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December 2004 - January 2005


News From Bollywood

by Kishan Sharma

‘Bride and Prejudice’ might have topped the charts in UK, but it has not taken any flying start in India. There are many reasons for the dull response it has received in India. The English version can hardly pick up in the smaller towns and majority of cities. The Hindi version “Balle Balle, Amritsar to LA” has also failed to hit the box office. It is learnt that ex-Miss World Aishwarya Rai refused to dub her dialogue in Hindi version, because it was not part of her contract with Gurinder Chadha. Like the erstwhile Miss World, former Miss India Namrata Shirodkar also did not dub her dialogue in the Hindi version. The film maker then dubbed their dialogue in other female voices, which naturally sound different. Very few people know that after the first shooting schedule, Gurinder Chadha had contemplated replacing the celebrated stage actress Nadira Babbar, since it was felt that she did not suit the character. But, the same Nadira Babber has won accolades for her acting and is being referred to as the best actor in ‘Bride and Prejudice’. One more story is making rounds in the film industry. Aishwarya’s dog is not happy with the film being pronounced a flop in India, and has started biting visitors to her home.

Aishwarya Rai is reported to be very angry with the Sahara, though she is a part of Sahara family. The Sahara chief Subroto Roy had even pulled out of the film “The Rising”, just because the producer Bobby Bedi had thrown Aishwarya out of his film for some reason, saying that Sahara would have nothing to do with a producer who did not respect Sahara family member Aishwarya. But when Aishwarya went to London to present an award at the Sahara Sangeet Awards function held in the Royal Albert Hall, she refused to leave the hotel, because only one car was sent to pick her up, whereas she wanted two cars for herself and her family members. She was requested to proceed as the show was getting delayed, with the promise that another car would imediately be arranged for her family members. Aishwarya is said to have insisted that she and her family members would go together. Therefore the presentation of award was delayed by more than 30 minutes. But much more was in the store to make the erstwhile beauty queen angry, since there was not a single car for her and her family members after she had presented the award and was ready to leave.

Well, there is some good news too for Aishwarya fans. She has been signed by producer Paul Burgess, husband of film maker Gurinder Chadha, for his next film, based on the novel ‘Mistress of Spices’.


A Bombay magistrate has asked actress Raakhee to furnish a personal bond of Rs 15000 in a cheating case filed against her by a businessman.

Actor Shah Rukh Khan is looking out for a house in London.

Ad. Film maker Rakesh Mehra plans to make his new film in Hindi and English. Titled ‘Rang De Basanti’ in Hindi, the film featuring Aamir Khan, is titled ‘Paint it Yellow’ in English.

Rajesh Khanna plays a CBI officer in ‘Hello! Kaun Hai’, and Rati Agnihotri plays a journalist in the same film. People will see them on screen after a long gap and in these roles for the first time.
The Morani brothers were recently in trouble in London. The limousines they had taken on hire in London turned out to be stolen ones. The Moranis and problems seem to be going hand in hand, since this is the third major incident within this year involving them.

Veteran producer Gulshan Rai, favourite mother of Hindi films Nirupa Roy, actress Jayashee Shantaram, well known Marathi producer MB Samant, film writer Mushtaq Jalili and Kannada film hero Lokesh died in October.

Showman Subhash Ghai announced the launching of his four films under the -banner of Mukta Arts Ltd. On his wedding anniversary he said that his company was all set to start four new films, of which, only one will be directed by him.

Balaji Telefilms Ltd and Balaji Films Ltd. have cautioned people that they are not concerned with Shree Balaji Films (India), which is said to have been luring the public.

Dev Anand celebrated his 81st birthday in Mumbai in September, but his fans have planned a grand celebration on 20th November at New Jersey. It is a rare honour to greet an Indian artist in this manner.


Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai are performing on two different stage in Dubai on the same day. There are stories about their differences, but this is not fair to perform on the same day in Dubai at different venues, since it will be difficult for their fans to choose one of the two.

The brother-sister duo of Sajid Khan and Farah Khan is planning a three hero project, with Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Hritik Roshan.

Music director Shamir Tandonhas been on cloud 9 since he got two songs recorded in the voice of two top ranking singer-sisters, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosale. He is a new music director, and tried his luck to get Lata Mangeshkar to sing one of his compositions. He was asked to send a cassette containing the tune. There was no response for quite some time and he was under the impression that Lata Mangeshkar must not have liked it. But suddenly he got the pleasant surprise, when Lata Mangeshkar telephoned him to finalise the recording date and details. He wanted another composition to be sung by Asha Bhosale. She was in the USA and therefore Shamir sent the tune and lyrics to Asha Bhosale on interest. She liked the song and wanted to record it when she returned to Mumbai. Since it could not be postponed, the song was recorded by Asha Bhosale in America, and it was mixed with the music at Mumbai. It was probably for the first time that a Hindi film song has been released and recorded in this style.


Revathy’s purposeful film on AIDS, ‘Phir Milenge’ failed on the box office. Percept Picture Company and Sahara, the producers of the film surprised the industry by announcing that they are refunding money to their distributors who had lost a good part of their investment. It is noteworthy that actor Salman Khan did not charge anything for acting in the film, and actress Shilpa Shetty took a very small token amount.

Yash Chopra’s ‘Veer-Zaara’ stars Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Rani Mukerji, due for Diwali release, the film also has Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini in special appearances. Late Madan Mohan’s unused tunes have been rearranged by the music masestro’s son Sanjeev Kohli. A patriotic song about the love between an Indian Hindu boy and a Pakistani Muslim girl; and a qawwali are expected to reach top of the charts soon.

The writers as well as the advertising and publicity people of ‘Kyun! Ho Gaya Na..’ accused the director Samir Karnik of not paying up the dues and also using underworld pressure to avoid payments, because the film bombed at the box-office, even though it had Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and Vivek Oberoi.

Costume designer Manish Malhotra will be directing Suneel Darshan’s film which is yet to be titled. Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor have already been booked; while Vivek Oberoi is being fialised in place of Hrithik Roshan, who did not give green signal even after several sittings. Some more heroes and heroines are yet to be finalised for the film to be launched before the year-end.


Erstwhile Indian cricket captain Bishen Singh Bedi’s son Angad Bedi will play a newspaper reporter, and actress Seema Biswas, a nun, in ‘Kaya –Tasan’, a film which is set against the backdrop of the riots of 1984 in which Sikhs in India were targeted.

And the last Great News - Painter-film maker MF Husain has threatened to blow up Rs 80 crores on making films. The 89 years old painter has signed a contract with industrialist Guru Swaroop Srivastava worth Rs. 100 crores for his 125 paintings. Out of this amount, MF Husain is reported to have said that he would blow off 80% of it on making films.

The full version of this article is available in the print edition.

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