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June - July 2007


Latest news from Bollywood

by Kishan Sharma

The Supreme Court of India has stayed the Delhi High Court order directing the Monopolistic Rights and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission to probe allegations of financial bungling by Star Plus TV in its game show, “Kaun Banega Crorepati”. The Supreme Court also issued a notice to Anuj Kumar Bhati, on whose petition the Delhi High Court had issued the order. The Delhi High Court had sought an explanation as to why the television quiz show seems easier for Bollywood stars than the other participants. “There is something mysterious as to how actors, who participate on behalf of some charities, invariably get hefty prize money as compared to common public participants”, a Division Bench of Delhi High Court had observed. The petitioner, Anuj Kumar Bhati, a failed aspirant to the KBC “Hot Seat” contended that the TV channel and parties interested had duped participants of crores of rupees, indulged in foul play and selected desirable persons to contest the show. Bhati emphasized that more and more people were made to make more and more SMS messages, thus losing crores of rupees through SMSes only. Advertisements like “Rs. 2 crore is just a telephone call away” are so alluring that many families do nothing but try to reach the so called “Hot Seat”, alleged the petitioner.

Bollywood actor Shakti Kapoor was manhandled at a function in Ujjain by some activists, who accused him of being involved in exploiting women. The activists garlanded Kapoor with black cloth and shoes and slapped him when he was sitting on the dais for receiving an award for his contribution in popularising the art of comedy in films.

Film maker Ram Gopal Varma has been changing his heroines as fast as he can. Jiah Khan, the latest entrant to Ram Gopal Varma’s “Factory”, has been fired. She acted in “Nishabd” and is said to have displeased Varma by saying that she was not portrayed well in the film. Ram Gopal Varma was very close to Jiah and was looking for a flat for her, which was not liked by his other heroine, Nisha Kothari, who is presently working with him in “Ram Gopal Varma Ke Sholay”.

Actor Aamir Khan seems to have become a source of inspiration for a 10 year old child actor Tanay Chheda. Tanay plays a polio-affected child in Aamir’s “Taare Zameen Par”, and has also acted as Arjun Rampal’s son in Farhan Akhtar’s “Don”. He just happened to narrate the concept of a script written by him, to Aamir Khan, who immediately gave his nod.

Actor Nana Patekar has joined the actor-singer bandwagon. He has sung an item number for Anees Bazmee’s “Welcome”, under the direction of Anand Raj Anand. Though Nana Patekar had earlier done a rap number almost a decade ago, this is the first time that he has sung a conventional song.

Actor Sanjay Dutt and Producer Firoze A. Nadiadwala have become friends once again, putting an end to their war of eight years. Relations between the two had soured immediately after the release of “Kartoos”, after which Firoze had to shelve his film “Raftar” as an angry Sanjay walked out of the project, after the short-tempered producer abused him publicly. Now, Firoze has approached Sanjay Dutt for his forthcoming project and Sanjay has reportedly agreed to do a film with him.

It is learnt that Aamir Khan has replaced actress Kangana Ranaut with South Indian actress Asin, who starred in the original Tamil version of the Hindi remake “Gajini”. There were rumours that actress Priyanka Chopra was keen to do the film. Kangana lost the film because she spoke loudly about the film and her role, which was not liked by Aamir Khan, who prohibits everybody to talk about any of his project.

Whereas music director-singer-actor-producer Himesh Reshammiya is busy with his own film, he has been dropped by Anees Bazmee from his “Welcome”, which has now gone to Anand Raj Anand.

Singer Sonu Nigam and his wife Madhurima were reported to have been living separately in the same house. The tension seems to have died down now, since Madhurima is pregnant and Sonu is soon to become a father.

Bhajan Samrat Anup Jalota, who has composed music for the film “Maalik Ek” on Shirdi Sai Baba, is also acting in the film. While actor Jackie Shroff is acting in the film as Sai Baba, Anup Jalota will be playing Das Ganu, the singer-poet Sai devotee in Deepak Balraj Vij’s film. Anup Jalota is keen to rope in veteran Manoj Kumar in the project and may succeed in getting Manoj Kumar to pen a song for the film. Manoj Kumar had made “Shirdi Ke Sai Baba” long back, which proved to be a most successful film. Anup Jalota is also trying to get Ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali to render a Sufi number for the film.

Actress and Member of Parliament Jaya Bachchan is acting in an English film, “Witness” directed by Jayabroto Chatterjee. Famous danseuse Mallika Sarabhai is also acting in the film.

Actor Tusshar Kapoor and actress Ayesha Takia alongwith rest of the unit were interrogated by the police in South Africa. They were shooting on an open-air bus in Cape Town, without obtaining permission from the authorities. The patrolling cops stopped the shooting and threatened to arrest the entire unit. They also threatened to levy a heavy fine on them. The cops however let them off with a warning not to break local law in future.

Singer Asha Bhonsle has been busy with a mega project, other than recording songs. Asha Bhonsle is ready with her autobiography and plans to release it by the end of this year. The book will cover all aspects of her life – personal, and professional, and would be relased in Marathi, Hindi and English. Incidentally, Asha Bhonsle also runs a restaurant in Dubai, called Asha’s.

Rosa, who had returned to Switzerland after she broke her relations with actor Saif Ali Khan, has come back to Mumbai to take up acting in Hindi films. She has refused to talk about Saif and wants to concentrate on acting.

The Indian Government is soon bringing out a commemorative postage stamp on music director Sachin Dev Burman. It is interesting to know that HMV had refused to record his first song, and the legendary singer-composer once made a futile attempt to become a cotton trader. A scion of the royal family, S. D. Burman later became the legendary music maestro.

Thespian Dilip Kumar was the recipient of “Phalke Ratna Award” that was presented to him by the Dada Sahib Phalke Academy. To commemorate Dada Sahib Phalke’s 138th birth anniversary celebrations, 55 senior persons from the film industry, from labour to legend, were honoured with Dada Sahib Phalke Academy awards. Artistes like Jeetendra, Shashikala, Aruna Irani, Bina Rai, Kumkum, Sushila Rani Patel, director Lekh Tandon and producers Kamal Kumar Barjatya and Gulshan Bahl were felicitated along with many technicians, distributors, exhibitors and Vivah actress Amrita Rao.

Remember singer Asha Bhonsle saying that she would slap Himesh Reshmmiya for his comments on her husband, music director late R. D. Burman? Once she had retorted back ”Who is Himesh Reshammiya ?”, when a reporter asked for her comments on his singing. Same Asha Bhonsle has agreed to sing with Himesh and perform on stage also in concerts. This is how money plays an important role in the Indian film industry. But, Asha Bhonsle’s elder sister Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar has said that she was not familiar with a single Himesh Reshammiya song. However, Himesh is said to have told that “if she says that she has not heard me, then what can I say. She is a legend. But I am honoured to work with Asha ji and I am very happy that she has forgiven me over the controversy that happened”.

Singer-composer-actor Adnan Sami has also learnt the art of remaining in the news. Whenever his new album is ready for release, he is seen in all TV channels, newspapers and magazines. Now, one more news about him. He has remarried his ex-wife No. 2, Safa Galadhari. Adnan first got married to Dubai based Galadhari, after his divorce from Pakistani actress Zeba Bakhtiar. They separated after one-and-a-half years of marriage. Earlier Adnan had admitted to his closeness to Galadhari despite divorce.

Innovative Interactive Infotainment, a content media company has launched and is the first Indian company to promote Hindi film songs karaoke/sing-along facility. This Online Karaoke facility allows to sing a song on favourite Hindi film and non-film tracks on computer. Licenced by major music companies like SAREGAMA, Venus, Universal, Tips, Aditya and Satyam, more than 1700 songs have been uploaded, the information of which can be obtained on

Madame Tussauds Museum of London is opening a wax museum in India. An Indian company, Bobby Khan Holdings, has reportedly been given the franchise to set up a museum in Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad and also in Pakistan by 2011. Bobby Khan had shot to fame with his Shilpa Shetty episode during the Celebrity Big Brother period, after which Shilpa and her mother had removed him from manager’s post. He then concentrated on getting actor Shah Rukh Khan’s wax statue installed at the Madame Tussauds. Bobby Khan says that the wax figures will be created in London by the Madame Tussauds team and brought to India for public viewing.

Anup Jalota is producing a Bhojpuri film jointly with Chaitanya Swami under the banner of Khushi Entertainment. “Ganga, Tohhare Desh Mein” will be directed by Amit Chauhan and Santosh Mandal and has Dinesh Lal Yadav ‘Nirahua’, Shiv Baba and Raj Kumar Kanojia in the main roles. Anup Jalota, Dinesh Lal Yadav ‘Nirahua’ and Kalpana have already recorded ten songs for the film.

An Anglo-Indian joint venture to be produced by Limelite Productions (UK) in association with United Hum (India), “Diana – Justice Delayed & Justice Denied” will be launched shortly in four languages, viz. English, French, Spanish and Hindi. Based on the real life story of late princess Diana, it will star Preeti in the title role. It will also star artistes from the British and Egyptian film industries. Kader Kashmiri is the producer-director of the film.

While checking the FBI site listing stolen works of art, the staff of Steven Spielberg realized that one of the paintings listed was in the filmmaker’s collection. Steven Spielberg had purchased Norman Rockwell’s “Russian Schoolroom” from a legitimate art dealer in 1989. However, the painting had been stolen from a gallery in St. Louis more than 3 decades ago. The filmmaker immediately informed the FBI about the painting, which according to estimates, is worth $700000.

Music director Nadeem Saifee’s father, Yusuf, withdrew his petition from the Bombay High Court seeking the court’s directions to cancel the red-corner notices and non-bailable warrants issued against his son in the Gulshan Kumar murder case. Nadeem is currently staying in London.

Veteran playback singer Mahendra Kapoor underwent bilateral knee replacement for both his knee-caps. The surgery was successful and 72 year old singer is now back at his house in Bandra.

Hubert de Givenchy had designed a little black dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 movie “Breakfast At Tiffany’s”. He gifted the dress to his friend, Dominique Lapierre, to raise funds for charity. Lapierre auctioned the dress at Christie’s in London for $825000 (Rupees 3.66 crores). He donated entire amount to the City of Joy Foundation, which has started building 15 schools in West Bengal with the donation.

Kishan Sharma.

The much talked about movie "Water" did not find any takers in India. Hamilton-Mehta Productions’ film written and directed by Deepa Mehta could not find audience, in spite of A. R. Rehman’s music and superb performance by little girl Sarala. Sagar Arts Production’s "1971" failed at the box-office, despite good acting by Manoj Bajpai, Ravi Kishan, Deepak Dobriyal, Manav Kaul, Chittaranjan Giri and Kumud Mishra. Based on authentic account, it is a grim tale of some prisoners-of-war languishing in Pakistani jails and their attempt to flee Pakistan. Horseshoe Pictures Pvt. Ltd.’s "Red" is an unbelievable exercise in futility. Even Himesh Reshammiya’s music could not turn the film green from red on the box-office. Nimbus Motion Pictures’ "Sarhad Paar" is yet an another film of Indian armyman, who was held captive in Pakistan for several years. Sanjay Dutt, Tabu and Mahima Chaudhry could not help the film, which has proved a disaster. Shree Hari Om Films’ "Wounded" is an extremely weak fare. A.S. Film International’s "Shakura – A Flower" needs no comments except that this flower will never blossom. UTV Motion Pictures’ "Hattrick" has good acting by Nana Patekar, Danny Denzongpa, Paresh Rawal and Rimi Sen. It received some good audience in cities like Mumbai, but failed elsewhere. Pritish Nandy Communications’ "Just Married", written and directed by Meghna Gulzar had nothing to attract the audience. Sea Studios’ "Eik Dasttak" proved to be a disaster. Blockbuster Movie Entertainers’ "Namastey London" fails to entertain, despite presence of Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Rishi Kapoor and Upen Patel; and music by Himesh Reshammiya. However, the overseas business is better. Fox Searchlight Pictures and UTV Motion Pictures’ "The Namesake" by Mira Nair is an another much talked about movie; but it has also failed in major parts of India. Savi Tri Films International’s "I Am In Love" has failed very badly. Jafer Films’ "Yaaraa" has nothing to offer. Zee Telefilms Ltd. and Mukta Tele Media’s "Khanna & Iyer" is a poor show and failed to make any mark at the box-office. Sivaji Productions’ "Delhii Heights" has Om Puri, Jimmy Shergill, Neha Dhupia, Rohit Roy and Simone Singh; but has gone unnoticed. Credence Motion Pictures and Speaking Tree Films’ "Say Salaam India" drew a blank at the box-office. Radha Pushpa Entertainment’s "Khallas" is a sure death at the booking windows. Shree Krishna International’s "Shaka Laka Boom Boom" directed by Suneel Darshan with music by Himesh Reshammiya, failed very badly. Bobby Deol, Upen Patel, Celina Jaitley and Kangana Ranaut with Anupam Kher and Govind Namdev could not attract the audience to the cinema halls. Pali Films’ "Gabbar Singh" lacks conviction and could not find any takers. Sajid Communications’ "Stop Laal Batti" is an absolute loser. Media One Global Entertainment Ltd., Motion Picture Partners International and British Media Fund International’s "Provoked" dubbed in Hindi is released in India. The English version would fare better, but Hindi version has taken dull start. Aishwarya Rai, Naveen Andrews, Miranda Richardson, Rebecca Pidgeon and Robbie Coltrane have acted very well, and Jag Mundhra’s direction alongwith background music by A. R. Rehman are indeed praiseworthy; but still the film has not taken a flying start in India. Bhagwan Chitra Mandir’s "Big Brother" has Sunny Deol, Priyanka Chopra, Danny Denzongpa and some other popular names, but could not find any brother’s patronage. Baba Arts Ltd.’s "Life Mein Kabhie Kabhiee" is too dull and a non-starter. Handmade Films’ "Bheja Fry" is a comedy. It may find favour in the multiplexes and the big cities, but will face dull reception at the box-office. V.R. Entertainers’ "Kya Love Story Hai" is a boring film. There is nothing except foreign locations. Vidisha Production Pvt. Ltd.’s "Panga Naa Lo" proved to be a poor fare. Om Puri and Satish Shah couldnot raise the film status, which will go unnoticed. Real Square Production Pvt. Ltd’s "Aur Pappu Pass Ho Gaya" will fail everywhere. .Tirangaa Films’ "Jaisi Karni Waisi Bharni" got a very poor response. Yash Raj Films’ "Ta Ra Rum Pum" is written and directed by Siddharth Anand. Saif Ali Khan, Rani Mukerji, Javed Jaffery etc. have acted as a routine and the film has taken dull start. It may rise above the average in some big cities, but not everywhere in India. A2 Creations’ "Dahek" is very poor fare. SPS Arts & Entertainment Ltd.’s much talked about film "Yatra" failed and proved a boring film. Nana Patekar, Rekha and Deepti Naval worked under the direction of Goutam Ghose, and Khayyam composed music for the film, but none could help the film, which is a disaster commercially. Columbia Pictures’ "Spider-Man 3" (dubbed in Hindi, Bhojpuri, Tamil and Telugu) has taken flying start. It may prove to be the only film which has attracted audience in large number.


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