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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Movie review - Darling

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Punchline: bhoot film in disguise
Genre: Horror
Cast: Fardeen Khan, Esha Deol, Isha Koppikar, Zakir Hussain & Kota Srinivasan Rao
Music: Himesh Reshammiya, Pritam Chakraborty & Prasana Shekhar
Cinematography: Amit Roy
Dialogues: Kusum Punjabi
Screenplay: Prawaal Raman & Kusum Punjabi
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Producers: Bhushan Kumar & Krishan Kumar
Release date: 7 September 2007

Aditya (Fardeen Khan) is a married man with wife Ashwini (Isha Koppikar) and a kid. But his wife does not indulge in his wild sexual escapade. Driven by frustration, Aditya is forced to have an affair with his secretary Geeta (Isha deol). Geeta is a wild woman who matches up to Aditya’s ffantasies. Aditya promises Geeta that he would divorce his wife and marry her soon. Geeta tells Aditya that she is pregnant and they have a bitter argument, during that argument Aditya pushes Geeta and she dies after hitting her head to an object. The rest of the story is all about how Geeta returns to his life as a ghost and haunts him.

Actors: Fardeen Khan looks good as the playboy. His acting is matured along with his age and he suited the role well. Isha Deol is perfect in the role of darling ghost. Isha Koppikar is fair as the homely wife. Kota Srinivasa Rao did the cameo of a psychiatrist. Nisha Kothari did an item song.

Story - screenplay - direction: The story is written with the objective to scare the audiences off. The film succeeds in scaring people. But by killing the girl in just 20 minutes after the starting of the film, the director had to show the escapades of ghost for the remaining two hours, which is a cumbersome task for anybody. Hence the latter part of the film bores you. Another reason for this are the limited characters and limited locations. The director needs extra material to make this film interesting to the viewers. And there is no proper ending to the story. The threads of police investigation aspect and the father’s search for her daughter are left unfinished. Screenplay should have been better.

Other departments: Music is a plus to the film. The first two songs (Khudkushi song featuring Nisha Kothari) and the second song (composed Himesh) are very good. The producer succeeded in this aspect because this product is from T Series. The background music is chilling at times. Cinematography is decent. Dialogues are ok.

Analysis: This film comes as a disappointment for those people who go to see a 7-year-itch kind of movie as the title suggests. This film turns out to be yet another bhoot film in disguise from Ram Gopal Varma. If you are the one who enjoys horror flicks might give this film a try. Others might give a skip.

Movie review - Dhamaal

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Punchline: laugh your hearts out
Genre: Comedy
Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi, Javed Jaffrey, Ritesh Deshmukh, Aashish Chaudhary, Asrani, Murli Sharma, Prem Chopra & Vijay Raaz
Music director: Adnan Sami
Cinematography: Vijay Arora
Action: P Kumar
Story: Paritossh Painter
Dialogues - screenplay: Balwinder Singh Suri, Paritossh Painter & Bunty Rathod
Director: Indra Kumar
Producers: Ashok Thakeria & Indra Kumar
Release date: 7 September 2007

There are four orphans (Arshad Warsi, Javed Jaffrey, Ritesh Deshmukh, Aashish Chaudhary) who are in desperate need of money. They accidentally happened to be at a place where a speeding car plunges into a valley off the road. The dieing man (Prem Chopra) reveals a secret about his treasure of 10 crores. These guys can go to a crematory in search of the hidden treasure. Meanwhile, a cop (Sanjay Dutt) is on the trail of this dying man. The rest of the story is all about how these guys retrieve the treasure.

Actors: Sanjay Dutt is cool as the cop who is after the treasure. Arshad Warsi is perfect. Ritesh Deshmuch seem to be a permanent fixture for any film that has more than 2 heroes. He is good. Javed Jaffrey steals the show with his portrayal. Aashish Chaudhary is decent. Asrani is pretty good as parsi father.

Story: The basic story is taken from 1963 Hollywood flick “It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World”. This film is already copied in Telugu as ‘Kishkinda Kanda’ around 15 years back. The director used the thread of son stealing the car of father from another Hollywood film ‘Road Trip (2000)’. The toilet humor shown during the introduction of Javed Jaffery is lifted from Mr. Bean TV series. There are also inspirations from ‘Rat Race (2001)’ film.

Screenplay - direction: Though it is an inspired story, it takes the real talent to create humor by narrating the situations in a funny style. Director Indra Kumar succeeded in creating unlimited laughter in many situations. The direction of the film is alright. Screenplay is good. It is very difficult to direct a Bollywood film in which there is no heroine. But this film is an exception. The following scenes in the film are terrific -

1. A Tamilian telling his name.
2. The Vijay Raaz scene in which he guides the crashing private plane.
3. The horse - grass story.
4. The cowboy kind of execution scene for the four guys
5. The climax part

Other departments: The music of the film is strictly average. Cinematography should have been better. There is no clarity and focus in the scenes that were shot in jungle. Editing is fair. Dialogues are witty and are a definite asset. The production values are not up to the mark.

Analysis: The first half is thoroughly enjoyable. The second half drags a bit, but the climax is nice. There are certain scenes in this film which make you laugh uncontrollably. Director Indra Kumar exhibited tremendous grip over comedy situations. On a whole, Dhamaal film provides an opportunity to laugh your hearts out if you don’t care for logics. It is a paisa vasool entertainer!

Aishwarya Rai: 'No more skin show please'

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Remember Aishwarya Rai’s entry scene in the Colin Firth-starrer, The Last Legion? Wearing a skin-coloured, body-hugging outfit, Ash emerged out of a lake with her back to the camera, leaving men heaving and drooling.

However, chances of her showing any skin in her second Hollywood outing are rather slim.

If sources are to be believed, fans eager for another eyeful will be disappointed by her fully-clothed attire in the Pink Panther sequel.

Sources close to the film reveal that Ash has decided not to indulge in any skin show or wear revealing clothes in the project. Not only has marriage changed her outlook, but now she also thinks twice before saying yes to scenes or costumes that may make her look sexy on screen.

“Ash will be wearing lots of designer outfits, shoes, and accessories in the film. Her look is not just elegant, but also classy. In fact, one of the costume designers has modelled her look along the lines of Catherine Zeta Jones in Ocean’s 12,” says a source.

Apparently, Ash has had lengthy discussions with the makers of the film before signing the contract. Even though there is no such clause in the contract, Ash has made it clear that she will steer clear of any revealing outfits in the film.

Ash plays Sophie, a detective with a flair for karate, in Pink Panther 2. She teams up with Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Steve Martin) on a mission to track down a thief who steals expensive art pieces from all over the world. Ash is currently in Boston (Massachusetts) for the second schedule of the film.

Deepika to romance seventies heartthrob Rajesh Khanna

Deepika Padukone

Om Shanti Om has a lot of surprises up its sleeve. Deepika Padukone will be seen romancing Seventies heartthrob Rajesh Khanna, Sunil Dutt and Jeetendra in the film.

Director Farah Khan has a spectacular SFX sequence lined up to enthrall audiences. By showing Deepika romancing these heroes, Farah has added a dose of reality to her film which is based in the Seventies.

Deepika plays a star from that era in the movie, So she obviously needs to be seen romancing heroes of that era. To create that effect Farah has used special effects. She has confirmed the fact that they have made Deepika dance with Sunil Dutt, Jeetendra and Rajesh Khanna by using SFX for it.

Rakhi Sawanth

Rakhi Sawant

Item girl Rakhi Sawant, who has signed a new semi-autobiographical Broadway-style Bollywood musical called Balti Devi: Queen Of Southall, is looking for an image makeover.

'If I want I can make people weep like Meena Kumari. I live in India and I do feel uncomfortable with my image sometimes. Whatever I've done so far is because the public demanded it. It's the public that's undressing me,' Rakhi told IANS in an interview.

'Heroines send me SMS messages asking why I dress up the way I do. What right do they have to question me? Why can't a nice clean film like Swami click? And why can't I be cast in roles like Smita Patil? Even she did hot scenes,' she added.

Her much-touted stint in Buddha Mar Gaya died a quiet death.

Talking about the film, she said: 'I'm made to behave and dress in a certain way because of who I am. I was pulled up for making love with older men like Anupam Kherji, Om Puriji and Prem Chopraji in Buddha Mar Gaya. If I did the same way scenes with Shah Rukh Khan, people would applaud.'

Rakhi's semi-autobiographical musical will be directed by the legendary Shammi Kapoor's son Mickey Kapoor, who earlier made Sambar Salsa and Don't Stop Dreaming.

Balti Devi
is the story of a poor Southall girl who dances and sings her way to stardom.

'It's a story almost like Rakhi's own. And she's so perfect for the part. I couldn't think of anyone else. Rakhi gets to sing and dance. She's the male Govinda and this film showcases her aptitudes,' said Mickey.

All said and done, Rakhi loves the media attention.

'Even when they write wrong about me I've no complaints. Like they wrote that I'd bring my own clothes from home for Buddha Mar Gaya. Not true at all. In fact, I was really uncomfortable in the red gown where almost my entire breasts were revealed.

'I used to quarrel with my director every day about the clothes. Everyone on the sets ogled at my breasts on the sets. I'm shameless otherwise. But sometimes when people ogle I do get uncomfortable. I am a woman, after all.'

What Rakhi wants is to be a housewife.

But she confessed: 'I don't want to get married. I've struggled so much to get where I am. What will I do after marriage? I want to establish my boyfriend Abhishek. I'll make him a star. You watch us in Nach Baliye 3. Although I've big problems with my back and knees, I'm doing this show only for Abhishek.

'People will forget Nach Baliye and Jhalak Dikhla Jaa. They'll only talk about Rakhi and Abhishek. So far I've danced to other people's tunes. Now I'll dance to the rhythms that run inside me. I want to become world famous. In fact, I got an international offer for which I learnt English. But I refused it.'

She also wants to be known as an all-rounder.

'Watch me in Mickey Kapoor's film and also in Suniel Shetty's production. I want to be known as an all-rounder, a girl who can dance, act and also make mincemeat of all the competition in a reality show.'

Chak De Girls

Chak De India
Ek Mulaqat is a weekly chat show presented by BBC Hindi India Editor, Sanjeev Srivastava on Radio One FM. The program brings lively entertaining and informative interviews with some of India's most famous people, including politicians, artists, sports personalities and Bollywood stars.

Below are excerpts from this interview on BBC Ek Mulaqat

SS: For the first time on BBC Ek Mulaqat, we have with us more than one guest. These people are part of a team that has taken the whole of India by storm. The magic of the four Chak De Girls from the film Chak De India is all over the country. The team's captan Vidya, the senior-most player Bindiya, the beautiful centre forward Preeti Sabbarwal, and on the phone with us is the team's other centre forward, Komal Choutala.

We'll start with the team's captain, Vidya. When work started on the film, did you think the film would be so talked about or such a hit?

Vidya: When I read the script, I thought it could be successful, but this film is very different from all the other films made in Bollywood, so you couldn't say for sure. I didn't have any idea that the film would be so popular. When the film was completed, I saw the second half. The game takes up a lot of duration of that part of the film. That part is so full of energy that people had to like it.
SS: Bindiya, your character goes through many ups and downs in the film. How do you think people will remember your character - as a bad woman or the best player on the team?
Bindiya: As the best player on the team. When I came to know of my character, I thought that now I will only get these kinds of roles, but then I remembered something from my theatre days - that a role is not good or bad; you have to do justice to the character.

SS: But a character is strong or weak, and your role was strong in the film.

Bindiya: Yes, that's what I thought and played my role. Later in the scenes where I come across as a good girl, I tried my best to make people believe that I am a good girl.

SS: Preeti, in the film you are asked to go back at first. Then you become the girl who scores the most goals, and also turn down a famous cricketer. How was this film experience?

Preeti: The most special thing about this film was that it revolves around the game. There is no place for things like love stories. Jaideep sir and Shimit sir didn't let the film graph go down at any point of time. Even when I am asked to go back and when I leave the cricketer, the graph doesn't go down.

SS: The film doesn't show the personal life of any of the characters in any depth. Only some incidents related to your and Vidya's lives are shown.
Preeti: Yes.

SS: Komal, how did you feel while playing? Your dialogue about the buffalo's tail is being talked about everywhere.

Komal: I really felt good. [Laughing] I have taken the copyright for the buffalo's tail dialogue from Jaideep sir.

SS: Please say that dialogue for us.
Komal: Khelne-wala hel rahega, railne wala fail rahega. Jo zyaada marodega moonch, who jaaye chaat le bhains ki poonch.

SS: A few days back there was a picture of you in a newspaper and you were looking very beautiful in that. But your character in the film was very tomboyish. How are you in real life? A soft girl or a bit tomboyish?
Komal: This you need to ask the girls with me.

[Preeti, Vidya and Bindiya]: When she is acting it's a different thing, but otherwise she is a very stylish girl. Her nails are longer than mine. She wears heels.

SS: Vidya, is it true that Shahrukh Khan is very energetic, or have these things become associated with him because of his being famous?
Vidya: So far I have seen Chak De India five times. Every time, my love for Shahrukh Khan increases. What amazing acting he has done. He looks fantastic in the last shot of the film. He will keep working the same way for a long time. As a person also, his personality is very magnetic. If you meet him for two minutes, you will feel like meeting him for two hours, if you meet him for two hours then you will feel like meeting him for two days and then two years. We consider ourselves very fortunate because we have spent six-eight months with him.

SS: Hey, some one talked of some shortcomings also. Bindiya, what do you have to say?

Bindiya: No. Shahrukh is really a magician. The best thing about him is that he knows what struggle is. He knows what it's like to travel in a DTC bus. He is easily available to people. That's what gives him a magical personality. He is really a man attached to the public.

SS: I have also interviewed him. He has amazing understanding and sense. He doesn't speak any thing just like that. What do you say, Preeti?

Preeti: We met him for the first time during the first script reading. We were very nervous. Just so we don't get nervous of making mistakes, he was also making mistakes. He spoke to each of us individually and explained that you people don't have to emote too much. Just work the way you are.

SS: Now that you've attained success and become stars, how do you feel?

Vidya: Can't understand what's happening. Don't even get the time to think. Today we are in demand everywhere. But it feels good. We worked hard to make something of ourselves in this industry but got nowhere. Now all of a sudden we have become popular.

SS: Absolutely. Bindiya, did you pinch yourself?

Bindiya: Oh, how did you know? I did that many times. On the morning of 10th August, we were standing at Infinity Mall but no one recognized us though our posters were up. We were thinking what the day would be like when people become stars overnight. After that nights show itself we were getting our picture taken and signing autographs.

SS: What do you all think of the future?
Preeti: It has been a good beginning. Going forward we will work hard and if we are lucky, we will do well.

SS: Preeti, you are looking so different. There you look like a tough player, but now you look like a model.
Preeti: I had to look like a hockey player, so I looked a bit rough and tough.

SS: Komal, are you enjoying this popularity?
Komal: Absolutely.

SS: Was there a memorable moment with Shahrukh Khan that you would like to share with us?

Komal: When we reached Australia, my neck was paining a lot. Shahrukh sir came to know of it and he massaged my neck. I was the first one on the team to get a massage. He also has neck pain and he said he knows how bad it is to get neck pain. He also told me a neck exercise. It was good fun.

SS: This film is being compared to Lagaan, but that film's team wasn't so glamorous. While you were shooting, did you feel any patriotism?
Vidya: In the film, when we are given the cup, it feels very good.

Preeti: When the National Anthem plays before the match begins, we felt like we are playing for the country and we have to win.

Bindiya: Yesterday we were online with the real National Hockey team's captain, Mamta Kharab. Mamta was saying that whenever the National Anthem plays, it feels like we will only win.

SS: When I went to see the film, the cinema hall, like all others, was houseful. People were feeling very attached to the film?
Preeti: Especially the last 20 minutes when our match begins. Some people called me up and said that they were feeling like they were sitting in a stadium and watching.

Vidya: One uncle-aunty thanked me for saving the last goal. That's when it felt like people were feeling so attached to the film. People know it's a film and this will happen but still people get so emotional with the film.

Bindiya: When we went to Dubai for the film's premiere, one man said, "What a bad woman she is", because I deceive one of my fellow players. And when I scored goals for my team, people gave me a standing ovation.

SS: People were thinking why aren't these girls passing the ball to each other? The same way, people were thinking when will this girl get some sense? This shows that a good film takes the audience with it.
Preeti: When Komal gives me the ball in the last match and says - 'Go show them', everyone has tears in their eyes.

SS: Preeti, is there such a man in your real life too who you want to prove something to?
Preeti: No.

SS: Bindiya, I think yours was the strongest character. Did you do anything special to prepare for this role?

Bindiya: We got enough time to improve ourselves. One year is not less. By the time the shooting completed, I had become like Bindiya in my real life also. Everyone would sit on one side, and I would make a face and sit in another place.

SS: Vidya, you were the captain of the team - who was your favourite player on the team?
Preeti and Bindiya: Her favourite player was the team's coach.

Vidya: I understood Vidya's character to be a common Indian girl who gets one last chance to prove herself. She cannot fight at home. She thinks that this coach thinks a bit differently and he can take the team to the final goal.

SS: Bindiya, who did you like?

Bindiya: I used to like the group of Gunjan Lakhani, Aaliya and me. But as a viewer I like Komal Choutala best, and then Preeti Sabharwal. Komal has amazing childishness and her face is also very innocent. I got a phone call from some one who asked me if Komal Choutala is a film actor or a hockey player.

SS: Preeti, your favourite player?

Preeti: If Komal Choutala weren't there, my character wouldn't have come alive. There's one incident I have with a boy, but another with Komal where I take out my frustration on Komal. That's my favourite character.

SS: Preeti, are you really like this or are you a team player?
Vidya and Bindiya: She is a girl who mingles with everybody.

SS: How does it feel after achieving all this success? Has anything changed?

Preeti: We are the same, but people's attitudes have changed. Everyone is being very nice. People get together and say that we have done a good job.

Bindiya: A lot has changed. Previously, no one used to call me when my film would release, but now I get so many phone calls. Our role in the film is such that people don't feel hesitant to meet us. I can sit with them and watch the movie. They come and say that we have done a very good job.

SS: Vidya, what do you have to say?

Vidya: Like Bindiya said, the phone hasn't stopped ringing. It feels very good when people come and say that you have done a good job and would like to see us working in the future also.

Hansikaa Motwani

Hansikaa Motwani
Hansikaa Motwani is not waiting for the heat of her hit debut Aap Ka Surroor to settle down. She is already amidst narrations for future projects and also busy toning herself down to suit the bill of an actress her age.

How different is it being a lead actor from a child actor?

Being a child actor is very easy. You don't really have to do much. You just go there and say the given lines. You don't have to take care of you body language or your voice or dress. But as a heroine there is a lot more responsibility. First I have to choose the right films. Acting now needs much more effort. You need to train a bit.

Why did you choose Aap Kaa Surroor?
I am still wondering why they came to me. (Giggles)

And how was it working with Himesh as an actor?
He is a great person. It was great working with him.

Why did you change the spelling of you name? Also there was some confusion to you being rechristened as Riyaa.
I was never supposed to be renamed Riyaa. It was only during the initial promotion of the film that showed me being introduced as Riyaa. This was done to break the conception of people that I am still a kid. So, when my photographs came in the papers with Himesh with the name Riyaa people didn't recognise me. They thought it was a girl who resembled me. Even my close friends could not recognise. Only after I told them that they believed.

How's life now? Can you go out on streets anymore?
No it's changed suddenly. Now if my brother takes me out for an ice cream he has to stop the car right in front of the gate and I have to dash in. I normally have the ice cream in the car.

You have lost lots of weight since AKS.

I had gained much weight for the film to look mature enough for Himesh Reshammiya. Right now I am on strict diet and also doing regular work out.

You were also doing a film called He, the Only One with Mimoh. What's the update on the movie?
We had completed shooting almost 70 per cent of the movie. But then it got stuck. I have no idea if it is going to start again. There is no news from the producer.

How was it working with Mimoh?
He is a great dancer. It was fun.

Who do you think is better Mithun or Mimoh?
Both are good.

Isn't that a very diplomatic answer?
No (smiles). I think both are good. I am in no position to judge who is good or bad. All are my favourite actors. I would love to work with all of them.

Was it always a conscious decision to become an actress?
As a child I use to mimic other actresses and enact scenes from movies. My mother being a high-profile doctor is visited by many actors and directors. They used to say that I should act. My mother also agreed and then acting happened. I personally did not know that I could act. I just enjoyed doing all that in my drawing room.

But once I started acting I knew that this is what I wanted to do. So, after Koi Mil Gaya when I took a break for some time for my school classes I knew that acting was it that I wanted to do. I love the feeling of performing in front on the camera and reaching out to so many people.

There are not too many child actors who have went on to make a great career as a grown up. Does that scare you?
I know that the record has not been very good. But I think I have proved myself and the audiences have accepted me.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

I have started early so, I have an advantage. While other people will be thinking what career step to take I will be enjoying life at 21. I will have proved myself till then and I can take life easier, just as others of my age will be trying to make an entry.

Why did you chose to debut in a Telegu movie?
It just happened. They approached me with the role and I took it. The movie was a big one and the hero that I was to act opposite is a big name.

Anymore regional films or will be just Bollywood?

I am doing a South Indian film. The shooting has just begun. There are loads of other offers, but I am taking my time.

So are you working in the sequel to Aap kaa Surroor?

I don't know. If they want me they will call me. Nothing as of now.

Himesh as a singer or a music director?
He is very good as both.

There have been lots of controversies about Himesh and Sonu Niigam. Who do you think is the better singer?

Both are great singers.

Don't you think you are very diplomatic
for your age?
I am not diplomatic (giggles). I find everyone good that's it.

Tanushree Dutta

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Tanushree was born on 19th March, 1985 in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand.

She did her graduation in communications in Pune, Maharashtra.

She is a Bengali by birth.

She won the Femina Miss India title in 2004, and placed among the top ten in the Miss Universe 2004 pageant.

Her debut movie 'Aashiq Banaya Aapne' was released in 2005.

She has been linked with director Aditya Dutt, but she keeps denying her affair with him.

Tanushree loves children, but says that she does not want any of her own.

She recently decided not to kiss on screen again, as she feels uncomfortable kissing in front of the camera.

She has been approached for a Chinese film. The film will also have a leading Chinese hero.

She made a special appearance in a song in the movie '36 China Town' with Shahid Kapoor.

She has recently been signed up as the brand ambassador for Gitanjali Group Wimbledon Jewellery.

She has also anchored a Bengali Show 'Hoi Hullod' in 2002.

She has also acted in Telegu movie 'Veerabhadra'.

Her upcoming movies are 'Dhol', 'Mr. Fraud' and 'Rokda'.

Tanushree had put on weight for her Telegu movie, but she is now back in shape and sizzling hot as ever.

Tanushree is a voracious cook.

Screen Talk: 'She Had Affair With My Dad'

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Bollywood actor Rishi Kapoor moved with anger knowing a few lines in the newly released 'Autobiography' of Vyjayanthi Mala, the yesteryears' actress. He said that she mentioned that Raj Kapoor used to run around her for friendship. But that was not true, as per Rishi.

He said, "She spoiled our family with the hot affair she had with my dad. She came to our house, seduced my father and stayed with him in the same house. Our mother took us out and we stayed in a hotel room for about 5 months. Those days were still in my memory".

That way Vyjanthimala made her book controversial and Rishi's voice added to that. Now there would be some pick up in the sales of the book.


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