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October - November 2007


Latest News from Bollywood

by Kishan Sharma

1. The farmer’s issue related with purchase of land in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra is haunting actor Amitabh Bachchan. With the change of government in Uttar Pradesh, the actor is finding himself involved in many controversies. Stung by un-ending controversies the actor had declared that he would donate the land, but the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati asked as to how can he donate land which doesnot belong to him. In the meantime a court case has been filed against Amitabh Bachchan by one person, who claims that the Uttar Pradesh land should be given back to him since it belongs to his family. The Maharashtra Government is also looking into the matter related with Pune land.

2. Incidentally, a film is being made on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati. Titled "Bahenji, The Great Sister". The story is based on Mayawati’s own book.

3. The Indian film personalities always remain in news, specially news related to the court matters. Actor-politician Hema Malini was recently acquitted by a Kota court in a case in which she was accused of not turning for the show despite accepting performance money in advance. She was also accused of not returning the money. An arrest warrant has been issued against actor Priyanka Chopra’s ailing father Dr. Ashok Chopra because of a complaint filed by the actor’s former secretary Prakash Jaju, who had said that he was threatened by underworld on the insistence of Dr. Chopra. Actor Seema Biswas and her producer husband Nikhilesh Sharma have filed for a divorce. Producer-director Mahesh Bhatt has said that he is getting threatening from underworld. He has earlier also said that he was getting threats for speaking in favour of minority community. In fact, his latest film Dhokha was released in almost empty halls and people are talking that he is trying to get some publicity for his film, himself and his daughter Pooja Bhatt, who has directed the film.

4. Music Director Khayyam has been selected for this year’s Lata Mangeshkar Award of the Government of Maharashtra. The function is likely to be held at New Delhi on the 12th October 2007, where Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh will felicitate Khayyam.

5. A musical programme was arranged by Dr. Sushila Rani Patel, wife of late Babu Rao Patel, Editor of "Mother India" and "Film India" magazines; on the occasion of Shri Krishna Janmashtami. Bhooshan Gagrani, I.A.S., Secretary of Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Government of Maharashtra was the Chief Guest. Sitar Maestro Padma Bhooshan Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffar Khan, Singer-Music Director Mohinderjit Singh, former Editor of "Screen" Bhavana Somaiya, and actor Salman Khan’s sister Alvira were present in the programme, in which Dr. Sushila Rani Patel (88) herself sang few classical compositions. Others who performed included Radhika Sood-Nayak, Zunain Khan, Anant Kemkar, Rajendra Antarkar, Prakash Desai, Priyanka Sood, Mehdi Hasan and Robin.

6. Actor Bipasha Basu found herself in some trouble with her boy friend actor John Abraham , when photographs showing her kissing the Portuguese soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in Lisbon were published in India. It is reported that there is tension between the two, specially after Bipasha is said to have commented that "it is my life and nobody is permitted to interfere in it".

7. Music Director-actor Himesh Reshammiya has decided to compose music for only those films which will have him as a hero. He is making a film "Ay Himesh Bhai" in which he will be able to remove his cap, since he is getting hair transplant done.

8. Ten singers from India and Pakistan will cut a joint album as a tribute to the ailing Pakistani singer Mehdi Hassan. Jagjit Singh, Ghulam Ali, Abida Parveen, Hariharan, Pankaj Udhas, Anup Jalota, Suresh Wadkar and Humera Channa will feature in the album alongwith Mehdi Hassan’s son Kamran Hassan. Some ghazals sung by Mehdi Hassan will also be included in the album.

9. Incidentally, Lata Mangeshkar is also making an album with Indian and Pakistani singers, including Farida Khanum, Ghulam Ali, Sonu Nigam, Hariharan and Suresh Wadkar.

10. Many top ranking singers, including Lata Mangeshkar have criticized the so called "talent hunt" shows on television channels. They have been calling these shows as mere dramas. The show producers are only making money through SMSes and sponsorships, say most of them.

11. Ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh will now venture into a never-before territory by releasing his first ever album of Gujarati ghazals composed and sung by him. The album is scheduled to be released in London in October 2007.

12. Nadeem and Shravan are back into Hindi films. Mahesh Bhatt said that he has signed Nadeem-Shravan in Dubai for his film "Raaz 2".

13. Shabana Azmi tried her hand at singing two songs in her English film, "Lions of Punjab Presents". The two songs that Shabana has sung in the film are popular Hindi film numbers.

14. Asha Bhonsle entered 75th year of her life on 8th September 2007. She has been recording albums with different non-singing stars like Sanjay Dutt, Urmila Matondkar, and Mithun Chakraborty. She was trying to get Shah Rukh Khan to sing with her, but Shah Rukh Khan is said to have begged out of the collaboration. Incidentally, Asha Bhonsle recorded a song with younger sister Usha Mangeshkar for a film after a gap of 30 years. The song was recorded under the direction of Shamir Tandon, music director of most of Madhur Bhandarkar’s films.

15. Singer Sonu Nigam is reported to have collapsed on the stage while performing at Bangaluru in Karnataka. His bodyguards lifted him up and took him to a hospital.

16. Actor Akshay Kumar, reportedly, checked into a hotel in Mumbai after a show down with wife Twinkle. According to information available, after a furious altercation between him and wife Twinkle over his alleged affair with a Bengali starlet. Twinkle got to know about it and was extremely upset. Meanwhile, it is learnt that the couple has decided to file a defamation suit against the newspaper which published the story on the basis of information provided by the hotel’s staff.

17. Kamal Haasan is constantly looking for something new and challenging. The latest on super star Kamal Haasan is that he will play the role of US President George W. Bush in his forthcoming Tamil film "Dasavataram". The actor is studying the US President’s speech, gait and mannerism very closely. He will play nine other roles in the film. The four time National Award winning actor has got a replica of the White House erected to bring the authentic look during the shooting.

18. Marigold actress Ali Larter wanted to keep the bridal dress that she wore in the film, but the director Willard refused to let her have it. When Salman Khan came to know of it, he decided to gift just such a dress to her and he did it.

19. Film maker Shyam Benegal has been chosen for the coveted Dada Sahib Phalke Award. Shyam Benegal has declared that he is directing an epic film on Lord Buddha. Light of Asia Foundation and Beyond Dreams Entertainment Ltd. will jointly produce the film.

20. It was a high-profile assignment for the "Bend It Like Beckham" filmmaker Gurinder Chadha, when she signed the deal to direct the big screen version of the TV hit "Dallas". She has now decided not to do it, because of her small twins.

21. Actor Shilpa Shetty has filed a case in a Mumbai court asking for injunction against her former London-based manager Jasveer "Jazz" Barton. She has complained that Jasveer had falsely claimed to be her agent while she was participating in Celebrity Big Brother. Shilpa is said to be loosing ground in the U.K. now. There was a news about her involvement with a married man who dumped his wife, and there was another story about how Shilpa has not been paying the bills of her agent, who actually promoted her in the U.K. The Leeds Metropolitan University however conferred an honorary doctorate on Shilpa Shetty

22. Underworld don Abu Salem, who is in police custody, has told the police during interrogation that producer-director Subhash Ghai had paid Dawood Ibrahim Rs. 25 lakh. However, Subhash Ghai has dismissed the Salem claim and has said that there is no truth in Salem’s statement.

23. The trial against film director Kaizad Gustad for the accidental death of his British assistant Nadia Khan during the shooting of film "Mumbai Central" is over. Nadia died on May 25, 2004, when she was run over by a train; but Gustad and his unit members tried to show it as a road accident.

24. Shah Rukh Khan is the first Indian actor who will have a pride of place at the French Graven Museum in Paris. A statue of the star will be installed at the museum soon. He has also been honoured by the French Government.

25. During the IIFA Yorkshire Awards, a leading British magazine, the New Statesman, was requested by the publicity manager of the event to interview Amitabh Bachchan, the Ambassador of the IIFA Awards. The magazine is said to have confessed that it had never heard of Amitabh Bachchan before the interview was arranged.

BOX OFFICE REPORT -- Kishan Sharma

Tips Films’ NAQAAB proved to be a dull show.Mohapatra Movie Magic Pvt. Ltd.’s JAI JAGANNATH made in Hindi, Oriya and also dubbed in English and other Indian lanuguages, also couldnot attract audience. Heyday Films’ HARRY POTTER AUR PHOENIX KI FAUJ (dubbed from Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix) is bound to bring in the moolah everywhere. Sohail Khan Productions and K. Sera Sera’s PARTNER, inspired by Hollywood film "Hitch" received very good response. This Salman Khan-Govinda-Katrina Kaif-Lara Dutta starrer brings director David Dhawan in top grade once again. Eye Telefilms Pvt. Ltd.’s PARVEEN BOBBY turned to be a loser. Sohail Maklai Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. And Seven Entertainment Ltd.’s CASH couldnot bring-in the cash at the counter. Despite the presence of Ajay Devgan, Ritesh Deshmukh, Zayed Khan, Sunil Shetty, and body exposers like Esha Deol, Shamita Shetty and Dia Mirza, the film could do nothing and dropped on the first day itself. Anil Kapoor Films Company and Eros International’s GANDHI MY FATHER has won critical acclaim, but has failed at the box-office. Akshaye Khanna, Darshan Jariwala, Shefali Chhaya and Bhumika Chawla have given very good performance, but the film is a worthless exercise. Yash Raj Films’ CHAK DE INDIA directed by Shimit Amin and starring Shah Rukh Khan received very good opening and is bound to rise at the box-office. Being a patriotic theme, it has found good opening in India, but is not upto the mark in overseas circuit. Mannerism Films’ KAAFILA is a badly made film and will entail heavy losses. UTV Classics’ THE BLUE UMBRELLA is a well made film but will not find good response. It might be liked by the kids. New Line Cinema’s RUSH HOUR 3, starring Jackie Chan is an average fare. Emmar Movies’ Bhojpuri flm RASIK BALMA failed at the box-office although it has Ravi Kishan, Rambha, Asha Singh, Anjan Srivastava, Upasna Singh, Tiku Talsania and Dinesh Hingoo. Rahul Theatres International’s BUDDHA MAR GAYA is a comedy film but makes the audience cry. It proved to be a dead horse. Hyperon Pictures’ MARIGOLD starring Salman Khan, Ali Larter and Nandana Sen is a dull fare.Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment’s HEYY BABYY, inspired from the Hollywood film "Three Men And A Baby" has Akshay Kumar, Ritesh Deshmukh, Fardeen Khan, Vidya Balan, Baby Juanna, Boman Irani, Anupam Kher and Shah Rukh Khan (in special appearance). It may prove to be a liability for the world rights holder. Siddhesh Productions’ KAISAY KAHEIN neither has the star value nor any attraction for the audience. Disney Pixar’s BINDAAS BAWARCHI (dubbed from Hollywood film "Ratatouille") has some good moments but not enough to appeal to the Hindi film-going audience. The biggest flop of this period has been RAM GOPAL VARMA KI AAG. Produced by Adlabs and Ramgopal Varma proved to be a poor copy of the legendary Sholay. Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Mohanlal, Ajay Devgan, Sushmita Sen, Nisha Kothari, and Urmila Matondkar couldnot jointly creat any fire, and the film flopped miserably. Angath Arts Pvt. Ltd.’s VICTORIA NO. 203, a remake of the film of same name, is a disaster. The previous film starring Ashok Kumar and Pran was a hit. Vishesh Films and Fish Eye Network’s DHOKHA written by Mahesh Bhatt and directed by Pooja Bhatt has also flopped. Global Pictures’ KAAMGURU is a total failure.

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