffer from acute stage fright. I am petrified," says Bachchan.

Of course, the energy levels he exhibits on stage betray his nervousness. On being asked about his enthusiasm, he says, "If you continue wondering where my energy levels come from it may soon disappear."

However, the actor has decided to once again brave his stage fright. Especially now that he has consented to doing some moves on stage, with son Abhishek in tow.

Bachchan says, "Yes, we're planning a series of world concerts. We're looking at August -September, 2007. The shows, to be entitled One Amazing Night, will have other leading entertainers from Hindi cinema besides the two of us." The list may include names like Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai, Preity Zinta, Priyanka Chopra, and several leading musicians.

With both the Senior and Junior Bachchan being inundated in work, obviously the two-month concert needs meticulous planning. He says, "Yes, it requires very careful planning. Although I've been on stage a number of times, this is going to be Abhishek's first world concert."

Bachchan is not new to stage fright, or stage shows. He says, "I've been doing world tours from long before they were fashionable in the mid-1970s. Jaya and I would go on stage along with (music composers) Kalyanji-Anandji. A few musicians would sing and one or artistes would say 'Namaste' on stage and go. In 1973, when we started off, I remember at Southall in London, at one of the shows, there were just four members in the audience, two of them Jaya's uncles! We've come a long way since then. Going to perform at Madison Square Garden was an unbelievable experience. It was reserved for the likes of Elvis Presley. It took us a year-and-a-half to get permission. Then we performed at Giant Stadium in New York, and Wembley Stadium… In South Africa, we filled up their main football stage. Stage shows have become a profitable business. The concerts abroad have become technically advanced. Now all the songs that artistes perform are pre-recorded. In those days, I'd perform them live.”


Salaam -E-Ishq audio release on 2nd December

Salaam -E-Ishq: A Tribute to Love, one of the biggest star casts to come out of Indian cinema is scheduled to have its audio release on 2nd December at a luxury hotel in Mumbai. Music directors Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy are scheduled to be singing a few songs from the film.

At the event, designer Vikram Phadnis will be having a fashion show and apparently the proceeds will go to a charity. Also the buzz is that the stars of the film will be walking the ramp at the fashion show. Now with the starcast comprising of Vidya Balan, John Abraham, Govinda, Priyanka Chopra, Salman Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Ayesha Takia, Sohail Khan, Perizaad Zorabian, Anil Kapoor and Juhi Chawla, this one is sure to be a hit audio launch.


Abhishek plays Aishwarya's reel-life husband in the "Guru"

Before they get married in real life, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai played a reel couple in Mani Ratnam's forthcoming film ‘Guru'. As divulged by Aishwarya at ‘Guru' music release party, Abhishek plays Aishwarya's reel-life husband in the film.
When asked about her role, Aishwarya confirmed the news, “I play Abhishek's wife. I am his emotional strength, his moral support, his everything which a wife does.”
Besides Abhishek and Aishwarya, ‘Guru' stars Vidya Balan, Madhavan and Mithun Chakroborty in the leads.
Sultry babe Mallika Sherawat would do an item number in the film.


Shahid & Amrita make a great pair on-screen, Kareena

Kareena has enough faith on her boyfriend Shahid Kapoor, so that she doesn't feel insecure seeing Shahid romancing with pretty Amrita Rao on screen. Shahid and Amrita star together in Sooraj Barjatya's forthcoming ‘Vivaah'; and there's rumour that the rocking chemistry between Shahid and Amrita is not going down well with Kareena. But the real situation is something different. Far from the rumours, Kareena, who recently watched the film, is so floored by Shahid-Amrita's on-screen chemistry that she can't just stop raving them. “Shahid and Amrita are lovely together. They make a great pair on-screen; you have to see it to believe it,” said Kareena with sheer happiness in her eyes. Great acting, right!


It's a big miss that he couldn't get to see Aishwarya as dancing on the sets, Abhishek

Abhishek and Aishwarya acted in ‘Umrao Jaan' which rocked silver screen recently. For her excellent performance in the film, Aishwarya has got high critical acclaims. Also her dancing skill is being highly raved by critics. Co-star Abhishek also thinks Aishwarya is a wonderful dancer. But he regrets that during the shooting of the ‘Umrao Jaan' dance number, he was not present on the sets, as his father was in hospital then. “Lots of the shots have been taken separately,” said Abhishek! However Abhishek thanked to J.P Dutta and his teammates that they waited for him in Jaipur. Abhishek said it's a big miss that he couldn't get to see Aishwarya as dancing on the sets.


No marriage for tomorrow or the day after

Preity Zinta's last two releases – ‘Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna' and ‘Jaanemann', based on the twists and turns of marital relationship. In KANK, the story revolves around the extra-marital relationship, whereas in ‘Jaanemann' a man and a woman fright hard to save their marriage. Personally, Preity doesn't believe in extra-marital affair.
“As per myself is concerned, I like the idea of a film in which a man or a woman struggle hard to save the old relationship instead of opting for another one,” said Preity in a recent interview.
When asked about her marriage plan she said, “I don't see it happening it tomorrow or the day after.”
We think, Preity's boyfriend, industrialist Ness Wadia also isn't in hurry like Preity.


Kajol and Ajay's on-screen pair to return soon

If the rumourmonger to be believed, Kajol and Ajay Devgan's on-screen pair to return very soon. As per rumour, Ajay Devgan, himself, will be directing this movie for his home production, which earlier made a film titled 'Raju Chacha'.
Though there's no official confirmation yet, but sources revealed, the films launching is just a matter of time.
If the thing works out, it would be Kajol's second film after her long hibernation. Kajol recently made her on-screen return in ‘Fanaa' opposite Aamir Khan.


Jimmy Shergill to launch his official website

Appalled by the wrong information about him all over the print and the web world, Jimmy Shergill has plans to launch his official website soon.

We spoke to Jimmy to confirm if that's true? "Yes, that's right", he says, "I am planning for a December/January launch of the site and there is a big function which is being planned for the same".

But what makes him join the club of celebrities who have an official website of their own? "See, I am sick and tired of wrong information about me posted all over the media. Whether is the release dates of my films or the projects I am doing or other personal information about me, I just want people to come to one single source of information and get all what they want", he divulges.

So what all will the site be comprising of? "Apart from regular stuff such as filmography, information about my upcoming films and their promos, there would also be personal information about me and the journey I have taken as an actor over the years. There would also be a section on fan mails where people could drop me a message or a mail and I would ensure that I could answer them all. Also, there are plans for some tie-ups of sorts along with the site and I am meeting a lot of people to see how it all could be materialized."

With an idea like this, his fans couldn't wait longer for the site to be up. So when does the big event happen? "Earlier I had planned it for my birthday i.e. December 3rd, but now it seems the launch would be a bit delayed. I wanted to get promos of my upcoming films on the site but that is a tough task to happen before the actual publicity of the film stars. Also, it is not easy to procure posters from each of the films I have worked in so far and hence that is taking some time too", he says.

But couldn't he launch the site with maximum information available to him and later update it as and when more stuff came in? "A lot of people said that to me", he says, "but then I want to have it as a perfect site when it is made LIVE so that people are joyed by the fact that they are visiting Jimmy's site. No aadha-adhoora stuff for me!"

We trust your words here Jimmy!


Neha Dhupia to do an item number again

Neha Dhupia is busy doing item numbers these days. After her item song and brief appearance in Garam Masala, Neha Dhupia will now be doing an item number in Jimmy And Johny, starring Sanjay Dutt, Saif Ali Khan, Bipasha Basu and Kim Sharma. This is the same film which was earlier titled Nehle Pe Dehle. The film was delayed from many years and is finally about to see the light of day.

The item number has been added to give the promos a fresh look as the film had been shot long time back. After this move, the producer, Mahendra Dhariwal will hope to release the movie as it is stuck since the past four years. The film is being directed by Ajay Chandok who is an ex-assistant to David Dhawan. Let’s see if the Neha Dhupia magic can help the release and the box office verdict of the film.


Sunday, November 5, 2006

It was difficult for a person to become a star, Akshay Kumar

Source: IBNLive

One of Bollywood’s highest paid star, Akshay Kumar is someone who is called a ‘hit machine’ for the consistency with which he delivers successful films. Once known as an action hero, Akshay has matured over the years and is now seen as a wholesome entertainer for his unforgettable comedy, action, drama and thrills.

CNN-IBN Entertainment Editor Rajeev Masand speaks to the star about how his life has changed over the past 17 years that he has spent in Bollywood.

Rajeev Masand: Akshay, you have been away for about a month or so shooting in UK. What do you miss the most when you are away from home for such a long time?

Akshay Kumar: I have been away for over three months. I was shooting for two of my films there. But I don’t miss much because I take my family along with me.

There are people who do miss their families. I know one camera assistant who just had a baby boy and he could not even see him for three months. He could not afford it and also the producer did not allow him to go. So, I feel lucky to have my family along with me even when I am abroad.

Rajeev Masand: Until recently Hindi films were largely shot in India and only the songs used to be shot abroad. But today if you look at films like Jaan-e-Mann (shot entirely in New York) and Namaste London (shot in UK), the entire plot of most big banner films is based in the West. Why do you think that has happened?

Akshay Kumar: That is true. But I can hardly guess the reason behind this change. These days they have stopped basing the story in Mumbai or anywhere in India.

The moment you hear a script, you can be rest assured that the movie begins with the very sentence ‘you are this guy in New York.’ I mean I do not understand why it has to be a New York all the time.

But then this is what people are interested in seeing also. One big reason could be that the stars get completely involved when they work in abroad. They can't engage themselves into other activities and there is no disturbance also. I finished two films in just three months. That can only happen when we are shooting abroad. You can’t imagine that happening in India.

Rajeev Masand: I have always wanted to know when you all are shooting songs abroad, may be in a street in London or New York, where people are just carrying on with their everyday life. How does it feel when they stop by to see the ridiculous jhatka-matkas? Is it embarrassing or do you feel awkward about it?

Akshay Kumar: To be honest Rajeev, now the concept of jhatka-matkas has changed. Today the songs really blend in the story and in fact they too have some amount of storyline and script that goes into it. Songs are just a way of narrating small instances in the films these days. The concept of people passing by where you are dancing is a thing of the past.

Rajeev Masand: But of course you have shot extensively abroad and done all the jhatka-matkas in numerous songs. Has it ever been embarrassing at all?

Akshay Kumar: I did feel a bit awkward initially but then you have do it shamelessly. You cannot tell the producer to wait till sunset to shoot the song, when there would be less people around. Since I have always had the experience of performing on stage, that inhibition to perform in front of thousands of people was soon out of my mind.

Rajeev Masand: What do you do apart from shooting when you are abroad? How is life after pack-up?

Akshay Kumar: I enjoy shooting abroad. The concentration level is too high. There is no stress, no tension and no disturbance at all. I really enjoy it. That’s why I have stopped hearing the scripts. The moment I hear “the story begins in New York” I immediately say yes to the film.

Rajeev Masand: But do you wake up at four in the morning, go for workout and jogging even when you are abroad?

Akshay Kumar: I wake up earlier than that in fact. I sleep on time there and am free from all kinds of stress. I wake up really early when I am abroad.

Rajeev Masand: So it's not really a holiday for your wife and kids?

Akshay Kumar:
They, too, like sleeping early and getting up on time. They wake up at a more normal time that is around seven in the morning. Even when I was not in the film industry, I used to get up at four in the morning. That hasn’t changed for me.

Rajeev Masand: You have been in the film industry for over 15 years now. When you look back at the journey, would you say that it is more difficult now for an outsider to become a star?

Akshay Kumar: I have been in the industry for over 17 years now. I would say that at that time, too, it was difficult for a person to become a star. Now it’s even more difficult to become a star. A lot of people come to join this industry. But today there is a lot more hard work and you have to prove a lot of things.

When I had got into films, I did not know anything about them. I had never seen a moving camera in my life. Today even if you want to join a regional film or TV, you have to have certain amount of exposure and experience.

You have to know how to dance, fight and you need to come with a lot of preparation. When I came here I only knew 'action' and that was it. I did not know anything else apart from that. I had no idea about how to face the camera; I had no clue about camera angles and the techniques. So I had to do lot of learning.

Throughout my career I have tried to learn things. The time is changing so fast. From the techniques to the ideas, everything is changing so quickly. The kind of films that used to work two years back are not going to work today. People’s choices and way of looking at films has completely changed. They don't want to see the usual stuff.

Films like Khosla Ka Ghosla Pyaar Ke Side Effects, Munnabhai are entirely different kind of films and they are working.

Had these films been released two years back they would not have worked at all. People no longer want to see actors dancing on the roads. They feel it’s baseless. The age of jhatka-matkas is over. People are sick and tired of looking at the same kind of thing again and again.

Rajeev Masand: In a way that is interesting also because that puts you on your toes all the time. You have to constantly think of newer things and better ideas. Isn’t it?

Akshay Kumar: You have to understand that if you want to keep going, you have to follow the younger generation. I am waiting for my son to grow up and give me better ideas. I believe that he will be able to conceive much better ideas than what I can think and imagine.

Rajeev Masand:
You have been fairly consistent in terms of the successes that you have had. You have had a very good track record, if one looks at the films that you have done in the last couple of years. And yet it is said that ‘Bollywood is ruled by the three Khans’. How do you take that?

Akshay Kumar: I think it is fine, if it is ruled by anybody. Till the time I am getting my share of work, I am happy. There is so much of work considering the fact that there are about 160 films being made in the industry in a year with just seven or eight actors doing them all. How many films can an actor take single handedly?

I don’t think I need to worry about anything or that there is a need to compete with anybody. I have lots of work, I have the best life going, I am doing the best ads, two of the biggest companies – Microsoft and Coca Cola have me as their brand endorser.

My life is set and I don't need to worry about what people have to think or what somebody has to write about me. You know me for over 10 years now Rajeev and you have seen me through the phases in my life. I am quite happy and there is nothing to complain about really.

Rajeev Masand: Before you were married, you had a series of high-profile relationships with some of your colleagues. Tell me when you got married did you consciously decide to be committed or did you just outgrow such a lifestyle? You had jokingly said the character you played in Garam Masala was pretty much like what you really used to be.

Akshay Kumar:
That wasn’t a joke really. It was the reality. A lot of times I sit down and explain myself what my life used to be before marriage. When you become a father, it automatically settles you down. Everything just slows down and becomes calm. And then you feel very relaxed about it. There is no problem at all.

Rajeev Masand: But what really happens when you bump into your ex-girlfriends?

Akshay Kumar: I just hug them, say hello to them, meet their fiancée or husband or boyfriend and there is no problem at all. I did not have any problems until now.

Rajeev Masand: Correct me if I am wrong, but I have heard that you are a very religious person. Is that true?

Akshay Kumar: Yes, I am a very religious person. But the one religion that I follow dedicatedly is my belief in my parents. I touch their feet everyday; I pray to them, that is my religion.

Rajeev Masand: How closely involved are you in your son’s education? Do you teach him sometimes after you are done with your shooting and all?

Akshay Kumar: Mostly my wife does all that. She sits down and teaches him. My schedule doesn’t permit me to spend much time with him. I only read out some of his books to him. We get to spend time only on holidays and vacations. But I must give all the credit to my wife for bringing up Arav.

Rajeev Masand: Do you attend the parent-teacher meetings in his school?

Akshay Kumar: Thanks for reminding me I just have to attend one day after.

Rajeev Masand: What do the teachers normally say about Arav?

Akshay Kumar: He just got his report card and he has done remarkably well. I took him for a holiday for two days to Goa. He liked it a lot. He enjoys all the vacations.

Rajeev Masand:
Does he know what his father does or that you are a star?

Akshay Kumar: I am sure he knows. Nowadays there are so many channels and some or the other has got some of my songs playing on it. He knows it all.

Rajeev Masand: Do you make a conscious decision to show him some film of yours that you were really proud of.

Akshay Kumar: I try and hide that whole library from him. All my recent films are available to him. So he can see them anyways.

Rajeev Masand: What about the films that you did with your wife Twinkle?

Akshay Kumar: I don’t think my wife would want to show him that. To be honest he is hardly interested in watching films. He is more into sports, swimming and all that. He is more of an outdoor guy.

Rajeev Masand: Has he picked up these things from you?

Akshay Kumar: I think so. He also likes to play with his XBOX that we just bought some time back.

Rajeev Masand: Very few people know that you used to take him for mountain climbing with you when he was very little. Is that true?

Akshay Kumar: Yes, I used to take him for mountain climbing when he was just a year-and-half. He likes all that. He likes outdoors a lot.

Rajeev Masand: You must have grown up watching films of Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna. Now when you see that you have worked often with Amitabh Bachchan and that you are the son-in-law of Rajesh Khanna, does that feel great?

Akshay Kumar: It’s a great honour to have been able to work with Amitabh Bachchan and even greater honour to be the son-in-law of Rajesh Khanna. You won’t believe it but I used to struggle in my father-in-law's office. I used to take my photographs and struggle to meet him and show them to him. I remember he was making this film called Jai Jai Shiv Shankar with Chunkey Pandey. I remember asking him for a small role in it. But by that time he had finished the star cast.

Rajeev Masand: So life comes a full circle, isn’t it?

Akshay Kumar: Yes, it does. Working with Amitabh Bachchan was something that I could not have even dreamt of. It just happened, life took its own course and I started getting everything without even asking for it. I feel I am extremely blessed. I follow only one religion and that is my parents.

Rajeev Masand: Finally, tell us something about Akshay Kumar that nobody knows.

Akshay Kumar: There is hardly anything left to know, media is there everywhere. Just look at this interview here, three cameras surround me by my side and I cannot hide any of my expressions. I don’t think there is anything left that the audience doesn’t know.

Rajeev Masand: So, life is really an open book, isn’t it?

Akshay Kumar: Yes, that is the way it is. You have to learn to deal with it. You cannot hide anything because it is impossible to hide anything now.

Rajeev Masand: Well, best of luck to you. We wish there may never be anything that you may need to hide.

Akshay Kumar: Well, there was a lot to hide earlier but it's not so now. Thank you very much for having me here.


A chat with Celina Jaitly

Source: DNAIndia

What colour is Monday?
Red. After a holiday on Sunday, you need a bright colour to get over your Monday morning blues. Even as a kid I used to wear a red T-shirt and a hideous pair of red shorts which my parents eventually burnt.

What was your nickname in school?

That naughtiest thing you’ve ever done?
My dad gifted me an air gun when I was in the tenth standard. I was a real tomboy, two boys were totally devoted to me. They did whatever I asked them to. With the air gun we fired shots and burst the street lights. To my luck my dad was passing by in his jeep when one of the street lights went bang! I was grounded at home for a month after that.

The best place to be?
My mother’s lap. I’ve sat on her lap and been comforted for years.

What are the four essential ingredients of love?
Honesty, trust, understanding. The fourth ingredient I’m clueless about but it must be the most important one because none of my relationships have worked out.

What’s the weirdest thing you have put in your mouth?
Water beetle. During the shooting of Zinda in Bangkok, Sanjay Dutt offered me a plate. I had it, thinking it was fried sea food.

Three things that attract you to a man?
Eyes, wit and self confidence.

Three things that attract men to you?
Eyes, hair and must be my body.

What’s the nastiest thing you have heard about yourself?
That I resembled Chucky the doll in Child’s Play.

What don’t you leave home without?
My cell phone and wallet.

What keeps you sailing in a crisis?
Faith in God.

One necessity in life?

Your one quality that may surprise people?
My ability to act in my forthcoming movies.

How would you describe yourself to someone who didn’t know you?
For the last four years people recognise me wherever I go. But if I had to I’d say, “I’m just a normal girl who has matured beyond her years.”

When do you feel utterly insignificant?
When I lack knowledge for a particular subject people are talking about.

What does marriage mean to you?
A live-in relationship blessed by the law.

If you were granted two wishes what would they be?
1) A film opposite Brad Pitt. 2) Another two wishes.

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
I would not be punctual. In this country no one values punctuality.

What are you terrified of being remembered for?
As a person who has hurt people.


Baabul’s album is released, but without Big B's theme song

The Baabul title song is unarguably Amitabh Bachchan's most poignant number ever. The irony is, what's possibly the Big B's career's best song is missing frofsm the album. In the album, the song has been rendered by Jagjit Singh, much to Bachchan's surprise.

A strange state of affairs since AB has even composed the song and took time off to record it too.

Curiously Bhooshan Kumar of T-Series, the company that has released the Baabul album, has no knowledge of the Big B's contribution to the theme song of the film. "Has Amitji really composed the number? I wasn't aware of this. All I know is that he has sung the number. I believe Aadesh Shrivastava recorded it last week. We've only released the music that was given to us by the producers. And that contains Jagjit Singh's theme song. We were told that Amitji will dub the song later and that we should add it in the second edition of the music. I have no more information," he says.

But why the rush to release the music? "BR Films and Ravi Chopra had an event planned. The music release had to coincide with that," explains Bhooshan.

Aadesh Srivastava, music director of Baabul, admits the whole rush-release has created an awkward situation. He says, "Jagjit Singh did ask me what was the arrangement. I explained to him that there are two distinct versions of the theme song. Each time Amitji comes on screen we'll be playing his version, other times we'll play Jagjit Singh's version."

Will the Big B be credited for his song? "He doesn't want any credit. He simply loves creating music with me. In fact we'll soon be doing a whole album of UP folks songs together. Amitji told me, 'Aadesh, let's get together and freak out.'"


Salman teases Abhishek at ‘Baabul' audio release party

It's a known fact that Salman Khan is still a brat at 40. Recently at ‘Baabul' audio release party, where he walked ramp and reportedly teased Abhishek is a proof. For everyone to see, he gestured a salaam towards the first row of guests each time he was on ramp. At first, people thought it was for Dilip Kumar, who was sitting upfront. But he continued even when Dilip Kumar was on stage and we realized it was for Abhishek Bachchan, who was sitting next to the thespian. And that's not without reason, for the Salaam number from ‘Umrao Jaan', which stars Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai, Khan's ex. So Khan's gesturing was just to tease Abhishek, who took it rather sportingly.


Apna Riya Sex Scene'

Making love on a bed of roses is passe. With hot babes like Riya Sen around choreographers are souping up real hot love scenes. So Riya had to shoot something torrid with Shreyas Talpade on a bed of red chillies in her recent ‘ Apna Sapna Money Money'. And it wasn't fun even for this chilli babe. After some hugging and rolling on the dry red chilies Riya felt her skin burning. The dry chilies had her sneezing as well. To get the shot right she had to roll through the scene the whole day! And the brave gal called for ice cubes to rub all over her burning skin, and went ahead with the rolling.


Saturday, November 4, 2006

Tabu tours her inner world

On her birthday, the taciturn Tabu gets talking about rewards and relationships.

Hers is a face that mirrors life’s myriad moods. A prodigious cusp between the popular and parallel, brand Tabu adds deference to every project she embraces. While Mira Nair’s ‘Namesake’ has trotted to festivals, ‘Cheeni Kum’ with Amitabh Bachchan promises uncharted romance. On her birthday, the reticent Tabu tours her inner world.

Free spree: She’s delighted with this ‘liberating phase’ and says, “I’m looking forward to new possibilities. Considering the work I’ve done, the stakes are not many now. I feel empowered.” Ask her if she’s got her due and she counter questions, “Is it any less that I’ve reached this far? We (referring to sister-actor Farah) never aspired to be actors. From a middle-class family in Hyderabad, life for us began and ended in our haveli. So when I’m asked if I’ve got my due, it disrespects my achievements.”

She also dismisses her elusiveness explaining, “I’m not a genie in a bottle that people have to pull out and put back again. Since the past two years, I’ve been doing up my house in Hyderabad. It’s my second love after acting.”

No regrets : The actor, who resonates poignancy in her performances, welcomes the rites of passage. “I’d never trade what I have for anything, though I wish that few things hadn’t happened. The marks left behind haven’t always been great. But it takes something bad to learn something good,” she admits.

Reviewing love: The actor who has unplugged love in a million ways scrutinises its changing seasons. “Today love doesn’t mean what it meant 10 years ago. Then it meant staying together and saying ‘I love you’ all the time.” Stating that she hasn’t been in a relationship for a while, Tabu doesn’t negate its importance either. “We’re made in pairs. You’re meant to be with the opposite sex. But love today doesn’t mean remaining constantly troubled. It doesn’t have to be as dramatic as its cinematic concept.”

Mr Right: Quiz her on whether she misses a companion and she replies, “I’m not pining for a man. It’s not that I’ve been deprived of relationships.” Confessing that it’s difficult for her to change, Tabu ends, “If he’s not helping me grow, he shouldn’t be obstructing me either. My man should be someone who’s comfortable with himself.”


Umrao Jaan - Movie Review

FILM: Umrao jaan
ACTORS: Aishwarya Rai, Abhishek Bachchan

There is a Sarat Chandra Chatterjee (Devdas, Parineeta) moment in this film that you rightly assume pivotal to the story. The rich, bratty son of a Nawab (Bachchan) clashes with his father over a tawaif, Umrao (Rai), who he fancies more than his inherited wealth. The father, an unknown actor who's made to appear a minion, hurriedly displays his anger and instantly throws his son out the window, because I guess, he's found the girl cozying up in the bedroom. The severity of the situation is lost on you; the sequence disappears from the screen in a matter of seconds; the Nawab's son shifts to his friend's house instead; life moves on. The problem with that scene is the problem with this film: it shows a lack of talent or patience with creating convincing, dramatic moments or characters.

It was just a few minutes before that you'd have wondered how Umrao's undying passion for the hero must have developed over verbal acquaintance of the one night that the brat chose to pay for her virginity. He had several other bidders to compete against. She was expecting an old, doddering cripple to be her love at first night. Of course, he also disowns her much later almost as hastily as they'd fallen in love. You're not likely to care much for this love of theirs, or much else. I sense the film wishes you did.

If you're still up, even as Umrao pardons a helpful friend for having raped her in a fit of sorts, you can tell that nothing but the effort to gallop to the next page of an enormously thick and colourless screenplay is of importance here. The purpose is not to engage, leave aside entertain. It is to breathlessly narrate, plot after plot after plot, as two dozen performers get their 15-second walk-on parts and Umrao remains battered yet again: another Nawab who turns out to be a dacoit (Sunil Shetty) falls for her; she is shunned by her boyfriend; her family refuses to accept her back; the Brits have begun to burn Lucknow….

The Economic Times recently organised a talent-hunt among business schools and colleges where the business ideas generated by students ranged from high-end robotics to retailing. One of the entries, I am told, was from a student who wished to set up a company that sold 'Lucknowi Tehzeeb'. The entry was instantly rejected. I think this film's makers could have done with such a specialized shop though.

Exuding the ethos or feel of old-Lucknow cannot be as easy a bunch of wonderful lines in chaste Urdu, and a claustrophobic, derelict shamiana-set that the film rarely moves out from. You just observe an uneasy dullness in the air. Nothing, it appears, can enliven the spirits. Not for sure the rank average soundtrack of this supposed musical. Not even Shabana Azmi who brilliantly repeats the role of a courtesan-queen from Shyam Bengal's top-rated Mandi.

The result is as pale and bland as the leading actress of this film; as boring and belaboured as Dutta's last test of audiences' patience (LOC). Period.


"I have decided to take a break," says Preity Zinta

When asked about the latest controversy about her boyfriend Ness Wadia, beating up some security guards recently, Preity Zinta firmly says, "No comments."

"I don't want to comment on this because I think if I talk it will only get undue importance," she adds, for good measure.

What Preity does want to talk about is her holiday. After living out of a suitcase for a year, Preity Zinta has decided to apply the brakes on her hectic schedule. And not without reason. The interiors of her house are yet unfinished and her friends are complaining of her constant absence.

The actress is currently shooting for Shaad Ali's Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. We met her during the lunch break at Yashraj Studios. "I have decided to take a break," says Preity Zinta. "I need some time to do up my house. I have been planning to work on the interiors of my house for the last one year but I got so tied up with my assignments that I couldn't devote time to it. But now I have my priorities very clear. After Shaad's film I will take a break and complete all pending work. I will not sign anything new."

The film is scheduled to wind up by December and Preity's holiday will begin from January next year.

Preity grumbles that she has been travelling and working round-the-clock. "I need to chill for a while. I want to meet my friends and spend time with them. You need to rejuvenate and start afresh sometimes in life," she says.

So what's a 'long' holiday according to Preity? "Three weeks," she replies cheerfully. "After that it will be back to work as usual. I have couple of interesting projects lined up for next year and I am sure that it's going to be as hectic as ever," she says.

A few days ago, Preity met Prince Andrew, the Duke of York and was pleasantly surprised by his sense of humour. "It was a great experience. He is a very elegant man and thanks to him we got a lunch break. Otherwise we would be shooting through it!" she laughs.

In the recent photograph with Prince Andrew, she looked much slimmer than usual, didn't she? "Oh, come on, I have not lost any weight. It's Akki Narula's costume that makes me look great. I am the same Preity people have been watching for years now," she laughs.

Coming back to Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Preity says, "Shaad and I are working together after eight years. We did Dil Se together. He is a very sincere and dedicated guy to work with. I am also working with Bobby Deol after a very long time," she says.

Preity's last release Jaan-E-Mann failed to create any impact at the box-office. Does that disappoint her? "It's true that the film didn't open to rave reviews, but I guess it will pick up slowly. I don't count numbers. I work in a film, if I like the subject. It was fun working with Shirish Kunder and I have no regrets about it," she says.


Salman had to put on hold many of his films

Actor Salman Khan's legal hassles and constant trysts with trouble have begun to take a toll on his career.

Apparently, Raj Kumar Santoshi's wanted to cast the actor in his magnum opus Ramayan. According to informed sources, "Salman was Santoshi's first choice for the part of Lord Rama. Salman on his part, had always expressed a desire to play Lord Rama in the movie adaptation."

"Unfortunately at this stage of his career when things could go either way for Salman's court proceedings, playing Rama would've een suicidal to Santoshi's project. He opted for a safer bet, Ajay Devgan," says our source.

That's not all. A large portion of Jaan-E-Mann had to be delayed or re-shot when Salman's hair went awry. "In fact, the first twenty minutes of Jaan-E-Mann had to be shot three times over," reveals the source.

And now, just when things appeared to be turning to normalcy, Salman had to proceed to Jodhpur on Thursday for a court hearing, thereby leaving the unit of Rumi Jaffrey's God Tussi Great Ho with one sudden, though welcome, holiday.

The actor had to put on hold many of his films like David Dhawan's Partner, Shirish Kunder's Jaan-E-Mann, Ravi Chopra's Baabul, Nikhil Advani's Salaam-E-Ishq and Rumi Jaffrey's God Tussi Great Ho.

One of Salman's delighted co-stars says, "This is one reason why I truly enjoy working with Salman. One can always count on unscheduled holidays."

* This is one reason why I truly enjoy working with Salman. One can always count on unscheduled holidays – Co-actor


Working in Bollywood can be quite painful

Working in Bollywood can be quite painful. We're speaking literally. Bearing testimony to this fact is Dino Morea. The actor has been shooting without a break of late, with a fractured hand.

Dino broke his left arm when he fell down while playing a game of basketball at the American school in Bandra-Kurla Complex. However, since he had already committed dates to Vikram Bhatt's Life Mein Kabhi Kabhi, Dino had to shoot with his cast on. To conceal the cast, Dino either wears a coat while shooting, or covers the cast on his arm with a shirt.

"I got very hurt very badly three days back while playing basketball. I fell down while playing, and landed on my wrist. I tore some ligaments along my left arm, along with fracturing my wrist bone. It was really painful. When I was taken to the hospital, the doctor immediately put a cast on my hand," explains Dino.

It certainly isn't easy to shoot with a plastered hand. Dino says, "It is very painful and I am having a really hard time. The problem is that I cannot move my left hand at all. I have to execute all gestures using only my right hand. Thankfully, my role requires me to dress formally and so I can wear a long coat to hide the cast on my hand. It will take about three weeks for it to heal. But I am thinking of speaking with my doctor to see if we can figure out a way to remove the cast sooner."

For the moment, sports has, of course, taken a backseat in Dino's life. "I have always been very passionate about two sports, soccer and basketball. I play with my set of friends and will continue to do so, as soon as the cast is off. In fact, I was feeling bad that I could not continue the match after I got injured," Dino says.


Taliban threats to kidnap Abraham

In a real case of life imitating art, two of India's best known actors headed to Afghanistan to film a movie about war correspondents living on the edge only to find themselves facing threats from the Taliban.

Kabul Express, starring John Abraham and Arshad Warsi, tells the story of two Indian journalists chasing stories across dangerous swaths of Afghanistan in the days after the Taliban was ousted following the Sept 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

A resurgent Taliban has left many parts of Afghanistan no safer these days than they were five years ago, and the stars and crew found themselves in the kind of danger they were trying to document while shooting in and around Kabul last year.

The film's director, Kabir Khan, told in a recent interview that Taliban threats to kidnap Abraham, Warsi or members of the crew prompted Afghan officials to provide heavy security for the filming.

"They had our names. We knew something like this may happen. But the ferocity with which it came was a little unnerving. You're bound to attract the attention of the Taliban shooting a feature film, which is banned by them, especially a Hindi feature film," he said.

The hardline Taliban deemed movies un-Islamic when they were in power, and included films in broad laws that banned nearly all forms of entertainment.

The cast and crew of Kabul Express had reason to be afraid. As they were shooting, an Indian worker on a road-building project in southern Afghanistan was abducted and later killed - one of many abductions and killings in the country.

India was also a supporter of the Northern Alliance, which fought against the Taliban, and has close ties with the current Afghan government.

Abraham, a model turned actor best known for the 2004 hit Dhoom, and Warsi, known for his role as a lovable gangster in the hit movie Munnabhai MBBS and its sequel Lage Raho Munnabhai, insisted the filming in Afghanistan be completed.

"It was not out of any foolish sense of adventure. John is a very well read person and once we were clear that things could be made secure, we went ahead," Khan said.

Kabul Express is set to be released on Dec 15.


Amitabh Bachchan was conferred an honorary doctorate from alma mater

After receiving accolades and encomiums for putting the Indian movie industry on the world map, Bollywood legand Amitabh Bachchan was conferred an honorary doctorate degree Saturday by his alma mater Delhi University.

Bachchan is the first film personality to be honoured with a honoris causa by one of India's premier university, since it was established in 1922.

Dressed in a red robe and a graduation hat, the actor thanked the ecstatic crowd present at the university auditorium.

'First of all, I would like to thank the cheering crowd of students from Kirori Mal College seated amongst you in this auditorium,' said Bachchan, 64, who is an alumna of that college.

'Who would have thought that an average student, not extraordinary by any means, would one day be awarded such an overwhelming homecoming,' he said.

Thanking his college for instilling the right values in him as a young man, Bachchan said that some of the most memorable moments of his life were spent in the university campus.

His wife Jaya Bachchan and son Abhishek were present in the audience.

Honours and laurels have been pouring in for Bachchan in recent times. Earlier this year, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Arts from the De Monfort University in Leicester, Britain.

On his birthday last month, the French Government honoured him with its highest civilian award, the officer of the Legion of Honour for his contribution to Indian and international cultural life.

'When he recalled his moments spent in Kirori Mal College, we could not help ourselves from screaming and clapping out loud. He is the biggest amongst our alumni, an idol for many of us. We had always heard stories about him and seen him only in films. The experience of seeing him in person was great,' Pankaj Sharma, general secretary of the Kirori Mal College students' union, told IANS.

Apart from Bachchan, Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit, cartoonist R.K. Laxman and scientist C.N.R. Rao were conferred with honorary doctorates on the occasion.

Bachchan completed his Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) course in 1967 from Delhi University's Kirori Mal College and has been an inspiration for its students over the years. Those seeking to emulate his success story start by joining the college's elite Dramatics society known as 'Players'.


Akshaye is all set to bounce back in 2007

Though his films AAP KI KHATIR, 36 CHINA TOWN and SHAADI SE PEHLE didn't quite create a stir at the box office, Akshaye Khanna is eagerly awaiting 2007.

He is presently shooting in Dubai with his favourite director duo Abbas-Mastan, where he's paired opposite Tips Discovery Urvashi Sharma in an UNTITLED project with Bobby Deol. The Akshaye-Bobby combo is back again in this action thriller with hotshots Abbas-Mastan after the success of HUMRAAZ.

The buzz is that 2007 will be Akshaye Khanna's year considering the wide range of interesting projects in his kitty. The New Year for Akshaye will begin with the release of the much-awaited SALAAM-E-ISHQ, which has already been certified as a hit in trade circles. It will be followed by GANDHI- MY FATHER, which is sure to earn him critical acclaim like BORDER and DIL CHAHTA HAI. Up next is an untitled venture by Anil Kapoor's production followed by another Abbas-Mastan film.

Says the normally reclusive star "I'm definitely looking forward to 2007. It's an Interesting line up of films."

So Akshaye is all set to bounce back in 2007


Preity describes ‘Jaanemann' is a “children-friendly film”

For a long time now Preity Zinta has been wanting to make little kids smile but didn't know what to do without appearing “cracked”. The opportunity presented itself with ‘Jaanemann' which she describes as a “children-friendly film”. The perky miss decided to host a special show for over a thousand children many of them streamed in in their school uniform, while some came from special organization like the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Preity in a denim skirt, her hair plaited in colorful braids, presided over the gathering. Her dimples flashed endlessly though she admitted that she was so tired she could faint, and effortlessly won the hearts of her young fans who unanimously agreed that Preity is the real life ‘Jaanemann'.
Voicing her reasons for the blast she had, Preity reasoned that, “Kids love you unconditionally and won't come to the film with pre-conceived notions”. What's more she even managed to get the usually elusive Salman Khan, her ‘Jaanemann' co-star, to put in appearance. The hero with a heart was coroneted for his efforts and walked around smiling a mile, a golden crown on his head. Preity has such a great time that she now plans to host a small kiddies' party with lots of singing, dancing and games. “There'll be loads of surprises and gifts,” she promises.


Shahrukh was going to put ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ posters in his bungalow

Shah Rukh was surprise guest at the music release of Saira Banu's maiden Bhojpuri production, ‘Ab To Banja Sajanwa Hamarr'. The superstar stalked into Dilip Kumar's bungalow with two huge posters of ‘Mughal-e-Azam'. He had the familiar poster showing Prince Salim staring defiantly at the camera and clasping a cowering Anarkali, personally autographed by Dilip Kumar. When someone wondered aloud about his intentions King Khan, dimples flashing, admitted that he was going to put them up at his bungalow Mannat.


Salman is to play Anthony Gonzalez

In the season of unprecedented remakes, David Dhawan will soon be remaking ‘Amar Akbar Anthony', originally directed by Manmohan Desai, with the three Khan Brothers – Salman, Sohail and Arbaaz.
Further, Salman is to play Anthony Gonzalez, played by Amitabh Bachchan originally, Arbaaz Khan will play Amar, played by Vinod Khanna and Sohail Khan will be Akbar, played by Rishi Kapoor. When contacted, Dhawan confirmed the news. “I'm all set to make ‘Amar Akbar Anthony' where Salman will play Anthony. I can't divulge any more details, but Ramesh Taurani has agreed to produce the film,” informed Dhawan.


Aish to knock off all the excess weight for ‘Umrao Jaan' and ‘Dhoom 2'

Now when we talk of ultra professional stars, how can we ever ignore Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan? Apparently, while shooting for ‘Guru', the duo had to put on kilos of weight as they're shown progressing over a span of time in the film. And towards the end they are actually supposed to look ‘roly poly' though we wonder how that's possible with the svelte Ash and the brawny Abhi. That was the easy part what was really not that simple was that right after Mani's shooting schedule they had to knock off all the excess weight for ‘Umrao Jaan' and ‘Dhoom 2', and suddenly the trainers, the jugging suits and weights all came out. “It was tough!” informs Ash.
“But to get back into shape, we just had to sweat it out in the gyms at any given opportunity. And thankfully, all the ‘tone' and ‘form' are back. Believe me, it's so easy to binge and put on. But working it off …..ooof! Sometimes it seems shedding clothes is simpler than shedding weight”! What said!


Hrithik's career's outstanding period has begun

Numerologist Niraj Mancchanda suggests Hrithik Roshan to add a ‘c' in his name and spell as ‘Hrithick Roshan'.
“If he does it, then his name will come to number 46 and as he is number 1 now, he will reach unbelievable heights which nobody has ever imagined,” said Mancchanda in a recent interview.
Mancchanda predicted, Hrithik's career's outstanding period has already begun, and it will last till 2011.
His earlier prediction about Hrithik also has become true. He had said Hrithik's ‘Krrish' will be the biggest hit of 2006 and Hrithik will get offers of Rs. 10 crore per film and it was not a bluff. Hrithik recently signed a Rs. 30 crore deal with Adlabs for three films. So will Hrithik now add a ‘c' in his name and become ‘Hrithick' instead of Hrithik – its a million dollar question.


Sushmita refused Mona agreed

If the rumours to be believed, singing sensation Alisha Chinai is all set to repeat yet another chartbuster kind of number ‘Lut Le Gaya' in Raj Kanwar's ‘Raqeeb Rivals in Love'.
And this time, Sushmita Sen was approached to gyrate to this one, but the sensuous damsel couldn't allocate the required dates.
So, now sultry Sherlyn (Mona) Chopra was chosen to perform the sexy act instead. Let's hope Chopra makes the most of this opportunity, and manages to loot the audiences' heart.


Baabul - Music Review

Team of 'Baghban' is back with 'Baabul'. In continuation to the trend of family socials from B R Films, 'Baabul' too follows the same route as it deals with the subject of widow rehabilitation. Starring Big B in the title role with Hema Malini, Salman Khan, Rani Mukheree and John Abraham, 'Baabul' had it's own share of issues throughout its shoot but credit to director Ravi Chopra that he kept a brave face and brought the film to finishing line. Aadesh Shrivastava, who gave some memorable songs for 'Baghban', is back with 'Baabul' along with lyricist Sameer.

From a movie like 'Baabul', one expects a musical score which is core Indian at heart. While it certainly holds true after one is through listening the album, the thought at the top of the mind is – Why is Aadesh Srivastava heard so rarely, especially with the most reputed banners? If given an opportunity, as in case of 'Baabul', he can come up with quite an impressive score.

Amitabh Bachchan had sung a number of songs for Aadesh in 'Baghban'. Same is not the case with 'Baabul' where he croons only one track 'Come On Come On'. A beautifully arranged and programmed number that has an amazing rhythm kick starting the proceedings, 'Come On' has Amitabh Bachchan and Sonu Nigam simply freaking out throughout the proceedings. This one is not your typical 'bhangra' track but instead is much more with an innovative fusion of pop, rap-n-reggae and background voice inputs (Vishal, Aadesh Shrivastva, Ranjit Barot) interspersed with the celebration mood of 'Come On Come On'.

Just like tracks by Pritam which have a lot of funk and English inclusions, 'Come On Come On' too relies a lot on rhythm and succeeds in a big way. Later in the song, it is sheer fun to see Big B and Sonu Nigam exchanging verbal volleys of one-upmanship that keeps the proceedings exciting. Towards the album's end comes the remix version which anyways seemed quite essential on hearing the original. High on pace with an added funk, this one would be soon heard on the dance floors. Aadesh Srivastava has a clear winner here in 'Come On Come On'

After a rocking beginning, album takes a melodious route with 'Keh Raha Hai', a love duet between Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal. A sweet-n-simple song that goes quite easy on arrangements [in sheer contrast with 'Come On'], 'Keh Raha Hai' is a kind of melody that seldom fails and keeps a regular Bollywood buff entertained. A song which reminds one of the kinds of songs that Anand Milind used to compose around a decade and a half back, it guarantees eye candy visuals.

It's retro time with the arrival of 'Har Manzar' that has a sound of late 70s/early 80s. In spite of being a stage number, it doesn't go ballistic in its treatment and instead retains a softer touch. Kunal Ganjawala is at the helm of affairs here and he too is restrained in his rendition, hence making 'Har Manzar' a decent song to hum around. In fact when one hears the song closely, the musical instruments and light chorus in the background along with a continued rhythm make it a certified retro number.

Later in the album, DJ Suketu is called upon for the remix version of 'Har Manzar'. One dreaded a thought of the remix version going out of control since the soft music heard in the original would have been preferred any time but to one's pleasant surprise, this version too flows smoothly with only an instrument or two added to spice it up a little. Overall, the song is not the one which would be a single most reason to make 'Baabul' a chartbuster fare but it contributes decently.

Proceedings become suddenly very sober with 'Kehta Hai Baabul'. Well, that is quite expected with Jagjit Singh rendering the song. A number about a father's love for his daughter and his fear of living alone once she is married, this one is a beautiful hearing all the way. Expect moist eyes in the auditorium when the song is on since everyone from Jagjit Singh, Sameer to Aadesh Shrivastava give their all to make 'Kehta Hai Baabul' a memorable song which would make quite a good impact in the film.

With lyrics like 'Bebasi Dard Ka Aalam Hai', one is led to understand that it would continue the sober mode created with 'Kehta Hai Baabul'. A song about a man asking the woman close to him to lend him all her sufferings and pain, it seems to have been created for the situation between John Abraham and Rani Mukherjee. A soft track with a touching orchestra, it has been rendered very well by Kunal Ganjawala who conveys the point 'soft and clear' that he is much more than 'Bheege Hoth Tere'. One of the most balanced songs rendered by Kunal where he has kept the tone and pace consistent with hardly any variation, 'Bebasi' is a meaningful situational track for the film.

After a hiatus Sonu Nigam returns behind the mike with 'Baawri Piya Ki' which starts on an extremely subtle note. If you have been liking lounge music based on Indian classical music that has been quite popular off late, then you would lap up to 'Baawri Piya Ki' too. The song that comes to mind is 'Piya Baanwari' since both the numbers have their roots in Indian classical music with a subtle touch-up by Western instruments. Sonu Nigam excels in 'Baawri Piya' as he goes extremely soft in this love song that comes up for the situation of extreme intimacy between a man and a woman. Yet another track that adds on to the variety of 'Baabul'. Also watch out for the multiple piece orchestra that comes in the middle of the song. It gives a clear indication of Aadesh Srivastava's mastery over the craft!

It's time to return back to some 'masti' and 'mazaa' with 'Gaa Re Mann', a 'qawalli' featuring Amitabh Bachchan and sung by Sudesh Bhonsle. What is notable is that with Big B crossing 60 years of age, Sudesh too brings that 'old man' feel in his rendition and keeps the vocals subdued. The song switches mood 1 minute into the song with arrival of Alka Yagnik as she gets into a filmy romantic rendition. Soon her vocals too merge with the 'qawalli' mood of the track and both she and Sudesh Bhonsle get into a duet. Thereafter they are joined by Kavita Krishnamurthy who croons about the beauty of everyone loving together. A track seemingly picturised on Big B, Hema Malini and Rani Mukherjee, it has a potential to grow if picturised impressively.

Mood of the album changes again with a 'bidaai' situation as Richa Sharma sings 'Baabul-Bidaai' song. With zero instruments in the background, Richa keeps the song in check strictly through the prowess of her vocals as she creates a painful atmosphere as witnessed in every 'bidaai' ceremony after a marriage. Sonu Nigam closes the album with 'Vaada Raha', a short situational love song with a sad undertone. A promise about love staying on forever, this one may find a place in the narrative on multiple occasions.

In two words, soundtrack of 'Baabul' can be defined as HIGH QUALITY. There is not a single moment in the album when one feels cheated or thinks that high claims about the album being distinct are untrue. Instead one just feels the urge of appreciating Aadesh Srivastava for the sheer range he brings in the music of the album. Though 'Come On' is a chartbuster all the way, the songs which are most impressive in the album are those that are soft numbers/situational tracks. These may not turn out to be the tracks that would be played down the street but in a remote corner of your house, they are bound to bring in a tear/smile or two!


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