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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Hrithik no longer needs my films: Rakesh Roshan

It's official. Rakesh Roshan's third super- hero film will have another major leading man besides Hrithik.

"This time the anti-hero will be as powerful as the hero," explains Rakesh Roshan. "See, Krissh saw the birth of the super-hero. Now we'll see the super-hero combating other forces."

In that sense this would be the first Rakesh Roshan film since Karan Arjun to star a superstar in addition to Hrithik.

That isn't the only unique career plan that the director is formulating. Rakesh Roshan is currently immersed in the task of creating his first production for an outside director.

"Our first production which I won't direct is a comedy that my assistant Raja Sen will direct. It's a comedy called Krazy 4 (don't miss the 'k'!) with four main characters.

The four principal characters are played by Irrfan Khan, Arshad Warsi, Rajpal Yadav and Suresh Menon. Diya Mirza plays the female lead. Raja Sen has been with me for the last three years and assisted me in three films.

Since I'm working on the third super-hero film I let him do this script. We'll finish Raja's film before I start mine. Any film that comes from my banner has to be equally competent. "

Krissh 3 is now progressing on the script stage. "I can't focus on more than one project at a time, Maybe that's my weakness. We're working on the script. The story has to be just right. The plot has to be inspiring.

I've to get that gut feeling that the plot is right. The special effects aren't the main thing. The plot is. Until I'm happy with that I won't start Krissh 3.

Let's face it, we can't match Spiderman 3 in budget. But if they give ten action scenes I'll do two with equal finesse. We've to out-do them in content and count on Indian audiences being more interested in Hrithik than Tobey Maguire."

Rakesh Roshan agrees Dhoom 2 and Krissh have taken Hrithik far ahead of the competition. "Luckily he had a big success outside the home production. So now people have stopped saying he's workable only with me.

Of course well always work together. No director understands him better than me, and he knows it. Our three films together have built a track record for ourselves. I've just seen some photographs of Jodha-Akbar. Hrithik is looking terrific."

At home grand-son Hrehaan keeps Rakesh Roshan busy. "Nothing gives me more pleasure than watching Hrithik and Hrehaan playing together. And since I've no movie on the floors right now I've all the time in the world to spend with him.

We celebrated Hrehaan's first birthday recently. Seeing all those children in the house he was so surprised and delighted. I could see he was having a good time. Hrehaan is a very pleasant child."

Ask the proud grandfather whom Hrehaan resembles, and he replies, "Both his parents…actually more of his mother Susanne in the little one than Hrithik. God has been very kind to us. I'm not in competition with anyone.

All the ill-will around me is forgotten. I just shut my eyes and ears to all the unhealthy competition in the industry. Nobody can make or break you. It's only your karma that guides your destiny."

And finally he returns to the third super-hero film. "If the script doesn't shape up to my satisfaction I'll just wait until it does. Fortunately I'm in no hurry. I can wait."

Dance and game to Bollywood tunes

Kreeda Games India, has tied up with Nineyou, the Chinese developers of exciting dance games on Internet to make the web surfers dance to the tunes of famous Bollywood numbers ranging from 80’s to latest hits through a game called ‘Dancemela’.

Nineyou has redesigned its first invention ‘Dance Dance Revolution’ to cater and suit the Indian taste, named ‘Dancemela’. ‘Dancemela’ is a free to play game which features Indian character, clothes with Chinese music in exchange for Bolllywood themes.The music will range from the Bollywood hit numbers of 80’s to the latest hits. ‘Dancemela’ is having keys which have to be pressed as per the arrows on the screens representing the footwork adapted from Bollywood movies.Also, the user can buy online the clothes and Bollywood songs suiting the characters.

Japanese were the first ones to have these dance games in 1998 with the Nineyou first invention Dance Dance Revolution, the first music-based videogame catering the international tastes. And then came, Super Dance Online was one of the first games to offer the same gameplay in an online multiplayer. Interestingly, Nineyou has released around one hundred versions of Dance Dance Revolution since its birth.

The amazing fact of this game is its reach to the regional people as tie up will very soon bring the music in various languages like Marathi,Gujarati, Malayalam, Tamil, Telegu, Kanada etc.

‘Dancemela’ Cd’s are available at the internet cafes free of cost under a Cafe Zone created by ‘Dancemela’. The game will be self installed as soon as the Cd is inserted in the computer.

Celina refutes Aishwarya's claim

Celina is all set to play the mythical beauty Sheherzade in the international project The Quest Of Sheherzade.

For the petite beauty the most exciting part of this fantasia-project is the rugged action. "It's a role that requires extensive stunts. Fortunately my father is an army officer. I learnt horse riding in school.

But doing so without a saddle requires plenty of training. And I'm off to the US in Februray 2008. Shooting starts probably in Turkey next Summer."

The Sheherzade role sounds quite a lot like what Aishwarya Rai did in her just-released international project The Last Legion.

Apparently Celina was offered Ms Rai's role in the new Pink Panther, a matter hotly denied by Ms Rai's business manager from LA.

Celina exudes a startling confidence when she says, "With due respects to Aishwarya and her LA business manager, my work in the US is looked after by Brillstein-Grey who also look after names like Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Orlando Bloom and Andy Garcia. The script was sent through my agents.

And then it was also sent to Shilpa Shetty…I'm aware of that. I'm not aware of where the project went after that. Nor am I interested in getting into a slinging match over a film that I didn't do. I'd rather talk about what I'm doing."

Celina has just completed another international project called Love Has No Language. "It's directed by first-timer Ken Khan who was involved with the Lord Of The Rings project. It's an out-and-out romantic film."

Celina is candid enough to admit she didn't get along too well with her Australian co-star Ben Mitchell ( the big-name tv star from the soaps Shortland Streets and Neighbours).

"Out there in New Zealand they look for a hectic social life after work. I've gone through late-night partying in college. I don't need that any more. I'm very much a ghar ki murgi….very dull and ordinary …. So yes, Ben and I just faced the camera went our separate ways."

What's with Celina and all these international honours?

Now comes news that Celina has been invited as India's ambassador to Egypt.

"I still don't know why,or how they selected me for this honour," the petite beauty has the sense of humour to laugh at the unlikelihood of 'Celine The Brand Ambassador'

"I don't know if they've seen my films in Egypt or if they even watch my films there."

Perhaps her debut film Jaan Nasheen with its rather Middle Eastern feel and texture worked in her favour?

Celina mulls over that one. "Hmmm….could be. I don't know. I don't have that great a body of work to boast of. I admit I've done some awful films. But things are finally coming together. I'd say Vikram Bhatt's Red is the film that got me noticed abroad.

That's how I got the Sheherzade project. They also saw my song in Khalid Mohamed's Silsilay Maybe that's what prompted the Egyptian government to invite me to pick a delegation."

While the names accompanying Celina for the big meet on September 30 are yet to be decided, producer-director Suneel Darshan is being mentioned as one of the delegates.

Says Celina, "With due respects to all my producers Suneelji is the first director to package and project me so well in Shaka Laka Boom Boom.

Otherwise I'm just perceived as a body with no brains," says Celina who claims she reads anything from Emily Bronte to comic books.

"But when you're in a glamorous profession you know where one's brain is supposed to be," she ends with a throaty laugh.

Shahid Kapur to promote Jab We Met on Nach Baliye?

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The latest news doing the rounds is that Shahid Kapur will be a special guest on Star TV's immensely popular celebrity dance show, Nach Baliye.

Shahid is likely to shoot for Nach Baliye on the 15th for the episode that will be telecast on the 18th. This is part of the promotion campaign for Imtiaz Ali's keenly awaited Jab We Met releasing on October 26 worldwide.

Says our source, "Shahid will be the celebrity guest on Nach Baliye. He will comment on the participants' performance and at the end of the show go up on stage and shake a leg to the remix of the Mauja Hi Mauja track from the film."

Weeks back, Kareena Kapoor had released the soundtrack of Jab We Met on Zee TV's Sa Re Ga Ma.

Aamir launches his website, to reveal TZP

Aamir Khan has been known for being a media shy celebrity. He hardly gives out any interviews to the press. But this charming actor found a unique way to interact with his fans while promoting the DVD of his film Lagaan. Aamir started a blog on www.lagaandvd.com few weeks back, which got a huge response from his fans. Aamir and his fans connected so well on the virtual platform that now he is shifting this interaction on his personal website www.aamirkhan.com. “Over the last few weeks apart from working on the post production of Taare Zameen Par, I have been working on activating my own website” says Aamir Khan in his latest blog.

Apart from the blog, Aamir’s website will also have the option of online chats where the surfers can chat with Aamir and also with one other. The new website will be operational from October 10. In addition to this, Aamir will reveal the images of his film, Taare Zameen Par on October 11 exclusively on the film’s official website www.taarezameenpar.com. There will be a curtain raiser of TZP on the film’s website. This curtain raiser will open worldwide in theatres on October 12.

Hansika opposite Govinda in Money Hai Toh Honey Hai

Getting into the churn of events, Ganesh Acharya moves on from the setback of his film, Swami. He is now all set to make his next ‘commercial’ flick titled, Money Hai Toh Honey Hai. The starcast of the film includes Govinda, Aftab Shivdasani, Celina Jaitley, Upen Patel and Manoj Bajpai. Ganesh has now also signed Hansika Motwani for the film.

Why the title Money Hai Toh Honey Hai? “No better title suits a commercial film like this. In addition, there is truth in the title and it’s a real story; a film about six characters who try to make it big when they get a golden opportunity”, says Ganesh Acharya. “Hansika plays the role of a television actor trying to get into films and since Hansika has been in television, it suits her best. She is paired opposite Govinda while Celina and Aftab are paired together. Upen Patel however is not paired with anyone. Archana Puran Singh has also been signed for the film,” adds Ganesh.

Ganesh has also choreographed Bipasha’s item number ‘Phook De’ from No Smoking. Bipasha Basu was last seen doing an item number in Omkara but this one is completely different. Says Ganesh, “‘Phook De’ is not like ‘Beedi Jalaile’, it is very different from that song. It was a nice experience to work with Bipasha again and she has given a phenomenal performance.”

Ganesh Acharya’s Money Hai Toh Honey Hai will go on floors by October 25 and is slated to release by early next year.

Chandan Arora turns producer for Striker

After Madhur Bhandarkar who's co-producing Fashion, it's Chandan Arora who's turning producer to direct his carom flick Striker.

Says Chandan, "I think producing my own film gives me the freedom to make the kind of films I believe in. It gives me complete authority to make the film that way I do. So yes, after working with Ram Gopal Varma and UTV for my first two films Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon and Main Meri Patni Aur Woh, I am my own producer for the third film."

Chandan will get independent finances. "Money will be pooled in from various sources. But for all practical purposes I'll be the producer of Striker." Why the need to get into the economics of filmmaking? "The only way I can make the film that I want to is if I've complete autonomy. Striker isn't just a film about the game of carrom. Nor is it only about life in the slums. It takes into view the entire sub-culture and slum life in Mumbai from the early 1980s to around 1992. To be honest to my vision I need a kind of free hand that is affordable only with financial freedom."

Striker stars the Tamil superstar Siddharth in his first Hindi-language outing since Rang De Basanti where he played the pivotal role of the closet socialist. In Striker Siddharth's character will actually step into the proletarian province. Says Chandan, "Siddharth is perfect for the protagonist's part. He speaks fluent Hindi, understands the slum character's ability to stay honest in spite of crime and muck around him, and is very good at the game of carrom. Others in the slum had half a dozen cases pending against them. The hero's record remains untarnished."

Will Siddharth do for the game of carrom what Shah Rukh did for hockey in Chak De India? Laughs Chandan, "Like I said Striker isn't just about carrom board. It's a microcosmic view of the entire slum, similar to Sudhir Mishra's Dharavi in scope."

"Bhool Bhulaiya is not a comedy"- Bhushan Kumar

Strange are the ways of show world. While the Hindi chant ‘Hare Krishna Hare Rama’ in Bhool Bhulaiya had some fundamental elements incensed, another song ‘Allah Haazif’ seems to be targeted at a Muslim audience to coincide with Eid.

Producer Bhushan Kumar completely denies this. "We had the catchy phrase ‘Allah Hafiz’ in mind for a long time. You know how these lines like ‘Mashaa Aallah’ and ‘Ya Ali’ are working with the younger generation. So there was a situation for a road song in Bhool Bhulaiya where ‘Allah Haazif’ worked fine. That the film is being released on Eid and the Muslim audiences would like that number is just a coincidence."

As for the ‘Hare Rama’ chant Bhushan explains, "Yes there was some objection to the visuals of a Buddha statue and some glamour elements. We removed them. Even then some people objected to the song. But since it was approved by the Censors there isn't much that anyone can do."

Though the promotional clippings of Bhool Bhulaiya give the impression of being a comedy Bhushan outright denies the film a place in the genre of hilarity. "Of course Bhool Bhulaiya has a lot of funny moments. But those moments are combined with a supernatural element. This is a supernatural comedy, something never done before."

The T Series head honcho feels the days of the ouch-and-ouch comedies are numbered. "Partner did well. But Dhamaal and Dhol were not the hits they were expected to be. I think the audience is looking for a twist in their comedy. Bhool Bhulaiya provides that twist."

There's no funny stuff in Bhushan Kumar’s two forthcoming films. "We have Nagesh Kukunoor's Aashayein and the other project tentatively titled Eight By Ten. Both are serious films."

Pyaar Ke Side Effects at Cairo International Film Festival

Pyaar Ke Side/Effects, Pritish Nandy Communication’s successful and critically acclaimed film, which explored the funny side of the man-woman relationship in today's commitment phobic times, has been selected for the Cairo International Film Festival 2007.

This film festival is the oldest in the whole of the Middle East and continues to make forward strides year after year, rising to greater heights. It is a major attraction to members of World cinema who come to enjoy the artistic and cultural exchange through film. The Cairo Film Festival also hopes to contribute to cementing the bridges among the nations of the world and to better understanding our fellow human beings in every corner of the globe.

"We are extremely proud to receive this bit of news", says Pritish Nandy, Chairman of PNC, "for it reaffirms our commitment to the new kind of cinema that is changing Bollywood and making it a global force to reckon with." Pyaar Ke Side/Effects was directed by debutante director Saket Chaudhary and starred Mallika Sherawat and Rahul Bose. Its music by Pritam broke all records and stayed on the charts for a very long period of time.

"My personal thanks for making such a great film. You honor us by entering such superb productions," is what Mr Ezzat Abou Ouf, President of the film festival, had to say.

People talk dirty about Ramu-Nisha

Despite the "Aag" debacle, Ram Gopal Verma is still one of the most respected directors in Bollywood. But his bouts of unreasonable behaviour have irked some unit members of his latest film "Go".

A member of the unit said on condition of anonymity: "Ram Gopal Verma used to arrive on the sets late. Then he would say that he wanted to discuss a few things with leading lady Nisha Kothari.

The two would enter Nisha's make-up van and come out only after 2-3 hours. This happened for 4 to 5 consecutive days, resulting in a delay in shooting of the climax of the movie by four days."

The delay used to disturb everybody on the sets as all preparations had to be kept on hold for hours. Each delay would add to the previous day's delay and put more and more pressure on the cast and crew of the film, which has newcomer Gautam Gupta opposite Nisha.

The source added: "Every time RGV used to disappear into Nisha's make-up van, things would get worse outside as Gautam and the rest of the unit members would be ready for the shot.

Reportedly, Ramuji and Nisha's parleys haunted their shoot at Goa too. "Everybody had then dismissed it as a one-time incident which won't recur. But then it did, not once, but many times," the source lamented.

Nisha has been one of Ram Gopal Verma's favourite heroines. Rumours were also doing the rounds that Verma is picking and dropping Nisha home a bit too often. What's cooking between the mentor and his discovery?

Nerolac Colour Styles with Manish Malhotra

Kansai Nerolac Paints Ltd. has announced the launch of their latest venture ‘Nerolac Colour Styles 07-08’ in association with Manish Malhotra. The Colour Style Panel consisted of Manish Malhotra [Fashion Designer], Bijon DasGupta [Art Director], Kanika Gahlaut [Editor, Indian Express], Ajanta Sen Poovaiah [National Institute of Design], Sanjay Puri [Interior Designer] and Geetu Hinduja from the Fashion & Lifestyle Industry.

Manish Malhotra will be launching ‘Nerolac Colour Styles’ with a fashion show depicting the moods with the drapes of various hues. Manish will be using this platform as a prologue to his ‘Fall – Winter Linen Collection’.

Future Group to retail 'Saawariya' merchandise in 300 stores

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SPE Films India and SLB Films in alliance with the Future Group will launch a special range of SAAWARIYA merchandise in over 300 stores across 42 cities in the country. Specially created SAAWARIYA merchandise will be available across categories such as clothing, home, bed, bath & linen and beauty products along with special promotions around the movie for customers.

Consumers across cities will get to buy an exclusive range of cosmetics, caps, badges, wrist bands, coffee mugs and stationery [including calendars, 2008 year book, pads, envelopes, postcards, etc.]. SAAWARIYA audio CDs will be displayed and sold at all cash counters and promotional SAAWARIYA post cards will be given away free to customers.

The talent from the film, Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor, will make appearances at all major outlets.

'Eklavya' screened at N.Y.U., Peabody Essex Museum

Vidhu Vinod Chopra's EKLAVYA – THE ROYAL GUARD was screened on 4th October at New York University. The film was screened as part of the University's Director's Series. Other directors featured in this series include Ang Lee, Spike Lee, David Lynch, Martin Scorcese and Sean Penn. The screening was followed by an hour-long question and answer session, which was moderated by Richard Allen, the Chair of Cinema Studies at the Tisch School of Arts at N.Y.U.

On 6th October, EKLAVYA was screened at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. The Peabody Museum is among the oldest museums in United States and has a renowned collection of modern Indian art. Abhijat Joshi, the writer of EKLAVYA and LAGE RAHO MUNNABHAI, was also present at the screenings.

'The Great Indian Butterfly' at I.A.A.C.F.F.

White Feather Arthouse Films’ first film THE GREAT INDIAN BUTTERFLY has been selected for the closing day of the Indo-America Arts Council Film Festival in New York from 7th to 11th November. White Feather Arthouse Films was started by Sanjay Gupta to promote independent cinema with daring content.

Directed by Sarthak Dasgupta, the film stars Aamir Bashir, Sandhya Mridul, Koel Purie and Barry John.

It's a hat-trick

If you thought Arjun Rampal was disheartened by the failure of his maiden production I SEE YOU, you’re mistaken. “I loved the experience. There’re no regrets,” Arjun informs me. The actor is now planning to start not one, but three films. Of course, the projects won’t start at one go.

“Two projects next year and the third, the year after,” Arjun declares. The casting as also the directors are being kept under wraps till the formalities are completed. Currently, Arjun is looking forward to the negative role in OM SHANTI OM.

Adnan ban gaya hero

A few weeks ago, this writer did the news-break of Adnan Sami being launched as a hero in Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Bhushan Kumar’s first joint venture, to be directed by Bhansali’s sister Bela Segal. At that point of time, Bela didn’t want to comment on it, but here’s the official version… as always, only on IndiaFM.

“Yes, it’s true that Adnan Sami will be launched as a hero in our joint venture. It’s a romantic-musical. We’ve yet to finalize the leading lady opposite Adnan,” Bhushan tells me, “We will start its shooting early next year, but will make an official announcement in the next few weeks.”

Himesh, Adnan… who’s next?

"It's my best film yet"

An actor’s involvement in a film is limited to his role, unless, of course, he happens to be the producer of the film in question. But Shahid Kapoor is going that extra mile to ensure that JAB WE MET is projected rightly and gets the right release.

Even though his job doesn’t demand him to look into the nitty-gritties of pre-release promotions and release strategy, Shahid had a meeting with Studio 18’s Aman Gill and Gayatri a few days ago. The release plans -- in India and Overseas -- were discussed.

“I am very happy with the film and I truly believe it’s my best film yet,” Shahid tells me. Shahid’s confidence in the film and the dedication he’s showing only enhances the curiosity for JAB WE MET.

Chitchat with Sawariya couple (Ranbir Kapoor & Sonam Kapoor)

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Ranbir Kapoor (son of Rishi Kapoor) and Sonam Kapoor (daughter of Anil Kapoor) are in town to promote their debut vehicle ‘Sawariya’ directed and produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. International movie producer Sony-Columbia-Tristar is venturing in Indian films for the first time by co-producing it. Sawariya is slated for the worldwide release on 9 November. Here are the excepts from chitchat with them -

What are the advantages of having filmy background?
Sonam Kapoor: If I were not the daughter of Anil Kapoor, I would not have got this opportunity. It would have been very difficult.

Ranbir Kapoor: It is written for us. I would have been difficult if I were not from Kapoor family. But there are disadvantages too. The expectations are huge on us. The old adage - Rise is higher, fall is harder - applies to us.

Did you undergo any professional training?
Sonam Kapoor: I had been working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali for the past four years in the direction department. Working with SLB is like going to college and learning things.

Ranbir Kapoor: I did an acting course in a film school, New York. But what I learnt from Sanjay Leela Bhansali while working for him is much more valuable than I what I learnt at film school.

Why did you choose Sanjay Leela Bhansali for your first film?
Sonam Kapoor: I did not choose him. He chose me. He is my favorite director and the best filmmaker in the entire India. I never expected him to pick me up as heroine for this film.

Is acting there in your genes?
Sonam Kapoor: I could say that Ranbir inherited lot of acting from his parents Rishi and Neetu.
Ranbir Kapoor: Sonam inherited dedication and passion for cinema from her father Anil Kapoor.

Did you get any privileged treatment because of your filmy background?
Sonam Kapoor: People in the sets are nonchalant about our filmy background. And we never expected any special privileges.

Shall Anil Kapoor stop romancing on screen because you became a heroine?
Sonam Kapoor: No. Both of us are individuals and are free to choose the right characters for us.

How did you manage to shed your weight?
Sonam Kapoor: I could not believe it when Sanjay Leela Bhansali asked me to act in this film. I took the assistance of two experts from Hyderabad - Shervir and his wife. They made me lose all my weight.

Did you enjoy dances in this film?
Ranbir Kapoor: I struggled with my dances. But it was Sanjay Leela Bhansali who made my dances appear good on screen.

What is the story of Sawariya?
Sonam Kapoor: Sawariya is a simple and beautiful love story. It is about two souls consumed by love.

Were you nervous while doing this film?
Sonam Kapoor: when I asked the same question to Rishi Kapoor about Bobby, he said that he was not nervous. But very anxious and excited. The same applies to me.

Ranbir Kapoor: Yes, I was nervous.

You look good onscreen together? What is the secret?
Sonam Kapoor: We are good friends even before we signed up for this film. When you are good friends it shows on screen.

What kind of roles will you be doing in future? Are you up for exposing?
Sonam Kapoor: My family left the decision of choosing roles to me. I never stoop to the level of vulgarity. My parents trust me and they feel that I have good judgment. I would like to do both different films and typical glamorous roles.

Will you act in Telugu?
Sonam Kapoor: Yes. I am open for it. My father started his career in south films. I have high regard for the south films and south Indian directors.

Tell us about your aunt Sridevi Kapoor?
She is a legend. She is like my second mom. She did films like Sadma and Chal Baaz at the same time. That shows the kind of variety she offers. She balanced her career with commercial and critically acclaimed films. She is my god!

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