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Friday, July 27, 2007

Divya Dutta distances herself from her Osian entry

Though she's the central character of Gudiya one of entries at the just-concluded Osian film festival in Delhi, Divya Dutta was no part of its projection and promotion at the Festival.

Said a source, "The director of Gudiya, Prabhakhar Shukla was in a hurry to screen the film at the festival. Post-production still needed to be done. But Prabhakar felt visibility at a posh festival like Osian was important for a topical subject like Gudiya. He was right in his own way."

But the leading lady disagreed. She apparently felt an unfinished film was not what audiences should see.

Divya Dutta whom her director Rituparno Ghosh refers to as an "exquisite actress” has been in Delhi attending the Osian Film Festival as a co-hostess along with Manisha Koirala and Gul Panag. But she was no part of any if the events related to the film.

Evading the issue Divya says, "I had myself a ball at the Osian film festival. It has become a lovely rallying point for like-minded cineastes. And the focus is on international and Indian cinema. So we get a nice mix. I was there as a hostess along with Manisha Koirala and Gul Panag who are such lovely persons. We three girls had ourselves a ball."

As for Gudiya, "At the end of the day it is my film. And I'm very proud of it," said Divya.

When Anil Kapoor cried…

It's strange and very rare, but it's true. Eros International along with Anil Kapoor Films Company kept their first ever Press conference outside India for the promotion of their film Gandhi My Father in the Courthouse Hotel in Central London. The cast and the crew who attended the conference included the director Mr Feroz Khan, the producer Anil Kapoor, actor Akshaye Khanna and Tushaar Gandhi, the great grandson of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The stage was set for the most shocking truth which was about to shock the International media present in the conference room.

The first person invited to speak was Anil Kapoor. He came, he saw, he broke down. Yes, when asked how did the journey as a producer started he said that he wasn't quite sure whether to produce it or not and it was only because of his daughter's and other family members interest he said Yes to the project.

Anil then went into flash back and described how he and Feroz became friends and how the script for Gandhi My Father came about. The moment he recalled those memorable moments, Anil Kapoor took a long pause. His eyes became moist and he started crying. The actor/producer was speechless, not because he was crying but because the film was so close to his heart.

Everyone from the media cheered Anil Kapoor on for standing up in front of the media and letting us know that how important is a film like Gandhi My Father to the talented actor.

Another crying episode also took place couple of weeks back in London's Soho screening rooms when few of the guests and media had moist eyes after the special screening of the film. Well, looks like Gandhi My Father is surely going to make its audiences go home with moist eyes but a warm feeling in heart of having watched a great cinema.

Vishal Bhardwaj's next is a songless film

Vishal Bhardwaj whose film The Blue Umbrella is releasing on August 10 has decided to put his international war epic on hold.

"I'm working on a few scripts. As for the World War 2 film, yes it's very much on. But the film requires a huge canvas, huge budget and an international cast. The casting is taking a helluva lot of time…much longer than we thought. I'm still in negotiation with actors from Hollywood."

Has Uma Thurman been approached? "Yes Uma Thurman has been approached. But she hasn't made up her mind. I’m letting the producer go ahead with the casting of the WW2 film while I'm going ahead with another film because I need to get back behind the camera in December 2007 or January 2008."

Vishal has zeroed in a subject. "It will be a film without songs, a very real docu-drama kind of subject."

This would be Vishal's first songless film. "How will I make a film without music? I'll worry about the impact when it's released. Right now I just want to do the film that has come to my mind."

About The Blue Umbrella he says, "I'm not stressed about this film. Because it's a very simple and innocent story. No one can hate The Blue Umbrella. I'm not worried about my credibility. Of course it was made before Omkara. So I've matured since then. The Blue Umbrella was made in a different frame of mind."

Shahrukh: 'I am the last superstar of India'

Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan apparently thinks that there will be no actor to match his superstar status in the Indian film industry after him.

Khan, dubbed ‘the King of Bollywood,’ recently said that he is the last "superstar" of Bollywood.

Khan insisted that the superstar breed was increasingly being wiped out because of the recent changes in the entertainment industry.

"The entertainment industry is changing rapidly, with the growth of satellite channels and multiplexes,” Timesonline quoted him, as saying.

“Soon there will not be any superstars. I would like to believe that I am the last superstar of India,” he added. (ANI)

Rs. 1 crore video

Producers Bhushan Kumar and Kishen Kumar are going out of the way to give their best to their new production BHOOL BHULAIYAA, directed by Priyadarshan. Although Priyan has completed the principal shooting of the film and the producers have also announced the release date [12th October], the team has decided to shoot an additional song, a music video, that’ll be an integral part of the film and will also be used for promotional purposes.
The video will be filmed on Akshay Kumar in the first week of August at a suburban studio.

Mithun - Mimoh teamed for the first time

Its fun watching real-life father-son jodis on the big screen. Big B and Abhishek Bachchan teamed up for a number of successful and unsuccessful films. More recently, Dharmendra teamed up with his two sons, Sunny and Bobby, in APNE. Earlier, Jeetendra and Tusshar also featured together in a Balaji film. Now Mithun Chakraborty and son Mimoh have been cast together for the first time.

Producer Anjum Rizvi, who has produced CHARAS and AHISTA AHISTA in the past and is co-producing WEDNESDAY with UTV [releasing in September], has teamed the real-life father and son in his new venture, titled FAST FORWARD.

FAST FORWARD, isn’t it an odd title? “It suits the subject of my film. I am attempting a musical, a dance-based film and the title [FAST FORWARD] is synonymous with music,” Anjum informs me. To be directed by Zaigham Ali Syed [he’s into the television industry], FAST FORWARD will co-star Shekhar Suman’s son Adhyayan Suman, Sheena and Sabeena [a student of Anupam Kher’s acting school].

Anjum plans to begin filming in September. Music will be composed by well-known DJ Akbar Sami.

Gowarikar to act in Renuka Shahane's film

Ashutosh Gowarikar is all set to act soon after he finishes his film Jodha Akbar. He will be seen in his old friend and actress Renuka Shahane’s directorial debut film Rita. This movie is based on a novel written by Renuka’s mother.

Renuka and Ashutosh’s association goes a long way. The two acted together in a television serial Circus (which also starred Shah Rukh Khan) and after that they did a course in film appreciation together, from the Film & Television Institute of India, Pune. Ashutosh will play the main protagonist called Vitthal Salvi a person from rural Maharashtra.

Talking about Ashutosh’s casting, Renuka informs that he suits the character well. Besides, when Renuka asked him to act in her film, Ashutosh was amused and surprised. They will finalize the dates once he is back from Jodha Akbar’s shoot.

Ashutosh had started his career as an actor. His debut film was Holi. He was then seen in a number of known films which includes Naam, Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro, Chamatkar and Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na.

Priyanka Chopra lists her favourite belongings

Priyanka Chopra lists five of her favourite belongings

"My brother Siddharth helps me with all of my gizmos. I am really attached to my Apple lap-top. I am always on it It is the best mode of communication for me. My photos, my music – it has plenty of my data," she reveals.

"My Tag Heuer watch. This Link diamond model", says the brand ambassador pointing to her sleek chronometer.

"Once thing I will not go out without is my mascara. It defines yours eyes and adds meaning to your expressions," she analyses.

"My all – time favorite is a pair of jeans topped by a crisp, white shirt. But when I am playing it safe I go for a black shirt." says the erstwhile beauty queen.

"Most definitely my home. I am hardly there, you know," surmises the globe- trotting actor.

Blog: Making peace with Salman Khan

My Dear Salman,

You must be flush with the success of your latest movie, and given your superstar status, you may not care less, but I have a confession to make.

I have finally made my peace with you.

You may be shaking your head with incredulity, since you certainly have never heard of me, and probably never will, given the very different worlds we inhabit. However, I know all about you. From how your face has changed over the years (did even you realize that a year ago, your face had softened a bit around the edges, but has regained its chiseled look now), to the color of the shorts you wore in a certain song sequence to details of all your relationships. Before you start worrying about me being a stalker, let me lay you at rest. I am no stalker. Indeed I can't even say I am much of a fan of yours.

What I am is the husband of someone who is an incorrigibly devoted fan of yours.

Such a devoted fan that when I told her I had an idea of writing a piece about you, she grabbed me by the collar, threatening me not to make fun of you or your often shirtless status, something I do find a mildly amusing substitute for acting. On reading this line, she is now sulking next to me.

While I say that today I have made my peace with you, it wasn't always the case.

Some three years ago, when I first met my wife, I would bristle at times when she'd get all tongue-tied at the mention of your name or seeing a trailer for one of your movies. At that time, I must confess to having fallen prey to the green eyed monster more than once, feeling the helpless envy of a man who could never hope to compare with the larger than life persona of a superstar. A man whose feeble attempts at staying fit could never compare with your gym sculpted biceps and whose wisecracks could never compare with the wit and charm that comes with retakes and professional scriptwriters.

Over time, as our relationship blossomed and we got married, I began to see you as something I would have to accept as part of the territory. An occupational hazard of sorts, much as I suspect, she would view my bemoaning the difficulty of using the chainsaw bayonet in Gears of War on my Xbox 360 or boring her with outlines for my latest book.

Of late, as I've learnt what goes into creating a great relationship the only way one can- by immersing oneself in it every day, I have come to see you in a totally different light. I guess after a point, every relationship reaches a stage when one stops thinking what each individual enjoys more. What's important is just being together, and doing things together, whatever the excuse that brings that togetherness. So today I realize that seeing her eyes light up on seeing you on screen is not a threat, but indeed a treat, because seeing her happy is what matters more than my once insecure ego. I have learnt that being in love with one's partner and being a fan of a screen idol are not mutually exclusive.

In a real way, how I relate to you has mirrored, or perhaps even catalyzed, what I have learnt about relationships over the last couple of years.

So Salman, from someone who isn't even much of a fan, the very best of luck. Keep doing what you do best, and keep bringing a smile to the face of your fans- especially my wife.

Best regards,


Shilpa Shetty's exclusive interview with BBC

Yesterday Shilpa Shetty spoke exclusively to Asian Network digital Radio feeling it was time to break her silence after the controversies that have been surrounding her.

Heres bringing you the excerpts from the exclusive interview of Shilpa Shetty with BBC Asian Network bbc.co.uk/asiannetwork

"The people who made me the person who I am, I think I owe them an explanation, not that I really owe an explanation to the Press because they've gone ahead and written what they wanted and what they wanted to do and tried to tarnish my image but I think I owe the People an explanation" says Shilpa Shetty.

Has this been a very stressful period?
Well it has been you know, because being a celebrity isn't easy, there's no denying that. When vested interests try and tarnish your image, and it's pretty evident with the goings on that there is someone out who is trying to bring me down. I have God on my side and have great support in my family. I'm someone who's always stood up and spoken when things aren't right and what according to me aren't right.

I wanted to keep quiet, but I felt that me keeping silent would be misconstrued as for being weak, wanting to hide something and there is no such thing.

Do you feel like a victim of conspiracy?
All that really doesn't matter to me, what matters to me is when people don't bother to find out from me and just put it in to make it great news.

I was upset about that and I really wonder how people can take the Carte Blanch to do the thinking for me that I could do actually do something like breaking someone's home!

I come from a country and belong to a culture that actually believes in and values relationships. And I'm a believer in Karma and I wouldn't do something like that.

What about the headlines in India about your alleged affair with Raj Kundra?
I haven't even met Raj until three months ago. So it's very very silly, it's definitely a figment of their imagination. It's been really stressful for me and my family.

How would you take it, your sister, your daughter, what would you go through? It's terrible.

Hats off to the man with the cap

His is truly the most surprising success stories in the history of Indian cinema… his nasal twang and aspiring acting careers was the butt of many jokes… but he combated all that criticism and emerged victorious when his film opened to an unprecedented response… love him or hate him... you can not deny his brand value… hats off to the man with the cap… Himesh Reshammiya is the next guest on 'Koffee with Karan'.

Excerpts from the interview:

Karan: Welcome to Koffee with Karan Himesh… how does it feel to be on the show?
Himesh: Superb!

Karan: Firstly, congratulations on the super success of your film… I know a large section of the industry was surprised… but were you expecting this kind of success?
Himesh: I think… I just believed in God, destiny and somewhere I think everyone just prayed for me and that is something that worked for me

Karan: By everyone, you mean who, large sections of the industry were not praying for you…
Himesh: No, no… only that 1 %… people just felt that this can not happen, a singer not a very good looking guy…
Karan: As in, not conventional looking… not hero material?
Himesh: I think you are being nice to me… but, it was something that was unprecedented… when the film started, people did say, “paagal ho gaya hai”. I understand. But, when actually the film was declared a hit… then, people realized.

Karan: There were particular people, who were somehow targeting you… is there any one kind of person that you felt resentment towards?
Himesh: No… I really did not feel resentment towards anyone… because when you try something which is unprecedented… then people are going to… till you prove it… and when this film was releasing… and it was declared that is a hit… so many people called me and said, “very good”… congratulated me… and they said, that they felt it wouldn't work… so, its just that I was doing something new… something different… and it takes a little time to accept something that is unconventional…

Karan: Have you heard that behind your back there might be other singers who might be making fun of you?
Himesh: Yes… of course why not… but, you know, when they meet me… kitne composers ke saath milne ka mauka milta hain… pehli baar… phir woh opinion badal jati dete hain…

Karan: But one thing is… you keep very quite about your wife… you don't talk about her?
Himesh: Because she is a very simple girl…

Karan: It's not that you feel that your image gets affected
Himesh: No, the first time that I was asked whether I was married… I said Yes

Karan: And you have a son?
Himesh: Ya… I have a son

Karan: What's his name?
Himesh: His name is Swayam

Karan: What made you think that you can be a lead actor?
Himesh: When we used to travel for our shows… we really got a very good response from the audience… it was not a very conventional film… it was about this character who goes to Germany… it was a thriller… it was a very different kind of film… we just felt that we will definitely get an audience to watch and the music and the performances in the videos was really liked by a lot of people and Prashant, the Director, he really believed that…yes…
Karan: you were capable of it…
Himesh: Yes

Karan: But Himesh Reshamiya ko gussa kyun aata hain?
Himesh: Gussa tab aata tha Karan: Maine aapko stage pe dekha tha… once on an award ceremony… you were very angry… when you went to receive the award… you were upset with people… what was making you so angry?
Himesh: Ahhh… Honestly, in the first year… all my songs were becoming huge hits… but somewhere woh criticism bina wajeh aa raha tha… yeh mujhe us waqt lagta tha… ab jab main … when I look back… I feel that they had a point… this film also has got so much of criticism from the critics… but, it has done well at the box office… so that 1 %, I really want to win them over

Karan: You want to win them over?
Himesh: Ya…

Karan: I am happy to know that your attitude is like… who cares what they say?
Himesh: No, who cares, kaise ho sakta hain… then it will be wrong

Karan: But you are aware that there are sections who might want to watch the film… only to laugh at you..,
Himesh: Ya… of course

Karan: You are aware of that?
Himesh: For the first time… when the film was launched… I did tell a lot of press guys also… that they will say, “ Himesh Reshamiya paagal ho gaya hai”… I know that…

Karan: So, you are not living in an island of your own
Himesh: I can't… because if I do that … then I am jacked

Karan: Would at all say that… you wanted to win the class audience… in terms of the class film makers… because you worked with a lot mainstream people… but, the bigger banners eluded you?
Himesh: Bigger banners… maine try kiya Karan… unko phone bhi kiye… maine apko kitne phone kiye… Please aap mujhe ek baar chance di jiye aapke film mein kaam karne ka… but, main yeh samajh raha tha.. main us waqt 30-35 films kar raha tha… toh woh jo teen chaar bahut hi top ke banners hain… jo bahut exclusive stuff karte hain… unke liye bahut odd tha mujhe lena… main ye samajh tha ta.. par phir bhi main apni taraf se koshish kar raha tha… jab waha pe mujhe nahi mauka mil tha tha… aur yaha par yeh log mujhe kaam de rahe the… to main unko kaise bhool sakta tha

Karan: You stood by those people
Himesh: Yes… 100% aur rahoonga… kyuni, woh log mujhe kaam de rahein hain… aur mujhe apna talent dikhane ka mauka inhi logo ne diya…
Karan: Correct
Himesh: Chote se chote makeron ka main bahut aabhari hoon… us waqt unhone meri believe ki… main jo kuch bhi aaj hoon…
Karan: It is because of them
Himesh: Yes…

Karan: But, do you feel that you want to get that class
Himesh: Always… that 1%
Karan: That 1% that you are not getting
Himesh: Yes… I want to and I will… aur mujhe pata nahi… aise lagta hain ki bhagwan sun lega aur woh 1% bhi mere saath aa jayega

Karan: Aap yahan aakar kafi smile kar rahe hain… but projection kyun hain ki… Himesh Reshamiya doesn't smile… yeh apka khud ka projection hain ki… you made sure you are projected like this…
Himesh: Nahi… aise nahi hain… teen chaar cheezein main clear karna chahoonga… aisa nahi hain ki main hasta hi nahi hoon… ab main intensity wala aadmi hoon… to woh theek hain… main bahut zyaada nahi hasta hoon… par aisa nahi hain ki main hasta hi nahi hoon… aur kuch rumours mere saath jude huye hain… Jhalak Dikh Laja ke saath bhoot aaja na.. yeh kitni weird baat hain…

Hope Salman and Aamir are reading this

First there was Jai and Veeru. Then came Munna and Circuit. And now please welcome Prem and Bhaskar.

David Dhawan's 'common sense and nonsense' mascots in Partner are creating a laugh riot across screens all over the country. Never mind the critics David and his musketeers don't give a damn about them the verdict is crystal clear. Partner is a surefire hit.

There is no doubt whatsoever that Partner is unabashedly inspired by the Will Smith starrer Hitch but unlike the original, which was a romcom, David has treated Partner as a buddy flick. It's a smart move since the crackling chemistry between Salman Khan and Govinda holds the entire madcap enterprise. Watch the duo in the scene where Salman teaches Govinda to chill while dancing and you know that these two guys are the new pin ups for the buddy movie genre.

If Salman plays the uber cool dude to the hilt then Govinda is the personification of a filmi loser. Displaying great comic timing, both the actors play up the contrasts in their personas, make good-natured digs at each other and in the process bring down the house. The camaraderie doesn't seem forced and the laughs seem genuine too. The viewer has a great time because he can sense that the actors are having a great time together. All in all Team Partner deserve kudos for bringing e smiles back at the BO.

The success of Partner reaffirms Salman's smashing track record in two-hero projects. Salman is perhaps the only hero in the top league who has worked with most of his rival contemporaries and more often than not the films have been victorious at the BO. The most heartening aspect about Salman's two-hero projects is that there having hardly been any stories of power struggle or infighting with the other actor. No wonder Govinda calls him as “the most secure actor” he's worked with.

Salman's first double hero film was Saajan with Sanjay Dutt. A self confessed Sanju fan, Salman has also work with his idol in Chal Mere Bhai, Yeh Hai Jalwa and the aborted Dus. In all these enterprises, Salman's affection for “Baba” (as Salman calls him) comes across. He's been more than happy to be in Sanju's company.

Salman and Shah Rukh Khan made for successful combo in Karan Arjun, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam. The pairing works on many levels. While SRK's high voltage energy smacks you the moment he appears on screen, Salman on the other hand, slowly envelops the screen and makes you want to be his best friend.

I also love watching Salman and Akshay Kumar together. They kicked up a fabulous beach bash in Mujhse Shaadi Karogi and were totally in forms in Jaan-E-Mann. In both their films, they've squared over a women. They do pose a tough choice for any girl since both of them are extremely good looking and stylish. There is also a healthy sense of rivalry between them, if you look closely you can see them sizing up each other, which of course has worked fabulously in their on-screen escapades.

Salman has also had a fruitful association with Anil Kapoor in Biwi No. 1, No Entry and Salaam-e-Ishq. Interestingly, in all these films, Salman and Anil have bonded over infidelity and marriage. There is great comfort between them and the films reflect that.

Salman has also paired off successfully with Sunny Deol (Jeet) and Saif Ali Khan (Hum Saath Hain). And of course who can forget Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam where Salman played the passionate lover to the hilt as opposed to Ajay Devgan's sacrificing husband? The one scene that they had together where Salman teaches Ajay to sing was just not enough. Sanjay Leela Bhansali should have given us more since the duo displayed fabulous rapport. Honestly, we felt cheated. I really hope that London Dreams is revived so that we can enjoy watching these two actors stir up a great musical rhapsody.

Last but definitely not the least, someone please order a sequel to Rajkumar Santoshi's cult classic Andaaz Apna Apna. Aamir Khan and Salman were born to play their Amar Prem avatars. Their comic one-upmanship antics were howlarious and their timing was perfects. This one is screaming for a second serve. Hope Salman and Aamir are reading this.

Screen Talk: Abhi-Ash inspire film theme!

Filmmaker Satya Prakash Mangtani, who is inspired by the Bachchan family, is all set to make a film based on the Abhi-Ash saga titled Kuch Na Kuch To Baat Hai. The film will revolve around real life characters based on Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Salman Khan, Karisma Kapoor and Viveik Oberoi. The small budget film will star South actor Manie cast in the role of Abhishek. The heroine to play the role of Aishwarya is yet to be confirmed. “We are looking for a girl who has a close resemblance to Ash,” says writer-director Kumar Mangtani. The film will go on floors in September with a start-finish-schedule.

When asked what if the Bachchans raise an objection, the director says, “I have not projected the family in a cheap manner. I want to convey to the audience that one should not accept manglik or non-manglik beliefs. I have already written to Amitabh, asking for his permission, and am ready to show him the script before it goes on floors.” “In no way have I tried to tarnish their image. I have also created an element of suspense at the end of the film. Five songs for the film have already been recorded,” shares Kumar.


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