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December 2008 - January 2009



by Kishan Sharma

Film stars of Tamil Nadu staged a day-long fast in Chennai to express solidarity with the affected Tamils in the ongoing offensive in Sri Lanka. Top actors, including Tamil superstars Rajnikant and Kamal Hassan participated in the event, inaugurated by the South Indian Artistes’ Association president and actor turned politician R. Sarath Kumar. It is being demanded that the ongoing war against Sri Lankan Tamils should be stopped immediately and the Tamils there should be treated at par with the Sinhalese.
Star Plus has issued termination notice to Balaji Telefilms for the longest Soap, “Kyunki….Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi”. Both parties accused each other before the vacation judge, who turned down Balaji’s plea for suspension of the termination notice. Star Plus cited viewer fatigue and loss of TRP numbers for the decision to suspend the telecast of the serial. Balaji pointed out that the serial has been inadequately promoted by Star Plus, causing its TRP figures to nosedive. Both parties are expected to appoint arbitrators to sort out the matter, even as court proceedings are expected to continue.
All the top stars who are reportedly planning to purchase Mehboob Studio and use it as the base for their film production activities will have to wait as the landmark on Hill Road in Mumbai’s Bandra (West) is in the midst of a legal battle among the grandchildren of its founder, legendary producer-director Mehboob Khan, who made films like “Mother India”, “Aurat”, “Andaaz” and “Amar”, and died in 1964.
Pop star Michael Jackson is reportedly set to undertake a huge comeback tour with his kids in tow, next year. Jackson has a lot of financial problems and needs to pay off debts, is planning a tour spanning 30 cities.
It seems Aditya Narayan has grown too big for his boots. Son of playback singer Udit Narayan, Aditya, has been anchoring some musical shows on television and is also acting in films. He is said to have been throwing tantrums on the sets of such shows, but now he has gone one step ahead. He was signed by Star Plus to host a dance-based reality show. The channel got a shock when Aditya reportedly asked for double the amount he had earlier agreed to. Star Plus did not appreciate his demand and replaced him with another television actor Harshad Chopra of ‘Kis Des Main Hai Mera Dil’.
Actor Katrina Kaif has reportedly agreed to perform at Hotel J.W. Marriott in Mumbai on the new year’s eve for a whopping Rs. 1 crore. Earlier Mallika Sherawat had charged Rs. 50 lac and Bipasha Basu charged Rs. 90 lac while performing at the same hotel to welcome 2007 and 2008 respectively; Katrina is said to have demanded Rs. 1 crore to perform.
Actor Juhi Chawla’s uncle Satesh Anand, who was a Pakistani film maker, was abducted in Karachi and is believed to have been killed. Karachi police said that Satesh Anand was kidnapped at gun point by unidentified persons. He was a former chairman of the Pakistan Film Censor Board.
Film maker Kaizad Gustad, who was booked for the death of British national Nadia Khan (26), during the shooting of a film in Mumbai in 2004, had challenged a trial court’s order; but the sessions judge dismissed his revision application. The assistant director Nadia Khan was hit by a train but Kaizad Gustad presented it as an accident on the road and got a fake report registered. Kaizad Gustad now faces an offence which is punishable with upto 10 years’ imprisonment.
The first Sona Devotional Awards, a talent hunt for devotional singers was recently held in Mumbai. While singers Sudha Malhotra, Anup Jalota and Udit Narayan acted as the judges of the live performance by 10 finalists, Jayaa Piyush won the Rs.1 lac award. Incidentally, Jayaa is the daughter of Piyush Pawar, who plays Santoor in all Anup Jalota shows.
Rajshri Productions may soon make a film on Tansen. It is learnt that Abhishek Bachchan is likely to play classical singer Tansen in the historical film. Earlier it was learnt that Himesh Reshammiya was being booked for the role, but Rajshri Productions finally thought of Abhishek Bachchan. Music director Ravindra Jain had long ago recoded four songs for the film, which couldnot be taken up earlier by any film maker.
219 films were released between the two Diwalis, from November 2007 to October 2008, of which 127 are Hindi films and 87 are dubbed in Hindi from other languages. Big-budgeted and star-studded films flopped, which included DRONA, KARZZZZ, LOVE STORY 2050, KIDNAP, MISSION ISTAANBUL, THODA PYAAR THODA MAGIC, and GOD TUSSI GREAT HO.
Amitabh Bachchan is now perfectly alright. He was admitted to Lilavati Hospital on his birthday, the 11th October. He was first taken to Nanavati Hospital and then doctors decided to shift him to Lilavati. He developed severe pain in his abdomen in the night on the 10th. Incidentally Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan’s father, Krishna Raj Rai was admitted to Hinduja Hospital on the 15th October. In the meantime, the Bombay High Court has admitted an appeal of the Income Tax Department against Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan’s claim that her Miss World income of £50000 was non-taxable as she was a non-resident Indian. The Income Tax authorities had asked her to pay the taxes, which now could be calculated to around Rs. 50 lacs.
Shah Rukh Khan has been selected for the Malaysian Honour of title ‘Datuk’, which Governor confers on his birthday. Datuk is the English equivalent of being knighted.
Hema Malini will play Vijayaraje Scindia, queen of Gwalior in “Ek Thi Rani Aisi Bhi”, being produced by Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia Smriti Trust.
The Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee has said that it would ban all film shootings in the premises of the Golden Temple in Amritsar; except for those films that help the Sikh cause.
Playback singer Mahendra Kapoor passed away in Mumbai. He was 74. Born in Amritsar, Mahendra Kapoor got into playback singing after winning an all-India singing contest. Music director C. Ramchandra gave him fist chance to sing. Incidentally, the Government of Maharashtra had just announced that the prestigious Lata Mangeshkar Award of this year would be given to Mahendra Kapoor, but he couldnot receive the award himself. Now, his acto son Rohan Kapoor will receive the award on behalf of Mahendra Kapoor.
An RTI (Right To Information) applicant wants to know the exact relationship between Dharmendra and Hema Malini since Dharmendra has named his first wife, Prakash, as his spouse in the Lok Sabha dossier, while Hema Malini has named Dharmendra as her husband in her information file in the Lok Sabha dossier.
Dilip Kumar was admitted to Delhi’s Indraprastha Apollo Hospital and he came back to Mumbai after recovering fully well. Shashi Kapoor was also admitted to the hospital for suspected heart trouble, and was discharged after some tests and treatment.
Filmistan Pvt. Ltd. has issued a public notice against one Amarjeet Singh Matharo of Gurpreet Video International of Southhall, Middx, accusing him of taking out illegal DVD of films — “Anarkali” starring Pradeep Kumar and Bina Rai, and “Nagin”starring Pradeep Kumar and Vyjayantimala, without obtaining any rights or permission. It is learnt that legal action is being taken in the UK courts.
Rohit, the elder son of David Dhawan will direct Akshay Kumar in his maiden film. Rohit was working on two scripts and while he was narrating the script to Akshay Kumar, the latter asked Rohit to direct the film himself, instead of his father. Akshay spoke to David Dhawan, who was overjoyed on hearing about it.
Legendary Bhajan singer Juthika Ray will be given the first “Bhajan Maharshi Hari Om Sharan Award” on the 12th January 2009 at the Bhajan Samrat Padmashri Purushottam Das Jalota Bhajan Sammelan, organised by Bhajan Samrat Anup Jalota for Sur Singar Samsad at Mumbai. The Rs. 1 lac award will henceforth be given every year by Anup Jalota in memory of senior Bhajan singer Hari Om Sharan.
Actor-Member of Parliament Hema Malini was caught travelling without a ticket recently. Infact, she was returning from a programme and in hurry, she forgot to collect her Railway ticket from the organisers. She was travelling in I A.C. compartment, when the ticket checking staff noticed that Hema Malini had no ticket with her. She readily paid the fine and ticket money to the railway officials.
Shah Rukh Khan launched a $2.17 billion beachfront residential project promoted by a UAE based real estate firm, in Dubai. This will include a Shah Rukh Khan boulevard near the Dana Island in Ras al Khaimah. The complex will consist of 10 residential towers.
The Government of India have decided to confer the highest civilian honour of Bharat Ratna on well known classical music singer Pandit Bhimsen Joshi.


ASA Productions And Entertprises Ltd.’s “1920”, directed by Vikram Bhatt was an average horror film. It couldnot attract the viewers and thus horrified the distributors. Percept Picture Company and Zee Motion Pictures’ RU-BA-RU, inspired by the English film ‘If Only’, failed at the box-office. Planman Motion Pictures’ THE LAST LEAR starring Amitabh Bachchan, Preity Zinta, Arjun Rampal, Shefali Shah and Divya Dutta failed at the box-office, but could get some award. Prassanna Kothari Films Pvt. Ltd.’s PHIR EK TOOFAN also flopped. UTV Spotboy and Bindaas’ WELCOME TO SAJJANPUR, directed by Shyam Benegal, surprised everybody. Starring Shreyas Talpade, Amrita Rao, Ravi Kishan, Divya Dutta, Ila Arun and Kunal Kapoor, the film is well made, but couldnot attract the city audience. Warner Bros. and PLA Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.’s SAAS BAHU AUR SENSEX is a comedy film starring Farooque Shaikh, Kiron Kher, Tanushree Dutta, Masumeh and others. It also flopped. Big Pictures and Handmade Films’ HULLA proved to be a disaster. Sony Pictures’ RANGEELA ZOHAN, the dubbed version of YOU DON’T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN has nothing to attract the audience. Prassanna Kothari Films Pvt. Ltd.’s BE HAPPY BINDAAS is an ordinary fare. S. Altaf’s THE GREAT KALICHARAN is a dubbed film and may attract viewers in the small towns. Friday Pictures’ RAFOOCHAKKAR – FUN ON THE RUN is a childish comedy and proved to be a disaster. Mirchi Movies’ HARI PUTTAR – A COMEDY OF TERRORS, based on the Hollywood comedy series, Home Alone, couldnot do much business and was a complete disaster. V. Enterprises’ KHEL KHILADI KA is a dubbed film, and failed at the box-office. V2 Media’s EK ILZAAM is also a dubbed film and has chances only in small towns. Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd.’s KIDNAP, directed by Sanjay Gadhvi and starring Sanjay Dutt, Imran Khan, Minissha Lamba and Vidya Malvade, is a dull thriller. Eros Pictures and Rose Movies’ DRONA, directed by Goldie Behl and starring Abhishek Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra, Kay Kay Menon, and Jaya Bachchan, is a complete disaster. Javed Jabbar Productions’ RAMCHAND PAKISTANI is a depressing film. M. R. K. Productions’ KOOL NAHI HOT HAIN HUM is a supreme disaster. Funky Buddha Media’s HELLO based on Chetan Bhagat’s bestseller may get some audience in the multiplexes. AVM Productions’ AAJ KA SHOORVEER might be liked in small towns. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation’s KHATRON KA CARAVAN dubbed from Babylon A.D. will do just ordinary business. T-Series’ KARZZZZ, directed by Satish Kaushaik and starring Himesh Reshammiya, Shweta Kumar, Urmila Matondkar, Danny Denzongpa, Gulshan Grover and Raj Babbar failed to attract the audience. Proved to be a dull fare. Elecom Fiesta Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.’s CHEENTI CHEENTI BANG BANG is an animation film. It is a flop. Aron Govil Productions’ SHOOT ON SIGHT, dubbed from the English film is also a disaster. Surface Technics Media Division’s MERA KRODH stands nowhere. Mega Bollywood and Future Picture Company’s HEROES, starring Salman Khan, Preity Zinta, Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol, Dino Morea, and Mithun Chakraborty will not get the desired response, though it is a well made film. Yash Raj Films and Walt Disney Pictures’ ROADSIDE ROMEO will not get good response. Royal Film Company’s GREAT DHARMATMA may also get some audience in the smaller towns. Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd.’s GOLMAAL RETURN starring Ajay Devgan,, Kareena Kapoor, Tusshar Kapoor, Shreyas Talpade, Arshad Warsi, Amrita Arora and Celina Jaitley, is an entertainer. However, the worldwide distributor may not be happy owing to the heavy price. UTV Motion Pictures and Bhandarkar Entertainment’s FASHION, directed by Madhur Bhandarkar and starring Priyanka Chopra, Kangana Ranaut, Mugdha Godse, Arjan Bajwa, and Arbaaz Khan will get good business from the multiplexes. Since it has been given “A” certificate by the Censor Board, it may not earn the desired money from all over.

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