Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan to miss Raavan in Venice

Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan to miss Raavan in VeniceBollywood couple Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan won't be able to attend the screening of their film "Raavan" at the upcoming 67th Venice Film Festival, due to prior commitments with their brand endorsements.

"Raavanan" and "Raavan" - the Tamil and the Hindi versions of the Mani Ratnam film - and Anurag Kashyap's "That Girl In Yellow Boots" will be screened at the festival, starting Wednesday.

"Aishwarya and Abhishek are not going for the Venice Film Festival as reported in some media outlets. The festival falls on the same dates on which they have previously committed. Aishwarya is going for an event for Longines (as she is the brand ambassador), while Abhishek will be busy with a shoot for Omega in Italy," said a source close to the actors.

"There are other film festivals too - Doha and Pusan - where Abhishek and Aishwarya are being invited, to showcase their film or even for individual honours. But the duo will decide which ones to attend according to their schedules," added the source.

Malaika Arora Khan to wear million-euro diamond bustier

Malaika Arora Khan to wear million-euro diamond bustier Item girl and actress Malaika Arora Khan will dazzle in a diamond-studded bustier costing a million euros when she walks the ramp as a showstopper for a jewellery store in the capital Wednesday.

The bustier is crafted from over 500 carats of the finest Belgian diamonds, said a statement from ORRA, the jewellery store.

Apart from Malaika, popular models like Carol Gracias, Indrani Dasgupta and Krishna Somani will be showcasing the jewellery, crafted by ORRA's design centres in London, New York, Tokyo, Antwerp and Mumbai.

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Konkona goes without smoke, drink

Actress Konkona Sen-Sharma says she gave up smoking and alcohol two months ago.

"It's been two months that I've given up smoking and drinking..." Konkona posted on her Twitter page.

Superstar Hrithik Roshan decided to kick the butt a few months ago, and star Arjun Rampal too has expressed a desire to quit smoking.

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Shilpa to bring home an idol for Ganesh Chaturthi

Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty has already started preparing for the upcoming Ganesh Chaturthi and she is planning to bring home a mini idol of Lord Ganesha.

Shilpa, a Ganesh devotee, will celebrate the 10-day festival, starting Sep 11, with her family,

According to a source close to the actress, Shilpa is taking care of every minute detail of the idol which will be brought to her home.

Many other actors, including Salman Khan and Nana Patekar, also bring Ganpati idol home and worship it every year during Ganesh festival.

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I'm exhausted with theatre: Sharman

Bollywood actor Sharman Joshi says he has taken a self-imposed break from theatre as he is exhausted after doing it continuously for years.

"I have done a lot of theatre and am exhausted for the moment. It's been a while now and I have done theatre for around eight years," said Sharman.

The actor has become popular in Bollywood after featuring in films like "Rang De Basanti" and "3 Idiots".

Kareena Kapoor wants to work with Aamir Khan

Kareena Kapoor wants to work with Aamir KhanAfter cooking up a crackling chemistry with Aamir Khan in the blockbuster "3 Idiots", actress Kareena Kapoor says she wants to team up with him once again.

"I want to work with Aamir, but he is not doing any film for a year," Kareena lamented.

She is very keen that her actor boyfriend Saif Ali Khan should work with "3 Idiots" director Rajkumar Hirani.

"I always tell him (Saif) that he should work with Raju Hirani," she added.

Kareena will soon be seen in Karan Johar's "We Are Family" alongside Kajol and Arjun Rampal. The film releases Friday.

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My favourite scripts have been biggest flops: Akshay Kumar

Action star Akshay Kumar says even though he chooses his scripts carefully, some times they turn out to be major flops at the box office. Nevertheless, he is raring to go and claims his only motto is to entertain the audience.

"I do read my scripts. In fact, I always have several script-reading sessions before I fully take on a movie. But remember, I cannot predict the future. Some of my favourite scripts have been my biggest flops, but they have sometimes been my greatest successes also," Akshay posted on Twitter in response to a fan's query.

The fan asked the actor as to why he doesn't get best actor awards even after featuring in so many films.

"I do so many, many more movies than any other actor in Bollywood. Therefore my gamble is much higher. I would rather entertain my audience than ever win an award. It's the people I want to please, not those attending award ceremonies," wrote the actor who gave a string of hits like "Heyy Babyy", "Welcome", "Namastey London", and "Singh Is Kinng", among others.

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Back to chappals, rejoices Mandira

She had been flaunting the best of designer labels and high-heeled fashionable shoes for the past three days at the Van Heusen Men's India Week (VHIMW), but now actress and anchor Mandira Bedi is glad to be back to flats.

"After three days of very high heels... flat shoes are like... heaven! Three days of men's fashion and now, back to life... back to reality," Mandira posted on her Twitter page.

Bipasha Basu Hot Photo Gallery

Bipasha Basu Hot Photo Gallery
Bipasha Basu Hot Photo Gallery
Bipasha Basu Hot Photo Gallery
Bipasha Basu Hot Photo Gallery

Hot Bipasha Basu wants star to do issue-based movies for free

Hot Bipasha Basu wants star to do issue-based movies for freeBipasha Basu, who was just seen in "Lamhaa" and is now getting ready to do a film on honour killings, feels issue-based films should be made with small budgets to make them "commercially viable" and stars shouldn't charge any fee to work in them.

"Don't charge any money for working in such (issue-based) films. It's the only way to make issue-based films commercially viable," said Bipasha, whose "Lamhaa" dealt with the problems in Kashmir. But it couldn't earn enough profits at the box office.

"After 'Lamhaa' I am tempted to tell a committed filmmaker like Rahul Dholakia to make out-and-out commercial films. Or if you make a film on a social issue then make sure it doesn't go over-budget.

"It's shameful that 'Lamhaa' was so costly. If it was made for Rs.4 crore, it would have been a hit. When a mainstream actor does a film on a social cause, it should be done free of cost as a sign of commitment to society," she added.

The actress has signed another issued-based film titled "Aakrosh" about honour killings. She plays a schoolteacher in a tradition-bound village and wonders how audiences would react to the movie.

"The social issue, honour killings, is treated like a thriller. Even 'Lamhaa' was treated like a thriller. But how many people went to see it?"

One of the main reasons to sign the film was to get rid of the glamour girl image, says Bipasha.

"For me, the interesting part of doing 'Aakrosh' was to see how far I can get away from my glamorous image. I discovered it was easy for me to do real characters. The director Priyadarshan is a delight to work with. And my co-star is Ajay Devgn who is a good dependable actor. I've another film 'Mr Fraud' with Ajay directed by Abbas-Mustan which got stuck. I don't know if that will ever release."

She will be spending a lot of time in Goa in the coming weeks. First, she will shoot her fitness video on the beaches quickly before winter sets in. Then she will shoot a remix of title song for Rohan Sippy's "Dum maro dum".

The copyright issues with Dev Anand and his film "Hare Rama Hare Krishna" have apparently been sorted out. Pritam Chakraborty is all set to record a new version of the Asha Bhosle classic.

To some extent "Dum maro dum" too touches on a social evil - it takes up the issue of drugs.

"I can't talk about it right now. But when it happens it will happen. Give it another two weeks," said Bipasha.

Talking about her fitness video, she said: "I want it to be shot outdoors in Goa. Winter gets too crowded. And I've a film to shoot in September. So I've to rush the video. I am going crazy doing my calorie counts. This time I've no team. I am doing everything on my own. It's a little boring to do it by myself. But I've always been a loner."

And, yes, all is well between Bipasha and John Abraham.

"If god forbid, anything were to go wrong between me and John, he would be the loser, not me."

John apparently has plans to insure his body parts, but Bipasha isn't doing any such thing.

"I'm a body person and I am definitely into fitness. But I'd never insure any body part. He's welcome to do what he likes. I just want to know which insurance company is insuring his butt."

Sharman Joshi says he doesn't have options

Sharman Joshi says he doesn't have optionsHe is one of the "3 Idiots", has also acted in hits like "Rang De Basanti" and proved his versatility in a wide range of roles, but Sharman Joshi says he still can't afford to be picky and is waiting to turn director to choose his preferred genre.

"I don't have the privilege to plan what film I want to do. I am really at the mercy of what I am offered by writers and directors. But if I ever turn into a director, then I would choose the genre I want to work in," Sharman told IANS in an interview.

The actor, who will be seen next as a criminal from a slum in debutant actor-director Faruk Kabir's "Allah Ke Banday", says he doesn't work hard to get into any character and relies on his instinct to play it with conviction.

"I generally like to rely on my impulse and vision of the director. So I didn't spend time in the slums," Sharman, 31, said about his latest film.

"I wanted to rely on my instincts; so I didn't interact closely with any kid from the juvenile prisons because I didn't feel the need," said Sharman, 31.

Releasing Oct 22, "Allah Ke Banday" also stars Naseeruddin Shah and Atul Kulkarni.

The film narrates the story of two 12-year-old boys living in one of the most ruthless slums of India. From delivering drugs for the mafia to looting people, they do everything conceivable in the crime world because they aspire to be a mafia don.

"In slums, where people struggle for their daily meals, providing education to their children is a far-fetched dream. It's a Catch 22 situation. The kids who grow up in this atmosphere unknowingly become susceptible to petty crimes starting from pickpocketing and with time graduate to more complicated crimes, even contract killing. Your heart goes out when you meet these kids.

"When they are put into juvenile prison to be refined into a better citizen, the inhuman exploitation they are subjected to raise their anger towards society and they come out as a bigger criminal."

He heard the script three years ago and was bowled over.

"The idea was narrated to me three years back. I found it quite interesting. Faruk and me live in the same building actually. He took around six months to develop the story and the screenplay. Then he took time to cast other characters. It took a-year-and-a-half to prepare before starting the film," said Sharman.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Peepli Live watched by PM Manmohan Singh

Peepli Live watched by PM Manmohan SinghPrime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday evening watched Bollywood star Aamir Khan's production "Peepli Live" at his 7 Race Course Road residence, an official said.

"Dr. Singh watched the film with interest," the official in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) told IANS after the special screening of the film.

"Peepli Live" is a political satire based on farmers' suicides and the superfluous approach by media on issue.

Manmohan Singh's wife Gursharan Kaur, his family members and some close friends also watched the film at the special screening.

Aamir, the film's director Anusha Rizvi, distributor Ronnie Screwala and actors Raghuvir Yadav and Omkar Das Manikpuri were also present, the official said.

According to Congress sources, several party leaders had recommended the film to the prime minister.

Earlier, Aamir had held a screening of "Peepli Live" for senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray.

Arjun Rampal on 'We are Family' (Interview)

Arjun Rampal on We are FamilyArjun Rampal, who plays a divorcee with three kids in his upcoming movie "We Are Family", claims the film will break the image of the stepmom who is more often than not portrayed in a negative light in Hindi movies.

"It's the children who suffer. You will see what happens to children and that's the message we are going to give through the film. The film is about the whole dynamics of everything," Arjun, 37, who himself comes from a broken family, told IANS in an interview.

"The film breaks the mould of a stereotype that stepmoms are like wicked witch, the way it has been portrayed on the silver screen so far. The film is not about that; it's about the crisis and how love prevails over everything and finally new relationships could also be made and I think that's the beauty of the film.

"I come from a broken home; so I work much harder to make my marriage work. I have been, by the grace of god, very happy. I have a very nice family."

Directed by Siddharth Malhotra, "We Are Family" is a Hindi adaptation of 1998 Hollywood hit "Stepmom" and Kajol and Kareena reprise the roles of Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon respectively.

Arjun insists it was not easy to act in an adaptation.

"This is not an easy film to act in. Already very strong performances had been given by Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon, but it's wonderful to see how Kajol and Kareena bring their own to their characters. They bring a lot more of themselves and change it around so much that it makes it so watchable, enduring and beautiful," Arjun said.

The actor, who recently gave super hit political thriller "Raajneeti", maintains men too have some responsibility in women-centric films.

"There are some responsibilities on men in women-centric films, hope I have fulfilled it. (Laughs) In the original 'Stepmom', Ed Harris played the character I am playing here and I think it was an older character and the way it was written, it had some restrictions.

"It's not a complete remake, but an adaptation. The way Siddharth has interpreted characters in his film is a new part of the film and I think that is something which I really enjoyed doing," said Arjun.

The National Award-winning actor, who has two daughters with model wife Mehr Jessia, found it easy to play a dad of three children.

"It was rally easy to play a father because I am a father myself. Karan, on seeing the film, said my body language with the children was fabulous," said the actor who teamed up with child actors Aanchal Munjal, Nominath Ginsburg and Diya Sonecha.

"I have seen Kajol how she is with her daughter Nysa, very hands-on, very protective, takes care of her every single thing and she is like that in the film as well. Kareena has no children, her awkwardness creating a relationship with kids came out very naturally."

Scheduled for a Sep 2 release, the film has been produced by Karan Johar who went through the right channel to get the rights to remake it in Hindi.

"The stories are needed to be told. It's better to take it and be noble enough to say this is what we are adapting from, rather calling it an original idea. But working on an original subject is a lot more exciting. I think adaptation is tougher because once you do it, immediately comparisons are drawn," said Arjun

He is all praise for first time director Siddharth.

"Siddharth was fantastic. He brought in so much dignity. This film could be very melodramatic - he has given a lot of realism in it. Handling all by himself and get what he wants made us feel proud of him," said Arjun.

Peepli Live have no link with farmers: documentary makers

Peepli Live have no link with farmersWhat is common between Anwar Jamal and Prashant Pethe? They have made features and documentaries on farmers and do not believe that "Peepli Live" has much to do with the acute problems faced by India's farming community.

"'Peepli Live' is a film about the insensitive middle class, the media, politicians, etc. Nowhere is it a film about farmers. Where are the causes that lead to his condition, his problems with seeds, monsoon, pesticides, etc.? The real issues of farmers are never touched upon," says Jamal, director of the moving documentary "Harvest of Grief" on farmer suicides in Punjab.

While most know Punjab as the land of plenty of green and yellow fields, big glasses of lassi and butter, thanks to Bollywood, not many know that in the last 20 years, over 40,000 farmers have committed suicide in the state. This is what Anwar's film that has been shown in festivals across the world deals with.

According to a report, 200,000 farmers have ended their lives since 1997 and it is said the rise in indebtedness is the root cause of farmer suicides.

Deepa Bhatia's "Nero's Guests" is a gut wrenching documentary that shows the contrast between city life, and that of farmers in the country. The film, which took her five years to make, travels to the farmer suicide capital of the world - the Vidarbha region of eastern Maharashtra - with journalist P. Sainath, the man credited with bringing the issue into urban attention.

Deepa, a reputed editor of Bollywood, says, "Farmer suicide is a crisis of huge magnitude that has not got adequate space either in the media or in the mind of the middle class. Sadly, most urban people don't engage with society. I wanted to understand the issue and having known P. Sainath, I found in him the right means to approach the subject."

Deepa had collected over 500 hours of footage for this hour-long documentary.

Satish Manwar, director of what is by far the most popular feature film on farmer suicides and also the most poignant - the Marathi film "Gabhricha Paus" (The Damned Rain) -, says, "India has diverse groups who do not interact with each other. Farmers are one such group about whom the rest of the nation doesn't care much.

"But it is an issue waiting to explode and unless we as a society pay attention to it, it will snowball into a major internal crisis."

The desire to engage was what prompted Satish, himself from the dry Vidarbha region, to slog for four years before he found a financier. "It was a 'different' and difficult subject which no one was willing to fund. Finally after a producer backed out, Prashant Pethe produced it."

This black comedy about a wife, who, distraught by a neighbour's suicide, does her best to keep her farmer husband in high spirits, proved to be a critical and commercial hit and has recovered its money.

But even Satish feels that "Peepli Live" is not really about farmer suicides. Yet, neither he nor anyone else has any complaints about "Peepli Live" as a film and believe the very fact that it got made is a cause for celebration.

It no doubt brings farmers' plight into the limelight. They now want to ask the people "what do you do, now that you know?"

"You have to decide that for yourself. I can only show you and I have. There are so many issues; just start engaging with life around you and do what you can," says Deepa.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sex and Violence: Youth's movie choice

Show them a boy-meets-girl story and chances are today's Indian youth will switch off their TV sets. What they are looking for is some serious 'love, sex aur dhokha' on the small screen that is closer to the reality of their own lives.

Shows like "Emotional Atyachaar", "Dadagiri", "Axe Ur Ex", "Splitsvilla", "Dare 2 Date", "Love Net" - about double timing your partner, backbiting and making a mockery of relationships - have become a craze among college-going students these days.

Shimanti Sengupta, 19, a sociology student, feels people her age get sadistic pleasure in watching break-ups and deceit on TV.

"For one, most of us feel these shows are not real and all pre-planned. It's the same with fiction shows. When both kinds of shows have no reality, I feel it is more exciting for us to watch shows that are closer to our experiences and are slightly bitchy!" she said.

Some youngsters are hooked to these shows because their own lives are reflected in it and they even find solutions to their own problems.

"It's all good entertainment. At times it makes us come out of our own make-belief perfect relationships and gives good ideas for checking on our partner!" said Karan Malhotra, 20.

"Due to my past experiences, I have stopped trusting girls.. So I love it when girls are caught flirting and cheating, especially in shows like 'Emotional Atyachaar'."

Though parents are worried about the kind of content, especially targeted at youth, channel officials say there are no takers for soft content.

"We tried showing the softer stuff to youths, but it didn't work. Take the example of 'Emotional Atyachaar' - when we cut out all the dark parts, the numbers started going down," Nikhil Gandhi, business head of youth entertainment channel UTV Bindass, told IANS.

"Emotional Atyachaar" conducts a secret fidelity test on one's partner and captures the emotions that ensue. Unfortunately in most cases, the person in question turns out to be cheating on his or her partner.

"When we had telecast cases where there was no infidelity, no sleaze, no sex, a limited amount of violence and aggression, the audience just didn't like it. We had three clean episodes. Youths want aggression and they want the dark side of everything, that's what the new craze is," he said.

Gandhi says when they choose the content for new shows, it is not a result of baseless presumption.

"The shows are outcomes of our research. When we went to colleges, we asked them : 'which is your biggest fear in life?' They said they fear that their partner may be cheating on them or might leave them. We took that as a hook and developed 'Emotional Atyachaar'," he explained.

But this changing trend in content is not confined to just the small screen, insists Aditya Swamy, senior vice president, sales and marketing, MTV India.

"Look at the films that youth are watching - 'Love, Sex Aur Dhokha', 'I Hate Luv Storys', 'Aisha'...these are off-beat films but all about youth, their lives and things they connect to. So it isn't as if the small screen is doing negative things for them," said Swamy.

Such a trend on small screen especially emerged after music channels like MTV and Channel V decided to go beyond music and entered a space more adventurous, wild and engaging for the young Indian audience with shows like "Roadies", "Splitsville" and "Dare 2 Date".

It's just that the shows are getting meaner and wilder!

Shahrukh Khan's promotion for We Are Family pleasing Karan Johar

Shahrukh Khan's promotion for We Are Family pleasing Karan JoharFilmmaker Karan Johar is more than pleased that his superstar friend Shah Rukh Khan is going out of his way to promote his latest production "We Are Family" despite not starring in it.

Associated with most of Karan’s directorial ventures, Shah Rukh is now turning up uninvited at most of the filmmaker’s "We Are Family" press meets to act as a "good luck charm", as the actor put it.

"The way he has been going out of his way to promote 'We Are Family' despite not even starring in it shows that Shah Rukh and I are undoubtedly a family -- ‘We Are Family’," said Karan.

The 38-year-old filmmaker was in the capital to showcase his prêt debut in association with designer Varun Bahl at the ongoing Van Heusen India Men’s Week (VHIMW) Saturday.

Starring Kajol, Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal in the lead, "We Are Family" is an adaptation of Julia Roberts starrer "Stepmom". Directed by Siddharth Malhotra, it is releasing Sep 2.

King Khan, as he is fondly called, barged in sportingly at a media meet Wednesday and insisted on conducting an interview with Arjun and Kareena.

"Even I am part of the family. So I'm joining them to promote the film," he said.

PM Manmohan Singh to watch Peepli Live

PM Manmohan Singh to watch Peepli LivePrime Minister Manmohan Singh will watch a special screening Sunday of Bollywood actor and producer Aamir Khan's much-talked about movie "Peepli Live".

"He will watch the movie tomorrow," an official at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) told IANS here Saturday.

The official said Aamir Khan will be present at the 7 Race Course Road residence of the prime minister for the screening.

Senior officials have also been invited for the movie, which deals with the issue of farmers' suicides in a satirical manner.

Aamir Khan had earlier arranged similar screenings for Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray.

The movie that has been directed by Anusha Rizvi and produced by Aamir Khan has done astounding business in India - in its opening week itself - as it earned about Rs.24 crore. The movie was made on a budget of approximately Rs.10 crore.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Aamir Khan has kept 3 Idiot's Rancho costume

Hindi Movie 3 Idiot's Rancho costumeAamir Khan has confessed he keeps the costumes of all the characters he plays in films, even the clapboards.

Aamir has kept the costumes of Rancho, the character he essayed in the superhit '3 Idiots', as well as the clapboards, as he has done for all his films.

"You know I keep the clapboards of all my films. On the last day of the shoot, I collect it, even the costumes," Aamir told reporters at the DVD launch of "3 Idiots" at Grand Hyatt here Friday.

Asked if he would produce Marathi films, he said: "I would be happy to produce Marathi films. The story and script should touch my heart. Language is not the problem. I would love to produce Gujarati, Bhojpuri. The beauty of our country is that we have around 22 languages and in every language we make films and there are television channels in every language, which you won't find in anywhere else. I would be happy to make films in other language also."

The superstar said he wishes he could have shown "3 Idiots' to his favourite directors -Guru Dutt, Mehboob and Raj Kapoor.

"Guru Dutt, Mehboobji and Raj Kapoor, I would have liked them to see this film (3idiots)," Aamir said.

In the last 10 years, the actor has give some major hits like "Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India" (2001), "Dil Chahta Hai" (2001), "Rang De Basanti" (2006), "Fanaa" (2006), "Ghajini" (2008).

The actor maintains that every film is a collective effort and the key person is the director of the film.

"One thing that all should remember is that the main thing of a film is the collective effort, and the most important person of a film is the director. Till now if so many of my films have become successful, its bigger share of credit goes to the director.

"Like in '3 Idiots' Raju (Rajkumar Hirani), Abhijat (Joshi) have a huge contribution, after that we all have put in our best, that's why you liked '3 Idiots' so much. So I don't solely take the credit behind the success of the film, it's a collective effort of every single person associated with the film."

'3 Idiots' soon in Tamil, Telugu: Raju Hirani

3 Idiots soon in Tamil, Telugu: Raju HiraniDirector Raju Hirani has revealed that his "3 Idiots", which created history by becoming the all-time highest grosser, is getting remade in Tamil and Telugu.

"The film is being remade in Tamil and Telegu. I don't have any idea on who are playing the lead there. I think they are in the process of casting," said Raju at the DVD launch of the film here.

Ruju maintained he is not planning any sequel of "3 Idiots".

"I am not thinking of any sequel to '3 Idiots', unless I hit upon any great idea which could be a sequel, but nothing as of now," Raju told IANS.

Raju is getting ready with the third instalment of "Munnabhai..."

"I am of course working on the script of 'Munnabhai...', I am also working on another script. Can't say which would come first," said Raju.

Hindi Movie "Aashayein" Review

Hindi Movie Aashayein ReviewFilm: "Aashayein"; Starring: John Abraham, Prateeksha Lonkar, Ashwin Chaitale;

Written & Directed by Nagesh Kukunoor; Rating: *** ½

This is a film about coping with dying. But that's not what makes it such a special experience. It's the writer-director's profound understanding of human nature that furnishes the simple story with a lucidity and coherence even when the protagonist's mind is so numbed by physical pain he can barely think straight.

"Aashayein" is structured as a journey from a bright delusory light into a place where the radiance comes from a consciousness of why mortality is not to be feared.

In John Abraham's eyes are mapped the entire history of the human heart, its follies and foibles as it struggles to make coherent the indecipherable logistics that define our journey across that bridge which everyone crosses from this world to the next.

As that very fine actress Prateeksha Lonkar (a Kukunoor favourite) says, "The only difference between the healthy and the ill is that the former don't know when they are dying and the latter do."

Between that state of blissful oblivion where we all think life is forever (and a day) and that one moment when our delusions come crashing down, there resides some very fine cinema. Hrishikesh Mukherjee's "Anand" where Rajesh Khanna smiled his way through that wobbly bridge taking us to the next world, is an interesting reference point in "Aashayein".

I also thought of the actress Supriya Choudhary shouting into the dispassionate mists in the mountains, "I want to live". The echoes reverberate all the way to Kukunoor's heartwarming, funny and elegiac exposition on the truth that lies on the other side of that illusory mountain we call life. Kukunoor pays a homage to life per se, and life as we know in the movies about death.

Even in the most poignant places in the art Kukunoor ferrets out some humour. When John's lovely girlfriend (Sonal Sehgal) hunts him down in his exilic place of the dying, John quips, "So you are not going to behave like one of those heroines in films who dumps the dying hero?"

The fantasy element creeps into the hospice (yes, that's the spotless space that the story inhabits unostentatiously) with the least amount of fuss. There's a little boy (the bright and expressive Ashwin Chitale) who weaves mystical tales borrowed from the comic books for the desperate and the dying. Here Kukunoor brings in an element of rakish adventure borrowed from the edgy hijinks of Indiana Jones.

Who says money can't buy love? John uses bundles of cash to bring a smile to these doomed lives. When he doubles up with pain in womb-like postures of helplessness we feel his pain.

John in Harrison Ford's hat and whip cuts a starry figure. He has never been more fetchingly photographed. John's smile reaches his eyes, makes its way to his heart and then to ours. This film opens new doors in John's histrionic abilities. It's a performance that heals and nurtures.

John's finest moments are reserved for a hot-tempered sharp-tongued 17-year-old girl on a wheelchair, played with intuitive warmth by Anaitha Nayar. He guides the relationship between these two unlikely comrades of unwellness with brilliant restrain and candour. She wants him to make love. He does with his eyes using his unshed tears as lyrical lubricant.

Here is a performance that defines the character through immense measures of unspoken anguish. Rajesh Khanna in "Anand"? Nope. John pitches his performance at a more wry and cynical world where true feelings are often smothered in worldly sprints across a wounded civilization.

This is unarguably Kukunoor's most sensitive and moving work since "Iqbal". We often find little sobs pounding at the base of our stomachs. Not all the characters or situations are fully formed and fructified. But even the partly-realized truths in "Aashayein" convey more common sense and uncommon affection for life than the "entertainers" of today's cinema where laughter is generated through cracks in places very far removed from the heart.

This one takes us straight to the heart.

Hot Kareena Kapoor Interview: I want roles with acting opportunity

Hot Kareena Kapoor InterviewBollywood star actress Kareena Kapoor feels she has managed to strike the right balance between commercial and meaningful cinema. Hailing from an illustrious film family, she says she can't do films where she only has to dance around trees.

"I enjoy acting. Acting is in my blood, it is in my genes, it is in my DNA and you can see that on screen I like doing different roles. I can't do just those films where I am looking pretty and sing and dance around trees. I want to act," Kareena told IANS in an interview.

The actress considers her debut film "Refugee" (2000) a special film.

" 'Refugee' was a very special film because I always wanted to prove myself as an actress and not to be known just as a glam doll. There are films like 'Refugee', 'Chameli', 'Omkara', 'Jab We Met', '3 Idiots' and 'Kurbaan'; they all have been very different.

"I don't think any other actress has been able to do such a variety of roles. So the journey, I think, has been colourful," said Kareena, 29.

Nine years after "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham" (2001), where she played Kajol's younger sister, Kareena has teamed up with Kajol in Sidharth Malhotra's directorial debut "We Are Family". She is elated to share the same frame with the senior actress.

"I think it's an exciting challenge to be working with Kajol. In 'Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gaam' we didn't have too many scenes together, but in this film we are both in the same frame. We both live in the same house, have equally powerful roles; in fact, mine is the most complex and complicated part. It's very easy to be emotional and gain sympathy but very difficult to win over the sympathy and I hope I could achieve that," she said.

Releasing Sep 3, "We Are Family" is the Hindi adaptation of Hollywood hit "Stepmom" (1998). Arjun Rampal plays what Ed Harris did in the original, while Kajol steps into Susan Sarandon's shoes as as a divorced mother.

Kareena plays the same role that Julia Roberts did, but in her own style.

"I am absolutely honoured that Karan (producer Karan Johar) and Sidharth thought that I could do the Julia Roberts role because to me she is the finest actress," said the actress who feels the adaptation could have been more contemporary.

"It's a very desi film. I think it should have been made more contemporary. Indian audiences are ready for that. It's about the journey of two women. They start off with hating each other and due to unforeseen circumstances they end up loving each other."

While working with Kajol, Kareena observed that her co-star was quite similar to her sister Karisma when it comes to their child.

"Kajol is a hands-on mother. I have seen Karisma. Both Kajol and Karisma, I don't know if it's the trait of that generation, are just there with their children," said Kareena.

Asked how it would have been if Karisma had played Kajol's role, she quipped, "Oh god! She can't do that because we can't marry the same man. No way."

There are three child stars - Aanchal Munjal, Nominath Ginsburg and Diya Sonecha - in the film, but Kareena didn't have to handle them. She is all praise for their professional behaviour on the sets though.

"In the film, I didn't have to be with the kids because they had their mother (Kajol). The children were really lovely, they didn't get impatient. They were acting like adults, not like children," said Kareena.

Bhojpuri cinema on the path of success

Under the big tree called Bollywood, the Bhojpuri film industry has been steadily taking root. While the mega Hindi film industry struggles to profit from its releases, its fledgling cousin has been growing steadily, doubling its output from 50 films four years ago to 100 films annually, and making money too.

Industry insiders say films in the Hindi dialect can do even better if the government extends support.

"We now release about 100 films in a year. The average money spent yearly on Bhojpuri films is close to Rs.100 crore and the gross collection is about Rs.125 crore every year," Ranjan Sinha, spokesperson for the Bihar Jharkhand Motion Picture Association, told IANS on phone from Patna.

"Even if a film doesn't work, the producer doesn't have to bear a big loss. His loss is not more than Rs.10 lakh to 15 lakh."

The turning point, he said, came with the 2003 blockbuster "Sasura Bada Paisa Wala" with superstar Manoj Tiwari, sometimes compared to Rajnikanth.

The film was made at a budget of Rs.35 lakh to 40 lakh and made massive profits all over India.

"The film did a business of Rs.1.90 crore in Bihar, Rs.1.25 crore in Uttar Pradesh. Its all-India collections were Rs.4.5 crore," said Sinha.

The biggest consumer of Bhojpuri films are Bihar, Uttar Pradesh as well as Mumbai, which has sizeable migrant population from the Hindi belt. Bhojpuri films also get good audiences in West Bengal, Punjab and Gujarat, which are also home to migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

"There are 372 cinema halls in Bihar and Jharkhand; of them, 180 run Bhojpuri films," said Sinha.

"There are 32 centres in Mumbai where we run Bhojpuri films. After Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Mumbai is the biggest market for Bhojpuri films. The major collection comes from Super Cinema at Grant Road and Navrang Theatre in Andheri - Bhojpuri films earn about Rs.300,000 to Rs.400,000 per week at these centres," added Shashikant Singh, a Mumbai-based film publicist.

Costs are low. Most Bhojpuri films, costing about Rs.30 lakh to 45 lakh unless a big star like Tiwari is involved, are shot in small Bihar towns like Buxor and Gaya.

Bhojpuri heartthrob Tiwari charges somewhere between Rs.50 lakh and 60 lakh. Dinesh Lal Yadav Nirahua, Pawan Singh, Ravi Kishen and Vinay Anand round up the top five stars list.

Among the actresses, Rinku Ghosh and Mona Lisa are most sought after. Anara Gupta, Pakhi Hegde and Rani Chatterjee are the others in the top five list.

According to Tiwari, the picture would get rosier if the government steps in.

"It is indeed a growing industry, but our growth is slow. We could be five times better if the government supports us. Bhojpuri is not included in the Eighth Schedule of the constitution and so Bhojpuri films aren't bought by Doordarshan," he told IANS.

"As we are not listed in the Eighth Schedule, we are not eligible for National Awards also," he added.

"The sad part is that people from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh who represent us in parliament are not thinking about our culture," said Tiwari, who contested elections as a Samajwadi Party candidate for the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat and lost.

The future is bright but could be better if filmmakers spread the net wider to lure middle class audiences, instead of just targeting the front benchers.

"They should avoid using cheap words in the song and they should also try to come out with original scripts," said Sinha.

Manoj agreed: "Till now, the viewer for a Bhojpuri movie is from the lower strata of life. The middle classes don't come to see our films."

Manoj, whose "Mard No.1" will have an international release, feels that the government should try to release Bhojpuri films in multiplexes at subsidised rates to lure the affluent movie audience.

"Marathi films are being shown in Mumbai multiplexes at subsidised rates, something similar should be done for Bhojpuri films," said Manoj.

Bhojpuri cinema had an interesting beginning in the 1950s following an encounter between India's first Bihar-born president Rajendra Prasad and Mumbai-based character actor Nazir Hussain.

The president, upon realising that Hussain was a native of Ghazipur in eastern Uttar Pradesh, began to address him in his mother tongue Bhojpuri.

The conversation soon veered to movies and Rajendra Prasad asked Hussain, "Why don't you make a film in Bhojpuri?".

According to a book "Cinema Bhojpuri" by Avijit Ghosh, the encouragement from the president resulted in "Ganga Maiya Tobe Pyari Chadhaibo".

Friday, August 27, 2010

SRK's wife Gauri Khan feels herself old for movies

SRK's wife Gauri Khan feels herself old for moviesBollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan's wife Gauri, who is said to be the most stylish and glamorous celebrity spouse, feels she is too old to foray into films.

"I am quite old now. Had I been young, I would have done one," Gauri told Shah Rukh when he asked her Shah Rukh would she work in film as well.

She said this Thursday at an event to annouce them as the brand ambassadors of D'Décor, world's third largest furnishing company.

Shahrukh Khan says, "Farah Khan and I are still friends"

Shahrukh Khan says, Farah Khan and I are still friendsSuperstar Shah Rukh Khan has cleared the air over a reported rift with choreographer-director Farah Khan, saying that just because he wasn't on her next project didn't mean that they weren't friends.

He wished her luck for her next film "Tees Maar Khan", for which she signed on Akshay Kumar instead of Shah Rukh.

"My friendship with all is as it was before, love them the same way. Many times if we are not working with each other doesn't mean that I hate her or end of friendship. I don't take my wife's decision, how could I take others. I want to see everyone doing well.

"When I am shooting with someone, I am more in touch with him. This time I am not in touch with Farah but wish her all the success and hope this film ('Tees Maar Khan') becomes a bigger hit than 'Om Shanti Om', which was her last film. I just hope she become even a bigger producer. Yes, she is a friend of mine. I am not doing a film with her, which doesn't mean I don't love her," said Shah Rukh.

Shah Rukh played the lead role in Farah's last film "Om Shanti Om".

My film can wait, says Vikram Phadnis

Fashion designer Vikram Phadnis has for present put on the backburner his plans to wear the director's cap.

"I've known the (film) industry for 15 years as a technician and so I understand that things should happen when they should. I know it (my film) is taking time, but that is the way it is. Nothing in my life that I have planned has happened on time, so I've stopped planning," Phadnis told IANS.

"So it (the film) will happen when it should happen. Meanwhile, it can wait, as I am enjoying what I am doing (designing)," added Phadnis, who started his career as a choreographer.

Probed more on his "dream project", he said: "It is a romantic musical. I wrote my script one and half years ago but as time passed by and more movies released, it has undergone certain changes in its approach."

What about the star cast, as he is friends with many Bollywood stars?

"I haven't cast anyone yet. Things got to fall in place first, then comes the casting."

Antardwand Movie Review

Film: "Antardwand"; Cast: Raj Singh Chaudhary, Swati Sen, Vinay Pathak, Akhilendra Mishra, Himanshi; Writer-Director: Sushil Rajpal; Rating: ** ½

Set in rural Bihar where nothing works except the law of the lawless, "Antardwand" takes the firm and gripping route to expose a hinterland-headline - the kidnapping of marriageable boys by desperate fathers of wannabe brides.

This was a prevalent malpractice in Bihar until some years ago. Not so much any more.

Debutant director Sushil Rajpal's film works more for its deeper resonances than just the surface sincerity. It is not so much the sensational value of the theme ('dulha uth gaya') that makes "Antardwand" watchable as the treatment of the layers of socio-political irregularities and caste aberrations that generate a society of anarchy where kidnapping an aspiring groom is serious business.

The narrative is punctuated with bouts of savage humour. When the Delhi University civil service candidate Raghuveer (Raj Singh Choudhary) with a pregnant girlfriend (Himanshi), is kidnapped just yards away from his parents' home in rural Bihar, his confoundedness, and rage at the bizarre confinement is expressed in bouts and spasms of indignance.

The director knows the milieu well. He doesn't waste time exploring rural Bihar just because he has chosen to film his story on location.

The narrative never loses its momentum. Rather than opt for a dry docu-drama tone, director Sushil Rajpal has chosen to format the film as a thriller. The pace from the moment of Raghuveer's kidnapping to his escape is largely relentless.

The second-half of the plot gets more introspective as it becomes the story of the humiliated bride (newcomer Swati Sen, well cast) who finds herself with a man who has been forced to marry her. The rage of confinement and the anguish of rejection ooze out of the tense frames.

Sequences in the couple's bedroom with a gigantic tell-tale double-bed at its centre, capture the ironical nullity of a marriage based on bullying tactics. There is an element of naïve desperation in the couple's shared space.

The writing is hard-hitting but relentless, supple and slender. There is ample room for innuendoes in the dialogues and situations.

"Antardwand" avoids the easy road to realism. The ambience does not depend on how the actors pitch the accent in the spoken word or their body language. Though these are authentic, it's the deeper malaise of a society buried neck-deep in prejudices and superstition that the director focuses on.

The camera work by Malay Ray is exploratory but non-judgemental. Scenes of characters moving in and out of dark old-fashioned interiors are shot without wallowing in symbolism.

The performances are thoughtful. Akhilendra Mishra and Vinay Pathak pitch into the ambience of rousing realism as the father of the bride and the kidnapped groom, respectively. Raj Singh as the precious groom last seen in Anurag Kashyap's "Gulaal" again reveals an admirable ability to blend into the bleeding fabric of mofussil mayhem.

The film is suffused with sincerely sketched characters. Jaya Bhattacharya as the bride's far-from-persecuted bhabhi (sister-in-law) and for that matter the unknown actor Dadhi Raj Paney who plays Akhilendra Mishra's faithful servant, bring a kind of fringe fertility into the storytelling.

The finale is self indulgent in its idealism. A society so breached by gender and caste biases cannot be lit up by a sudden beam of optimistic light.

But no harm in trying.

"Antardwand" is a commendable attempt to examine the underbelly of rural Bihar. It doesn't purport to shake up the status quo. The film only wants to remind us that we need to heal our collective social conscience before curing the discrepancies that feed into our dream of emerging from the darkness into the light.

"Akshay Kumar too costly" says Feroz Nadiawala

Akshay Kumar too costly says Feroz NadiawalaProducer Feroz Nadiadwala waited for four years for Akshay Kumar to return to the third instalment of "Hera Pheri" before they parted ways because of the price factor.

"I first started discussing the third 'Hera Pheri' movie with Akshay in 2006. I never wanted to make it without him. It's sad that we couldn't come to an agreement. Akshay is like a brother. But I can't afford him. I hope we work together again very soon," said Feroz.

With Akshay gone, Feroz had to change the entire cast of "Hera Pheri".

Now Abhishek Bachchan plays Akshay's role, Nana Patekar has stepped into Paresh Rawal's shoes and Sanjay Dutt has been cast in place of Suniel Shetty.

This, according to Feroz, would remain the lineup of actors for the "Hera Pheri" films to come.

Feroz is delighted with the script that Anees Bazmi has come up with for "Hera Pheri 3". "It's going to be one of the funniest comedies in living memory," he said.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Vidya Balan Hot Photo Gallery

Vidya Balan Hot Photo Gallery
Vidya Balan Hot Photo Gallery
Vidya Balan Hot Photo Gallery
Vidya Balan Hot Photo Gallery
Vidya Balan Hot Photo Gallery

Vidya Balan's Mohiniyattam in Malayalam film postponed

Vidya Balan's Mohiniyattam in Malayalam film postponedVidya Balan's plans of performing a complex Mohiniyattam dance for Santosh Sivan's Malayalam film "Urumi" have been postponed due to her shoulder condition. The actress says she can't dance until she is fully recovered otherwise she may have a life-long shoulder problem.

"This has happened all because of my own stubbornness," said Vidya whose gym trainer had warned her against rigorous exercises.

"But I didn't listen to him. Now I can't dance until I am fully recovered. I still haven't forgotten the impact of my classical number in 'Bhool Bhulaiyaa'. The one in Santosh's film would be far more sensuous and intricate."

Vidya has a chronic shoulder condition which got aggravated after she insisted on going to the gym before it had healed completely. She has now had a relapse, leading to this excruciating pain.

"Now I've to wait out, I've no option. Otherwise I'll have a life-long shoulder problem. I can't wait to start rehearsing for Santosh Sivan's dance number."

Though Vidya is a trained classical dancer, a Mohiniyattam guru has been specially hired by Sivan to teach her nuances of the dance form before she performs it for filming.

Vidya's training was to start this week. Her spirit and her feet are willing -- but the body is too weak to take the vigorous dancing.

"I was in so much pain I couldn't do any of the normal things, let alone dance," she said.

Speaking on the much talked-about item song, she said: "It's more talked-about than actually performed. I was supposed to start preparing for it this week. Unfortunately I've been down with a painful shoulder condition for some time. And completely forbidden from doing anything strenuous."

Vidya describes it as a fusion dance.

"Since I was born in Kerala my family is so looking forward to my foray into Malayalam films. I thought a song is a very good place to start. Moreover, I totally admire Santosh Sivan's work... who doesn't?"

Rakhi Sawant Hot Photo Gallery

Rakhi Sawant Hot Photo Gallery
Rakhi Sawant Hot Photo Gallery

Rakhi Sawant Hot Photo Gallery

Kareena Kapoor Hot Photo Gallery

Kareena Kapoor Hot Photo Gallery
Kareena Kapoor Hot Photo Gallery
Kareena Kapoor Hot Photo Gallery
Kareena Kapoor Hot Photo Gallery
Kareena Kapoor Hot Photo Gallery

Hot Kareena Kapoor Interview: I'm lucky to get Saif Ali Khan

Hot Kareena Kapoor Interview: I'm lucky to get Saif Ali KhanActress Kareena Kapoor is all praise for her beau Saif Ali Khan, with whom she is shooting for director Sriram Raghavan's "Agent Vinod", and says she is lucky to have him in her life.

"Very few people get love in life and such a supportive partner. Of course, I am very lucky that I have got a partner like Saif. He is a very unique man. His thoughts are much different from others and he always encourages me to work," Kareena told IANS in an interview.

She maintains that Saif is like a Hollywood actor, who is ignorant about what's happening around and enjoys his own world.

"Saif is mostly ignorant about what films are in the making or if I have signed any until I tell him about my upcoming projects. He is like a Hollywood actor who stays mostly in his own world. He wants to do certain films and produce movies like Hollywood star," said the actress who teamed up with him in "Tashan".

Bollywood treads Hollywood's way with sequels

The Hindi box office will soon be laden with sequels like "Race 2", "Don 2" and the third instalments of "Dhoom", "Golmaal" and "Phoonk" as Bollywood walks in Hollywood's footsteps to make filmmakers feel secure and keep a captive audience in good cheer.

"It is a commercial decision. If something works and you can continue the same story, why not bring it back again with the same theme and energy?" Karan Johar told IANS.

"As long as you make it exciting for people, the idea works," said the filmmaker, who is producing the sequel of his Abhishek Bachchan-John Abraham-starrer hit "Dostana".

Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma said: "It is not about following Hollywood. These days in Bollywood, everyone thinks in terms of only sequels. One spends so much money and effort in creating a brand; so it makes logical sense to carry it forward.

"Eventually, a film is a unit and if it excites or interests you then why not take it further? It is eventually a market demand," added Varma, who is responsible for sequels like "Sarkar Raj" and "Phoonk 2". A third instalment in the horror series is already in the making.

There are two classes of sequels - character-driven and theme-driven. These can further be divided into two sub-categories - story-driven movies that are chronological and independent stories with one central character. Bollywood has adopted both.

Bollywood perhaps witnessed its first sequel with the Sri Devi-starrer "Nigahein" in 1989 that was a follow-up of "Nagina" (1986). In 1999, Mahesh Manjrekar then set the box office ablaze with Sanjay Dutt-starrer "Vaastav", which was followed up by a dud, "Hathyar", three years later.

In the new millennium, the Hindi film industry has had a fair share of part two of movies - "Phir Hera Pheri" (2006) after "Hera Pheri" (2000), "Golmaal Returns" after "Golmaal", "Hyderabad Blues 2" (2004) after "Hyderabad Blues" (1998), "Lage Raho Munna Bhai" (2006) after "Munnabhai M.B.B.S" (2003), and "Dhoom 2" (2006) after "Dhoom" (2004).

Now the Hindi film industry is looking forward to "Hera Pheri 4", "Dhoom 3", "Krrish 2" - part three in the "Koi...Mil Gaya" franchise, and the third outing in the "Golmaal" series that releases this Diwali.

Industry rivals Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan will also take their character legacies forward in "Most Wanted" (sequel of "Wanted") and "Don 2" respectively.

Trade analysts estimate over Rs.200 crore to be riding only on "Race 2", "Wanted 2", "Partner 2", "Don 2" and "Dhoom 3".

Actor-producer Anil Kapoor, who has outings like "Race 2" and "Be Positive" (sequel of "No Entry") in hand, thinks sequels are a risk-mitigation strategy.

"This (sequel) is a safer path because the numbers have become big, so they (producers) want to go the safe way. The sequels and prequels have an in-built audience; so these at least assure that a set audience will come and watch the movie in the first weekend as it has become a weekend business now.

"The effort is as much but the only thing is it makes everybody feel more secure. The stakes have become so high. It is less risky. At least the studios and producers feel like that," he added.

Versatile actor Boman Irani, who has starred in the "Munnabhai" series and will now revive his roles in the sequels of "Don" and "Dostana" respectively, is of a different opinion.

"Every movie is a different movie. You don't say I am watching a sequel as I have watched the first one. If the movie is not good, no one is going to watch it. The sequel has to be very good and so it should be treated as an independent product," said Boman.

While the sequels of comedies like "Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron", "Andaaz Apna Apna", "All The Best", "Partner 2" and "Singh Is Kinng", and sci-fi hit "Mr. India" are in talks, part three in the "Munnabhai" franchise is reportedly in the offing.

Sequels to the Vivek Oberoi-starring action-thriller "Prince", Emraan Hashmi-starrer "Murder" and a 3D sequel of steamy hit "Jism" may also be floated soon.

Item Girl Rakhi Sawant claims to be better than Raj Thackeray

Item Girl Rakhi Sawant claims to be better than Raj ThackerayRakhi Sawant is big-mouthed, they say. The celebrity item girl, who will soon play agony aunt in a new reality show "Rakhi Ka Insaaf", claims she has better solutions to Mumbai's growing migrant population than Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray.

"Come to my show, I'll even solve that. I'll solve it better than our friend Raj Thackeray," she said when asked about a solution to the growing number of outsiders coming into Mumbai.

The 31-year-old, who was speaking at an event held to launch her new show on Imagine TV where Rakhi will solve issues of the common man, says she has raised her voice for many issues in Mumbai. She is a Maharashtrian herself.

"There are a lot of issues in our society. I have been raising my voice from day one. No one knows me better than the media. I have barged into BMC's (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) office to get road construction done.

"There are no problems that I haven't solved. The media knows it. Name me one celebrity who has barged into BMC commissioner's office to ask them to mend your road," she said.

Rakhi is appalled with the governance in the city and is particularly against Thackeray's resistance to migrants from other states residing and working in the financial and entertainment capital of India.

"Angoothachaap log baithhe hain wahaan (Uneducated people are sitting at the helm of affairs). There are so many people who know nothing. They don't use their brain even.

"I don't think like Raj Thackeray...that anyone from Uttar Pradesh or Bihar or anywhere who comes to Mumbai is an outsider. This country, as well as this state, is of the god and the people living in it are all god's children. I don't believe in differentiating between Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian - we are all one, and Mumbai is for everyone. Everyone can earn their living here," Rakhi told IANS in an interview.

Rakhi is seldom in a serious mood, and is known more for her outrageous publicity stunts. But this time round, she is serious.

The glamour girl, who has been seen in films like "Main Hoon Naa" and "Dil Bole Hadippa", item numbers such as "Dekhta hai tu kya" and in reality shows "Nach Baliye", "Rakhi Ka Swayamvar" and "Pati, Patni Aur Woh", is also up in arms against certain issues which she feels must be solved by Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan.

"If I meet Ashok Chavan, I will ask him - when the rains come, why do the roads get flooded? Despite spending so much money and taking so much tax from the citizens, why? Throughout the year roads are being made...sometimes they are made 10 times, then why is there waterlogging? What is the problem?

"Secondly, why so much tax? Why are people paying huge taxes? Rich people will still survive with their black money, but where will the poor go? Those who earn Rs.50 or Rs.20 per day...where will they go? Should poor people be removed from this country? Should they die? Should only the rich live? Don't poor have a right to live?" she said in angst.

She is extremely excited about being given a platform like "Rakhi Ka Insaaf" to offer solutions to the common people for their personal problems like extra-marital affairs, alcoholic husband, atrocities by in-laws and wife beating.

Rakhi said she will give solutions to people in her unique style, which is bold, honest, and forthright.

"I have lived a very tough life. I have seen 'dukh', 'sukh', 'kathinaayi' (sadness, happiness and difficulty) and overcome it all. I have always fought for my right and that too honestly. So I feel I will be able to connect very well with the victims of such problems, and provide solutions through my heart," she said.

She said her show is not about giving legal justice to people. It is for those who want to amicably resolve their domestic issues without getting entangled in the web of court proceedings.

"I am no police, I don't even have any educational degree, but I have a degree in life management...so that, and my belief in god will help me suggest the right solutions to those who approach me on the show," she said.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Katrina Kaif Hot Pics

Katrina Kaif Hot Pics
Katrina Kaif Hot Pics
Katrina Kaif Hot Pics

Bollywood Movie 'Don 2' to be shot in Germany

In a development which has elated Berlin tourism officials, a film starring Bollywood hero Shah Rukh Khan is to be shot on location in the German capital this autumn, officials said Tuesday.

"This could be the breakthrough needed for making the Berlin destination known to the Indian market," Berlin tourism director Burkard Kieker said. "It's exactly what we want."

"Don 2" - a sequel to the blockbuster "Don" - is being supported by the Berlin-Brandenburg film promotion company Medienboard to the tune of 550,000 euros ($705,000).

Farhan Akhtar will direct the film, with the shoot scheduled to last 50 days and taking place in many landmark Berlin sites.

Khan stirred up a bit of Bollywood fever in Berlin last winter when his film "My Name Is Khan" was featured at the Berlinale film festival.

"The Indian superstar and the film location Berlin will make for a great couple before the largest audience in the world," said Medienboard managing director Kirsten Niehuus. "Don 2" will appear in cinemas in the course of 2011.

Peepli Live To Release In Britain On Sept 24

Peepli Live To Release In Britain On Sept 24Aamir Khan's much talked about and highly successful production venture "Peepli Live" will be released in Britain Sep 24. And the actor-filmmaker plans to tour the country extensively to promote the satirical comedy that is breaking new ground.

Aamir has also made a request to all his fans in Britain to watch the film only when it officially releases there and not on pirated DVDs or by downloading it from the internet, said a press statement.

He feels that the movie buffs can truly enjoy the \"Peepli Live\" experience in theatres only.

Made on a budget of approximately Rs.100 million (including marketing costs), the movie left the audiences bursting out in guffaws and recovered its investment even before its release - through satellite and music rights for Rs.100 million and Rs.40 million respectively.

A political satire about farmer\'s suicides in India by journalist-turned-director Anusha Rizvi, \"Peepli Live\" has done astounding business in India - in its opening week, it earned about Rs. 24 crore.

With 109 overseas prints, it grossed another $ 640,000 (Rs.2.88 crore) abroad. \"Peepli Live\" received one of the highest openings for a non-cast film in overseas markets.

In the US, the film released on 64 prints and has grossed $364,000 in the opening weekend. In the Middle East, the film released during Ramadaan and opened at $175,000 on 18 prints. South Africa, Pakistan, Singapore, Benelux and Kenya contributed to about $59,000 in the opening weekend.

It starred lesser known tribals from Bhadwai village in Madhya Pradesh and members of late playwright Habib Tanvir\'s theatre troupe Naya Theatre. While the lead role of Natha was played by Omkar Das Manikpuri, other actors in the movie are Malaika Shenoy, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Shalini Vatsa, Farrukh Jaffer, Vishal O. Sharma, Aamir Bashir, Sitaram Panchal and Yugal Kishore. The only known actors in the black comedy have been Naseeruddin Shah and Raguveer Yadav.

Kareena Kapoor Is Like Tendulkar: Arjun Rampal

Kareena Kapoor Is Like Tendulkar: Arjun RampalBollywood actor Arjun Rampal, who termed his co-star Kareena Kapoor as "Bollywood's Sachin Tendulkar", Tuesday clarified he meant that she was in "great form" as the cricketer.

"I said Kareena is in great form like Sachin Tendulkar. Kareena is strong enough to have an identity of her own and I would never compare her like that," Arjun told reporters here at a press conference of her film "We Are Family".

"What I said and what has been quoted is very different. I meant she is in great form but the story has been churned very differently," he added.

The 37-year-old who is married to former model Mehr Jesia and has two daughters, plays his real life on reel as a father but claims himself to be the spoiling parent out of the two.

"I'm the good cop, they (children) call me the good cop and my wife is the bad cop... she corrects them all the time. I can never say no to them. If they say chocolates I say yes, if they say sports I say yes. So whatever they say I say yes. So in short you can say I kind of spoil them," said Arjun.

Releasing Sep 3, the film stars Kajol, Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal and is said to be the Indian version of Hollywood hit "Stepmom".

Hot Katrina Kaif asserts she is single

Hot Katrina Kaif asserts she is singleBollywood actress Katrina Kaif, who had always refrained from speaking about her relationship with actor Salman Khan, has finally confirmed that she was single.

"I am single. But beyond that I don't think I need to give too much of details," Katrina told reporters Tuesday at the Trident hotel, where she was named as the international brand ambassador of Etihad Airways.

Etihad Airways is the national airlines of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The actress who garnered rave reviews for her role in director Prakash Jha's political drama "Raajneeti" said that sometime it becomes very difficult to take a personal decision and more so if it has to be taken publicly.

"Sometimes it's hard enough to take decisions, professional sometimes but mostly personal and wherever the decision that you have to take, it's very difficult to take them and if you have to make them in front of everybody, whether it's media, or the public or the world, I think that's a little bit more than what I can handle. That's why for six years, I have never commented who I am with, if I had a break up, if there is an argument," Katrina said.

The actress said she thinks commitment changes with situation.

"If you commit to something, you must stand by. But if you commit to something and the situation changes, then perhaps the commitment also changes," she said.

Bollywood actresses Kajol Doubtful In Working With First Time Directors

Bollywood actresses Kajol Doubtful In Working With First Time DirectorsOne of Bollywood's finest actresses, Kajol says she was not keen to do "We Are Family" because it had a first-time director. She also believes being a mother in real life made a difference to her body language in the film where she is shown to have three children.

"Definitely. I think you always have doubts while working with first-time directors and it's very sensible to do that," Kajol, 35, told IANS in an interview about her latest film helmed by Siddharth Malhotra.

"I don't think you should have complete confidence in first-ime directors, you have to depend on yourself as well," said Kajol who had many years ago teamed up with Aditya Chopra in his directorial debut "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge" that went on to be a huge hit.

Now that "We Are Family" is ready for release, she is quite positive about the film, a Hindi adaptation of Hollywood comedy-drama "Stepmom". Releasing Sep 3, the film also stars Arjun Rampal and Kareena Kapoor.

"Lots of films can't be remade. If there is a magic in a film, that cannot be rejuvenated. But there are some films that can. I think 'Stepmom' is one of those. We couldn't have done this in English. If we have tried to do it in English, it would have flopped miserably," Kajol said.

"Since we are doing it in a different language, we had to change the script and make it more Indian. I personally think it's a different film from what 'Stepmom' originally is. When you watch the film, the premise of the film remains the same, but there is so much else there that I hope you come up with the feeling that it's a different film altogether."

Though it was her best pal, director-producer Karan Johar's production, Kajol really didn't want to do a film soon after "My Name Is Khan".

"I was not interested in doing a film at that point of time. I didn't want to sign anything. I was really tired doing 'My Name...'. I didn't want to hear the script. I wanted to chill and take a break for at least three months. When they insisted, I heard the script and I really liked it," said Kajol.

"We Are Family" is different from what Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon played in "Stepmom", she says.

"I had seen 'Stepmom' very, very long back. I didn't watch it before doing the film because I didn't want it to influence me and I really think Maya is a very, very different character from what Susan Sarandon played," said Kajol.

Kajol has a daughter in real life and is expecting her second child. She feels being a mother in real life makes a huge difference as far as the body language is concerned.

"When you become a mother and you are raising your daughter, there is something about a mother's voice that you get. God gives it to you. Most children respond to it and I think it comes instinctively.

"I think even in the film where your body language is concerned, I feel it makes a difference. I won't say you take it from normal life, it's just an instinctive part of taking care of a child or being very hands on over there," she said.

She played mother to a boy in the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer "My Name is Khan".

"Handling three children was more difficult - no two ways about it. That kid in 'My Name...' was very good and he was much older actually. Here, Diya (Sonecha) was five, Nomi (Nominath Ginsberg) was seven and Aachal (Munjal) was 12; so this was a complete range of children. But they were very sweet and enthusiastic," said Kajol.

Asked if her work distracted her from enjoying her pregnancy, she said: "I don't think that anything can distract you from being pregnant. You know that you are pregnant and 24x7 nothing can take that fact away from you and nothing can distract you from it.

"But, yes, it's nice working. It's good to know that I can still work. I was very, very nervous the first time around, but this time I am very comfortable and I know what to expect. So it's much easier to handle it," said Kajol.

She rules out any possibility of being a director ever.

"Not really, I am a reader. I like to read more than anything. My definition of a producer and director is they are the ones who get paid to have an ulcer in the stomach," said Kajol.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Priyanka Chopra - Brazil's whip-wielding dictator in Khatron Ke Khiladi

Priyanka Chopra - Brazil's whip-wielding dictator in Khatron Ke KhiladiActress Priyanka Chopra is hardly a friendly host in Rio de Janeiro where the stunts for Colors' adventure reality show "Fear Factor - Khatron Ke Khiladi" are being shot.

According to news filtering out of the beaches of Copacabana where the first batch of stunts were shot with 13 contestats, hostess Priyanka was not kidding when she said she would make the contestants hate her with her instructions.

According to at least two contestants, who spoke from the location, Priyanka has transformed into quite a whip-wielding dictator in Brazil. She makes the contestants work relentlessly and hardly provides them with a moment of breather to replenish their energy.

One of the exhausted contestants said, "She carries not a whip, but a whistle which is as good as whip. The whistle is with her throughout from 7.30 in the morning till late evening when we pack up. And she uses the whistle to intimidate us like no other woman in our lives has ever intimidated us."

In fact, the contestants are so fed up of the whistle that they plan to steal it and throw it into the ocean. But Priyanka is relentless in her adherence to the regime.

"Priyanka is determined to prove she can orchestrate the contestants' stunts as effectively as Akshay Kumar in the first two seasons of 'Fear Factor'," said a source from Rio.

"She is up at dawn and ready to play hard ball with the contestants by 7.30 every morning. The stunts start by 8.30 a.m., but not before a very close and careful briefing by the stunt director to make sure no one breaks any bones on location."

Throughout these stunts Priyanka is detached, dispassionate and ruthlessly professional. She does not fraternise with any of the contestants, not even Dino Morea whom she knows well.

"The only time she loosens up is towards the evening when she seems more relaxed. Otherwise she is so professional, it's scary," said the source.

Priyanka says she's doing her job exactly the way she is supposed to. "We are not here for a picnic. It's a tough regimen," she said.

For Kajol, Karan Johar is more than a brother

Kajol doesn't believe in rakhi as she feels "bonds are made from the heart". And the actress says filmmaker Karan Johar is more than a brother to her.

"The definition of a friend is somebody you choose and not somebody you are born with really. I think Karan is my friend for centuries and generation and lifetime I feel. I always felt that connection with him. He is more than a brother. It's a unique fantastic friendship that I am very grateful to have in my life," Kajol told IANS.

Kajol has played the lead actress in three of the four films Karan has directed - "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai" (1998), "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham" (2001) and "My Name Is Khan" (2010).

The actress will be seen playing a key role in Karan's next production "We are family" as well.

While Kajol doesn't believe in rakhi, the festival that symbolises the affection and love between brothers and sisters, she encourages her seven-year-old daughter Nysa to tie rakhis (decorative threads) on her cousins' wrists.

"I don't believe in rakhi. I believe that bonds are made from the heart...Yes rakhi is a great way to reaffirm that but I don't think that if you don't have a rakhi, it makes you any less of a friend...less of a relationship," said Kajol.

The actress, who is expecting her second child with actor husband Ajay Devgn in October, doesn't have a brother but will celebrate the festival of rakhi with a get-together at home.

"I don't have any brothers. Yes, my whole family is going to get together. My daughter has seven cousin brothers and they are all coming over and I think we are going to have a little bit of a party," said Kajol.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Anil Kapoor Interview: '24' bigger than my biggest work

Anil Kapoor Interview: '24' bigger than my biggest work Anil Kapoor is going great guns. After the international acclaim following "Slumdog Millionaire", the evergreen star is making his debut on international television with the final season of American series "24". He describes the action drama as "bigger than the biggest" he has done in India.

"This small screen ('24') was bigger than the big screen that I have done in India. It was bigger than the biggest that I've ever done," Anil, who played a game show host in "Slumdog Millionaire" that fetched him international visibility, told IANS in a telephonic interview from Mumbai.

"For example, the scale of every episode was bigger than any of the films I've done in the past. The entire series is worth $125-150 million. I've never done such a big show in my career. It was totally very special," added the 50-year-old.

Based in New York (shot in Los Angeles), the around-$150 million "24" is an action-drama series starring Kiefer Sutherland in the lead as special agent Jack Bauer. The show is presented in the semblance of real time, with each 24-episode season covering 24 hours in the life of Bauer. This is the eighth and final season of the show.

Anil plays Omar Hassan, president of a fictional Islamic Republic of Kamistan (IRK), who visits the US on a peace mission to meet the US president.

"I am definitely the first mainstream star from India to have this kind of job opportunity on television there," he said. "There is a threat to my life and the story begins from there. I play one of the most pivotal leads of the show. I am there in most of the series."

The series premieres Monday in India on AXN. This is the first time "24" will be aired here. It will be shown Monday to Thursday.

So how long was he in the US for the show?

"I was there (LA) for six months. Basically I was coming and going. I was also shooting a film 'No Problem' in India and South Africa. So in between I shot two schedules of the film too," he said.

And how was his international experience?

"The experience has been very enriching and educative - something which I've never had. It was wonderful and creatively very uplifting. It has given me tremendous exposure. Never in my 30-year career have I got this kind of appreciation.

"It was almost as if I was some kind of ambassador from India and had made a difference to their lives. I was so overwhelmed. I think it went beyond professional respect," he said.

Anil doesn't shy away from conceding too that "it was all because of 'Slumdog Millionaire' ".

Rumours are rife that he is keen to move on from the "Slumdog Millionaire" success.

Asked about it, he said: "You always have to attach and detach and that is the only way you can create more. I don't get attached to it and start living in past glory. I don't want to do that. I just want to move on and look at the future rather than looking at the past."

Has Bollywood taken a backseat?

"No. I can't forget my roots. I am what I am because of that. I have moved on and I'll do that also but I'll keep on doing this," he said.

He is now waiting to know the reaction of his Indian fans to his transition.

"There is no transition, because for me it was from big to bigger. But I am curious and anxious to know their reactions. I am waiting," he said.

Anil's future projects include sequels to "Race", "No Entry", "Mr. India" and he may star in Priyadarshan's action movie.

He is also in talks with Sophia Loren's son, Ben Stiller and Fox Television.
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