Friday, August 31, 2012

Movie Review: Jalpari - a little gem, with message on female foeticide

Cast: Parvin Dabas, Suhasini Mulay, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Harsh Mayar, Lehar Khan and Krishang Trivedi

Director: Nila Madhab Panda

Rating: ***

In spite of its flaws, of which there are many, "Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid" wins your heart with its simple fluid storytelling and characters who seem to have taken birth in the deserted village in Haryana, long before the camera was switched on. 

There is a fascinating play of light and shade in Deepak Venkateshan's screenplay. It manfully tries to incorporate several genres and perhaps ends up being neither here nor there.

But the heart, oh that wondrous creation, is constantly in the right place. Director Nila Madhab Panda takes two city-bred children Shreya (Lehar Khan) and Sam (Krishang Trivedi) with their father (Parvin Dabas) and grandmother(Suhasini Mulay) to their ancestral village, a dry godforsaken land of non-productivity suspiciously bereft of girl children.

From there, the film follows a scattered craggy path culminating in a finale which doesn't quite hold up, but nonetheless offers us a heartwarming insight into the harsh reality of life in many parts of rural India where a female child is still considered a liability. 

While applauding the attempt to yoke a children's adventure story into a sombre issue, we must also stop and wonder at the film's end-narration where we are told that if Dev (Parvin Dabas) had stayed back in his village, his little girl may not have been born. 

There are some strained attempts to pitch Dev's children's progressive upbringing against the backwater superstitious village. Shreya calls her father by his first name and is proudly declared "on a par with any boy". This isn't really the kind of gender equality that we should be espousing in our prejudiced society.

Girls need their identity. They don't need to behave like boys to be given gender equality. It's naive to expect the two genders to behave uniformly and thereby achieve equality for the girl child.
The child performers are good but no patch on Harsh Mayar and Hussan Saad in Panda's "I Am Kalam". Mayar in fact, has a role as a rough village boy, which he struggles to give an identity to. But somehow, the characters in the village remain shadowy, under-sketched. The only exception is Tannishtha Chatterjee, who as a rural migrant from West Bengal brings her trademark spunk into her character. 

The flaws do not eclipse the film's efforts to tell a story about the absence of equal opportunities for children of both sexes.

The indigenous music by Midival Punditz and Ashish Chauhan roots the narration to its milieu, while the cinematography by Savita Singh Puri transports the film to an international level.

Apurva Asrani edits the scattered material with room for the characters to breathe easily.

"Jalpari" is a little gem, with a message on female foeticide that is so critical, and a heart so large that the narration could easily have been submerged in the social statement.

Panda has carved a miniature gem on the past imperfect and the present tense of the girl child. "Jalpari" should immediately be granted tax exemption and made accessible to every Indian who loves his daughter and to every womb breaker who ever thought of snuffing an unborn life out.

Movie Review: Joker is One and A Half Hour of Paid Torture

Star Cast: Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Shreyas Talpade, Minsha Lamba, Asrani, Vindu Dara Singh, Gurpreet Ghuggi

Director: Shirish Kunder

Producer: Farah Khan and Ronnie Screwala

Music: G.V.Prakash Kumar, Gaurav Dogaonkar

Rating : *

Be it Bollywood or Hollywood, curiosity associated with the incognito world of aliens and UFO has always been a source of fascination for the merchants of showbiz, who always try to offer something innovative and thrilling to cine buffs, in order to keep the cash register ringing.

The newest entrant who is there to prove its mettle in this fantasy adventure genre is Shirish Kunder's self proclaimed sci-fi saga Joker. Starring Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha, Joker opened at multiplexes with an occupancy of 25 %. 

Joker, is a tale about a space scientist who returns to his native village, Paglapur, an isolated village undergoing a plight of neglect, for not having any of its mention on the map of India and protagonist's quaint idea to get the recognition for his village.
Agastya (Akshay Kumar) is a space scientist, working on the the development of a communication system, to communicate with aliens. But Agastya, losses the faith of of his seniors and is allotted with a deadline of one month to conclude his project with some substantial results.

In the mean time, Agastya is informed by his friend Diva (Sonakshi Sinha), regarding his father's illness, on hearing this Agastya reaches his native village Paglaapur, whose colorful inhabitants include a man who speaks in gibberish, another who thinks he is a lamp post and everyone else who think that the World War II is still going on?

Soon after reaching there, Agastya finds that he was called on a false pretext of illness by his father. 

On getting apprised about truth, Agastya decides to move back to US, but after hearing the plight of the inhabitants of Paglapur, due to the brushing aside of the village by the the government because of its being absent from the demarcated map of India, he makes his mind to come out with some solution for the problem.

As the story proceeds, Agastya comes up with a quaint idea pertaining to the crop circle and arrival of aliens in his village, in order to fetch a recognition for his otherwise isolated village undergoing a plight of neglect ever since the independence. 

With frames moving ahead, Agastya along with other villagers creates crop circle in Paglapur and spreads rumor about arrival of aliens in the village. And from their, amid tremendous media hype, takes over some hilarious sequences knitted around UFO and fictitious man made aliens. 
Joker very well proves the fact, that it's not necessary for an innovative idea to turn into an interesting cine flick. The story of Joker falls flat on ground, as soon as its takes off.

For some, this may be an innovative idea to blend a fantasy adventure with rustic background, but actually it turned out to be a disaster for Shirish. In fact it won't be wrong to say that the script of "Joker" seemed to be knitted just for heck of doing it. 

As far as humour quotient and the sci-fi flavour are concerned, then even these two USPs of the movie seemed to be buried beneath the terrains of Paglapur. In fact Joker seems to be a satire on all UFO and alien movies which have been made so far
Screenplay and Direction
In the absence of a rational and tenable script, the screenplay also seems to be too burdening for the heads of the movie buffs. With a run time, less than of 2 hours "Joker", no where thrills you or leaves you mesmerised with its onscreen offerings. 

With narration starting at snail's pace, the movie completely fails in keeping the gazes of the masses glued to the celluloid. As soon as the story starts, comes in a flurry of protagonists with their weird belief patterns, but as the story proceeds, even the short lived humor which tickles you in the prior sequences, starts loosing its appeal. 

With narration getting out of proportion and extremely slow in the second half, it becomes cumbersome to sit through the film after a point. In nut shell the pace of the narration of Joker, is even slower than that of a ninety year old granny on an athletic track. 
Even in dialogues department, Joker has nothing to offer. Besides some bland humor punches, Joker also tries to induce some humor with some funny pick up lines of, Asrani but even that does not merry the masses. 

Acting / Performance
Contrary to his usual style of quick witted and spontaneous humor, in Joker Akshay looks monotonous and repetitive and thoroughly fails in delivering the performance, which is usually expected out of him by the fans. 

Sonakshi seems to be assisting Akshay through out the course of the movie, with no scope to exhibit her acting adroitness. 

As far as the performance of the Shreyas is concerned, then he looked more of a Tusshar Kapoor scion from "Golmaal" trilogy. In first few sequences his acts of speaking gibberish somewhat induces laughter, but later on they turn in to a torment for the audience. 

On the other hand the performance of the supporting cast comprising of Minissha Lamba, Asrani, Vindu Dara Singh, Sanjay Mishra, Vrajesh Hirjee, Pitobash, Darshan Jariwala, Anjan Srivastava, and Avtar Gill further adds on to the plight of the audience.

Music / Lyrics 
Just like many other components, songs of Joker also seemed to be something unnecessarily obtruded, just for heck of it. Music of Joker is neither soothing nor peppy. The only song that may charm you is 'Kafirana', picturised on Chitrangda Singh, where as the remaining songs are incorporated to act as fillers.
BO Potential 
About BO potential of Joker, the only thing which can be expected is that, it has got all the spices in perfect proportion to emerge as one of the biggest BO disaster of 2012. 

To sum up, Joker is 105 minutes paid torture, which is meant to end your inclination towards fantasy adventure cine flicks.

Sher vs Tiger: Himesh dumps Salman's arch enemy Vivek

Buzz is that the reason could lie with Salman Khan's arch enemy Vivek Oberoi joining the cast of Soham Shah's film 

Looks like nothing is more important to Himesh Reshammiya than honouring his friendship with Salman Khan. And that's apparently the reason why he has walked out of Soham Shah's upcoming film Sher, after Vivek Oberoi recently joined the cast. 
A source informs, Himesh has decided not to do the music for the film as Vivek has joined the cast. When Himesh was signed, he was told that it would star Sonu Sood along with Sanjay Dutt.

Himesh is known to hold Sanjay Dutt in high regard and he was apparently doing this film because Dutt had recommended his name. However, when Himesh came to know during the shooting schedule of Sher in Rajasthan that Vivek had joined the cast he wanted to opt out. However, he kept quiet because of Dutt.`

Final straw
The source also states that the matter apparently became worse when Vivek was quoted saying that Sher is bigger than Tiger (Salman's latest release is Ek Tha Tiger). 

The source adds, He wanted to opt out then and there. The makers wanted Himesh to deliver the final song for them but he is not going to do that. He has finally decided to walk out of the film as he did not want to work with Vivek at all. In spite of repeated calls, Himesh did not revert to our SMSes. 
In the past...
The rivalry between Salman Khan and Vivek Oberoi started when Vivek called a press conference at his residence in 2003, accusing Sallu of threatening him. Ever since that, Salman and Vivek cannot see eye to eye. Later, Vivek even made a few attempts to extend an olive branch but Sallu remained unaffected. 

I am not a dumb bimbette!

Model- anchor and now a reality show participant, Archana Vijaya exemplifies the mantra of taking life as it comes. "I am a sucker for different things and this was very different, " says Archana describing her latest stint on TV.

With the India- New Zealand series getting underway, CS talks to Archana about being a woman cricket presenter and her love for the sport:

Camera comfy
I did my English Honors from Kolkata and I never thought that my degree would help me, but it has. I talk for a living now! I never thought I would be a presenter because I was a camera shy person then. 
But until you do something, you never know whether you can do it or not. I have been presenting for five years now, so it took a while for people to realise that 'Hey she's not just hot, but she also knows what she's talking about'. I don't want to be a bimbette! If you are pretty, people automatically assume that you are dumb. 

Then it becomes a double task - not only do you have to surpass the male dominance, but also prove yourself. So I do a lot of research before every game so that I don't look like a fool.

Not an expert, just curious
When you are talking to experts and legends, you don't want to come across as someone who doesn't know what they are talking about. 
I cannot be an expert because I have never played the game. So I have always maintained the persona of a fan and a presenter. I never give an opinion. I always ask questions and don't make statements. I bring in the cricket aspect to my interviews, but I keep it very real. I try to actually find out what a fan would like to know.

Also, it's funny but a lot of women like what I do. They like to see a woman finding out more about the game from her perspective.

Moments to cherish
I remember this ODI game in Guwahati. It was Australia v/s India and Australia had already won the series. But I still remember the crowds. 

Since the sun sets early there, we were headed to the stadium at 7am and as far as my sight could go, I could just see a sea of people waiting to enter the stadium. All for a dead rubber game! 
That's the passion for the game in India. I was also there when Sachin scored his 17, 000 runs, his 12, 000 ODI runs. I was also present when he scored his 200 in Gwalior. 

After India won the Asia Cup, Mahi (M S Dhoni) gave me his winning cap. Even while presenting the recent cricket league, I had a jig with Shahrukh Khan and Akshay Kumar, getting the two in the same frame was great.

Yash Raj's Gunday for Katrina?

Though Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor have been finalised for Ali Abbas Zafar's next film to be made for the Yash Chopra banner, there is no official word on the female star

Buzz is that the Mere Brother Ki Dulhan director is keen to work with Katrina Kaif again. 

As she was part of his debut film with Imran Khan, he feels there is the comfort factor with Kat. Ali had recently also accompanied Kat to the Ajmer dargah. 

Was it to seek divine intervention before the start of a new venture? Hmmm...
The director has already chosen Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor for his film.

Not love triangle

"The film is titled 'Gunday' and will be completely shot in Kolkata. It's a period film set in 1971 to 1988. Both my actors Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh will be seen as Bengalis in the film. It's not a love triangle and the film will go on floors in December," Ali Abbas Zafar told. 

After doing "Band Baaja Baaraat" and "Ladies vs Ricky Bahl", this will be Ranveer's third movie with Yash Raj Films (YRF) banner and the same goes for Arjun, who did "Ishaqzaade" with them and also signed "Aurangzeb".
However, for the first time the two actors are coming together on screen.

When asked will Arjun and Ranveer work on their Bengali diction, Zafar said: "It's still a choice that I have not yet made. It's a commercial Hindi film and I want to stick to my subject with honesty. As far as Bengali diction is concerned, we are still finalising that, we don't want to make it sound funny."

About the leading lady, he said that it has not been "finalised yet" and added: "Talks are on. Once we finalise it, we will make an official announcement."

Quirky Sonam's Chaplin act

Actress who is known for her quirky style sense and her straight talk does an exclusive photoshoot as a mime artiste

Sonam Kapoor is known for her quirky style sense and her straight talk in the industry. Recently, the actress decided to combine the two for an exclusive photoshoot done by fashion photographer Rohan Shreshtha, where she posed as a mime artiste.

Rohan says,  I knew Sonam only socially and I had this concept in mind for the last two years. Though we have worked on other projects earlier, I never got the chance to explain my concept to Sonam. Finally, when I told it to her, she loved it!

In fact, it was during the shoot that the photographer came to know that Sonam had in fact trained in mime acting while she was abroad. Rohan adds, She nailed every shot like a pro.

First Look: Aamir Khan makes it to Time cover

Aamir Khan's hugely successful TV show "Satyamev Jayate", that focusing on burning issues facing India and ways of tackling them, has landed him on the cover of prestigious Time magazine as India's "first superstar-activist." 

"He's breaking the Bollywood mold by tackling India's social evils. Can one actor change a nation?" asks the blurb on the cover of the Asia edition of the Sep 10 issue of the US magazine, which features a close-up of the actor looking intensely into the camera. 

Tracing the rise of Aamir Khan with the 1988 blockbuster hit "Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak", Time's Bobby Ghosh noted over the past decade the 47-year-old actor has acted in, directed and produced a string of "movies that artfully straddle the demands of popular cinema and that desire for grace." 

"Now, with his groundbreaking TV show Satyamev Jayate (Truth Alone Prevails), he has dispensed with commercial considerations to indulge his conscience," writes Ghosh. "With it, Khan has taken on the mantle of the country's first superstar-activist." 

"The show, in equal parts chat and journalism, casts an unblinking spotlight on some of India's ugliest social problems," he says of the show of which Khan is "creator, producer and host, and he has invested it with his star power - and his credibility." 
"It's a ballsy move, and potentially jeopardizes his status as the beloved idol of millions," writes Ghosh, since the subjects his show tackles "are precisely the sorts of harsh realities from which many of Khan's fans seek escape in his movies." 

"Can a movie star affect the mores of a nation of 1.2 billion?" asks Ghosh and suggests "It might just be possible in India, where a national obsession with cinema, unparalleled in the world, gives popular actors an influence beyond the imagination of Hollywood scriptwriters."

As Khan assesses the impact of his first series, Time suggests, "Whatever Khan chooses to do next in his quest for grace, there's a good chance it will lift India a little closer to what he - and fellow Indians - would wish their country and society to be." 

Aamir Khan is the third Indian actor to be featured on the cover of Time magazine. Aishwarya Rai made it to the cover in 2003 and Parveen Babi was featured in 1976.

Denied permission, RGV to recreate Taj Hotel for Rs 2.5 crores for 26/11 film

After being denied permission to shoot at the Taj Hotel for his 26/11 film, RGV spends Rs 2.5 cr to recreate the setting at a suburban hotel

It's double trouble for Ram Gopal Varma. After being granted very limited access to the CST railway station to shoot his ambitious project based on the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, word is that his request to film at the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, Colaba has been turned down.
Our source say the reason behind it was the fact that the authorities were not willing to revisit the unfortunate incident, even through a film. The hotel became the venue for a lot of bloodbath during the terrorists' siege on the city. 

Our source says, Ramu was a bit disappointed over not being given complete permission to shoot at CST or at the Colaba hotel. After shooting some sequences at CST, he will shoot the rest of the gory and firing scenes on another set.
Incidentally, Ramu has taken the authorities' decision in his stride and has instead recreated the entire lobby of the Colaba hotel at another suburban hotel in Juhu, which is currently being rented for shootings. The entire set has been created by art director Uday Singh and apparently Ramu has spent around R 2.5 crore towards its making.

Ramu says, It could be traumatic for many to see the recreation of that horrible tragedy. For me, in the context of the attacks, a five star hotel is the symbol of human achievement in terms of splendour. To see blood flowing on its polished floors and its pristine walls and artifacts there to be riddled with bullets are living testimony of the ultimate barbarism Man is capable of doing.

Jacqueline would love to work with Aamir Khan

Jacqueline Fernandes has been proclaiming that the one actor she would love to work with is Aamir Khan

She has apparently been saying that she will do anything to act opposite him.

Start by being a Miss Perfectionist for starters, Jacqui.

Heroine Kareena fetches Rs.20 crore from big brands

Women-centric films have caught the right attention in recent times, thanks to unique content and strong roles. But for "Heroine", Kareena Kapoor has gone a step ahead and managed to bring as many as eight brands on board - said to be the most for any female-oriented Hindi movie so far.

According to industry sources, an estimate of at least Rs.20 crore of brand-spends will be blocked for promotions of Madhur Bhandarkar's "Heroine", releasing Sep 21.

Lakme, Head and Shoulders and Monarch Universal are the brands Kareena endorses and have associated with the film, apart from others like Cera, Rupa, Jealous21, Sugar Free and Cocoberry which have come on board for in-film integration and various media associations.

"'Heroine' is a women-oriented film and I am happy that brands today are open to associate with such films which was never the case before. The trend is changing and I'm glad to have instigated it", said Kareena, adding that Bhandarkar "has pushed the envelope to bring out a strong performance from me".

Lakme is launching "Heroine" branded make-up under the Absolute range, endorsed by Kareena, and apparel brand Jealous21 will introduce a special clothing line inspired by the clothes worn by Kareena in the movie, which narrates the behind-the-scenes life of an actress. 
"'Heroine' has an author-backed role for Kareena and Madhur's zeal to make it the way he had envisioned has prompted many brands to see an opportunity worth associating," said Shikha Kapur, executive director Marketing, Studios, Disney UTV. 

"Even though it's a heroine-led film, because of its sheer content and Kareena's strong brand recall, we have successfully managed to have key brands on board. The product placement is integrated with the film's story line in a manner that is inherent to the narrative and accelerates the story further," added Kapur. 

Earlier, women-oriented film like "Fashion" and "Aisha" tied up with popular brands.

Third time lucky for John?

After two previous failed attempts, John Abraham could be finally working with Sriram Raghavan on his next film

After two hits and misses, looks like their third attempt might prove to be more fruitful. Word is that John Abraham is all set to work together with director Sriram Raghavan's on his next.

On two previous occasions, John and Raghavan were slated to work with each other. While one was to be co-produced by Milan Luthria, the other project was to be produced by Gaurag Doshi and starred Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in it. Both films however never took off.

While Raghavan rules out that John might act in the film, he confirms that the actor will definitely produce the project. The director says, Right now I am still in the scripting process and have not approached any actor for it. It is too early to talk about the project.

After his action flick Agent Vinod failed to work wonders at the box office, the filmmaker is all set to return to his favourite genre thrillers.

Raghavan adds, Once the scripting is over, we will start the casting process. When we contacted John Abraham to know if he has been roped in for the project, all he said was, No comment!

No wig for Gagan 'Ram' Malik

Actor Gagan Malik who is focused on getting his look right for his new role of Lord Ram in Zee TV's Ramayan has decided to grow out his wavy locks and bid his wig 'Goodbye'.

Gagan's portrayal of Ram comes with a great deal of responsibility. He must look the part, walk the talk and above all, emerge as a role model for a whole generation that will now watch him as Ram.

The Delhi-bred former Mr. India contestant is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that he gets his act right for Ramayan.

It is interesting to note that Gagan has decided to give up on non-vegetarian food and control his temper at all times as he plays Ram.

He believes imbibing Ram's virtues in his personal lifestyle will go a long way in portraying him on screen.

Gagan said he has grown up listening to his mother's countless stories from the Ramayan every single day.

Landing the role of Ram has come as a dream come true for Gagan's mother who has read the Ramayan more than 200 times.

The staunch Ram devotee that she is, Gagan's mother has written the name 'Ram' over 2 crore times in her diaries.

In terms of sheer physicality, he is already in the ideal form required to play Ram.

He is lean and athletic without looking too 'gym trained'.

Gagan said, In fact, it helps that there isn't a great gym in Baroda where we shoot. It encourages me to perform the kind of basic and ethnic forms of exercise that were prevalent centuries ago. I do the surya namaskar, dand-baithak, perform hath yoga and run extensively post pack-up.

"This doesn't create a contemporary, model-like look attained by hours spent lifting weights in the gym! It gives me the robust appearance required of the heroic prince I play.

And what is the kind of response he's getting on the show so far?

Gagan said, The show has opened up to a very positive response. I was inundated with calls on the day my first promo just revealing my silhouette as Ram went on air. People seem to have loved the way our characters were kept away from media glare for the longest time and then unveiled dramatically."

"The make-up team must also be commended for beautifully recreating the looks of all the characters.

"The authenticity of the sets, the first-rate cinematography and the catchy visual effects only add sheen to the content. We are working hard to showcase this epic in a manner that gets families to sit together on a Sunday morning and learn from it, besides being entertained...wish us luck! he said.

Vidya signs a whopping Rs. 5 crore deal

Actress Vidya Balan has signed a whopping Rs.5 crore deal for endorsing a sari brand. 

The elan with which Vidya carries the traditional Indian attire, has prompted a well-known Chennai-based sari brand to sign the actress as its brand ambassador. 

"Vidya today represents the quintessential India woman. She not only dazzles in saris but is also astoundingly self-assured to follow a path charted out only by her at a time when everyone is sporting similar looks. She stands out far apart from the crowd. She brought saris 'back'," Swati Iyer of Bling! Entertainment Solutions said in a statement.

"Hence it is no surprise that we got her to be the face of the biggest sari brand in the country. We are delighted to represent a personality as unique as her and are extremely proud to play a crucial role in creating Brand Vidya. 

"Today Vidya stands for everything beautiful, real, honest, Indian and fearless. We now also manage her movies and endorsements," Iyer added.
In recent time, Vidya has given hits like "Paa", "Ishqiya", "The Dirty Picture", "No One Killed Jessica", and "Kahaani". Except the last two, in other films she mostly wore saris. 

Celebrity photographer Atul Kasbekar, who owns Bling Entertainment, adds they are positioning Vidya as India's Meryl Streep. 

"Internally, we have positioned her as India's Meryl Streep. To a movie going audience worldwide, if the venerable Ms Streep's name is in the titles, it is a reason enough to watch the film. We believe that Vidya is now in that league in India by a unique combination of critically acclaimed performances in box office success," he said.

Super fit Prateik is ready to take on Salman Khan and John

After seeing the rushes of his next film, Prateik is glad his intense workout schedules have finally paid off

Fitness enthusiast Prateik has been bulking up for long, but never had a chance to display his brawn on screen. Having done films like Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na, Dhobi Ghat, Dum Maro Dum, Aarakshan, My Friend Pinto and Ekk Deewana Tha, the youngster's characters in these projects did not provide an opportunity to flex his muscles.

However, his next release directed by Manish Tiwary does and after seeing the rushes, the actor feels all the efforts were worth the efforts.

Says a source, The film is in the editing stages and Prateik is keenly awaiting its release. Whenever we think of Bollywood's fab bod guys, Salman Khan and John Abraham come to mind. Prateik feels he is the new crop of young actors who, too, want to take on the washboard abs scene.

Adds the source, Prateik, who has never shown his taut body in his films, is seen in a super-fit look in his next film. He has always preferred the macho look, rather than the lean look. What started as a workout for the film has found a very prominent place in his daily routine.

The actor regularly works out at a gym in Bandra without fail for two to three hours daily. He also follows a particular diet and never cheats on it.

Nawazuddin aims to be highest paid actor in Bollywood

After getting recognition and accolades for his work in films like "Kahaani" and "Gangs of Wasseypur", actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui is thinking big and his latest dream is to become the highest paid actor. But he is not ready to compromise on his work for money or luxury.

"I am very happy the way things have shaped up in my career... Now I am getting all the credit for my hard work. I want to be the highest paid actor in Bollywood and I am sure even that day will come soon," Nawazuddin told.

"I don't dream of having a flat in Mumbai or owning a car. By buying a flat of Rs.2 or Rs.3 crore, I will not compromise by doing any sort of work to repay the loan. I will never compromise with my work for the luxury. I want to do some good work."

Nawazuddin, 38, has a handful of films - "Aatma", "Mountain Man", and "Lunch Box", among others - and said: "Post-'Gangs Of Wasseypur', I am doing 'Aatma' with Bipasha Basu. Almost more than 50 percent of the film is ready. We are gearing up for the last schedule which will be shot in Panchgani and in Mumbai," the 38-year-old said.

Veteran actor Ram Sethi in Aamir Khan and Anushka's next Peekay

The actor is all set to revive his Bollywood film career with Raju Hirani's next film starring Aamir Khan and Anushka Sharma

You have seen him as Bhairon in Namak Halal, Harnamam in Laawaris and Pyarelal in Muqaddae Ka Sikander. Buzz is that veteran actor Ram Sethi is all set to revive his Bollywood career once again.

Once a popular face on the big screen, Sethi has suddenly returned to our living rooms with his new bike ad on TV. And while most of his previous films were along side Amitabh Bachchan, it's being said that in his next, he will be working with young actors.

Our source says, His last film was Ashutosh Gowarikar's 2010 release Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se with Abhishek Bachchan. Now with his new bike ad, a lot of people have sat up and taken notice of him once again.

Sethi apparently has been roped in by Rajkumar Hirani for his film with Aamir Khan and Anushka Sharma. The source adds, Farhan Akhtar's production has also signed him for Fukhrey with Pulkit Samrat.

Madhuri Dixit to turn producer?

A Juhu birdie overheard some talk about Madhuri Dixit being keen to start a production house

Apparently the actress is exploring the options of being on the other side of filmmaking as well! Is that the reason Mads is looking at properties in the suburbs? For office space perhaps?

English Vinglish new song released

The first song of Sridevi's comeback film 'English Vinglish' has been released.

Sridevi is making a comeback after 15 long years with the film.

Directed by Gauri Shinde, the film has released its brand new song- 'It's all about English Vinglish'.

English Vinglish is a story of Shashi, a woman who struggles to learn the English language and the insecurities she faces because of it.

The film was shot mostly in New York and captures her transformational journey.

The newly released song is an upbeat and vibrant track.

The video gives a glimpse of Shashi's everyday life and the little things that make her happy.

English Vinglish will be released in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu versions immediately after its world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in its gala section.

The film is slated to release on October 5.

Audience support helps actors stay longer: Bipasha

Actress Bipasha Basu doesn't fear being sidelined by the popularity of newcomers because she believes it's the audience who decides the longivity of an actor.

"The audience's support helps there. You last for so long because people like you. There is no science, no physics behind it. You can just do good work," Bipasha told.

The actress has been a part of the industry for over a decade and has been a part of hit films like "Raaz", "Omkara", "Race" and "Bachna Ae Haseeno".

Comparison with Salman makes Jackky happy

Jackky Bhagnani has built an eight-pack abs for his upcoming film "Ajab Gazabb Love" and says it is a compliment that people compare his physique with that of Salman Khan, but adds that he is not even a patch on the superstar.

"You compared me to Salman, I am happy with that. I have nothing else to say. He is the pioneer of body building and we all are inspired by him and if I can even become 'S' of Salman, it will be a great thing for me," the 27-year-old said here Wednesday at the launch of first look of "Ajab Gazabb Love".

Meanwhile, asked if any of the Khans will be seen promoting his film, Jackky said: "That's completely Vashu Bhagnani's call as a producer. We are actors, our job is to come and promote the product we worked on and that's why we are here."

"But yes, if they (Salman, Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan) are here and come bless us, you know, it's a dream come true. Salman bhai came for my first film ('Kal Kissne Dekha')," Jackky said.

Directed by Sanjay Gadhvi, "Ajab Gazabb Love" also stars Kannada actress Nidhi Subbaiah, Kirron Kher and Darshan Jariwala. The film is slated for an Oct 24 release.

MNS threatens to disrupt shooting of Sur-Kshetra

The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has warned TV channels Colors and Sahara to stop airing the programme "Sur-Kshetra" that features Pakistani vocalists or face "consequences".

"We are against (TV) channels who invite Pakistani singers. It is their tactic to create controversies and hence gather more TRPs," said Amey Khopkar, president of Maharashtra Navnirman Chitrapat Karmachari Sena, a group affiliated to the MNS.

"We have written to Colors and Sahara not to air the show. Otherwise we will disrupt their shoot schedules," he added.

Khopkar said he has also written to Asha Bhonsle, who is among those who will participate in the programme alongside Abida Parveen and Runa Laila.

"I have requested her not to be a part of the show as a diva like her is looked upon by many, and hence she should not be sharing stage with Pakistani vocalists," Khopkar said.

"When Pakistan is inflicting injuries on us, why should we entertain Pakistani artistes?" Khopkar asked.

Reacting to the MNS stand, Bhonsle said she was a proud Maharashtrian who believed in the idea of "atithi devo bhava" (a guest is like a god).

"I don't like politics because I don't understand it... But I love Raj Thackeray. In spite of whatever he thinks about me, I still love him. I am a singer and I understand the language of music," Bhonsle said.

Aamir brings smile to Jalpari director

Aamir Khan surely goes out of his way for causes that are close to his heart. The actor, busy with a shooting schedule in Chicago, made time to write to "Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid" director Nila Madhab Panda, expressing his desire to watch the movie on female foeticide

As a subject, female foeticide is very sensitive for Aamir, who dealt with it in all its seriousness on his debut TV show "Satyamev Jayate". Now, "Jalpari", tackles the same subject in a different, entertaining format of an adventure thriller, and Aamir did his bit in boosting the morale of Panda on the eve of the film's release.

Panda, of the critically-acclaimed "I Am Kalam" fame, wants to fulfill Aamir's desire soon after the film hits the screens. "I sent Aamir Khan a mail and got a very prompt response. I have always admired his work and think he is one of the most sensitive actors in the industry and has created a revolution by doing a show like 'Satyamev Jayate'," said Panda.

"I'm trying to ensure that he sees the film soon and then hopefully he will be able to help us spread the message about the evil of female foeticide even more, that which we are trying to bring to light through our film 'Jalpari - The Desert Mermaid'," he added. "Jalpari" features an eclectic cast of talented actors like Parvin Dabas, Tannishtha Chatterjee and Suhasini Mulay.

Kratika pays tribute to sensuous Madhuri

Actor Kratika Sengar, who has been an ardent fan of Bollywood diva Madhuri Dixit right since she was knee-high, still remembers how she used to perform to her sensuous Koli number from the film Sailaab in front of the mirror as a starry-eyed teenager.

Little did she know that she'll have the privilege of performing to the song - 'Hum Ko Aajkal Hai Intezaar Koi Aaye Leke Pyaar' -on national television and express all her adulation for her favorite silver screen goddess just a few years down the line.

With Kratika's character Aarti in Zee TV's Punarvivaah going out on a vacation with screen hubby Yash (Gurmeet Chaudhry) to Mumbai, the couple is shown to be staying in a beachside villa where they bump into fishermen folk and our leading lady is coaxed into joining the Koli ladies in their dance.

When given a choice as to whether she'd like to dance to popular Koli numbers like Galyaat Saakhli Sonyachi or Dolkar Dariyacha Raja, it was Kratika who put her foot down and told producer Shashi Mittal that she wanted to dance to Madhuri's famous Koli song.

Kratika said, `It's been a dream come true to perform to one of my top 5 Madhuri favorite numbers. There's no one who can dance like her. She's simply incomparable and truly magical when she dances.

"Her dance is fluid and graceful, her sensuality is moderated by an inherent innocence and her expressions elevate her dance to an art form."

"So, it is indeed brave on my part to even attempt to dance to a Madhuri song. But, all I can say is that I have danced with love in my heart for a woman I have idolized as I grew up!` she said.

Pass or fail - the motto of Sur Kshetra

Either 'pass or fail' seems to be the motto of 'Sur Kshetra', a musical reality show which will be aired on Colors and Sahara One channel simultaneously

The show will have two teams, one from India and the other from Pakistan, competing with each other. The musical reality show will be judged by legendary singers Asha Bhosle, Abida Parveen and Runa Laila, while Himesh Reshammiya and Atif Aslam will be mentoring the Indian and Pakistani teams respectively.

The show promises to be different from the rest in terms of judging the participants - they will either be given a zero or a ten for their performances. "The concept of the show is very unique. Either pass or fail. It was very tough, all the contestants sing so well," Asha Bhosle said at the launch of the show, held at a suburban hotel here Thursday.

The lack of any points between zero and ten made it very difficult for the judges, contestants and mentors, but they have taken the challenge in the right spirit. After having done almost six reality shows, music director Himesh Reshammiya said this concept makes the show different from the rest.

"The concept of the show is very different. Due to this, the level of singing will be very high. If a singer sings well, he gets 10 and if he is sings anything less than that, he gets a zero. This is the next stage of reality show," he said.

Legendary singer from Bangladesh, Runa Laila who seems to be the neutral judge in the show said that this made it tougher for her to judge it.

"Asha ji is from India and Abida ji is from Pakistan. I am neutral and this became tougher for me. I had to balance things. This zero and ten marking scheme made it harder," Laila said. "But the plus point was that in case we gave someone zero, they didn't get disheartened and tried harder," she added.

Similarly for the third judge, Abida Parveen, marking contestants with either a zero or a ten was a bit of a challenge. The show will be hosted by Bollywood actress Ayesha Takia.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I do not like to mix religion with my profession

Emraan Hashmi on the highs and lows of B-Town

Emraan Hashmi, who began his career as an assistant in Mahesh Bhatt's camp, has now managed to move out of it with movies such as Once Upon Time In Mumbaai, The Dirty Picture and Shanghai. In his soon-to- release Raaz 3, Emraan is playing the role of a director. While shooting for Ghanchakkar, the actor took time out for a tete-a-tete...

How have you been juggling your film shoots of late?
It is tough. I have been shooting back-to-back and trying to give as much time as possible for the promotions.

How do you handle stardom?
I try to be grounded and do not get swayed by success or failure. These things should not get to your head as it makes you overconfident. I try not to be judgmental because it is part and parcel of the industry.
Buzz is that you aren't giving enough time for the promotion of Raaz 3?
I was present for the film's launch event and will be actively taking part in the last leg of the promotions. I have taken two weeks off from the shoot of Ghanchakkar and will be travelling for various events across cities.

Is there any inspiration behind playing a director in Raaz 3?
I have taken inspiration from all the directors I have worked with so far. I had assisted for films like Raaz and Kasoor, so that experience came handy while portraying this character.

Do you identify with your character in the film?
This industry is all about struggles. We have to constantly work towards making two ends meet. You share different relationships with different persons and have to face rejection and success. I can identify with these qualities.
Esha Gupta has called you her mentor... what is your reaction to it?
I feel honoured that she regards me as her mentor. She is a smart girl and a good performer. In fact she doesn't need any mentor in the industry; she is bold and brave. She has done some high-octane scenes very well.

You attended the dahi handi celebration at Worli and later visited the Mahim dargah, but you didn't promote your movie there. why?
I do not follow other people. I do not like to go there and talk about my films and banners. It is a religious place and I do not like to mix religion with my profession. I went there just to meet my fans and since the dargah authority organised proper security for me I went there for the first time.

What is the update with your film with Karan Johar?
Karan's film is about to start by October or November. I do not know about rest of the cast.
Tell us about your other projects.
In Ghanchakkar, I play a conman who is expert at breaking locks. My character robs a bank and gets into trouble. In Ek Thi Dayaan I play a magician, and I even learnt a few magic tricks; a person called Atul was always present on the set to help me perform illusions and tricks. Daayan is almost over; we just have three days shooting left.

Esha Gupta goes nude

Actress was apprehensive as she had to run in the buff when insects attack for 'Raaz 3'

Esha Gupta might have got Vikram Bhatt's upcoming horror flick when Jacqueline Fernandez walked out but she was equally apprehensive before doing the nude scene.

She had to run in the buff when some insects attack her due to a black magic act of Bipasha Basu. Vikram and Bips made her comfortable while doing the shoot.

In the industry where two actresses cannot get along, Bips also took time out to help Esha feel comfortable while enacting the scene.

We have just one life so live it king-size: Ranbir Kapoor

Ranbir Kapoor, who was with Priyanka Chopra in Dubai to promote his latest film 'Barfi', gave a few words of advice to Bollywood fans about life

Life is too short. We have just one life, so live it king-size, news channel quoted him as saying.

He was in town to promote his September 13 release 'Barfi'.

In the romantic comedy, the 29-year-old actor plays Murphy, a young man with impaired hearing and speech, who falls in love with an autistic girl Jhilmil played by Priyanka.

This is the duo's second film together as a lead couple after their US-based romance 'Anjaana Anjaani'.

Chaos ruins Bebo's Heroine music launch

The music launch of Kareena Kapoor's most ambitious project "Heroine" at the Siddhi Vinayak temple here Thursday turned chaotic when crowd became uncontrollable.

The temple is known for having a huge footfall and more and more people thronged the place when they learned that Kareena is coming there to launch the music of her movie "Heroine". Police found it difficult to handle the crowds.

Kareena and director Madhur Bhandarkar couldn't speak to the media due to the chaos.

The music of "Heroine" is composed by Salim-Sulaiman. Apart from Kareena, the film also features Arjun Rampal, Randeep Hooda, Shahana Goswami. The film is releasing Sep 21.