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Rajnish Sharma is an India-based journalist who has worked for leading Indian dailies like The Times of India and Hindustan Times. Besides these dailies he has written for a host of magazines and dotcoms in the US, Hong Kong and now Australia. Not one to get tethered to a beat 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 click here

Here comes the ‘bride’
Gurinder Chadha sure likes to bend and twist things to her convenience. After 
Bend It Like Beckham, the acclaimed director has picked up an English classic 
Pride and Prejudice and given it a Bollywood twist. It is a twist that sees the 
Bennets from Jane Austen’s pages become the Bakshis of Amritsar in Chadha’s film titled Bride and Prejudice. The bride of course is Bollywood queen Aishwarya Rai who plays Lalita, the screen version of Elizabeth. The enigmatic Mr Darcy (Martin Henderson) is a rich American hotelier here. The much hyped film is set for a simultaneous release in India and the UK on October 8.

By the way, Ash is emerging as a major threat to international supermodels. 
Apparently, Sir Mick Jagger's daughter, supermodel Lizzie Jagger was recently 
warned by the cosmetics giants L'Oreal that if she doesn't put on weight and 
start looking more healthy, she might be replaced by Ms Rai as the brand 
ambassador for their cosmetics line Lancome.

Media ‘AIDS’ Salman
Aishwarya Rai will not like to hear this but Salman Khan is the current media 
darling. The super brat has been raking in great reviews for all his recent 
performances — Tere Naam, Garv — and his latest release has even got the United Nations’ appreciation. The film: Phir Milenge which deals with the sensitive issue of AIDS. In the unusual love story directed by actress-turned-filmmaker Revathy, both Salman and Shilpa Shetty are HIV positive. Another movie on AIDS titled My Brother Nikhil stars the Jhankar Beats couple Juhi Chawla and Sanjay Suri. Only, here they play siblings.

Incidentally, Salman has acquired a brand new friend in Preity Zinta. She calls 
him a “no problem guy”! The two are starring in Dil Ne Jise Apna Kaha, the 
directorial debut of Sallu’s brother-in-law Atul Agnihotri. The film which also 
stars Bhumika Chawla, is slated for an October release. 

Preity Zinta, SRK’s ‘legendary’ love 
Preity Zinta’s off-screen love life may not be going great guns — she recently 
broke up with her Danish boyfriend — but she is all set to bewitch her fans as a 
Pakistani girl Zaara in a ‘legendary’ love story directed by Yash Chopra. Titled 
Veer Zaara, the veteran director’s latest venture has Shah Rukh Khan playing an Indian, Veer. Preity’s one-time buddy Rani Mukerjee plays a Pakistani lawyer in the film which also sees guest appearances from Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini.

Veer Zaara is also in the news for a unique musical experiment that's now the 
talk of Bollywood. The film has music score by the late Madan Mohan. Madan 
Mohan's son Sanjeev Kohli reportedly dug out more than 150 unused tunes that his father had composed and transcreated them. “It was the greatest creative 
challenge. Now, it is up to listeners to decide whether I have revived the era 
of the Madan Mohan-Lata Mangeshkar melodies," says Kohli. The movie has 12 
tracks sung by Lata.

‘Prime’ time for Dev Anand
It’s ‘prime’ time for the octogenarian Dev Anand! The evergreen actor-director 
plays no less than the Prime Minister of India in his new film. Anand apparently 
shares his birthday — Sept 26 — with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. A figment of fiction based on Election 2004, Mr Prime Minister promises to be a hard-hitting satire on the Indian political system. The movie also stars Boman Irani of Munnabhai MBBS fame and Tara Sharma. A major part of the film will be shot in Bhachao, Gujarat, which was struck by an earthquake in January 2001. It will also be shot in London and Rome. 

Incidentally, Hema Malini’s younger daughter Aahana reportedly spurned Dev 
Anand’s offer to act in his Beauty Queen. The young lady is just not interested. 
But the never-say-die director is not giving up so easily and says he is willing 
to wait for the pretty Ms Deol Junior to have a change of heart. 

Amitabh Bachchan is making a comeback in Bengali movies with his Hindi-Bangla bilingual Ora Kara. The film directed by Ravishankar Sharma would be Big B's second Bengali film in 15 years after Shakti Samant's Anusandhan released in the 80s. The suspense thriller has Bachchan playing an armyman opposite Dimple Kapadia and would be released in both languages simultaneously. 

Meanwhile, Madhuri Dixit’s plans of making a comeback opposite Big B in a 
Rituparno Ghosh-directed film have been stalled. Reason: the former diva is 
expecting her second baby. The delivery will take place in Denver, US.

Priyanka Chopra plays her first negative role in Aetraaz, slated for release 
soon. The film is a courtroom drama in which a wife fights an intense battle for 
her husband who is accused of sexual harassment by his female boss a la Indecent Exposure. Priyanka’s co-stars in Aetraaz are Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor. 

Ajay Devgan has recently signed Harry Baweja's next film, which is apparently on the lines of Hollywood's I Am Sam. In the original, Sean Penn fights for the 
custody of his seven-year-old daughter despite being mentally retarded. Penn's 
brilliant performance won him an Oscar nomination for this film. In the Hindi 
version, Sushmita Sen plays Devgan's lawyer. 

Shekhar Kapoor is planning to make a sequel to the much-acclaimed Elizabeth with Hollywood beauty Cate Blanchett reprising her Oscar-nominated role as the virgin Queen of Britain. The movie that will focus on the middle years of Elizabeth's reign has been tentatively titled Golden Age. It is about the battle between Elizabeth's life as a monarch and her personal life. 

Kareena Kapoor and Salman Khan are teaming up for the first time in a movie 
inspired by the intense drama One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Directed by 
Priyadarshan, the untitled film will be shot in Spain. 

Two Bollywood stars, Juhi Babbar and Manisha Koirala, will appear for the first 
time on the Pakistani silver screen in an upcoming film called Piyas. The film 
to be shot in Germany, will be produced by Khalil Rana. Ram Gopal Varma has 
signed Kajol’s sister Tanisha and Katrina Kaif for his version of The Godfather 
titled Sarkar which has Amitabh Bachchan playing the title role.

Starring: Kareena Kapoor, Fardeen Khan, Shahid Kapur
Director: Ken Ghosh
Music Director: Anu Malik

Fida, like its title, is crisp and compelling. It is an engaging thriller and 
even the romance is packed with a deadly punch. But (after Kyun Ho Gaya Na), if you were looking forward to checking out the chemistry between another pair of real life lovers — Kareena and Shahid — you would surely be disappointed. The vibes actually crackle louder between Kareena and Fardeen. 

Director Ken Ghosh comes a long way from his debut teeny-bopper flick, Ishq 
Vishk. He evokes interest right in the opening frame, sustains it throughout and 
brings the drama to an impressive finale. It would be criminal to even outline a 
story that is so full of shocking twists and turns. Suffice it to say that the three main characters are single-mindedly driven by wordly passions. They all want to own the best things in life — nothing wrong with that — but their means of acquiring them makes them ruthlessly selfish. It is, refreshingly, not a clichéd climax.

If Chameli saw Kareena play the streetwalker with no qualms of conscience, then Fida revels in her blatant meanness. As the designer version of Lady Macbeth, she is terrific. Fardeen Khan is effortlessly suave as the scheming hacker. The guy certainly has come a long way. And Shahid? Well, despite his acting/dancing skills and perfect voice modulation, it will take some more time before this boy-man can really look convincing as a hero. 

Anu Malik’s music is fabulous and one of the film’s undeniable assets. For once, 
you don’t mind the steady stream of songs. 

On the whole, a good watch replete with eye-catching locales. The movie has been shot in Cape Town and Dubai.

Current Top 10 Songs
1. Dhoom Mach Le (Dhoom)
2. Nazar Nazar (Fida)
3. Chak De (Hum Tum)
4. Bas Main Hoon (Kyun Ho Ga Na)
5. Kaho Na Kaho (Murder)
6. Mujhe Tumse (Tumsa Nahin Dekha)
7. Main Hoon Na (Main Hoon Na) 
8. Lal Dupatta (Mujhse Shaadi Karogi)
9. Kal Ho Naa Ho (Kal Ho Naa Ho)
10. Main Aisa Kyun (Lakshya)

Current Top 10 Movies
1. Dhoom
2. Fida
3.Phir Milenge
4. Mujhse Shaadi Karogi
5. Hum Tum
6. Rakht
7. Main Hoon Na
8. Murder
9. Kal Ho Naa Ho
10. Garv


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