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April - May 2005


News From Bollywood

by Kishan Sharma

Hindi film award functions have become a great source of income, and therefore organising such functions all over the world is becoming a good business. These days, even the music releases of some Hindi films is done in foreign countries. Special shows to release Hindi films are also being organised on a large scale in foreign countries. Some producers, while shooting their films at foreign locations, also organise star shows with the starcast of the film concerned at various places in and around that country to earn additional money. Various such commercial shows are arranged in the recent past in the UK, USA, Canada, South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai. Whereas the organisers fill their pockets (or bags) with money, the artistes enjoy a free trip and hospitality with their family members, and get remuneration for the performance or appearance and the award too. However, the value of all such awards falls flat, since everyone knows the secret of this trade by now.

Cheats? Rapists? Terrorists? – Bollywood actors emulating Indian politicians?
Large number of Hindi film personalities had to appear in different courts in India during 2004. Never in the past had so many film artistes appeared in the courts. Film star Shah Rukh Khan had to approach Bombay High Court to get bail aainst warrants issued by a metropolitan magistrate in a cheating case filed by a property dealer. Actor Salman Khan is regularly appearing in different courts, including the High Court, in the car accident case in which one person was killed and four were injured when Salman ran his car over them. Actor Sanjay Dutt continues to appear in Special Court as an accused in the Bombay Bomb blast case. Actor Sunny Deol failed to appear in the court in a cheating case and warrants were issued against him. He had to rush to get bail. Actor Hritik Roshan had to appear in the court alongwith his father, film producer Rakesh Roshan in a cheating case filed by a film distribution company. Actor Sunil Shetty was summoned by the court in a cheating case filed by a travel company. Actor and member of parliament Dharmendra and his second wife actress and member of parliament Hema Malini had to appear in the court when they were accused of cheating by the Congress party during the elections. Actor Anupam Kher, who was the chairman of Film Censor Board, appeared in the courts when he was unceremoniously removed from the post. Actress Priyanka Chopra is appearing in different courts in two cases of cheating. Actress Rakhee was also summoned by the court in a cheating case. Film director Madhur Bhandarkar had to approach the High Court to get bail against the arrest warrants issued in a case filed by actress Preeti Jain accusing him of raping her. Both are appearing in the court regularly. Director Qaizad Bustad is appearing in the courts in the case of death of his assistant Nadia Khan for giving false statement. Actress Nafisa Joseph committed suicide, and many film personalities were required to record their statements in the court. Singer Shabbir Kumar had to rush to the High Court to seek bail in a case filed by his daughter-in-law for dowry harassment. There were several other cases involving film personalities in different cities of India. One of them was against actor and member of parliament Raj Babbar in Agra, and another one was against actress and member of Parliament Jaya Bachchan.

Rekha is now playing Grandmother
Producer-director Rakesh Roshan is making a film as the extended part of his super-duper film ‘Koi Mil Gaya’. Hritik Roshan will play the lead role with actress Priyanka Chopra. Rekha, who played as the mother of Hritik, will appear as his grandmother in this film. Music director Rajesh Roshan has already recorded one song for the film, and the shooting is expected to commence in March 2005.

Leading Loss-making Industry
The Hindi film industry lost approximately Rs 200 crore during the year 2004, as only 17 out of total of 246 films released, could manage to make some money. As per industry records, there was no single super-duper or super hit film during 2004. The latest releases of 2005 are also proving flops in India. ‘Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Sathiuyo’. ‘RainCoat’, ‘Swadesh’, and ‘Musafir’ could not attract crowds in spite of top starcast. Only Rani Mukherji is likely to make some mark in 2005, with three releases – ‘Black’, ‘Mangal Pandey’ and ‘Bunti Aur Bablee’.

Veteran actor Shammi Kapoor, ace cinematographer Babubhai Mistry, popular actor Naseeruddin Shah and legend playback singer Manna Dey are felicitated by the Mahrastra Chief Minister Vilas Rao Deshmukh at the MAMI festival.

When the entire nation was mourning on the devastation caused by the Tsunami; playback singer cum actor Sonu Nigam threw a party to celebrate new year in advance. He seems to have made up with his wife Madhurima, since she was present at the party, though she was living separately for quite some time.

Bhushan Kumar, son of late Gulshan Kumar, got engaged to actress Divya Khosla at Vaishnaodevi. The ‘T Series’ Chief will soon marry the actress of ‘Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Sathiyo’.

Mumbai’s landmark Metro cinema has closed down due to heavy losses. At the same time, another prestigious cinema of Mumbai, APSARA reopened after several years.

Akbar Asif, son of late K. Asif, presented a DVD of the colorised version of Mughal-e-Azam, to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. The film opened in London in February 2005, with a grand premiere.

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