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BOLLYWOOD
Rajnish Sharma is an India-based journalist who has worked for leading Indian dailies like The Times of India and Hindustan Times. A familiar name with the overseas NRI and PIO readers, he has been writing columns and articles for a host of magazines and portals in the US, Hong Kong, Mauritius and Australia. Over the years, he has covered virtually every aspect of journalism with his wide ranging interests ranging from culture & cuisine to finance & technology and from politics & Indian diaspora to environment & Bollywood. He can be contacted at  click here
BOLLYWOOD COLUMN
BY RAJNISH SHARMA & GITANJALI CHAK
(COURTESY KHABAR,ATLANTA, US)


Big B in Clint Eastwood’s shoes
After mesmerizing audiences with his superlative act in Black, Amitabh Bachchan is getting ready to step into Clint Eastwood’s shoes. Yes, the Chopras of Baghban fame are set to remake Eastwood’s The Bridges of Madison County in which he had acted as the dashing drifter who had swept Meryl Streep, a lonely housewife, off her feet. And no prizes for guessing who Big B’s leading lady will be — Hema Malini, of course! After Baghban, the two seem to be the hottest post-mid age couple in filmdom and in Bachchan’s own words: “Hemaji is after all, an exquisitely beautiful woman and we’re family friends. I'd like to believe that some of the warmth we share in real life spills over onscreen.”

Amitabh and Hema will also be seen in Babul. But don’t expect too many mushy moments in this one. For here they play a couple ideologically divided on the issue of their daughter-in-law’s remarriage. Incidentally, Bipasha Basu’s real life love John Abraham will be playing Rani Mukherjee’s second husband in the film.

Kareena’s tryst with Don
Remember the yesteryears’ blockbuster Don with Big B and Zeenat Aman in the lead roles? Well, there is a strong buzz that the film is being remade with Shah Rukh Khan and is to be directed by none other than Farhan Akhtar. But according to the producer Ritesh Sidhwani, his Don shares nothing but its title with the 70s’ superhit. Guess one will have to wait and watch. And yes, there’s naturally no Zeenie Baby this time, but Kareena Kapoor who stars opposite her Don. 

While on Kareena, the actress is in the august company of Aamir Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Rani Mukherjee. Like them before her, she simply can’t get over her recent meeting with the jawans guarding India’s borders. “It has been the most enriching experience of my life. They are the real heroes. We are just playing a role out here,” gushes Bebo. 

Jackie Shroff is Bhoot Uncle
This is for all you fans of Jackie Shroff who’ve been wondering where Jaggu dada has been all this while. Well, after Devdas, Jackie has been perfecting his avuncular act for he will be back soon as… guess what — Bhoot Uncle! The last time that he entertained kids was in Rakesh Roshan’s musical King Uncle and now in his new avatar, Jackie plays a dead man who returns to take care of his children. The film which will be directed by Neeraj Pathak, will mark the debut 
of singer-actor Baba Sehgal.

Talking of Rakesh Roshan, he has finally decided to call his next movie Krrish, with his son Hrithik playing the title role of a superhuman character in it. Of course, it is to be seen if his jaadu will work in this sequel to Koi Mil Gaya too.

Mallika wishes she Cannes make it
Mallika Sherawat can’t stop smiling these days. The sex symbol has been invited by Jackie Chan to accompany him to the Cannes Film Festival in May. The question is: Cannes it all work out? There’ll be a party for The Myth on May 17. “I can’t believe I’m being launched internationally by Jackie Chan. I really want to meet Salma Hayek and Julianne Moore,” exclaims an excited Mallika. If it does work out, it would be an interesting scenario indeed: A Chinese superstar introducing an Indian actress to the American glitterati in the heart of France!


Mum’s the word!
Close on the heels of Madhuri Dixit Nene delivering her second baby, Karisma Kapoor and Raveena Tandon too became proud mothers. Both Lolo and Ravs gave birth to baby girls in Mumbai in March. Congratulations!

MOVIE UPDATE
Director Tanuja Chandra's next venture Runway to be shot in a Gujarat village, is based on the upheavals of the 1971 India-Pakistan war as witnessed by a woman. Sushmita Sen and Jackie Shroff will be starring in the "emotionally intense" film which will be subtitled in several languages for global appeal. Chandra's other film Hope And A Little Sugar is also in the final stages of post-production. However, her Film Star is yet to be cleared for release. 

Ajay Devgan and Aishwarya Rai have been finalized for Rajkumar Santoshi's biopic on Prithviraj Chauhan. The film will now be shot in Jaipur and Jodhpur. Ajay also has Karan Johar’s Kaal and Prakash Jha’s Apaharan in his kitty.

Chandraprakash Dwivedi, who made his big-screen directorial debut in 2003 with the award-winning adaptation of Amrita Pritam’s celebrated Partition epic, Pinjar, is now working on a script woven around the life and work of Urdu short story writer Saadat Hasan Manto. Manto chronicled the anguish and madness of the post-Independence communal riots better and more starkly than anybody other writer.

Sanjay Dutt has reportedly been signed for a sequel to the mega hit Munnabhai MBBS. The Vinod Chopra film has been tentatively titled Lage Raho Munnabhai.

Cricket legend Kapil Dev is all set to make a debut in Hindi films. He will play himself in a film on cricket to be produced by Subhash Ghai. Meanwhile, a film on the life of Hansie Cronje, the late South African captain, will be shot in India, South Africa, Australia and England, but will not feature.any former or existing players. The movie will feature the life of the once-revered national captain from his childhood in Bloemfontein to the plane crash that killed him in 2002. The lead actor has not been finalized yet. 

Shekhar Kapur’s first film to be shot in North America, Solace will star Bruce Willis. He will play a doctor with psychic powers in it. Kapur is also making a movie on Nelson Mandela, A Long Walk to Freedom.

MOVIE REVIEW
Lucky: No Time For Love
Starring: Salman Khan, Sneha Ullal, Mithun Chakraborty
Directors: Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru Music Director: Adnan Sami


Set against the romantic and majestic backdrop of St. Petersburg, Lucky is a love story with a difference, however clichéd that might sound. You see, the heroine is a schoolgirl in pigtails and tartan skirts. And yes, her likeness to Salman Khan’s erstwhile lady love Aishwarya Rai is uncanny. And no, Lucky is not Salman’s but Sneha’s name in the film. 

Lucky is trapped in some kind of a civil war that suddenly breaks across the serene Russian landscape. She takes refuge in fellow countryman Aditya’s (Salman Khan’s) car and the two keep running from eerie graveyards to theater galleries and cattle trains to reach home. Amidst all this, an Intelligence guy, the mysterious PD (Mithun Chakraborty) keeps surfacing off and on to help the duo. 

As a schoolgirl, Sneha is adequately gauche, as the leading lady of a Bollywood film, she shows promise, and as a fresh face, she is actually dewy. Sallu treats her almost as a daddy would his favourite daughter. Calls her aap, sits thirty paces away from her and often berates her. Sneha’s sequences with Salman, in the post-interval portions especially, are cute. Salman Khan handles the emotional 
part with amazing maturity. But Mithun Chakraborty, thanks to his badly written role, comes across more as a buffoon than an Intelligence officer. His portions seem forced in the screenplay. 

Adnan Sami's lyrical melodies are soul-stirring. In fact, Lucky had everything going for it — fresh pairing, breathtaking locales (cinematography by Sudeep Chatterjee is brilliant), great action and melodious music — but the film slips in the most crucial department: the screenplay and dialogues which are often pedestrian. Besides, what is the idea behind making the characters talk in Russian to a large extent? With no sub-titles, how do the makers expect the  Hindi-speaking audiences to fathom what's being said? 

Watch Lucky to enjoy the interesting juxtaposition of Salman’s brawn against Sneha’s endearing innocence.

Current Top 10 Songs
1. Sun Zara (Lucky)
2. Tauba Tauba (Kaal)
3. Tinka Tinka (Karam)
4. Ek Bewafa Hai (Bewafaa)
5. Main Yahan Hoon (Veer-Zaara)
6. Dhoom Macha Le (Dhoom)
7. Bheege Honth (Murder)
8. Khoya Khoya (Shabd)
9. Let’s Play Holi (Waqt)
10. Yuhin Chala Chal (Swades)

Current Top 10 Movies
1. Lucky — No Time For Love
2. Black
3. Zeher
4. Tango Charlie
5. Page 3
6. Bewafaa
7. Socha Na Tha
8. Karam
9. Shabd
10. Fun Can Be Dangerous Sometimes



BOLLYWOOD PACKAGE BY GITANJALI CHAK & RAJNISH SHARMA

Old Articles...
June  2005 Article
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