Sunday, September 30, 2012

Movie Review: OMG: Challenging the merchandising of religion

Starring: Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar, Mithun Chakraborty and Govind Namdeo

Directed by: Umesh Shukla

Rating: ***

For popular art, it is considered taboo to question religious dogma. Somewhere deep within us we all know ritualistic religiosity is a multi-crore business in our country. But who dares to raise a voice against the deplorable extravagance which is meant to please the Gods?

That amazingly skilled actor Paresh Rawal does exactly that. He raises a voice against organised religion and the merchandising of faith whereby a common man's threshold of belief in the divine power is weighed against the amount of money he rustles up to appease the Gods. The point, made with telling acerbity in OMG is that God doesn't want our money.

Then who is pocketing the billions that flow into the religious industry each year in the name of God?

Based on a long-running play, OMG adapts the delicious premise of the staged event, questioning not the presence of God but the absence of sincerity in His self-appointed minions. That Paresh Rawal reprises his role of Kanjilal, the non-believer who drags 'God' to court, is a stroke of luck for this arresting adaptation. He rattles off the most iconoclastic lines in the most convincing and endearing tones rendering the figureheads of organised religions into redundant blubbering entities.
And yet-and this is the film's salient triumph -- it doesn't seem to insult or ridicule any religious belief. OMG questions the scared cows without milking those cows for effect. There is an inner strength to the ideas and beliefs put forward in this films. These provide a centrality to the plot that could easily have gotten lost in the maze of philosophical idea and religious cynicism.

The film exudes a powerful scent of sincerity. Much of it can be sourced to Paresh who brings splendid conviction and power to his lines. Mithun Chakraborty gives another brave and believable performance as a Nrityanand-like guru. The delicate feminine touch is just oh-so-delectable. Mithunda, you are a cool cat!

My problem was in watching Akshay Kumar play God. To begin with his role is sketchy in comparison with the sharp lines used for portraying Kanjilal. In the absence of an existential persuasion in his arguments 'God', Akshay Kumar resorts to homilies and half-smiles all flashed in a hazily captured image of a God who rides a Harley Davidson.

While Paresh's non-believer is infused in believability, Akshay's God fails to take off.

But the film works, because it tears into sanctimonious manifestations of the very private issue of faith and religion, challenging the God-men to a game of mental chess that leaves the religious charlatans looking helpless and defenceless.
On the minus side there is a conspicuous staginess in the verbosity that is ironically the backbone of the proceedings. A film like OMG is near-extinct in mainstream Hindi cinema. It dares to raise questions that mass-oriented cinema generally shies away from. For this display of creative daring, producer Akshay Kumar may be excused his vanity of playing God.

Interesting, thought-provoking and based on a novel premise (sue God!) OMG is a delightful little creation that challenges the merchandising of religion, no offence meant to the temples of doom. Paresh is outstanding in making irreverence seem endearing. Thank God for good actors.

A spicy treat in the form of Bigg Boss-6 is here!

A long wait for "Bigg Boss 6" is over. Have a look at the first list of contestants who would rough it out in the 'House of Controversies"!
Going by the names that have been shortlisted for the show, it is a far cry from being a family show which it is touted to be by Tiger Salman Khan who will again be hosting the 6th season of Bigg Boss.
It is hoped that Bigg Boss 6 would be high on the glamour quotient with model-turned-actress Sayali Bhagat who was Miss India World 2004. To join her is match-fixing accused starlet Nupur Mehta who had an on-off affair with Mohd. Asif, the swing and fixing expert from across the border.

The reality show is further spiced up by the inclusion of self-proclaimed godman Swami Nithyananda, Aamir Khan's brother Faisal Khan, cricketer turned TV personality Navjot Singh Sidhu and anchor-cum-actor Jay Bhanushali.

And if we go by the buzz, then we shall have a fair share of international glamour with the presence of reality TV star and popular celebrity, Kim Kardashian.

It would be interesting to see the heat or the lack of it that would be generated by so many controversial celebs since the producers of this show have managed to secure the prime time telecast slot.

Saif, Kareena set for momentous 250th honeymoon!

Considering the number of times Saif and Kareena holidayed together, frustrated Kareena Kapoor quipped during a question answer session that she and Saif are planning their 250th honeymoon in December 2012.

Going by the Bebo's diktat, we can easily infer that this most sought after couple of Bollywood has returned from their 249th vacation. The couple looked comfy when snapped at Mumbai international airport. Saifeena went to London to celebrate Kareena's birthday on 21st September.

On top of it, Saif and Kareena were seen stepping out of the airport holding their hands.

As per mommy, Sharmila Tagore's remark, "Saif and Kareena are all set to enter into matrimony on October 16th and the wedding cards for which are send out to the invitees".
During an interview in the past, Bebo was also caught quoting that, "I am already married to my mind!".

Buzz even suggest that ace designer, Ritu Kumar is designing Kareena Kapoor's wedding outfit. Whereas Kareena is basking in the joy as her film 'Heroine' has done well and her performance has been applauded, especially by her contemporaries.

'Heroine' is doing well in overseas market and as per a grapevine, Kareena and Saif are heading to London to gauge the reaction of the overseas audience.

Is Priyanka cashing in on the success of Barfi?

After the film's spectacular box office performance, actress reportedly demands a whopping fee of Rs 1 crore to walk the ramp

Close on the heels of her latest release Barfi! being chosen to represent the country at the Oscars, Priyanka Chopra apparently has decided to hike her fee. Sources say that she demanded Rs 1 crore to walk the ramp at a fashion show scheduled to begin in Delhi next week.

Our sources say, "Priyanka is the brand ambassador of the event and it was a natural decision to approach her to be the showstopper. However, she spun a surprise on us by asking for a fee of Rs 1 crore! The amount was just too high for the designer at the show."
An informer who is a regular at fashion events in the country points out that celebrities normally charge around Rs 30 lakh to be the showstopper. The source adds, "We could not afford PC's fee and so the deal didn't take place. We had to look for another celebrity to take her place."

A source close to PC says, "Priyanka is in India only for a day for her prior commitments. She will soon be in Los Angles to shoot for her video. There is no question of her walking the ramp at all."

Kahaani 2 shooting to start in 2013

Filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh will start shooting for the sequel to his successful thriller "Kahaani" next year with Vidya Balan in the lead role.

Ghosh told in an interview: "The film will definitely go on the floors by next year... The film is in its scripting stage. I have just started writing it so we have a long way to go."

The 46-year-old said all the characters will be the same in the sequel and added: "Of course, we will have Vidya Balan in the film and rest of the characters will also be the same".

The original was filmed in Kolkata, but the location for "Kahaani 2" has not been finalised yet.
"Location has not been decided as such but quite a bit of the film will be shot in Kolkata for sure. We are taking forward the same characters so let's see how it shapes up," said the director. Released March 9, Ghosh hit the bull's eye with "Kahaani".

Made on a budget of Rs.8 crore, the film reportedly grossed about Rs.104 crore worldwide within 50 days of its release.

Mallika hisses back at affair rumours

When confronted with questions about her alleged fling with Antonio Banderas, the actress tries to scare our reporter through her burly bodyguard

Mallika Sherawat had created quite a buzz in tinsel town after sources close to her claimed that she was having a roaring affair with Hollywood heartthrob Antonio Banderas.

However, the lady has consistently chosen to stay mum on her apparent relationship.
Recently at an event to promote her upcoming film opposite Vivek Oberoi, when we tried to ask her questions about her new beau, the actress prompted her bodyguard to intervene and try and scare away our reporter.

The actress was first spotted dancing in Cannes with Antonio and then was later rumoured to have gone on a date with him. Our source says, "Mallika has always maintained a "no comment" policy on this matter."

When we tried to press her to reveal details about her so-called relationship, glances were exchanged between her and her burly bodyguard, prompting the bodyguard to give us "the look". Mallika then flashed a smile at us and mouthed, "No comment."

We wonder what's to hide when the person concerned is Mallika. After all, thoda dikhao-thoda chupao was never her policy anyway!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Not working with RGV is my loss: Manoj Bajpai

Actor clears the air on why he doesn't work with certain directors and his approach to playing negative characters

Having been a part of eight National Award winning films, Manoj Bajpai states that he doesn't mind doing a film for free just to be a part of 'great' cinema. The actor talks about his upcoming projects and striking a balance between commercial and parallel cinema.

As an actor, have you got your due?

So far, only 25 per cent of Manoj Bajpai has been seen. Hopefully before I say goodbye to this world, I will be satisfied as an actor. Well, I cannot write roles for myself. I wait for filmmakers and writers to write great characters.

You no longer work with some of your earliest directors like Shekhar Kapur, Mahesh Bhatt and Ram Gopal Varma?

I always feel sad when these filmmakers don't work with me. If Ramu is not working with me, it is my loss. Similarly, it breaks my heart when Bhattsaab has nothing to offer me.

At a time when I was dejected and was about to pack my bags and leave Mumbai, Bhattsaab asked me not to go. He said Mumbai would give me what I had dreamt of. And his prophecy has come true to a certain extent.

How do you strike a balance between commercial and parallel cinema?

A commercial film is very essential but I don't want to be a part of one for the heck of it. My only advice to actors from parallel cinema is to not deny commercial films. If one Gangs of Wasseypur is successful, it not only makes you saleable but also gives you a lot of credibility.

You are doing a film with Prakash Jha and Bedobrata Pain at the same time?

I have done Bedo's film almost for free as I did not want to miss out on a chance to be a part of great cinema. In Jha's film I play a ruthless Naxal leader who is a well-read person and teaches a lesson to the government.

How do your negative characters gain sympathy from the audience?

I don't look at them as negative characters. I observe and treat them as human beings and make it as believable as possible for the audience to relate to it. That's why be it a Satya or a Pinjar or a Raajneeti or a Wasseyur, they all work.

Hema Malini on Norway stamp, Mahek excited

Actress Mahek Chahal, born and brought up in Norway, is excited to hear that Hema Malini has the honour of being on a Norwegian stamp. She says Hema Malini deserves more recognition.

"I have grown up watching Hemaji's films. When I got the news of this felicitation by the country that I call home, I was extremely elated. She deserves many such honours," the 33-year-old said in a statement.
"I wish I could have been a part of the Bollywood festival (in Norway), which happens every year, as it would have been such a great moment to see Hemaji receive this felicitation," she added.

Mahek left Norway a decade ago to pursue a career in Bollywood and has worked in films like "Nayee Padosan", "Chameli" and "Wanted". She was also part of "Bigg Boss 5"

Newbie Anjali Patil is stuck in Mumbai!

For someone who joined the Hindi film industry for the love of travelling, Anjali Patil is going through a rather ironical phase.

The Nashik-born Bollywood newbie is stuck in the city for the past two months.

In the meantime, she's busy attending events and fulfilling promotional activities of her upcoming film directed by Prakash Jha. She isn't complaining though.

I'm busy with my commitments. Whenever I get time, I'm exploring the city from Elephanta Caves to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, she says.

Vivek's musical touch to KLPD

The music of forthcoming "Kismet, Luv, Paisa, Dilli" is creating more buzz than the film itself and lead actor Vivek Oberoi has revealed how he worked together with composers Amjad and Nadeem on it.

The film has some foot-tapping numbers like "Appy Budday", "Dhishkiyaon" and "Jugaad."

"I am personally very happy that the music is so catchy and it has now entered music charts. The two kids, Amjad and Nadeem, and lyricist Shabbir, are like a family. I have been creating a music bank with them for some years now," the 36-year-old said here during a promotional event of the film which has Mallika Sherawat in the female lead.

"In fact, Mallika used to make fun of us because all of them used to come on the sets and we used to make music all night long," he added.
Vivek also said that the two would also be giving music to his yet another movie "Zilla Ghaziabad".

"I have also got them to sign "Zilla Ghaziabad". So I am very happy for them that their work is being appreciated and Inshallah they will get a lot of success," Vivek said.

Directed by Sanjay Khanduri, "Kismet,Luv,Paisa, Dilli" hits theatres Oct 5.

Mallika said that "the film addresses today's youth's issues".

"Such issues that you can't usually communicate with the elders, with your parents. So all that is addressed in this movie, plus, the film also takes on the politicians," she added.

Farah Khan loves to hear compliment about weight loss

There is only one thing that director-turned-actor Farah Khan loves to hear -- compliments about her losing weight.

"Despite all our achievements, one thing we really want to hear is "Wow, you have lost weight". That is better than saying, "wow your movies was very good or you acted well". Everyone wants to hear that," the 47-year-old said here Thursday while unveiling the Society Interiors Special issue featuring her on the cover.

Reality check, she says, came in the form of "Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi".

"When you all put pressure on new mothers to lose weight, I can completely understand. It takes a long time for the body to get back. But it has been four years now and I have been still looking pregnant for four years," Farah said.
"When I saw 'Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi', I was really fat in it and I got a reality check. I was like, no, no, I can't go on looking like this for the rest of my life. So I decided on tummy tuck," she added.

When asked about the progress of her directorial venture "Happy New Year", Farah said: "We haven't finalised anything as yet, we will make a big announcement once the cast is finalised."

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro to re-release

Kundan Shah's 1983 cult film "Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro", a political satire, will be re-released Nov 2.

NFDC (National Film Development Corporation) in association with PVR Director's Rare will re-release the digitally restored version exclusively across PVR Cinemas in 11 cities including Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Surat, and Gurgaon.

"Hats off to NFDC and PVR Director's Rare for taking this initiative to re-release my film again. I am very excited and hoping that the audiences are as excited as well to watch 'Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro' in theatres," Shah said in a statement.

PVR Director's Rare is an alternative programming initiative of PVR Cinemas to support the theatrical release of critically acclaimed, independent films.

"Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro" narrated a tale of two simple and honest photographers, essayed by Naseeruddin Shah and Ravi Vaswani. They witness a murder and get dragged into the corrupt real estate circle where politicians and bureaucrats are involved.

The movie, which also featured actors like Pankaj Kapur, Om Puri, Satish Shah, Neena Gupta and Satish Kaushik, is noted for its slapstick humour.

Advance bookings for the film started Friday across PVR Cinemas.

Finally, Sunny finds a nest in B-town

Soon after the buzz that no landlord in Mumbai was willing to rent out a home to Sunny Leone, thanks to her former occupation as a porn star, the actress took to a micro-blogging site to rubbish the news

Sunny says, I have already finalised a house in Andheri, Lokhandwala. The actress has firmly set her eyes on Bollywood and plans to make Mumbai her home now.

Our source says, Sunny has been receiving a lot of Bollywood offers. She has been busy reading scripts. Her husband Daniel Weber too will be based in Mumbai. The actress had to recently leave for New York to attend to a family emergency but is expected to be back in the city on October 12.
Sunny adds, While looking for houses, my top-most priority was to make sure of my safety. Also, I needed a place to call home and not just a house. I will move into my new home in October upon my return. The starlet apparently was looking at houses between Bandra and Andheri, keeping in mind that most shoot locations are in close proximity. 

Alia can't choose between her father and her teacher

Newcomer Alia Bhatt says that her father Mahesh Bhatt and her mentor Karan Johar, who is launching her with his directorial venture "Student of The Year" (SOTY), are experts in their genre of cinema and she can't choose between the two.
"The kind of films my father has made, like "Zakhm, Arth, Saaransh" are very intense films. Karan, as we all know, is very youth-oriented, glossy, fun. So I can't choose between my teacher and my father. I would say I love both of them," the 19-year-old said here Wednesday at a promotional event for "SOTY".
Apart from Alia, two new faces - Varun Dhwawan and model Siddharth Malhotra - will be introduced to the audiences when "Student of The Year" hits theatres Oct 19.

Raima to make a comeback in B-town

Raima Sen, who was not seen in Bollywood for a long time, says she will start shooting for a Hindi film on gangsters from next month

The 32-year-old actress has delivered some major hits in Tollywood with films like "Baishe Srabon" and "Chitrangada: The Crowning Wish". "It is an untitled film having six gangsters and the sole female lead that is me. It is being made by new director Nitin Shinghal who had assisted Pradip Sarkar in Parineeta," Raima told in an interview.

She said the film unit will shoot in the hills of Dehradun and Mussorie. "I feel very comfortable to work with Nitin who is ever brimming with new ideas," she said. The actress will also be seen opposite John Abraham in "I, me Aur Main" which will be released soon.

Raima is very happy about Anurag Basu's film "Barfi!" has been selected for Oscars. She calls it as one of the most interesting films she has seen in recent times and considers the character played by Priyanka Chopra as her dream character.

"Yes, Barfi will remain one of my all-time favourites and the character of Jhilmil is the one I would have loved to portray," she said. "Jhilmil will ever remain my dream role," beautiful Raima, grand daughter of legendary actress of yesteryears Suchitra Sen, added.

Coming to her first documentary fiction on Tagore's life by Rituparno Ghosh where she plays his sister-in-law Kadambari, Raima said, "It is one role I loved doing for many reasons. I loved the way he etched out Kadambari's character and I loved the period look one has to flaunt including the heavy jewellery items."

"From Chokher Bali to Noukadubi, I loved the period look and dresses and jewellery. For kadambari, Ritu (Rituparno Ghosh) showed me the works of Kadambari for reference points, also on how she dressed and carried herself," Raima said.
About her role in national award winner "Abosheshey", which also won an award at the Thiruvananthapurm film festival, Raima said she would play Nandini, who lives next door to the flat of Suchismita, and her son comes to know a great deal about his mother from Nandini.

"So my character is pivotal to the unfolding of the story and I found director Aditi Roy's handling the story very refreshing with an emotional overtone," she said. Raima, who has turned up in other yet-to-be released films by Mainak Bhowmik's "Maach Misti & More", chick flick "Ami Ar Amaar Girlfriend" and Parambrata Chattopadhya's "Haoa Badal", said she would spend a greater part of her time now in Bengal as she would be featuring in two more Bengali films.

"I will act in Kaushikda's (Ganguly) "C/O Sir" and another film with Anjan Dutta soon," she said. Raima, who was chosen as its icon by global diamond giant Rio Tinto here for the first time epitomising grace, beauty and aristocracy, said though she usually preferred to take her mother along while buying jewellery, she loved platinum. "As I said, I would love to do more period pieces where I can flaunt those heavy jewellery designs," she said.

Ameesha all praise for Kareena

Ameesha Patel was floored by Kareena Kapoor's performance in her recent film "Heroine"

Ameesha Patel who recently saw Madhur Bhandarkar's film Heroine loved Kareena Kapoor's performance. Bebo and she haven't been best of friends for years. But Ameesha feels that in life everyone moves on and all should be happy in what is there in the present and not remember what happened years ago.

Presently Ameesha is only moving ahead after taking a break and is very happy with her own career as well. But after seeing Heroine, she feels that Kareena truly has put in her heart and soul in the character. Ameesha has herself given her best in her films and will try doing the same again in her upcoming projects. According to a source "Ameesha has taken upon one more project which she's very excited about."
But Ameesha maintains, "It's too early for me to comment on it as of now but yes, I'm very happy with the way things are moving ahead in my life and hopefully another announcement is in the pipeline pretty soon." Race 2 is all set for release in three months and hopefully Shortcut Romeo too will release around the same time. Adds the source, "Ameesha and Kuunal Goomer's home production Desi Magic will go on the floors on November 14 followed by a 30-day schedule in December in Dubai." Ameesha will have five releases between January and June 2013.

Ajay turned Sonakshi's Bike Riding Mentor

If Ajay Devgn rode horses and Sanjay Dutt drove powerful jeeps for their forthcoming Diwali release "Son Of Sardaar", leading lady Sonakshi Sinha couldn't have been left behind -- she tried her hand at riding a bike.

Portraying a Sikhni look, Sonakshi held her breath and balanced herself perfectly on the two wheels to perform a few stunts for the action comedy, which releases Nov 13.

The actress is said to have been a tad apprehensive when she was told that her entry scene would be on a bike and she also had to do some antics on the mean machine.

Sonakshi, daughter of Bollywood's 'Shotgun' Shatrughan Sinha, decided to take the challenge head on, albeit with some guidance from co-star Ajay.
"Sonakshi has never driven a bike before, so she was quite anxious about riding and performing stunts on the bike. So Ajay helped her to ride the bike," said a source.

"She practised it several times and then when she performed the sequence for the final scene, she took the entire cast and crew by surprise as she did it with so much perfection," the source added.

"Son Of Sardaar", directed by Ashwini Dhir, is co-produced by Ajay Devgn Films and YRV Infra & Media (P) Ltd Production.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Movie Review: OMG ends up being preachy

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal, Mithun Chakraborty

Director: Umesh Shukla

Rating:  **

It's ironical that Oh My God releases just at a time when our city's Ganpati Bappa celebrations are at a jumpingum pumpingum peak. As we keep getting bombarded with Jai Ganeshaay and Omkar Swarupa aartis and traffic jams at every corner, it's pretty easy to warm to OMG's theme - its strong debate against idol worship, blind superstition, divine bribes and glam spirituality. Oh, but it really turns out to be a pretty long statement. For a film with a straight single track linear story that is.

Kanji Lalji Mehta (Paresh Rawal) runs a small shop of artefacts in Chor Bazaar and thinks nothing of bluffing his way about to manipulate God-fearing people into buying his overpriced stuff. People around him mock him for his lack of faith in God and other divine powers.

One day Kanji's shop is destroyed in an earthquake. The insurance company refuses to honour his claim saying their claim is null in case of an act of God. Kanji decides to sue God (he goes to an advocate called Hanif Qureshi!) and a few religious trusts for compensation and sets in motion a nationwide movement, for and against idol worship. Then God (Akshay Kumar) decides to pay Kanji a visit and engages with him in a debate about spirituality and faith.
Great idea. It's worked very well as a play. It makes many relevant points about the widespread corruption and money mismanagement in religious charitable trusts and wastage of food in religious activities. But the concept hasn't translated so well on film. The verbal volleys that would be so spontaneous and impactful in the play aren't working that well in the film.

The biggest problem is the bad picture. So many shots in this film - particularly the whole long courtroom climax - are totally grainy and blurred. Plus the quality of picture differs from scene to scene. For some reason Akshay's shot in some soft focus glow that looks out of sync with the rest of the film.

The second problem shows in the obvious continuity errors - the most glaring being: it's raining abundantly in the galli where Sonakshi is breaking a dahi handi but surprisingly dry where Kanji's son is breaking his handi merely two gallis away.
The high point of the film is its performances: Paresh Rawal is great; with his trademark wit and humour very much in place, he manages most of the show on his own. It's wonderful to just see him play his age this time. So is Kanji's friend Mahadeo (Ratnaparkhi).

Akshay looks chiknya as ever but there isn't really much of him. Godman I Govind Namdeo overacts as usual. In a rare role as an effeminate spiritual guru, Godman II Mithun Chakravarty manages to make a big impression, even with very few dialogues.

At the end of it, Umesh Shukla's film makes its point but ends up preachy. And frankly, the people who must watch it will be busy lining up barefoot for Bappa's darshan.

Review KMD: Priyadarshan dishes out a good fare

Starring Nana Patekar, Shreyas Talpade, Madhurima Bannerjee, Om Puri, Paresh Rawal, Asrani, Neeraj Vora

Directed by Priyadarshan

Rating: ***

If you can overlook the outrageous suggestion that Nana Patekar could be Om Puri's son then you're in for some clean healthy wholesome and engaging fun in this comic drama about a stranger who walks into a Catholic village and changes malfunctional lives with his positivity .

Does the reformation in the Church theme ring a bell? Films of Hrishikesh Mukherjee(Anand, Bawarchi, Budha Mil Gaya, Khubsoorat) attempted the same theme of the whimsical but endearing stranger who walks in with an eccentric agenda to change jaded lives.

Priyadarshan's parodic populace is a city of eccentricity. Rural or urban, the characters are whimsical, stubborn,and oddly out of step with the socio-political reality of the world that they seem to inhabit from the fringes without being able to position themselves in the mainstream.

Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal (KDM) gives us Priyan's people at their quirkiest. There is a farmer Om Puri , his wife(Sona Nair) two daughters and a wastrel of a son(played with superb slothfulness by Shreyas Talpade) in whose life comes a dark brooding stranger Nana Patekar who be any of many things....a long-lost brother,an unwanted bother,a ghost from another world, a blast from the past, a foodie who clean-sweeps all the food on the! Leaving Om Puri's family pooree aghast.

It is interesting to see how Priyadarshan brings into play a small church-based village community's affinity to religion,courtship and domestic politics. Here is a village sustaining itself at the grassroots with spirited hilarity,often self-directed. Though a little tongue-in-cheek if not altogether blasphemous, I was tickled by the heroine's female body-guard(Pratima Kazmi)'s one-sided passion for the priest played with Asrani in an ill-fitting cassock.This audacious plot-track was more outrageously comical than newbie Madhurima Bannerjee's endless courtship with the eminently unlikeable wimp(Talpade).
This isn't the first Priyadarshan film where the pampered heiress is protected from male attention by her slew of bullying brothers. Earlier Kareena Kapoor was similarly cordoned off from Akshaye Khanna's attention in Hulchal .

Recurrent themes often give Priyadarshan comedies a sinking sense of sameness. KDM is one of Priyadarshan's better potboilers in recent times. KDM is a remake of a Malayalam film Marykundoro Kunjaado. Priyan hasn't been able to do away with a regional flavour in the story. The cloistered gossip-mongering Keral village may seem odd to Hindi-speaking audiences. But the film has been shot by R.Ganesh in a beautiful lakeside township .There are lush images of fields and meadows.The climactic chase catches Nana and Shreyas running through a harvest-ready field in the dead of the night. It's an arresting image, framed and shot with care.

Though Neeraj Vora's dialogues have seen better digs, they capture the ethos of eccentric antics well. The actors are all in the mood to have fun.
Tucked away in this rumbustious drama of mistaken identity and godforsaken raillery is a message on trust, belief and honesty. All of this is put forward with zero dependence on vulgarity.The double meaning is restricted to the ambivalence of the characters. The principal actors specially Nana Patekar(duly deadpan), Shreyas Talpade(blissfully and brazenly selfserving),Om Puri(incredibly unselfconscious), Paresh Rawal(wickedly ironic) and Neera Vora(a scream as a coffin maker who prays for the dying to be dead) get into the swing of things. They lend a layering to the laughter.

An interesting film, and far superior to the prolific Priyadarshan's other recent comedies like De Dana Dan,Khatta Meetha and the prequel to KDM, Malaamaal Weekly.

Mallika home alone in her washroom!

A birdie chirps to say that Mallika Sherawat had been giving interviews for her forthcoming film at a hotel in Juhu

The makers had booked a room in the hotel where Madam M was giving media bytes. The room was full of scribes, camera folk apart from her attendants.
It so happened that a female media person wanted to use the washroom. But Madam M stopped her from using it and told her instead to go to the washroom in the lobby downstairs. Flummoxed, the scribe just had to follow her diktat. Hmmmm... considering that it was not the actress' personal washroom!

Pakistani damsel Mathira to debut in B-Town

Pak chat show host Mathira could make her Bollywood debut opposite Neil Nitin Mukesh in his next film

Mathira aka the Paris Hilton of Pakistan is all set to become the latest Bollywood import from across the border. The chat show host, currently in Mumbai, is confident of bagging a role in an upcoming romantic comedy starring Neil Nitin Mukesh and helmed by debutant Prerna Wadhawan.

She states, "I'm not a stranger to camera, so I'm very confident and as of now, my chances are 50/50." She is in conversation with others filmmakers too and will be in the city until next week.

Apparently, there are rumours of her appearing in a reality show doing the rounds too. The diehard fan of Hema Malini and Madhuri Dixit adds that she is not surprised by the inflow of Pakistani artistes into Hindi film industry. "Let's get real here. Talent is coming from everywhere, not only from Pakistan".

There are European people working here, too. This wasn't the case, say a decade ago. In my opinion, it's a healthy trend and there's nothing wrong with it, adds the television personality who became the first female Pakistani to host late night programme.

On being asked whether she'll follow Veena Malik's footsteps, Mathira maintained a diplomatic stand. "People should just work on what they are good at. There is a thin line between being vulgar and being sexy."

My song definitely part of Nautanki Saala: Ayushmann

Actor-singer Ayushmann Khurrana says one of his compositions will definitely be part of Rohan Sippy's "Nautanki Saala", even though recent reports indicate otherwise.

"Nautanki" director Sippy and producer Bhushan Kumar are reportedly in a tiff over Ayushmann's number in the movie. 'I don't know where this controversy has cropped up from. Rohan, Bhushan and I have different tastes, but one song from me will definitely be a part of the film,' Ayushmann told in an interview.

The 28-year-old made his acting and singing debut in Bollywood with "Vicky Donor". His natural flair for acting was appreciated, and his composition "Pani da rang", which he sang as well, retained its space among chartbusters for a long time. The song has won him nominations in three categories - best debut singer, best lyrics and best composer - of the Global Indian Music Academy (GIMA) awards, to be held in Mumbai Oct 1.
What's his new composition for "Nautanki Saala" like? "It's a love song again. I am a romantic person at heart, so yes... it's a love number once more," said Ayushmann, who composed around 20 songs during his college days. For now, he is busy shooting for "Nautanki Saala", in which he plays a theatre actor.

Salman to keep his Eid date

Contrary to buzz, it will be Akshay Kumar versus Salman Khan at the box office on the festive day in 2013

If rumours are to be believed, as per traditions Salman Khan will indeed make his appearance at the box office on Eid, 2013. Earlier it was being said that Akshay Kumar would be releasing his upcoming gangster film without much competition on Eid next year.
However, our sources tell us that Salman and Sohail Khan have now purchased the remake the rights of a south Indian film, which will be released on the festive occasion. However, this is not Sohail's long-in-the-waiting Sher Khan. A source says, "Salman has had an amazing track record with four back-to-back hits on Eid. The name of the South remake is being kept under wraps till a formal announcement is made." 

I learnt a lot from Shah Rukh:Varun Dhawan

Actor Varun Dhawan, who was an assistant director to Karan Johar while 'My Name Is Khan' was under production, says he learned a lot from superstar Shah Rukh Khan during that time

"During that film, his script used to be scribbled with notes. I used to take the scripts to him and asked him what it is? It was all his references, his homework. So we could just learn by looking at him," the 24-year-old said during a promotional event for 'Student of The Year'.

"He is an institution of acting, the way he functions, the way he goes about his work, you could just learn by looking at him," he added.

Shah Rukh is the co-producer of the forthcoming film "Student of The Year", which marks the debut of David Dhawan's son Varun, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt's daughter Alia Bhatt and model Siddharth Malhotra.

Siddharth, who was a clap boy on 'My Name Is Khan', also recalled how Shah Rukh used to dole out tips to the two.
"During the shooting of 'My Name Is Khan', he (Shah Rukh) came to know that we both wanted to act. I used to give the clap and and then sit down. He used to prepare his lines and then suddenly he used to start talking 'You should come early, see the props, touch things and feel them, look at your surroundings'," Siddharth said.

"Initially I did not understand who he was talking to and then I used to look up and realised that Sir (Shah Rukh) is telling me. Then a lot of times after the shooting he used to tell me and Varun how the scene came out or how to use actions and props," he added.

"Student of The Year" hits theatres Oct 19.

It's a working birthday for Ranbir

Ranbir Kapoor turns 30 today. The actor has apparently stated that he is ready for marriage now. And he hopes he will find true love

The star is also not having a bash as he is shooting for buddy Ayan Mukerji's film today. A source says, "He wants to be with his friends but has no clue if any of them have planned anything." Informs Ayan, "We will be shooting a song at Filmistan Studios today and the idea is to stay focused. We will probably go for dinner if Ranbir has any energy left." When asked if there would be any cake cutting on the sets, Ayan says, "Perhaps, but we haven't figured it yet."