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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Mauli out of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa

She was one of the strongest contenders from Bappi Lahiri's Josh Gharana in "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2007", who had held on to the contest with tenacity despite discouraging remarks from judges on some of her performances.

But Mauli Dave definitely deserved the title of Indian Shakira that her guru Bappida had given her on the show. No wonder, her elimination from the musical talent hunt this week will be yet another blow to music-lovers across the globe who relished her typically rustic nasal pitch and her power-packed performances.

A close source revealed: "Mauli was running short of votes and was finally eliminated. However, this did not go down well with Bappida as Mauli was his favourite.

For the first time, he was very upset and angry on the show, as he had much confidence about the budding singer whom he had handpicked from the US, making it to the top three. He was visibly upset about the results and expressed his displeasure over it."

Although Mauli was equally upset, she graciously bowed out without betraying her emotions.

Hailing from a Gujarati family settled in Houston, Texas, USA, Mauli came into the spotlight after being crowned Miss Teen India Texas 2007.

Her first song on "Sa Re Ga Ma" "Mayya Mayya" fetched her a standing ovation from the entire panel of judges and the studio audience. Recently, there were rumours that Mauli was seeing the host of the show Aditya Narayan and that they were spotted together on many occasions.

However, the two have never brought up this matter in public. It is learnt that Aditya went mum after Mauli's elimination was announced. "He was visibly upset but he did not express it at all," the source informed.

With just a handful of contestants remaining on the show, the judges had rightly said that each elimination would be a big loss for the contest.

I can die for Rakhi & also kill for her!

Now majnus don't get better than this. Just one glance at Abhishek Awasthi's right arm and listening to his over-the-top proclamation of his love for girlfriend Rakhi Sawant are enough to convince one and all that this couple is going to provide some off-stage entertainment on "Nach Baliye 3".

So sure is this muscle man about his eternal love for Rakhi that he recently got her name tattooed on his right arm.

Says an excited Abhishek: "I had seen many Hollywood actors tattoo their partners' names on their bodies. So I told Rakhi about my desire to do the same. But she thought that I was joking and warned that I shouldn't even think of doing it."

But serious that Abhishek is about the relationship, he went right ahead and got the tattoo done from Al's in Bandra. The six-hour-long procedure left Abhishek with a blood splattered arm and in much pain. Although he had also wanted to add colours to the tattoo, the pain was getting unbearable so he dropped the idea.

However, Rakhi's name has been tattooed in such a complicated writing that one has to observe very closely to make it out.

Rakhi's excitement knew no bounds when she saw her name tattooed on boyfriend Abhishek. "She was shocked, but very happy too. She never imagined that I would do this for her. All my pain was gone when I saw so much of happiness on her face. I just want to see her happy at any cost and I will go out of my way to see her happy."

Now if that sounded like lines from a typical Bollywood potboiler, there is more to come. Dismissing chances of a break-up, Abhishek says: "I am not going to part ways with Rakhi, as I cannot think of any other option beyond her.

Main Rakhi ke liye jaan de bhi sakta hoon, le bhi sakta hoon (I can die for Rakhi and also kill for her). I am very much in love with her. She is my world and I cannot think of life without her. I live for her and her happiness. This is the motto of my life." Blah…blah…blah..

Now we know how the two came together in the first place. With a liberal dose of melodrama in everything they say and do, guess, the pair is just made for each other.

Just one request to the duo, try to keep away your mushy confessions from the sets of "Nach Baliye 3". The audience would be more interested in watching your moves on stage than in real life.

Rakhi and Abhishek are being directed by choreographer Pratap Shetty for the dance show. Abhishek is down with cold and fever for some time now but he is still managing to rehearse for about five hours a day. Hope all the efforts are to perform better in the contest than to impress Rakhi.

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My Sholay was jinxed from start: Ram Gopal Varma

Ram Gopal Varma silences the Aag critics… almost

Were do you think you went wrong with Aag?
I did go wrong. The one person I must have made supremely happy is Ramesh Sippy. I'm very happy to make him happy because he made my life. I saw Sippy's Sholay again last night. It's fantastic. I must've been nuts to attempt it.

All my impressions of Sholay over the years went into Aag. Now I ask myself, if someone else had made Aag and I as a fan of Sholay went to see Aag, how would I react? I'd probably hate Aag as much as pople have hated it. The original is too deeply embedded in the public's psyche.

Were you at all preprared for the severe backlash?
Can't say it was entirely unexpected. When you attempt to remake the most revered film in the history of Indian cinema you're going into the realm of the sacrilegous. Everyone from friends to well-wishers to people who didn't care a damn either way warned me I was heading for trouble.

Irrespective of whether the film was good or bad I was expecting extreme criticism. But I was not expecting such a low opening for the film.Whether it was because of the title or because of the film's look, I don't know.

People felt the film was looking very 1970s
But I wanted to make a 1970s film! So one way of looking at it as a homage to the decade. The other way is to see it as outdated. It's a question of perception.

Aag is your career's most vilified and ridiculed film.
I'd think so. The baggage of expectations was too high. The brickbats were a part of what people see as this upstart trying to tamper with a classic. The backlash isn't personal. Sometimes the criticism against some film begins and rises in a wave, all in one voice. I don't think people sat down and conspired to trash the film.

What according to you is the reason for the backlash?
They hate my guts for having the audacity to attempt to remake Sholay. But I'm used to be hated for what I do. Only this time the volume of protests is higher.

What do you mean?
They keep ridiculing me for everything I do. Everyone has a mind and tongue and the right to use them. I think it's human pleasure to attack others. No one has the time to be personal.

What about the SMS that said you should learn filmmaking from your former assistants Madhur Bhandarkar and Shimit Amin?
We all have an opinion on everything under the sun. If somebody feels I should learn filmmaking they're right in their own way. When Kissna failed they said Subhash Ghai should enroll in his own film institute. Ridiculing people is a form of entertainment.

At least I'm entertaining people more with their comments on Aag than I did with the film. They should at least thank me for that and give me a 5-star rating for providing post-release entertainment.

Maybe the volume of work goes against you.
I don't agree with that. I don't do anything but make films. And I can't take a break from what I do just because people want me to make less films.

In any case I don't think people care if I make 2 or 20 films a year as long as they like what they see, And who knows what will click? When I made Satya it was meant to be a no-show film with newcomers and a non-recognizable hero with a beard.

Then I made Daud with Sanjay Dutt and Urmila which was supposed to be a sure-shot. It bombed. I put in the same effort in every film. If I knew a film wouldn't work am I a madman to make it?

But people feel Aag was a careless work?
That's again a viewpoint. My intention was re-do the original without tampering with the spirit of Sholay. Now take Mohanlal. I had him with a beard all through because my logic was, how can a man without fingers shave? Then people say Mohanlal looks like a bear with the beard! Now what do I do?

As for Mr Bachchan as Babban, I wanted it to be low-profile. People found him inert and unenergetic. Let me clear this. Every actor has done exactly what he or she was told to.

If Mr Bachchan's performance was found to be inconsistent it's because through his character I tried to pay a homage to all the villains I know from Mad Max to Gabbar Singh to Anthony Hopkins in The Silence Of The Lambs to Jack Nicholson in Batman.

I was too busy enjoying Mr Bachchan's performance on sets. I lost track of the character's consistency in the film.

So you take full blame?
Yes. I take blame for every actor, camereman, dialogue writer,etc. They did what I asked them to. I kept on insisting Aag was a formula film. I never said I was making a classic. But I guess no one was listening. Right from the word go my Sholay was jinxed.

From the court cases to the title change…. Once I got caught in the process of separating the legal matters from the film I was jacked. See I'm a genre filmmaker. Sholay is not a genre. I was trying to artificially capture what didn't come naturally to me. I got confused.So obviously it wouldn't work.

"Himesh is the Laxmikant-Pyarelal of today" - Subhash

Subhash Ghai has recently sold the rights for his Karz to T-Series. But wasn't Karz inspired by The Reincarnation Of Peter Proud?

“Yes," Ghai admits. "But only in one scene where Peter meets his mother. The rest of the story and script was written afresh as per Indian myths and beliefs. You have to see Reincarnation Of Peter Proud to see how different it was from Karz."

Ask him if Himesh Reshammiya would do as much justice to the main lead as Rishi Kapoor and SG replies, "I'm no authority to judge the future work of any talent. Himesh may even prove better, who knows? I know Laxmikant-Pyarelal did a fabulous job in my Karz. But I'm sure Himesh will do a good job. Himesh is today's Laxmikant Pyarelal ...time brings new people too."

Subhash Ghai is working with Gulzar Saab for the first time in his new directorial venture Main Yuvraj. Why the change from Javed Akhtar Saab? Smiles Ghai, "It's the script that tells a director to choose the right talent and technicians to justify the mood of the film ... its nothing personal .You’ve to wait and watch what we do together. But it has to be unique. Every film of mine has its own rhythm and pattern. Khalnayak came after Saudagar, Pardes came after Khalnayak, Taal came after Pardes; so every film is a new child with a different face for a director and he enters into a new avenue, risk and challenges. That’s the thrill of a good director being on the scene."

But before Main Yuvraj featuring Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anil Kapoor, Subhash Ghai has a smaller directorial venture Black & White ready for release.

Ghai defends the 'smallness' of the venture. "Mukta has given Iqbal and Joggers Park too. They were smaller more intimate films. Yes, Black & White is being made under the Mukta Searchlight banner with minimum budget. It's an issue-based subject with a different approach. Whereas Main Yuvraaj is a full- on entertainer to release in 2008. Let’s see what Subhash Ghai brings to you. May be a surprise if not a shock. He is working hard as usual with a smile," Ghai ends in the third person in true royal showman fashion.

Celina Jaitley signs her second Hollywood film Click here to add this article to My Clips

Celina Jaitley has been tapped to star in the historical epic The Quest of Sheherzade. The International production will recount the tales of the legendary 1001 Nights woven by a mystical warrior princess, Sheherzade.The image “http://i.indiafm.com/img/news/07/sep/celina2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Says Performer / Producer Shani Rigsbee (Crash, One Night with the King), “I was aware of Celina's work and was anxious to meet and discuss the project and after our meeting, we knew that she truly had the sensitivities and passion for the subject matter which aside from her obvious beauty, were incredible attributes we felt necessary for our project".

Executive Producer, Deborah Davis (Borderland, Nightlife) says, "Our version of the Sheherzade story will be approached as a Hollywood style epic which will be both cinematically beautiful and also story driven; we plan to appeal to the International audience and Celina is the perfect leading lady".

“It's a great opportunity to be associated with this project, especially since there are two A-list Hollywood stars, one senior and one junior opposite me. I would like to explore and experiment with different kinds of cinema. In fact, being fluent in German, I would like to do a German film too” says Celina.

She adds “Bollywood will always remain a priority for me. I have taken a conscious decision to do two good Bollywood films and one international film every year. I will be very selective about the kind of films I want to be associated with.”

“Also I am very fortunate to be connected with professional managers in the west. They look after every aspect of my career professionally. I am even more honored since the agency has the veritable A-listers in their roster. Thankfully I didn't have to struggle. I will give it my best shot”, Celina signs off.

Deepika dances with Rajesh Khanna, Sunil Dutt

Farah Khan will recreate the magic of 70's by presenting her new girl, Deepika Padukone romancing with the 70's legends Sunil Dutt, Rajesh Khanna and Jeetendra in her forthcoming flick, Om Shanti Om. Farah Khan has left no stone unturned to give realistic essence to the film. All this was made possible with SFX.

Farah added that SFX had been used in the song where Deepika dances with Sunil Dutt, Jeetendra and Rajesh Khanna. Deepika plays the character of a star from the 70's era, and thus, dances around the leading actors of that decade. Farah is very excited about seeing the legendary heroes dancing again on screen.

A similar sequence was created in the opening scene Jaan-e-Mann, directed by Farah’s husband, Shirish Kunder, where Salman receives an award and is surrounded by the actors of the 70’s.

Om Shanti Om stars Shah Rukh, Deepika Padukone and Shreyas Talpade in lead roles. The film will hit the screens on November 9.

Tanushree to do an action film

Known for her glamorous roles, Tanushree Dutta is now all set to do an action film. The film is yet untitled and will be directed by a new director, Hadi Abrar.The image “http://i.indiafm.com/img/news/07/sep/tanu1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

This film is not a part of mainstream cinema, it is targeted at children. Tanushree further explains, “It’s a children’s film with lot of special effects and fantasies.”

Earlier, it was reported that the film is based on the ‘Tomb Raider Series’ however, on contacting Tanushree, she clarified, “No, its not based on the Tomb Raider series and the character has nothing to do with Lara Croft played by Angelina Jolie. It has a different story line and concept altogether, but the look is somewhat inspired from it.”

Tanushree has always dreamt of being a part of action films. “It’s something which excited me a lot; of course I think it is the kind of film that would probably give a swing to my portfolio, as an actor. Since it’s a children’s movie, there is a limit to the amount of action portrayed in it, however my aspiration to star in an action packed film is yet to be fulfilled”, states Tanushree Dutta.

Tanushree has already started doing homework and begun attuning her body for the film. She further confirms, “I would be required to do some action sequences, although they won’t be very complicated. However, I need to train myself for that because I have never done an action sequence before that’s why I am learning martial arts.”

Celina appointed brand ambassador of Egypt!

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Celina Jaitley is literally going places these days. From a great career in Bollywood to presiding over as a Chief Guest at London’s India Now Festival to bagging her first mega Hollywood project, Quest of Seherzade, it’s raining work for her. And now the latest in her kitty is another important assignment. She has just been appointed as brand ambassador of Egypt. She will help promote this ancient exotic country throughout the world by using her name, beauty and charm. “It's a great honour and I am looking forward to take up this new challenge and assignment. I will be leaving for Egypt in the middle of this month on a state visit,” she says. Another feather in her cap.

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