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April - May 2008


News from Bollywood

by Kishan Sharma

Singer Sudha Malhotra lost her husband Girdhar Motwane. He was 73. He was the Chairman and Managing Director of Motwane Pvt. Ltd.

Actors Upen Patel and Tabu were spotted together many times in the past one year. Some people had seen them drinking and kissing some time back. Now they are reported to be busy either talking on the phone for long time or sending smses to each other several times in a day.

Actor Shilpa Shetty has been booted out of the second run of the Broadway musical “Miss Bollywood”. The producer Farhath Hussain is now trying to rope in Lara Dutta, Priyanka Chopra or Bipasha Basu to get into Shilpa’s shoes for the second inning of Miss Bollywood. It is learnt that Shilpa started demanding three times the amount after first part was over. Hussain is the one who had been promoting her after she won Big Brother, and had also been organizing many shows and charity events for Shilpa.

Benazir Bhutto’s husband Asif Ali Zardari has shot down a proposal of film maker Mahesh Bhatt to make a film on the life of slain former Pakistani premier. It was suggested that actor Shabana Azmi would play Bhutto in the film.

The Central Board of Film Certification orally advised the Bombay High Court that it would withdraw the letter it had written to the producer of “Sonia Sonia”, Dinesh Tahkur, asking him to obtain a no-objection certificate from Congress President Sonia Gandhi before the Board cleared the film. The Hindi and English film is based partly on the life and times of Sonia Gandhi.

Following a request by the Cine Singers’ Association, the Federation of Western India Cine Employees has withdrawn its non-co-operation directive against senior singers Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Manna Dey, Mahendra Kapoor, Shamshad Begum, Usha Mangeshkar and Suman Kalyanpur, who are not members of the Cine Singers’ Association, which wants to make them honorary life members.

Music Director Khayyam was recently presented the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for his contribution to music. The President of India Pratibha Devisingh Patil presented the award to Khayyam. It is probably for the first time that the Sangeet Natak Akademi’s coveted award has been presented to a film music director. Incidentally, Khayyam was also felicitated at Rajbaug in Loni (Pune) by the MIT’s Gurukul on the eve of his birthday.

Widow of renowned playback singer late Mukesh, mother of playback singer Nitin Mukesh and grand mother of actor Neil Nitin Mukesh, Mrs. Saral Mukesh passed away recently in Mumbai.

Playback singer Udit Narayan’s father and Aditya Narayan’s grand father Hare Krishna Jha passed away in Mumbai at the age of 94 years.

Actor-dancer Huma Khan was arrested recently for the alleged kidnapping and torture of her maid’s 12 year old daughter and rape by her rakhi brother, Shamiuddin Shaikh

This year’s 80th annual Academy Awards ceremony attracted the lowest TV audience since 1974. The three hour broadcast on ABC pulled in an average of only 32 million viewers. In 1998, the Oscars ceremony was watched by 55 million, while last year nearly 41 million people watched it.

Yesteryears comedian Manorama died in Mumbai at the age of 80. She acted in more than 145 films including Seeta Aur Geeta, Mere Mehboob, Jhanak Jhanak Paayal Baaje, Half Ticket, Laawaris and Water.

In a case filed against media baron and film producer Ramoji Rao by M.A. Varma of Visakhapatnam, and in accordance with the Andhra Pradesh High Court order, Rao and his son Kiran, surrendered to the Visakhapatnam police. The case had been filed in connection with some changes made in the boundaries of the land.

Actor Aamir Khan lost the legal battle for his brother Faisal Khan’s custody recently. The Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate ruled that Faisal did not need to be in anybody’s custody and could live on his own. Faisal’s father, film maker Tahir Husain had earlier requested the court to hand over Faisal’s custody to Aaamir as he was unable to look after his ailing son.

Aamir Khan’s film “Ghajini” is reported to have been sold in approximately 71 crores. The film will be ready for release in the first week of October this year. Many people are wondering what Ghajini means, because there is no such word in Hindi. But the film is receiving good response even during its making period.

It has been learnt that the police who had seized licensed firearms from actor Sanjay Dutt in 1993, returned the firearms to him, but the foreign bullets have been changed to Indian bullets.

Hollywood screenwriters, who had struck work last year, voted to end the strike. The writers had gone on strike after talks on the previous contract between the Writers’ Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers had failed over the issue of payment for content bought over the internet or broadcast free.

Director Raj Kaushal’ husband of Mandira Bedi was admitted to Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai after he suffered a heart attack.

Well known comedian Rajindernath passed away at his residence in Mumbai at the age of 76. He was the brother of actor Premnath and Krishna Raj Kapoor. He had acted in films like Dil Deke Dekho, Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai, Pyar Ka Mausam, Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon, Baharon Ke Sapne, An Evening In Paris and Teesri Manzil.

Hollywood actor Richard Gere has filed a request in the Supreme Court of India for a stay on the arrest warrants issued by various courts for his controversial kiss with actor Shilpa Shetty last year. Shilpa Sheety supported the actor’s request. The bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice Raveendran and Justice Panta issued notices to the respondents on this request.

Several look-alikes of top film stars are earning big money in India these days. There is a huge demand for these duplicates at the weddings and parties and also in stage shows, where they charge anything to remain present and get photographed with people and also dance at functions.

Pyramid Saimira has acquired a majority stake in Aurona Technologies, a leading video games and interactive entertainment software company headquartered in London.

The Narcotics Control Bureau filed a strong reply to actor Fardeen Khan’s plea for discharge from the narcotics case in which he was arrested in 2001. The public prosecutor argued that the actor’s application for discharge was not tenable as he had himself admitted that he was trying to buy cocaine, which is a punishable offence.

A group of underprivileged children accompanied by their mothers, witnessed film shootings and stars at work in Mumbai, when they joined Cherie Blair, wife of erstwhile prime minister of Britain and president of an NGO, the Loomba Trust recently. The Loomba Trust has provided scholarships to the children to pursue their education, on the occasion of its 10th anniversary.

Farida Hoosenally, an antiques dealer has filed a petition in the Supreme Court of India in which she has accused filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali of setting ablaze his film’s sets after completing the shootings of his films, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas, and Black in order to make false insurance claims, in connivance with employees of insurance firms. She claims to have lost furniture and artifacts worth Rs. 2 crores in one of the mishaps.

The director of Aamir khan starrer Ghajini, A.R. Murugadoss was detained illegally in Chennai on a complaint filed by South film producer A. Chandrasekharan, who alleged that Murugadoss had not sought his permission to remake the Tamil hit in Hindi. However, after the intervention of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, Murugadoss was released. The Salem crime inspector Krishnan, who arrested Murugadoss has been suspended.

The first Bollywood acting school in Britain will start from September 2008. It will be based in the Ealing Institute of Media in the west London borough of Ealing. The school is a partnership between actor Anupam Kher’s acting school, Actor Prepares, Heathrow City Partnership and Ealing Hammersmith and West London College. About 60 students can get admission in the first year and the fee would be 6000 pounds for a 3-month course.

Rajkumar Hirani has finalized the lead actors of his new film. They are Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor. This will be fastest film for which Aamir has given his nod, and this will also surely see Kareena’s dream being fulfilled, since she very much wanted to work with her favourite actor.


Indian Films and Sunrise Pictures Pvt. Ltd.’s HALLA BOL proved to be an unexciting fare, despite the fact that it had very good performances from Ajay Devgan, Vidya Balan, Pankaj Kapur, Darshan Jariwala and Abhay Bhargava. E. Niwas Productions’ MY NAME IS ANTHONY GONSALVES proved to be dull fare. Shree Balajee Entertainment’s GOLDEN BOYS was a boring fare. Walt Disney Pictures’ KHAZANE KA RAHASYA : MAUT KA RAAZ KHOLEGI KITAAB (dubbed from the Hollywood film National Treasure : Book of Secrets) provides an adventure story in a light-hearted vein. Mukta Searchlight Films and SIC Productions’ BOMBAY TO BANGKOK, written and directed by Nagesh Kukunoor is a dull fare. Sri Tirumala Tirupati Venkateshwara Films’ TULSI starring Manisha Koirala, Irrfan Khan, Tinu Anand, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Sadashiv Amarapurkar failed to register any impact. Shemaroo Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. And Screenplay Films Pvt. Ltd.’s ANURANAN is an artistic film but proved to be a commercial disaster. Sri Dhanalakshmi Productions’ MERI TAAQAT starring Venkatesh, Nayantara and Sayaji Shinde may get some response from the front-benchers in small towns. Ramesh Deo Production Pvt. Ltd. And Government of Maharashtra’s VASUDEV BALWANT PHADKE is well made Marathi historical. It received ordinary response. Big Screen Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.’s SUNDAY, featuring Ajay Devgan, Ayesha Takia, Arshad Warsi, Irrfan Khan, Tusshar Kapoor and Esha Deol got poor start. Balaji Motion Pictures and Shri Sidhivinayak Media Entertianment’s Bhojpuri film GABBAR SINGH starring Jeetendra, Ravi Kishan, Sikandar Kharbanda and Mahesh Pandey is an average fare. Oracle Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.’s RAMA RAMA KYA HAI DRAMAAA has no drama. Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd.’s SUPER STAR proved a super-flop. Planman Motion Pictures’ MITHYA starring Ranvir Shorey, Naseeruddin Shah, Neha Dhupia and Vinay Pathak failed at the box-office. Khanna Images’ NIGHT SHOW is a great disaster. Sairam Movies’ MAIN HOON ANGARAKSHAK will not appeal to the audience despite good action sequences. UTV Motion Pictures and Ashutosh Gowariker Productions Pvt. Ltd.’s JODHAA AKBAR starring Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan, Sonu Sood, Raza Murad and Kulbhushan Kharbanda is for the classes. Technically, it is a well made film, but failed at the box-office in India. A.M. Autorent Ltd. (UK)’s DHARA proved to be a non-starter. Khan Productions’ BAGAWAT…EK JUNG… may get some audience interested in action. Dharmapatha Creations’ TATHAGATHA BUDDHA is a below average fare. Sidhi Vinayak Cinema’s OM SHANTI – FIGHT FOR PEACE is a weak fare. Similar failure is Bhawani Entertainment’s KARMYUDH. Columbia Pictures’ SAAZISH, dubbed from the Hollywood film VANTAGE POINT is a superbly made thriller, but may not attract the audience. T.N. Arts’ CHANDRAMUKHI starring Rajnikanth, Nayantara, Jyotika and Sonu Sood is a wonderful film, but may fail at the box-office. Mukta Searchlight Films’ BLACK & WHITE will win more critical acclaim but no box office rewards. Nobody in the audience would realize that Subhash Ghai has lent his voice in addition of Anil Kapoor’s voice in a scene, where Anil Kapoor’s wife in the film is killed and he is unable to even speak as he is completely shattered. Subhash Ghai thought that the scene could be more improvised in sound and so he added some emotions in his voice. Artiskinky Motion Pictures’ KABHIE SOCHA BHI NA THA is a disaster. Royal Film Company’s DON No. 1 is an ordinary fare. Warner Brothers Pictures’ 10000 B.C. will not be liked by Indian audience as it is a boring subject.

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